- Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014
Each year among the highlights of the Academy Awards® broadcast are its extraordinary live musical performances. This year’s show promises to be no exception as it will include stirring renditions of Best Song nominees Let it Go (from Frozen), Happy (from Despicable Me 2), Ordinary Love (from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) and The Moon Song (from Her) among other musical features.
Capturing those bravura performances will be the job of Paul Sandweiss and his crew from Sound Design Corporation. The company, which makes its home on the lot at Hollywood Center Studios, has been providing location broadcast, location recording and audio post production services for awards shows, concerts, live events, television specials and episodics for nearly two decades. Along with the Academy Awards, its hits list includes The Super Bowl Haftime Show, The American Music Awards, The BET Awards,The BET Honors,The Billboard Music Awards, The Emmy Awards, The Grammy Awards, and The Kennedy Center Honors, among many others.
Sandweiss began his career as a sound engineer at legendary Wally Heider Recording and helped capture live recordings of such greats as Fleetwood Mac, Peter Frampton, Earth Wind and Fire, Neil Diamond and The Band (for the Martin Scorsese film The Last Waltz). Tired of life on the road, he turned his attention to television sound and embarked on a course that, so far, has produced seven Emmy Awards, alongside 29 nominations. “If you do it long enough, and work with great people, you are bound to get some amazing results,” he says.
Sandweiss opened Sound Design Corporation at Hollywood Center Studios in 1996 in order to provide his clients with complete sound services. “I found that I often wasn’t happy with what happened between the time that I recorded and mixed the performances, and what I heard on the television broadcast,” he explains. “I wasn’t exactly sure where the mix went south, but it was frustrating.” The facility he created, which originally featured one mixing suite, today boasts five suites, each equipped with state-of-the-art Fairlight Xynergi mixing systems.
Being located on the lot at Hollywood Center Studios offers many advantages, says Sandweiss, particularly for his clients. “We have a lot of high profile people coming in here, and they mostly want to get their work done without too much notice,” he explains. “When they come here, they pull onto a lot that’s gate-guarded and has 24-hour security. They don’t have to worry about somebody tweeting something and, boom, they’re surrounding your car.”
Sandweiss appreciates the lot’s comfortable vibe and perks such as having his car washed while he’s conducting a mix session, or grabbing a quick gourmet bite from his pal Roland at the Babalu Cafe. He also enjoys its sense of history. “Some people say there are ghosts on the lot,” he says. “There might be, but I’m not afraid of ghosts.”
About Hollywood Center Studios
Hollywood Center Studios has a rich and colorful history that mirrors the development of Hollywood and the growth of the entertainment industry. The studio has played host to some of the most notable productions of the past century, including such iconic television shows as I Love Lucy, The Addams Family, Jeopardy, Rockford Files and Mad TV, and classic film productions such as When Harry Met Sally and The Player. In recent years, Hollywood Center Studios has continued to grow and modernize to support its large television clientele which includes Disney, NBC, Comedy Central and MTV. Hollywood Center Studios remains a vital part of the Hollywood community and a place where entertainment history continues to be made every day.