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Top 50 Innovations Of 2018

ArticlesJanuray-February 2019

THE FAMOUS STORY

Armed with a degree in Marketing and Finance and International Business from University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, and Aston University respectively, and after learning the dynamics of the Indian business world at Fanatic Sports and GVK, Anant Roongta decided to enter the family business at Famous Studios..... read more

BToS Productions - The Rising Star

Nazeef Mohommed, the frontman of an immensely young, passionate and growing enterprise – BToS Productions talks to Ankita Bhadrawale about their overall plans for the future and his recipe to designing, curating and executing the event production of a successful A.R. Rahman Live Concert..... read more

Complete Audio Solutions from Honeywell

Honeywell is the new entrant on the block in the professional sound segment with ‘Honeywell ProSound’. The series is a perfect adjacency to Honeywell’s current PAVA business offering solutions to new verticals like hospitality, entertainment zones, clubs, amphitheaters, and auditoriums. In this interview...... read more

FIXINTOGETMIXIN with Brad Divens

Renowned FOH engineer Brad Divens who is currently mixing for Enrique Iglesias and has mixed for Linkin Park, Garbage, Cyndi Lauper, HIM, Bob Seger and countless others in the past, was in Mumbai for doing what he loves to do most – his fixintogetmixin classes. In between tweaking the knobs for top acts, Divens shares his love...... read more

Riding the LED Growth Wave

While fellow lighting manufacturers and distributors in India consistently grab the headlines, Ronald S D’Souza – CEO, Leksa Lighting Technologies Pvt Ltd., calmly goes about his business. Not the oldest brand on the block, Leksa was founded a little over a year ago in 2017. Since then the company has executed stage lighting for 3600 seater....... read more

Noise Control Killing Music?

In September last year the Bombay High Court refused to grant relief to PALA seeking use of “DJ music” and other audio systems during Ganapati immersions and Navratri. HC announced a complete ban on the use of DJ or sound systems during Ganpati Visarjan (immersion) because of increasing noise pollution........ read more

Reynold’s Brings d&b audiotechnik KSL to India

From ferrying the first speaker systems to venues in a cycle rickshaw to becoming one of the leading companies in the Indian entertainment and music environment, Bangalore based Reynold’s has come a long way, rapidly growing into one of the biggest names in live event product rental and distribution......... read more

The Next Dimension Of Stage Production

Popularly referred to as India’s equivalent of the Academy Awards; the 64th edition of the Filmfare Awards, presented by The Times Group, continued its legacy of honouring artistic and technical excellence in the Hindi film industry of India......... read more

THE FAMOUS ATMOS MIX

Famous Digital Studios, one of Mumbai's finest post-production studios serving the needs of TV commercials, international broadcast channels, filmmakers and advertising agencies, through four state-of-the-art studios, recently joined the elite ranks of facilities in India boasting of a Dolby Atmos HE room..... read more

Vijay Prakash’s Home Studio gets a Fresh Look

Leading Pro Audio Consultancy and Distribution Company - Modi Digital, recently revamped Vijay Prakash Home Studio into a shining example of great space optimization. Here’s how they pulled it off...... read more

PALM EXPO 2019 PREVIEW

PALM expo 2018 opened to record numbers, showcased a plethora of products and hosted full house conference sessions. This preview brings a brief update on what’s in store for the 2019 edition in May....... read more

STUDIO SHOWCASE

Acoustic Consultant: Munro Acoustics LLP for Tonic Studio, Open Road Studios, Glassonion Studio & Super Track Stduio Acoustic Consultant: Sound Wizard for Studio H & Annapurna Studios...... read more

IRAA 2019 STUDIO OF THE YEAR

The heydays saw many state-of-the-art studios with sophisticated studio gear and acoustics springing up across the country. Some great work has come out of studios like Empire Studios, Yash Raj Studios...... read more

11 QUESTIONS WITH Amnon Harman

PT got in touch with Amnon Harman, the man behind the rise and rise of d&b audiotechnik in the last half a decade. In this interview, Harman discusses d&b’s fundamental philosophy behind cutting-edge R&D, product design and growth strategy.... read more

