Products Used

VoiceQ Pro/Writer

We recently caught up with Brian Reed | President & CEO of BAM Studios, Chicago to get his thought leadership on the future of work and technology in the audio post localization sector. Brian comments on what it takes to achieve efficient, quality and sustainable localization.

When was BAM Studios founded?
I founded BAM Studios in 1999.

What was the primary driver to set up BAM Studios?
The primary motivation for establishing BAM Studios stemmed from my desire to expand beyond a decade-long experience in advertising-focused audio work. I aimed to create a more diversified audio facility, one that would encompass a comprehensive range of audio post-production services.

What are the primary services offered by BAM Studios?
BAM primarily focuses on audio post-production. This includes services like Sound Design, Mixing, Dialogue Replacement (ADR), Dubbing, Voiceover/Voice Recording, Digital Patch, Voice Casting, Audiobook and Podcast Production. Our location in Chicago and presence on the lot of Cinespace Studios serves the needs of film, television, advertising, and multimedia industries.

What do you see as the key workflow challenges and how does BAM address approach them?
In ADR and Foreign Language Dubbing projects, key workflow challenges include:

Actor's Time Constraints and Availability: Scheduling conflicts and limited availability of actors can pose significant challenges, especially for high-profile talent. Ensuring that key actors are available for ADR sessions or for recording their parts in a foreign language dub, within tight production timelines, is a critical aspect of the workflow that needs careful management.

Lip Sync Accuracy: Ensuring the dubbed dialogue matches the lip movements and expressions of the original performance is challenging.

Voice Matching: Finding voice actors who can convincingly match the original actors’ voice quality, tone, and emotional delivery.

Cultural Localization: Adapting the script to maintain the original intent while making it culturally relevant and understandable for the new audience.

Sound Quality Consistency: Maintaining consistent sound quality between the original and dubbed audio, especially when dealing with different recording environments.

Efficient Collaboration: Coordinating effectively among directors, actors, and sound engineers, often in different locations or time zones.

Technology Integration: Utilizing software and equipment efficiently for seamless integration of the dubbed audio with the original video.

Addressing these challenges effectively is crucial for maintaining the integrity and impact of the original content in ADR and dubbing processes.

What consumer trends do you see driving change across the sector?
Key consumer trends we observe include:

Immersive Audio Formats: There's growing interest in immersive audio experiences like Dolby Atmos, requiring studios to adapt their capabilities.

High-Quality Audio Expectations: Consumers increasingly demand superior sound quality, driving studios to invest in advanced technology and skilled professionals.

Podcast Popularity: The surge in podcasting has opened up new avenues for audio post-production work, focusing on clarity and storytelling.

Streaming Services Growth: The rise of streaming platforms has led to more content production, creating a steady demand for post-production services.

These trends shape how BAM adapts and innovates to meet evolving consumer expectations.

What trends do you see driving sector change?
A key trend driving change within the sector is the rapid evolution and adoption of immersive audio technologies.

Consumer Demand for Immersive Experiences: As home entertainment systems become more sophisticated, consumers are seeking more immersive audio experiences in movies, TV shows, and even music. This demand is leading content creators to focus more on the quality and depth of their soundtracks.

Advancements in Sound Technology: Technologies like Dolby Atmos are pushing the boundaries of how sound is experienced, moving from traditional stereo and surround sound to 3D audio experiences. This shift requires studios to invest in new equipment and training.

Impact on Production and Post-Production Workflows: The move towards immersive audio changes how sound designers, mixers, and editors’ work. It requires a rethinking of sound element placement, mixing, and synchronization to create a three-dimensional audio landscape.

Streaming Services and Content Diversity: Streaming platforms are increasingly adopting high-quality audio formats to differentiate their offerings. This results in a wider variety of content needing advanced post-production audio services.

Global Collaboration and Remote Work: The technology enabling immersive audio also facilitates more global collaboration, allowing talent from different parts of the world to work together more seamlessly, but also adds complexity in coordinating these efforts.

Educational and Skill Development Needs: As technology evolves, there is a growing need for professionals skilled in these new formats, leading to a focus on education and training within the industry.

