Brave, but not foolhardy

10th September 2012

There’s been a lot written about the sound for Disney Pixar’s Brave, an animated story set in tenth century Scotland. Understandably, much of it has focused on the fact that Brave is the first movie to make use of Dolby’s new Atmos 3D sound format.  And of course Pixar had plumped for the best – the 7.1 mix took place on the AMS Neve DFC at Skywalker Sound with the multiple Oscar-winning Gary Rydstrom as re-recording mixer and sound designer.

All movies require a balancing act – ‘a dance’, Brave’s director Mark Andrews calls it – between the score and the sound effects, with the emphasis bouncing between them depending on the role the soundtrack is fulfilling at the time. Getting that balance just right was made much easier, of course, by the DFC’s 12-stem mixing capabilities allied to AMS Neve’s Encore:2 automation system.

And the soundtrack itself was composed of several strands. Dialogue, first and foremost, with ADR taking place at DFC-equipped De Lane Lea. Effects and atmospheres, naturally – and naturally is the appropriate word for a story set in the rugged Scottish highlands in a pre-industrial age. And, importantly, Patrick Doyle’s score, recorded and mixed by Andrew Dudman at AIR Lyndhurst and Abbey Road – both home to Neve 88RS consoles with SP-2 scoring panel and stem-makers.