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The Story of SIDE from Director Level
We recently caught up with Anthony Hales | Technical Director, Audio & Translation Services of SIDE to get his thoughts on the future of gaming, localization and technology.
When was SIDE founded?
“SIDE has worked at the cutting edge of audio production for over 20 years. Our main bulk of experience comes from working in the games industry. We provide an international network of resources, state-of-the-art studios and an award-winning team of technical and creative experts.”
What was the primary driver to set up the business?
“The primary driver was to set up an audio production company and through the early stages our passion for games shone through, so this became our main focus. We are now leaders in our field and this has all come from SIDE’s dedication and hard work.”
What are the primary areas of the business?
“Our primary area of business is in the games industry, focusing on award-winning character performances. We have the expertise, resources and facilities to deliver these consistently on the AAA titles we work on. We have state of the art studios in London, Los Angeles and Shanghai, and a network of partners across the globe. SIDE ensures the projects we are a part of are delivered to the highest standard, no matter how complex or ambitious the production.”
What are the key workflow problems to solve?
“Most of the original titles we work on contain a lot of assets, and I mean a lot of assets! If you multiply this by the multiple localized languages we work in, we are usually dealing with huge numbers. To help with this, SIDE has established a unique set of workflows covering all areas of asset management, recording, editorial, mastering and QA, which results in successful delivery of hundreds of thousands of files across multiple languages, year on year.”
What are the key sector trends driving change?
“The games industry is forever evolving, I haven’t seen it plateau in my 20 years of experience. That’s what makes it so challenging, but also so exciting. SIDE is at the cutting edge of this industry and we are constantly looking at new pipelines to keep us one step ahead.”
What are the key consumer trends driving change?
“For us, the need to deliver more realistic, emotional and truthful character performances has always been our main driver. Whenever we can, we are pushing the envelope so we can enhance this as much as possible.”
Why did you choose VoiceQ as a solution?
“At SIDE our goal is to deliver engaging character performances for the games industry. Our casting team brings exciting new talent, established high profile actors and a roster of the industry’s leading performance directors to the amazing projects we are involved in. It’s crucial for us to utilize tools that don’t interfere with the actor’s energy and to help them bring an outstanding performance to life, whilst helping us as technicians to be extremely productive. So for a number of years now we have used VoiceQ as a solution . We do a lot of extensive ADR/Dubbing work, and VoiceQ has helped us with this process. It’s a major part of our facial capture solution. We know when we use it right, the workflow becomes an easy process.”
Along with extensive ADR/Dubbing work, another part of SIDE’s service offering is facial capture. This is basically “video enabled” ADR where we don’t just replace the audio, but we re-capture the whole face of the actor's performance. For this we need to rely on a solid system like VoiceQ to help the smooth running of this process.
We’ve been using VoiceQ on these projects for many years now and it never fails to deliver. Ingesting scripts into VoiceQ has always been a smooth process but since the introduction of VoiceQ's Autosync Assistant we’re now literally saving hours of preparation time. We could not think of any other way that would allow us to run productive recording sessions other than with VoiceQ.”
For us it’s simple, nothing else comes close to what VoiceQ has to offer. There’s other “rythmo-band” software on the market but in terms of features, VoiceQ is second to none.”
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