Leadership, staff and great talent often play a huge role in organizational success.  Can you share any insights on your approach and who has influenced your success?
At BAM Studios, the key to our success lies in the incredible team we've built. The people here are not just employees; they are the creative force that makes our work stand out. We put significant effort into integrating advanced tools and workflows to enhance efficiency and quality, but it's our people who bring these elements to life. They guide the work, design the creative elements, excel in customer service, and ultimately deliver a product and client experience that technology alone could never achieve.

BAM Studios team

My approach to leadership and building such a talented team has been deeply influenced by several mentors throughout my career.

Lach Frew taught me the art of interacting with clients - being professional, honest, forthright, and personable. These lessons have been invaluable in how we engage with our clients at BAM.

From Ken Pohlmann, my main music engineering professor in college, I learned about current and future technologies and the importance of independent problem-solving. His teachings have been instrumental in keeping BAM at the forefront of technological advancements and have also opened doors to many key connections in the audio community.

Jack Tohtz’s insights into the business side of advertising and post-production helped shape our strategic approach to the industry, ensuring that we not only create great work but also sustainably grow as a business.

Lastly, David Szabo influenced my understanding of both the creative and client relation sides of advertising and post-production. His lessons have been crucial in how we balance creative aspirations with client expectations at BAM Studios.

Each of these individuals has contributed significantly to my approach and, by extension, to the success of BAM Studios. Their collective wisdom has helped me create an environment where talent thrives, and exceptional service is the norm.

With all the advancements in hiring great people, disrupting workflows, and implementing technology, what has been the quantitative and qualitative impact of tech innovations for BAM Studios?

Quantitatively, technology has allowed us to streamline workflows, reducing turnaround times for projects, and increasing the number of projects we can handle simultaneously. Technology advancements give us the ability to take on more complex, higher-paying projects.  We have also been able to increase the number of clients in new markets, due to improved capabilities through technology.

Qualitatively, we receive more positive client feedback, due to higher quality and more efficient project management has been enabled by new technologies. In addition, technology has enhanced the creative capabilities of our team, allowing for more innovative and complex audio post-production work.

What are the main technology platforms used at BAM Studios?
The main technology platform we rely on is AVID’s Pro Tools Ultimate software on OSX, AVID’s MTRX audio interfaces, and DANTE audio networking. However, our approach is comprehensive and flexible, encompassing a diverse array of software and hardware to meet our specific project needs including VoiceQ. We prioritize keeping our toolkit well-stocked with the best and most advanced tools available. This ensures that, whatever the project demands, we have the right tool at our disposal to deliver optimal results.

Can you share any insights on a recent project? What is project about as a story?
“61st Street" is a television drama that follows the story of Moses Johnson, a promising black high school athlete who is swept up into the infamously corrupt Chicago criminal justice system. Accused of being involved in a gang-related incident, Moses finds himself in the eye of a storm, fighting against systemic racism and injustice.

The show delves into the intricate and often biased workings of the legal system, exploring themes of inequality, police brutality, and the struggles of those living in marginalized communities. It’s a gripping narrative that aims to shed light on the broader societal issues and challenges within urban America.

Were there challenges in the project and if so, how did you resolve them?
For the "61st Street" TV show project, our primary challenge revolved around leveraging our Chicago base to its fullest potential. We aimed to cast and record local talent from Chicago for the loop grouping aspects of the project. Additionally, we were tasked with recording ADR for all cast members, a significant undertaking considering it spanned two seasons and a total of 16 episodes.

The key workflow challenges for the "61st Street" project involved intricate coordination and communication at multiple levels. Firstly, casting required extensive liaison with talent agencies, managing auditions, and scheduling numerous actors for loop group sessions. Concurrently, we had to organize and conduct ADR sessions for the principal cast members. Complicating these tasks further was the fact that our clients were based in the UK.

This geographical distance necessitated careful planning around time zone differences for all our communications, Zoom sessions, and file exchanges, ensuring everything was synchronized and efficiently managed across the significant time and geographical gaps.

How did you come across VoiceQ technology?
We discovered VoiceQ's software when we were tasked with a dubbing project and needed a reliable tool for the job. Based on the industry buzz and our own research, we found that VoiceQ was renowned for being the most widely used and effective tool in the field, which led us to choose it for our needs.

Where does VoiceQ provide the most workflow value?  
VoiceQ offers significant workflow value primarily because it's widely adopted by others in the industry, aligning us with our clients' tools of choice. Additionally, its seamless synchronization with our Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) makes it a natural fit for our existing workflow, allowing for easy integration and streamlined operations.


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