MIX MAGIC

Kenneth ‘Pooch’ Van Druten is the magician who makes Justin Bieber sound the way he does in a live concert. Popularly known as Pooch, he has been touring as FOH engineer with some of the biggest artists like Linkin Park, Whitney Houston, Jay-Z, Eminem, Beastie Boys, Guns N’ Roses, Smashing Pumpkins, and many more. PT caught up with the man, who is today considered as one of the top FOH Engineers in the world to understand more about his craft, the gear he uses to get the perfect mix and insider info on the India leg of the Purpose World Tour.... read more

MIXING MADE SIMPLE

Harman Vi series soar Indian skies

Over the years Soundcraft Vi Series, has gained popularity globally for its user-friendliness. HARMAN Professional Solutions, India recently announced that Soundcraft Vi series digital mixing consoles had successfully established 150+ impressions in India and the footprints continue to grow organically. As the digital mixing console continues to find constant success and wide acceptance in India, PT takes a look back..... read more

Mixing Indian Classical Music

A Front of House mix varies substantially depending on various factors including genre of music. Since, India is a land rich in the tradition of classical music, PT urged FOH engineer Ajay Vijendra who has been mixing FOH for Indian Classical acts since several years to give our readers a brief insight into classical music live mixing. In this article, Vijendra discusses the Workflow for mixing Indian Classical Concerts. read more

Articles November-December 2018

Organising Big Stage Extravaganzas

It’s that time of the year again when event orgaisers and rental companies are busy prepping up stages across India for three days of heart pumping and feet stomping music. While the market for live music in India has grown exponentially in this last decade, there is yet much to be achieved... read more

Filling a Massive Space at our Lady of Lourdes Church

Built in 1974, Our Lady of Lourdes Church with a motive to ensure the parishioners could hear + the message clearly pulled AVL Install India Pvt. Ltd. to get a complete audio system upgrade with AUDIOFOCUS Line Array... read more

Conceptualising and creating Visuals for Big Stages EDM Acts

The visuals on stage are obviously the most visible aspect of any live stage. In this article VJ KayCee, Founder of Pixadoo studios in Bangalore and the mastermind whose high-octane visuals have ignited EDMs like VH1 Supersonic, Cirkus Indigo and many more, took out time from his busy schedule to enlighten PT readers about the art of Conceptualising and Creating Visuals for Big Stage EDM Acts... read more

THE VISUAL PACK

Jash Reen and Joshua Dmello of Wolves Visuals, are the guys who are delivering some of the most electrifying and eclectic Big DJ stages on the circuit. From Sunburn to EDC, Beyond Wonderland, Nucleya, Flux Pavillion, the duo works on an extraordinary schedule of high profile EDM festivals. In this interview with PT they talk about the origins of Wolves Visuals, their work and where they are headed to. ... read more

TOP SEVEN BIG STAGE Products

Live sound mixers to lighting consoles, PA speakers to microphones, each piece of equipment plays a vital role in the production of a big scale live concert performance. It is, therefore, absolutely essential to set up your show using the appropriate gear. PT selects and brings a collection of seven noteworthy pro audio and lighting gear launched for live stages in 2018... read more

AV Summit redefining horizon in India’s Audio Visual Industry

Among other highlight features, the expo’s main fringe programme includes a three day AV Integrated Systems Summit running synchronously with the Exhibition... read more

Articles September-October 2018

Modern Stage Service (Projects) brings WATER TO LIFE

MSS Projects has transformed Jaquar’s 1000 sqft Experience Centre in the capital’s NCR region into an immersive & interactive multi-sensorial adventure. PT documents the project....... read more

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........... read more

THE LIGHT FACTOR

A leading lighting designer, Harold Fernandes has been offering creative and technical solutions for live stages for almost two decades and has comprehensive knowledge and experience on some of the most famous stages............ read more

Integrated Entertainment Solutions lights up the Warehouse

The Thane area of Mumbai has a new upscale lounge - The Warehouse Lounge, that has already become Thane’s happening night spot. Lighting up the dance floor is Mumbai’s premerier lighting company - IES. PT takes a look.......... read more

The Lighting Trail

Lighting, lasers and lighting console sales and distribution has grown robustly across the Indian market. Lighting engineer and founder of artist and event management agency, Mixtape - Naveen Deshpande, talks to PT about the current trends in lighting and growth and future of the Indian lighting industry......... read more

