Martell Adds Sonic Weight To A&E "Challenge"

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NEW YORK — audioEngine mixer, Hillary Kew Martell, recently completed the sound design and mix of a promotional campaign for A&E in which the real and fictional worlds of the network’s programming collide. The spot features characters from a range of A&E programs, challenging viewers to see the drama in both fiction and reality. Martell’s creative sound design and mix enhances the intensity of this memorable spot, which brands A&E’s lineup, “Real Life. Drama.� For this A&E campaign, called “Challenge,� Martell created ambient sound design elements to accent the disparate outtake-like scenes from a variety of A&E programs, including the recently aired mini-series, “The Andromeda Strain,� the syndicated “Sopranos,� “Gene Simmons Family Jewels,� “Criss Angel Mindfreak,� and “Paranormal State.� Edited by Tiffany Burchard at FilmCore into :70, :60,:30, and :15 versions, this promo creates both a network narrative and programming showcase, blending the intensity and drama of the race-to-save-mankind, with the somber Intervention, the grave-digging mobster with the megalomaniac rocker. Martell’s sound design helps to structure the spot’s narrative arc, which begins intensely then turns somber and builds to a dramatic climax. Characters pose program-oriented challenges direct-to-camera, revealing some themes explored in A&E’s shows. From car screeching to water-lapping and frog-croaking, grave digging to train whistling, Martell’s sound design provided a sonic backbone for the spot before the dialog tracks and musical score had been finalized, and ultimately, underscores the production sound captured for each scene. London-based agency, devilfish, produced the “Challenge� campaign, and its creative director, Richard Holman, worked directly with Martell to perfect the music and sound of the spot. Martell mixed the various versions of this campaign from her Pro Tools HD3- and Pro Control-equipped studio at audioEngine NYC, monitoring on Klein + Hummel O300 Studio Monitors. Her mix balances the musical score, with its deep-swelling strings building to a crescendo, and the dramatic dialog and environmental sound design to achieve a sonic intensity that culminates cinematically, and fades out to real-world sounds. Located a block off Union Square, audioEngine houses four fully equipped mixing and sound design studios for the NYC-based A-list mixers on staff, including Martell, Carl Mandelbaum, Rex Recker, Tom Goldblatt, and Joe Vagnoni. For a taste of audioEngine work, visit:

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