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Nick Bassett Talks 5.1 Upmixing and Dialogue Isolation

Composer/Engineer Calls on NUGEN Audio Halo Upmix to Support Variety of Compositions, Mixes and Remixes

OAKLAND, CA, AUGUST 3, 2023 Film Composer and Mix Engineer Nick Bassett started his career as a touring musician and later began composing and mixing for film and TV. Since his transition in the industry, Bassett has composed and mixed for notable shows and movies, such as the popular docuseries “Keep Sweet” and the 2022 documentary film “Dio: Dreamers Never Die,” among others. Recently, Bassett took on two significant projects that included composing for the new, unreleased AMC series “Thick Skin,” and mixing audio for the Blu-ray re-release of “Linnea Quigley’s Horror Workout.”

NUGEN Audio’s Halo Upmix plug-in served as a vital tool for remixing “Linnea Quigley’s Horror Workout,” the famous 1989 workout video spoof that has a gruesome twist. Halo Upmix allowed Bassett to take the original tracks from the film and upmix them to 5.1 for the Blu-ray release. “I had all the stems from the original tape machines, which were kind of messy because they were old tapes,” he explains. “I was able to take the stereo printout from the overall audio of it and draw Halo Upmix on there to bring it to modern specs. In about four clicks, I took it from a stereo track to a 5.1 mix, and it instantly was usable.”

The upmixer also came in handy while Bassett was composing for “Thick Skin,” as it provided him with the ability to create prototype mixes for himself. “I created mock stereo 5.1 bounces, which allowed me to hear how some of the music or the dialogue was going to sound as I was composing the music for the mix engineer, as opposed to just stereo mixing it,” he says. “I love how intuitive Halo Upmix is. You can just open a stereo track and not only turn it into a 5.1 mix, but also isolate the dialogue or adjust the width of the stereo image. I also love how simple it is and how clear everything is―you can see the levels, the mix panel and where all the different channels go. Despite having never used an upmixer or NUGEN product before, I liked that I could immediately understand what the plug-in was telling me.”

The Halo Upmix dialogue isolation is among Bassett’s favorite features. “It’s a built-in algorithm that was really useful―not only for these projects, but others as well,” he says. “For the horror film, I was able to click on the track and Halo Upmix focused the dialogue in a way that brings the audio forward and makes it clearer when played against all the other after effects. I’ve never seen that feature on any other plug-in before.”

Since incorporating NUGEN into his workflow, Bassett feels the company has left a lasting impression on him. “Everyone I’ve come in contact with at NUGEN has been super nice and accommodating,” he says. He also expresses his gratitude for the creation of the plug-in in general adding: “It’s crazy; if you had a stereo track in the past, there would be no way to do this, but now you can just have a printout of a WAV file, make a couple clicks and it’s a 5.1 mix that can play on a system.” 

Bassett not only intends to use the brand’s solutions for future projects, but also recommends them to all creatives in the audio space. “Because of the accessibility of NUGEN Audio products, production teams don’t necessarily need to hire an audio mixer, which can be helpful for projects that are on a low budget,” he adds. “Better still, anybody with a basic knowledge of audio could apply the plug-ins to their own work, which is great for independent filmmakers.”

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