PR Lighting flexing its muscles globally

Starting operations from a 1,000 sq.mt., workshop in Downtown Guangzhou with a staff of 20-30, Pearl River Lighting (as it was known then) has come a long way........ read more

Articles July-August 2018

SOUND OF THE LORDS

With the longest island bar in all of Asia, Lord of the Drinks, Lower Parel is the latest offering from First Fiddle Restaurants to finds a spot among Mumbai’s elite party zones. PALM technology explores the audio system integration for the venue...... read more

NMIMS Mumbai transcends sonic excellence with Bose Professional’s RoomMatch system

Established in 1981 by the Shri Vile Parle Kelavani Mandal with the help of a donation from the Narsee Monjee Educational Trust,...... read more

Harman Professional Solutions Elevates the experience of devotees at Sai Teerth with JBL and Crown Audio Solutions

Technosales Multimedia Technologies P.L installed JBL by Harman Cinema sound solution in two theatres – the Giant screen and the 5D screen at Sai Teerth – India’s first devotional Theme Park that opened to devotees on 30th March 2018 in Shirdi.,...... read more

QSC in 1131 Bar & Kitchen, Bangalore

Located in Indira Nagar, Bangalore, the 1131 Bar & Kitchen, which is now an ideal place in the vicinity for patrons to dine and unwind, is the brainchild of Mr. Mohan....... read more

Comprehensive Bose Professional System reinforces an unmatched aural experience at the Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation (BMC) auditorium

Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation (BMC) is a local government body in the state of Gujarat that is committed to provide basic infrastructure facilities to the people of the city........ read more

HARMAN Professional Solutions brings Exceptional Sound to the new FLEA BAZAAR CAFE in Mumbai

Munro Acoustics deploys a complete HARMAN Professional Solutions audio solution at this first-of-its-kind dining and entertainment concept........ read more

Articles May-June 2018

The ART of Touring

A.R. RAHMAN - the name says it all! 2017-2018 witnessed one of the most imposing live stage tours, when Rahman, set sail on a multi-city tour in India, reliving his musical renditions over the years...... read more on Page 26

SCALING HEIGHTS

Manish Mavani, the man of few words, talks about the SNL journey to becoming one of India’s biggest sound & light rental companies...... read more on Page 38

SETTING STANDARDS with the OVERTONE note

Meet Overtone Audio - a one-stop-shop offering end-to-end recording solutions for Film, TV and the Live events industries. It is not every day that you come across an audio products dealer who has extensive experience of using the products that they distribute....... read more on Page 56

GearHouse

Building stage business requires top level music song writers, big sound, big lighting and good musicians. A lot of musicians are required on stage performing live....... read more on Page 62

Audio & Acoustics for Video

PT invited industry leading Acoustics Designer Kapil Thirwani of Munro Acoustics, a leading acoustic consultancy, specialising in the design of high-end music, film and broadcast studio facilities to write a technical article for the magazine. In this feature article, Thirwani elucidates on Audio & Acoustics for Video...... read more on Page 68

High on OPIUM

PT met Cyrus Gorimar, the man behind milestone events like Dream Theatre and One Republic. Brahma to One Republic, Gorimar has come a long way. In this interview he talks about his love for music and his long-term vision of augmenting rock and heavy metal live concerts in India through O Live OPIUM’s new music IP...... read more on Page 78

The Bose Team full of Gung-Ho

PT interviewed Vibhor Khanna, Country Manager – SAARC at Bose Professional. Khanna is an experienced business leader with over 18 years of experience in sales and business development of Audio-Video products. Since 2012, he is instrumental in setting up new Dealer Channels for Bose Professional products...... read more on Page 90

Articles Mar-April 2018

Opera House Acoustics Nirvana for Munro

Recording music in the black box tape era meant sci-fi acoustics and studios which reminded you of Stanley Kubrick, imagination of space where every sound recorded was primeval, spiritual, pure, so acoustics meant curves and waves and slanted triangular ceilings, sound absorption, double glass partitions, heavy doors and curtains and other ideas..... read more on Page 28

THE MIX MAGICIAN

Shadab Rayeen is Bollywood’s current in-demand mix engineer, with a resume boasting of numerous A-list mix credits spanning 17 years in the music industry. Apart from mixing Bollywood songs, Rayeen has worked extensively in multiple regional languages.PT met up with him at his studio in suburban Andheri in Mumbai to talk about audio, plugins, mix, music and more...... read more on Page 40

