Having recently mixed immersive scores for Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Outlander and The Foundation series, Sanchez continues to build on his success in TV Shows, Feature Films and Video Games
Ryan Sanchez began his career over a decade ago in Los Angeles, pursuing his dream of recording and mixing music. It didn’t take long before his talent was noticed by mix engineers and composers in the TV, film, and video game scene. He soon began working on top television series including The Walking Dead, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and Black Sails, as well as video games such as God of War. As a longtime user of Eventide’s Blackhole reverb plug-in, Sanchez was excited to learn about Eventide’s latest groundbreaking plug-in: Blackhole Immersive.
Sanchez’s contributions to creating a soundtrack are vital. He works tirelessly to prepare, edit and mix the composer’s score under very compressed timeframes. Working directly with the composer as well as the recording engineers on the front-end, and the music editor on the back end – deadlines on either side often constrain timelines. Therefore, establishing an efficient workflow with high-quality, industry-proven tools is paramount.
Diving into the Blackhole
Sanchez recently began working with Eventide as a software pre-release tester, providing insightful feedback on our latest and greatest applications.
“Eventide is a legendary audio production company, and I’ve been using the stereo version of Blackhole for about seven years now, so I am intimately familiar with it,” says Sanchez. “When I first heard about Blackhole Immersive, I was all in.”
With an incredibly diverse resumé that most recently includes work on Disney+’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Season 7 of Starz’s Outlander, and Season 2 of Apple TV’s Foundation, Sanchez had an extensive range of projects to test drive Blackhole Immersive.
“For me, it had to sound like Blackhole right away,” he explains. “This is such a distinctive reverb, and I’ve used it on countless records and scoring projects. It always takes you to another space or atmosphere that other reverbs simply cannot do.”
Intuitive workflow, familiar sonic fingerprint
After experimenting with Blackhole Immersive, Sanchez found the workflow fast and intuitive, and the sonic fingerprint familiar.
“I had hoped that the immersive version of Blackhole would have the legendary sound of its predecessor, and it exceeded all of my expectations,” he says.
Sanchez regularly reaches for Blackhole Immersive on featured instruments or soloists when he is trying to impart a special or unique feeling.
“I might use it for ethereal soloists, creepy sonic elements, or sci-fi layers that need special treatment,” he says. “It also sounds great on string harmonics, distant brass, choirs, or tuned percussion.”
“I typically mix on a ProTools 5.1.4 format using ATC SCM50s for LCR, a pair of ATC SCM20s in the rear, and a Neumann KH 750 subwoofer,” says Sanchez. “You have all these orchestral passes that utilize a large number of microphones, and then you have all the synthetic elements as well. Beyond that, I have a bunch of routing going on in order to print 18-20 submix stems for the dub stage — so we are dealing with very big sessions across the board.”
Despite the channel complexity and mammoth track counts, he says one of the best things about Blackhole Immersive is that one can go from a routine, stereo mix to a spectacular sounding surround mix at the click of a mouse.
“That is one of the things that makes the workflow in Blackhole Immersive so efficient — I can easily upmix stereo stems to a surround or Atmos mix.”
Your invitation for intuition and creativity
Creatively, Sanchez has always appreciated Eventide’s user interfaces, which he says invites exploration and creativity.
“I’ve always been somebody who likes to push buttons and twist knobs,” says Sanchez. “I want to play, using my ears and intuition to take me where I want to go.”
“Blackhole Immersive is a really fun plug-in that allows you to turn off your technical brain, and really find the sweet spots by adjusting the modulation, size, tail of the decay, or even reversing the reverb.”
Ultimately, Sanchez says that Blackhole Immersive excels as a sound design reverb.
“That is what is so unique about it. It’s not just your typical reverb that can emulate a room or a hall — this one comes from outer space.”
For someone listening to where a piece of music or soundtrack can take you, this is invaluable, he says. “If you want to enhance the feeling of a score to the next level, Blackhole can take you right there. Let’s go!”