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Articles May - June 2019

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Gujarat Music Industry Advances with STUDIO FIFTY-THREE

A new post-production facility, Studio Fifty-Three in Surat is providing the city with a much-needed setup with state-of-the-art acoustics and technology to handle all aspects of audio postproduction


Having suffered alienation from the mainstream for decades, Gujarati cinema, which is informally known as Dhollywood or Gollywood, in recent years has revived itself with renewed content and modern technology. Keeping in mind the growth of the music industry, when Surat-based sound engineer Shabbir Daginawala, who started his work in a small studio with basic equipment, decided to build his own Studio named “Studio Fifty-Three” along with his son Hamza Daginawala, they wisely pulled in a skilled team of Chennai based Pro Audio Consultancy and Distributors, Modi Digital, into the picture to execute their dream project.

Studio Fifty-Three is situated on the 4th Floor of Mufaddal Tower in Surat, Gujarat, which is emerging as a hub for the Gujarati film industry. “It all started with the realization that there was dearth of good studios in the city. Prior to Fifty-Three, most of the projects from Gujrat including serials and movies were coming to Mumbai for all the postproduction work.” Says, Nishant Anand, National Sales Manager, Modi Digital.

Nishant elaborates that Shabbir and Hamza Daginawala were looking to build a studio that would be capable of handling every aspect, including recording, tracking, analog/digital mixing-mastering, 5.1/7.1 surround mixing, audio post-production, TV advertisement and jingle audio productions, voiceovers, film dubbing/ADR and Music Production.

Shabbir Daginawala has been a renowned music personnel in Surat since more than past 20 years. His son and partner Hamza Daginawala is specialized in music programming & mixing-mastering soundtracks. “We are blessed to be in this industry in Surat professionally since 2006” says, Hamza Daginawala. Their passion for their work in the sound and music industry led to the establishment of Studio Fifty-Three.

The 7.1 Surround Sound Studio is powered with the best in its class DAW’s, Mixing-Mastering Analog Outboard Gears and a vast collection of Plugins & VSTi Libraries to cater to all kinds of requirements in sound designing & production.

The studio encompasses one Control Room and one Dubbing room. The centrally located lobby area, is the calm center of the studio.

The 300 sq. feet control room is equipped with a Genelec 1238DF Three-way Smart Active Monitors for Left, Right and Center channel monitoring. It has a Genelec 8350A SAM Two Way Monitors for Left Surround, Right Surround and Rear surround channels coupled with a powerful Genelec 7271A Smart Active Subwoofer and a pair of ATC SCM 20A SL PRO Monitors has been placed on near-field monitoring duties.

To achieve the best quality sound the room also accommodates the legendary RME Octamic II Preamp, one Antelope Orion 32+, one Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor along with a range of Manley equipment like VOXBOX channel strip,and a FORCE Four Channel Preamp. It also incorporates a Stereo Variable Mu Limiter Compressor, Bricasti M7 Reverb, the Avid S3 Control Surface, a Radial Wr8 8Slot Power Rack, SPL transient designer 500 series, a Crane Song Insignia EQ 500 Series ,SSL 611 500 series EQ and a Neve 2264 500 series compressor.

Completing the control room is a Protools 12 HD along with the latest versions of Nue

The Dubbing Room spread over approx. 160 sq. feet area of the Studio Fifty-Three is being used for both recording and dubbing and comprises of a Neumann U87 (Matched Pair) and M149Tube_Z Microphone for Vocals and Acoustic Guitars, Akg C414xls ,Royer SF2 ribbon microphones along with a Behringer HA8000 Headphone amp and Sennheiser HD280 Pro headphones.

The Studio AV and acoustics has been designed and installed by Modi Digital, for both rooms in the studio and the setup was supervised by Aditya Modi, Director along with Nishant Anand, National Sales Manager, Modi Digital.

Studio Fifty-Three took around six months to be completed, before it could open its doors as a fully functional studio. “We have selected all the equipment with great attention to every detail, and precisely as per the client’s application, space and preferences.” Says, Nishant.

do and Logic all running on a High-Power Apple Mac Pro, with a Milan MATMSC 109” Diagonal Motorized Screen being used along with a high-end Sony projector for Movie Mixing.

The Studio Fifty-Three is functional and is running from around seven months now and attracting a wide variety of projects. “The professionalism exhibited by Modi Digital has been excellent. We had a vision of how our studio should be and they were skillful enough to exactly turn our vision into reality,” commented, Hamza Daginawala. He adds, “Their qualified engineers were thoroughly guiding us step-by-step in each phase of construction and installation of equipments. We are happy to have included them into our journey of making one of the best studios in Gujarat.”

“I still remember, when we were recording Mandolin for a Bollywood song, the artist Chandrakant Lakshpati (works for Salim-Sulaiman and many others) said that the acoustics of this room is so brilliant that I have never listened to the tone of my Mandolin like this before. It just sounds amazing. That is when we realized that we had hired the right people to do this job. I would like to thank Modi Digital for being part of this beautiful journey,” says, Hamza Daginawala.

“Both Shabbir Sir and Hamza were very co-operative and patient throughout the process, hence we were able to execute the AV design and integrate the studio smoothly and as per their expectations. It was our privilege to assist Shabbir Sir and Hamza in converting their dream into reality,” says, Nishant.

“Hamza & Shabbirji have been exceptionally passionate clients. They really wanted nothing but the best. It was a challenge we accepted & enjoyed the process of working with them thoroughly. They left no room for compromises! When we finally tuned the room... it was a spiritual revelation!” adds Aditya Modi.

Studio Fifty-Three is now all set to offer their services not only to the Dhollywood but also to the entire film industry.

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