Madame Tussauds - Sight & Sound to behold

Best described as one of the most popular tourist attractions across the globe, Madame Tussauds is home to wax figures of some of the most famous and historic international personalities in every field of life, from sports to politics, movies and film characters...... read more on Page 58

Entertainment Technology Convergence at PALM 2018

Pro Audio and lighting will take center stage, as PALM expo - India’s largest gathering of the entertainment technology and music production industry heads towards its 18th consecutive edition. Here’s a prevue of what will be on show in the Mumbai expo...... read more on Page 68

IRAA 2018 gears up for a grand 12th edition as nominations continue to pour in

Honouring excellence in the domain of music recording and production is the 12th Edition of the glorious Indian Recording Arts Academy Awards (IRAA)....... read more on Page 80

Recordings to Record

In this feature PALM technology has put down a list of good studio work done in Bollywood in 2017. In trying to define the paradigm in studio recording, mixing and mastering, we chose what was popular. We have enlisted as many popular tracks as possible from Bollywood selected from a variety of studios, that made it to the top of music charts........ read more on Page 91

Articles Jan-Feb 2018

FOH - What’s in my House

Rahul Samuel is an award-winning live sound engineer and founder of LiveEnd. With over 13 years of global experience in the professional audio industry as FOH, Monitor and System Engineer, he has the privilege of working with the best. He blogs about professional audio at www.rahulsamuel.com..... read more on Page 54

Ed Sheeran "The Shape of the Divide World Tour" in India

Trussing and rigging are more often than not, relegated to an unassuming corner position when it comes to live stage acts, while sound, light and visuals hog the limelight. However, on some occasions they have the power to take Centre stage as was witnessed during Ed Sheeran’s Divide World Tour in Mumbai last November..... read more on Page 56

ON TOUR with Pramod Chandorkar

Being an FOH special issue, and as is the custom to feature a live sound engineer in this issue, PT caught up with yet another of the country’s top live sound engineers this year. Our readers can be forgiven for considering FOH engineers and Studio engineers as two different species, but there are some engineers who simply do not want to be limited to either discipline; one such engineer being Pramod Chandorkar, a man who is equally at home behind an FOH console as he is in a recording studio, proving how varied a career as a sound engineer can be. PT caught up with the man who has been mixing live for one of the most versatile and celebrated playback singers in the country – Sonu Nigam, since the past 14 years...... read more on Page 59

FOHrecast

This being the FOH issue, PT approached and tapped the experience of some of India’s top live sound engineers to find out key challenges faced by them while working on the new age live sound consoles and features they would like to see on future consoles...... read more on Page 72

GOING BIG WITH SMALLER BOXES

Investment into quality sound equipment and a fresh business outlook is broadening NJSM’s horizon on the festival circuit in India. In a tête-à-tête with Nixon Johnny, Sachit Subramanian and Sancheth Suvarna, PT finds out what’s new and what’s next for the rental company..... read more on Page 76

Articles Nov-Dec 2017

BELIEVING IN THE MARKET - Bose Distribution Strategy

What is your perception of the Indian Market? MJ: I was in India in 94 and didn’t quite know what to expect, but it’s been really wonderful to be here. We have a global strategy we are trying to implement across all regions, so that we have a consistent way of building distribution and growing vertical markets.... read more on Page 32

Bose Interview

The FINCH - Live Music and More

Plutusone Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. unlocked a new side to Mumbai’s entertainment scene on June 29th when they launched a chic, elegant restaurant and bar - The Finch..... read more on Page 38

Sennheiser Chronicles: Interview with Vipin Pungalia

In an interview with PALM technology, VIPIN PUNGALIA, Director Professional Segment, Sennheiser India talks about the global launch of the wired XS 1 dynamic in India, his perception of the market for Sennheiser products in India and the growth achieved by Sennheiser in the country..... read more on Page 54

BUILDING DJ TALENT

With millions of DJs in the running, reaching the top can be a daunting task. The PALM DJ Championship has been instrumental in building, promoting and nurturing this bank of upcoming DJ Talent since 2011..... read more on Page 68

