- Monday, Feb. 24, 2014
HOBO Brings Cinema Sound To High-Rated Shows For Discovery, Travel Channel, OWN, Food Network, National Geographic And More
Audio Mix/Sound Design Heard On Recent Shows “Gold Rush,” “My Dirty Little Secret,” And A New Series On Newly Rebranded American Heroes Channel
What do the cable reality shows “Gold Rush,” “Mysteries at the Museum,” and “My Dirty Little Secret” have in common? Besides being hugely successful for Discovery, Travel Channel and Investigation Discovery, respectively, all benefit from a creative partnership with HOBO, an audio post-production house bringing a cinematic sound to the small screen.
“It’s all about the viewer experience so for all of our episodic TV work, we aim for a cinematic quality to the mix,” Howard Bowler, President of HOBO says. “When you hear a well-mixed show, it just grabs you and sucks you in. That kind of attention to detail is why so many networks trust us with the sound of their shows.”
That HOBO sound can be heard on an array of entertainment ranging from the rowdy fun of "Mud Lovin' Rednecks” (Animal Planet) and “Jersey Couture” (TLC); to the more cerebral “Your Bleeped Up Brain” (HISTORY) and “Monsters Inside Me” (Animal Planet); to the visceral thrills of “Lee Harvey Oswald: 48 Hours To Live” (HISTORY) and “When Sharks Attack” (National Geographic). HOBO is also currently working on audio post and sound design for “Gunslingers,” a new series set to premiere this summer on the American Heroes Channel, the rebranded Military Channel bowing March 3rd.
While each show presents its own set of challenges based on the content, schedule and budget, for HOBO’s Senior Engineer Chris Stangroom, the company’s most challenging assignment was perhaps its most important -- the six-part documentary series “Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero,” executive produced by Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Television, which aired on Discovery in 2011 to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
“It was a special project and everyone knew how important it was to get this right – both professionally and as New Yorkers,” Stangroom says. “The schedule was very tight and we ended up working around the clock in three separate audio teams with one suite working on the sound design, another on the music cues and another on the final mix. It was an intense schedule, but everyone was blown away by what the team accomplished.”
For Bowler, who notes that HOBO’s first client ever seven years ago was the Food Network, success in long-form television comes down to focusing on a Hollywood-esque sound experience for viewers.
“There are so many viewing options today that for a show to really stand out, you have to immediately grab the audience’s attention. The right mix can help do that in a very powerful way,” Bowler adds. “Viewers appreciate quality work. They know instinctively when the voice sits right and the effects and music are properly balanced. It’s a joy to listen to. At the end of the day, we mix for the consumer, and I think that is why so many networks rely on our ears.”