Creative director Jeff Elmassian of the award-winning sound design and music company
is a big Mac fan. Most recently, he served as music mixer and sound designer for the new Dodge Ram 1500 commercials entitled “Reflections” and “Truckville.”
Elmassian is an avid Mac user, and he generally does much of his work on a Power Mac G4 Mac using ProTools for audio editing, SampleCell for sampling and Studio Vision for sequencing before heading to LA’s The Village for recording and final mixing, he told MacCentral. Of course, that’s no surprise considering he’s a musician. In fact, Elmassian’s first Mac was a II ci which had one of the original Pro Tools systems. And he’s never looked back.
“Nothing else comes close to the Mac in terms of software for my work environment, in terms of offering the same amount of efficiency and ease,” Elmassian told MacCentral. “There’s never been any consideration of using another platform such as Windows.”
“Reflections” broke nationwide the first week of September and “Truckville” broke during the Sept. 24 Monday Night Football broadcast. Both spots feature original remixes by Elmassian of singles from Aerosmith including “Just Push Play,” and also feature CGI-imagery from Digital Domain combined with black-and-white live-action cinematography.
“Agencies often seem to spend a lot of money purchasing popular songs and hurrying to do simple edits to fit a picture, and the result is mediocre at best,” said Elmassian. “As a musician, if I’m given all the splits from the original recordings, I can make it sound like a track was written specifically for a spot — and that’s the reaction we’ve received on this campaign.”
PentaMark’s director of broadcast production Hugh Broder, noted that they had to take existing songs and “write to our picture” with them. This is a very difficult thing to do, he explained, “especially considering there were so many layers of tracks on these Aerosmith songs — and also that we had to have the band’s approval.”
Elmassian mastered the new mixes at LA’s legendary The Village recording studios. Originally established in Santa Monica in 1993, full-service music and sound design company Endless Noise was re-launched in 2001 to compose and produce music and sound designs for feature films, TV programming and commercials.
Elmassian has also won a Grammy for his songs in the film, “Elmo in Grouchland” He used Mac hardware and software to create pop songs that were infused with a “world music sound.”
“The Mac makes it possible to do something like this in a studio without costing enormous sums of money,” said Elmassian. “My aesthetic as a writer is informed and shaped by my Mac. It lets me do things I couldn’t do otherwise. I’ve grown as an artist to due to Mac technology and its ease of use. Once you get past the initial learning curve, the technology just sort of fades into the background and doesn’t get in the way of the artistic process.”
For now Elmassian doesn’t expect Mac OS X to have much, if any effect, on his work. Though it appears “great and has some cool stuff in there,” some necessary tools, such as ProTools, haven’t been Carbonized for the operating system yet. Plus, his current setup is solid as a rock, Elmassisan added.