A journey to discover rebirth of Linear Topology

Part 2 of the article Will The Linear Make A Real Comeback? wherein LT COL JASBIR SINGH KABERWAL, (Retd) SC hints at a futuristic emerging trend which may see a comeback of linear audio with advancements in technology offering sonic quality and advancement in size and energy efficiency to the next level..... read more on Page 36

Articles Sep-Oct 2017

AUDIOVISUAL-PROJECTION INTEGRATION

In the last couple of years, jaw-dropping visual experiences at live entertainment events and venues, courtesy 3D projection mapping, motion graphics and augmented reality have made their presence felt in India. Tailor-made three-dimensional projection mappings have altered sound stages, building facades and architecture and even human figures in real time, creating interplay between real and virtual space with the help of cutting-edge technology. The PALM Conference and Seminar 2017 witnessed Technical Evangelist – VIJAY SABHLOK, touch upon the topic of Multi-Imaging using different technologies. Conference delegates got an opportunity to learn about the tools and techniques of creating Multi-Sensational Events and Installations, while also getting insight into new interactive technologies like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. PALM technology presents highlights of this session. The PALM Conference & Seminar session can be viewed on the PALM expo YouTube channel.... read more on Page 42

Top end LASERS missing from Rental Portfolios

India has been witness to some astonishing laser light extravaganzas at EDM events in the recent past, however a survey done by PALM technology indicates that as a general rule, lasers are missing in action and top quality brands are not afforded by event and rental companies. Though lasers are missing in action in show business, there is a huge opportunity and potential for renting lasers given that laser use is still in its nascent stage. Smita Rai reports on the ground reality... read more on Page 40

Bringing Life through Lights

Highly experienced lighting designer Roosevelt D’Souza is rarely restricted in his art. Best known for his work on Music Concerts and festivals, Roosevelt is actually a full service special event lighting professional, also specializing in designing & executing light effects for theatre production, brand launches, music concerts & festivals, fashion shows, film shoots, award ceremonies & ambience lighting. In this interview, he talks to PALM technology about his journey to becoming the “Master of Special Event Lighting.”.... read more on Page 66

AMPLIFICATION TOPOLOGY

First proposed in 1958, Class D amplifiers started gaining increased popularity and acceptance in the early 21st century, with this technology ruling since over a decade, overriding the demand for bulky & energy inefficient linear amps. In this article LT COL JASBIR SINGH KABERWAL, (Retd) SC hints at a futuristic emerging trend which may see a comeback of linear audio with advancements in technology offering sonic quality and advancement in size and energy efficiency to the next level... read more on Page 24

Articles Jul-Aug 2017

AV Today’s Trend in Hospitality

As AV sets new standards beyond traditional applications, ICT-AV-Security-Consultant - Mr. A.R. Chandrashekhar, touches on the topic of the latest trends in AV installations for the Hospitality segment with LED screens, displays and interactive video now contributing to the overall interior design of the hotel... read more on Page 84

Playboy Delhi gets a taste of TW Audio

After a high magnitude success with its first superclub in Mumbai, the city of glamour, the Playboy club is now rocking the country’s capital, New Delhi. The city’s party animals got a major reason to rejoice with the opening.... read more on Page 88

Sumi Baptist Church integration scales heights

Painted in blue and white, the Sumi Baptist Church - Zuneheboto is situated in Nagaland, bordering onto China, and is 212km from Dimapur Airport. Situated on the highest point in...read more on Page 30

The Big Stage by AKhil Varma – Project Head, PALM Expo

More than 50% of India’s population is below the age of 25 and more than 65% below the age of 35. It is expected...read more on Page 84

Articles May-Jun 2017

Justin Bieber Sound Reinforcement

The Justin Bieber Concert motivated our editorial team to learn, how it is going to be done. The sheer capacity of deployment and state of the art delivery would mean the audio system engineering would have been ingenious and display of the classic Indian Jugaad, which in this instance would need to be disapproved. PALM technology met Warren D’Souza who presented with complete confidence planning, design, technique and expertise in setting up a world-class professional turnkey audio system. This issue being a LIVE Issue and stage sound being all about alignments and calibration, Warren’s role as a Systems Engineer, for the show has been highlighted. His acumen together with Co-Systems Engineer Sunil Karanjikar’s expertise has ensured smooth execution of the massive project. Somya Kedia reports.read more on Page 36

