“You Say Control Freak Like it’s a Bad Thing”

Control is an important part of the creative process. Over the last 15 years, businesses have increasingly outsourced functions to reduce costs. As with most trends, the pendulum now seems to be swinging in the opposite direction – especially in the creative arts.

Whenever an artist – be they a musician, an actor, or a director – leaves a project, it is often put down to “creative control” or “creative differences”. 

In our experience, creatives like to be in environments where they can completely control the outcome. And when it comes to audio engineers, this is especially true. For a recent project we completed with Frontier Games, makers of Planet Zoo and Elite:Dangerous, the brief was simple:

“Provide quality facilities for our audio team.”

The designers at Frontier had been “making do” with converted, untreated rooms. “What we were producing was pretty amazing given the circumstances,” they told us. “But this afforded us the opportunity to take our audio to the next level.”

The key to success, then, was control. To take their audio capability to the next level, the studios they were using had to be at the same level as the amazing talent they had developed since their creation over 25 years ago.

But much more than controlling your environment, or the audio produced, having exceptional facilities allows you to control the future of the company. 

“Good quality facilities are key to attracting the best talent in the industry,” Frontier Developments told us. “Happy staff make the best products. We believe our balance of lightly treated design rooms with plenty of window estate, together with fully treated mix rooms and the ability to quickly transfer builds between the two, provides the team with the best of both worlds.”

“Our recording studios also mean that we are no longer always dependent on external companies to record for us, which has afforded a lot more flexibility and the ability to respond rapidly to game requirements.”