Sound designer, re-recording mixer, composer, writer, director and editor Graham Reznick (The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers, In a Valley of Violence, Until Dawn) mixes using Waves Nx – Virtual Mix Room over Headphones and Waves Nx Head Tracker for Headphones. In addition to an extensive list of sound designer credits, Graham Reznick has directed the feature film I Can See Youand the television series Deadwax, and he has released two electronic music albums, Glass Angles and R0B0PHAS1A. Together with Larry Fessenden and Supermassive Games, he has written four videogames – Until Dawn, Rush Of Blood, Hidden Agenda and The Inpatient.
Reznick comments, about using Waves Nx, “One of my favorite ways to use Nx is to get a new perspective on my in-progress mixes – both with tricky mixes and with mixes that already sound great on my speaker monitors. It can reveal problems that I wasn’t aware of, as well as helping me figure out problems I couldn’t crack. Being able to simulate different-sized rooms and listening positions lets me hear how all the frequencies and instruments will gel (or not) in different listening environments.”
He adds, “The first project that I sound-designed and mixed using Waves Nx was a very early VR series called GONE, by the writer and director J.T. Petty. There weren’t many VR oriented / 360 audio mixing programs available at that time, and Nx was a great way to get a sense of how the head tracking and spatial implementation of the audio would be experienced. When the final version of the series was released, the audio experience was very close to how it sounded when using Nx in the edit/mix process. I also mixed some of the music for my Shudder/AMC TV show Deadwax using Nx, as well as with music I’ve been composing since then.”
Powered by Waves’ groundbreaking Nx technology, Waves Nx Virtual Mix Room is a virtual monitoring plugin that delivers immersive 3D audio on headphones – the same three-dimensional depth and panoramic stereo image you would be hearing from speakers in an acoustically treated room. This plugin recreates the acoustics of a high-end studio inside your headphones, so you can make great mixing decisions anytime, anywhere. In addition, you can mix for 7.1, 5.1 or 5.0 surround on your regular stereo headphones – all this without coloring your sound or introducing any artifacts. What you hear is your mix, exactly the way you want it to sound – only now you have a more accurate way to monitor it on headphones. It includes a Headphone EQ calibration feature, allowing you to select a correction EQ curve for specific headphone models.
Taking advantage of your computer’s camera, or the Nx Head Tracker, you have real-time head tracking and enjoy the enhanced realism of being in the Virtual Mix Room, anywhere and everywhere you go. This small Bluetooth® device latches on to your headphones and tracks your head movements in order to augment the immersive 3D audio experience created by Nx technology. Use the Nx Head Tracker along with the Nx Virtual Mix Room plugin in order to recreate on headphones the ideal spatial acoustics of a high-end room, improving your headphone mixing, recording and an end to headphone-ear fatigue.
Reznick adds, about the benefits of using Nx, “When I first got Nx, my wife had just had a baby and we were all living in a small apartment in Los Angeles. I had a lot of music and mixing work to tackle and wasn’t able to monitor my work out loud with a sleeping baby one thin wall away. Nx was the perfect solution – I could sound design, edit and mix comfortably and with confidence that my headphone mixes would translate well to loudspeaker playback. I also tend to travel a lot for work, and as a result, when I need to make adjustments to mixes or just want to work on new material, Nx has been incredibly helpful in providing a less claustrophobic aural environment when I’m on a plane or in a hotel room. In addition, one of the biggest issues I have with mixing all day on one speaker monitor setup is that I tend to drive the volume louder and louder as I do – mostly because I’ve been hearing the same “sound” for hours – and this can lead to some sloppy mix choices due to ear fatigue. Even when I don’t need to mix on headphones, having Nx as an option is great because I can change up my listening environment in a comfortable way and get that new perspective.”
About using the Nx Head Tracker, he remarks “It’s an almost hallucinatory experience to use the Nx Head Tracker while looking at my silent speakers and turning my head back and forth: my brain has a hard time believing the sound is only coming from my headphones. When I first got the tracker unit, I spent a good twenty minutes A/B’ing between headphones and speakers to identify the differences. It was pretty spot-on! And when it’s essential to keep your eyes on the screen, like when mixing a 360-degree VR audio session in Pro Tools, you can simulate moving the audio field around your head in real time.