The TOP 10 EVENT COMPANIES

The Event Management industry has grown exponentially over the last decade with a host of varied events encompassing festivals, concerts, conference, corporate events and even marathons. This issue being the “Live” issue, we highlight the top 10 Event companies conceptualizing and executing the biggest live entertainment shows in the country. We have left out some of the bigger event companies whose focus is more into corporate or sports events and have highliighted only the ones organising the live entertainment and music events.read more on Page 50

The Fountainhead of superlative experiences

In a career spanning nearly 22 years, the quality of Neale’s wins have been exceptional. With the vision of building brands he creates delightful experiences with events. In an exclusive with PALM technology, Neale talks about his journey and work and truly believes that the core essence lies in valuing the right talent! Smita Rai and Somya Kedia report. read more on Page 60

Top 35 Rental Companies

PALM Technology has done a crucial exercise of surveying the market for identifying these top 35 audio/video/lighting rental companies who are investing into product and inventory and offering the latest technology thereby driving the market and rental business with sizable inventory. This is not an audited list and is intended as a guide. read more on Page 76

People at PALM

PALM 2017 engages expertise of eminent personalities who have accomplished knowledge in their field of activity. Their valuable involvement in PALM, act as a driving force towards PALM’s intellect and dynamism which leads Indian entertainment professional landscape to a higher paradigm. read more on Page 88

Articles Jan-Feb 2017

Top FOH Engineers in India

There are the mixing masters behind the audio console who strengthen the core essence of live performances. Showcasing aptitude to blend instruments with vocals and attain a flawlessly balance sound, Front of House engineers are effective and confident technical experts who know every inch of the gear. read more on Page 46...

Going Live with Sunil Karanjikar

Sunil Karanjikar has worn many a hats in his career as a Live Sound FOH engineer. He reveals his aces and talks about the secrets and tricks to his success, his journey, along with the key challenges he faces during the course. “Live sound does not have an ‘Undo’ Button” he shares in his insights with PALM Technology magazine.read more on Page 54...

Live Bands - Musical Escape

Commercial music in India has been mostly synonymous with film soundtracks. The fact however is that the music scene in India is constantly evolving and is only going to get bigger with more and more stage acts from independent music bands energizing the business, and by Indian music we also mean languages other than Hindi. In this feature we catch the action on stage from 10 Top live bands who have managed to post a huge-win. The bands have gained a lot of stage attention giving impetus to the entire business in India. read more on Page 64

Articles Nov-Dec 2016

GOING BIG WITH PLAYBOY

The Playboy Club founded by media baron Hugh Hefner, first opened its doors in the 1960s in downtown Chicago and instantly became successful as a read more on Page 22

DJs Scratching on Favourites

2017 is set to be another fun-filled action-packed year in clubland! Somya Kedia tracks the trend and highlights the toolkit of some of the top DJs in the country.read more on Page 32

Global Citizen Festival India

Looked up to as a beacon of hope, Global Citizen Festival India held in Mumbai on 19 November, 2016 proved to be a monumental day as India asserted its solidarity with the world in fighting extreme poverty. read more on Page 44

Electric Daisy Carnival debuts in India

Originating in Las Vegas Nevada, the Electric Daisy Carnival over the years has asserted itself as a hub for EDM fans across the globe, as a result of its fantastic on-stage music programming, enchanting stage designs, read more on Page 46

Product Specialists Driven by Passion

A professionally qualified sound engineer from SAE in Chennai, Tuhin is also a sought after DJ who has immense experience of playing at various clubs. A sharp understanding of the technical aspects behind sound production and immense knowledge of equipment, gained him the position of a product specialist for Pioneer DJ India and his areas of expertise lies in club equipment, samplers and remix stations. read more on Page 48

“Indian DJs are tech savvy” - Reji, Director, PALM DJ Championship

Growing DJ Industry

DJ industry is expanding exponentially and the growth rate has been phenomenal. Talking about the industry expansion, Reji observes that as the industry continues to evolve, the demands for technology, equipments, expertise and specific services have also witnessed a

read more on Page 60

Articles Jul-Aug 2016

I-Kandy gets K-Rigged

I-Kandy nightclub at Le Meridian hotel in Gurgaon was recently in need of an upgrade for its indoor sound system. Located at the Sector 26, Le Meridian Gurgaon, I-Kandy oozes sophistication. The luxurious pool club and European styled designed lounge boasts 2 bars across a sparkling 85 feet swimming pool...

