London’s formidable post-production offering has grown even further this week with the launch of Sine, a new audio post house specialising in sound design and mixing for TV commercials, radio and cinema.
Providing end-to-end solutions from its state-of-the-art Fitzrovia studio, the company is founded by former Factory head engineer Phil Bolland, with former Final Cut producer Julian Marshall acting as MD.
LBB’s Alex Reeves caught up with Phil and Julian to hear about their aims for the company, and what this launch promises the industry.
LBB> How did you get to know each other? The number of times your previous companies have worked together, you must have built up a good relationship.
Phil> Funnily enough, although our paths have crossed, we hadn't actually met until about six months ago. I was looking for a managing director to head up the company, and I was introduced to Julian through a mutual contact. We immediately hit it off, and I now feel like I have known him for ages!
Julian> After working in editing for 16 years, I was ready for a new challenge. Once I met Phil, we just connected and after a few conversations, I was already getting excited about our new venture. I just knew it would be the perfect next step for me.
LBB> What was the first conversation or thought that led to Sine being set up?
Phil> Since I made my start in sound, it has always been my goal to one day run my own studio. So, it's something that has been on my mind for a long time. After years of learning the craft and gaining experience, I felt I was finally ready to make the step. Three or four years ago I began looking for ways to make this a reality, and then the pandemic pretty much stopped the idea in its tracks. Once things began getting back normal and the industry seemed to be settling, I felt it was time to make the jump. After meeting Julian, everything clicked into place and we haven't looked back
LBB> Phil, being a sound engineer, you've seen from the inside how audio post production works. What was your vision about how a new company could do it in a way that fits today's business?
Phi> I feel it's time to be adaptive and think on our feet. The dynamic of how work is created and consumed is always changing, and we need to be flexible in offering our clients the best service and value for money. As we grow, talent is key, and having a tight-knit team of experienced sound designers, producers and top-notch tech will allow us to meet the ever-increasing demands of modern production.
LBB> And Julian, you've seen it from the perspective of an edit house. With your perspective, what are your thoughts on what a sound company needs to work like today?
Julian> I'm in total agreement with Phil here. You have to be super flexible in today's market, and making sure you're able to adapt to multiple formats and requests at short notice is key. It's always been an essential part of how I work, and it's an ethos that we will continue with Sine, along with forming genuine connections with our clients.
LBB> When setting up the studio, what were the priorities?
Julian> Clients will always like to attend sessions, and being the sociable people that we are, we love to host them! With this in mind, we wanted our studios to be a contemporary but comfortable space. We really want it to feel like a home from home, and Fitzrovia is the perfect location to do that. It’s close to the hustle and bustle, but a relatively quiet area compared to most of the West End.
Phil> As someone who works as an electronic music producer alongside my post production career, I wanted to create a workflow that bridges the gap between analogue and digital technologies. Most audio post-production work is now done from within the computer. On the other hand, in my writing and compositional work, I use high-end analogue equipment. My aim with Sine was to bring both these qualities into the modern post-production workflow. So, the studios are truly mixing suites for the 21st century. Thanks to all the extra production tools we will have at our disposal, this will give an edge to the work we create. That, coupled with high-end acoustic treatment and monitor speakers, means we have created a space where supreme quality sound meets creativity and good vibes - helping the work to flourish!
Julian> In terms of the overall design, it was great to lean into the natural light of the space. It’s not common for recording studios to have a lot of natural light, so we really played into the loft style of our studio. We've designed the whole area to be a modern and inviting space for our clients to work in.
LBB> What sort of work are you most excited about getting involved with for 2023?
Phil> We already have some great scripts we are working on, so we're really excited to get our first pieces out. Then, we're going to continue to create challenging and exciting sound design - something I've had the pleasure of doing throughout my career. In addition to the new faces we’ll meet along the way, we’re really excited to continue working with all the great directors, creatives, production companies and agencies we have gotten to know over the years.
Julian> As Phil has mentioned, we are so looking forward to building new relationships as Sine develops, as well as continuing to collaborate with the friends that we already work with.