Blackmagic Design has announced that World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) relies on Fairlight for all of its audio post-production.
Reaching more than 650 million homes worldwide in 25 languages, WWE delivers original content throughout the year including WrestleMania and SummerSlam live specials, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library.
“We’ve been using Fairlight at WWE since 1997. We’ve never lost a session and we are still able to open projects from 19 years ago in just a few clicks. That’s something you just don’t see from any other manufacturer,’ begins WWE’s VP of post-production, Chris Argento
Six Xynergi equipped audio suites complete with Fairlight PYXIS and CC-2 audio engines help Argento and his team handle all audio post on content such as long format shows, spots, social media, short format and dramatic packages, 17 pay-per-view specials, promotional packages and much more.
Content is ingested into WWE’s library where producers cut packages and create shows from the raw materials. Argento’s team then receive AAF files and flattened MXF-wrapped video files for sound designing, editing music and mixing. With PYXIS, the team are able to play the files off of any server in the building.
Fairlight’s library file feature allows them to import multiple edits from another timeline across multiple tracks in an instant. “Just open the library file, grab the portions you want and import them. You get all edits, all EQ, all level and more across multiple clips which is a huge time saver,’ explains Argento.
“As we are telling different stories, we are showing background history of the wrestlers and so might have to pull something from last week, last month or last year – Fairlight makes that a seamless process,’ he continues. “We rely on this efficiency because our deadlines are short, and we need to deliver fast.’
Regarding Fairlight’s audio base, he notes that it is “the greatest thing ever.’ Adding, “You can find and spot sound effects in the library faster than you can with any other programme. We use sampling to make crazy wrestling sounds, for example a person getting thrown through a wall, which we then store in the library. As the shows are made, we collect bits and pieces of sound and put them right into the audio base, so they are searchable and available in the library in all of the audio rooms.’
Argento believes the way Fairlight handles video is revolutionary and says he can’t overemphasise the importance of video as after all, audio post is a process for video. “The level of synchronicity is astounding,’ he continues. “I can pull off rough video edits right on the timeline, cutting audio and video together and resume the session without worrying that the audio won’t match the picture later.’
“I built the audio post department from a single room to six suites with full staff and we have relied on Fairlight every step of the way,’ concludes Argento. “From four to five hours of programming a week to now hundreds of hours a week across multiple delivery platforms. The transformation has been amazing.’