read more on Page 32

Sound Design for Night Clubs and RestoBars

The focus of Milind’s presentation was ‘Sound Design for Nightclubs and Restobars: A field view’, wherein he spoke about the technicalities of sound engineering to formulate a great night club or a restaurant bar. Milind who is an Electronics Engineer from the CCSRR-Mumbai University, has invested years into sound engineering, setting up different clubs and bars. He has to his credit venues such as Triology - Mumbai, F Bar Mumbai & Chennai, Privy @ Le Meridian Delhi, Club Nyex, Goa, The Good Wife – Mumbai and many more...

read more on Page 58

AG Acoustics strikes the right chord with KV2 Audio’s ES Series

Conveniently located in the Outer Circle, near KG Marg, New Delhi is a new café in town - FLYP@MTV. Viacom18 Consumer Products - the consumer products arm of Viacom18 has extended Viacom’s flagship property “MTV”, to an on-ground experience by introducing this unique ‘MTV-style’ hangout in association with Funbars Hospitality Pvt. Ltd.

read more on Page 62

THE FAMOUS STORY

The more than seven-decade-old Famous Studios at Mahalaxmi, one of the film industry’s oldest and iconic studios, has come a long way since its inception in 1946. Famous has invested substantially into its studios over the years and the PT team met up with Anant Roongta, the third-generation scion, now at the helm, to find out how the company is playing the long game by rolling the dice with unique services and solutions.
As expected, Roongta spoke about Famous Studio’s future plans including the company’s upcoming co-working space and how it fits in with the company’s three main philosophies - invest in technology, do not overcommit and help make great content. Smita Rai reports on the fresh energy and perspective being rapidly induced into the family business.



Armed with a degree in Marketing and Finance and International Business from University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, and Aston University respectively, and after learning the dynamics of the Indian business world at Fanatic Sports and GVK, Anant Roongta decided to enter the family business at Famous Studios.

As he takes us around the never-ending corridors of the Famous Studio building at Mahalaxmi explaining his future plans for the company, it is evident that he is working towards achieving a larger long term goal and set the company up for bigger payoffs down the road.


Anant Roongta (l) with his father Arun Roongta

There is a lot of history, legacy and talent that has come out of the Famous Studios building in Mahalaxmi. The family philosophy of making big and early bets on new technologies and not restricting themselves to being just another studio, helped Famous get a head start in the industry. “The drive to continuously succeed in every generation and every era of the filmmaking business stems from a certain ethic that has been instilled by my grandfather Jagmohan Roongta and my father Arun Roongta – the ethics of introducing the latest technology and offering all stakeholders a chance to achieve their dreams. In 1946, when we first set up Famous, my grandfather decided that this has to be the first air-conditioned studio in Asia. Famous was one of the very few professional studios available at that time where one could come and shoot in the comfort of an air-conditioned ambience and it was a big deal at that time. Moving forward we invested in the Mitchell-camera, which was globally a very well know brand at that time. For us to be entrenched in this business, it was important that we presented more offerings to the market. We first set up the camera department and then the film processing laboratory in the 1970s and we started producing feature films. This was followed by set construction and eventually in 1985, we applied for a digital video services license from the I&B ministry, which we got, and became one of India’s first post-production houses. In the period between 1960s and 1980s, we had everything one could offer under one roof here in Mahalaxmi,” he says.


The advent of the digital age necessitated that the studio re-explored and reinvented the entire value chain. The studio collaborated with companies like Autodesk, Spirit and Arri. In early 1992, Famous entered the sound recording business with the birth of Galactica, which was one of India’s first international grade sound recording studios. This asset has served the company well, as now Famous has expanded to four sound facilities, including the recently licensed Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 HE home facility.

It’s fair to say that Famous was technically one step ahead, propelled largely by the guidance of core family values. “Though we have continuously invested in people and technology, we have never overleveraged. We have always invested and expanded in our own capacity. We have never raised any debt which we have not been able to service. It’s always been a philosophy with my family to only invest in as much as you can, which is the reason why many other studios have come and gone but we have gradually expanded and now we are offering services, which no one in India is,” says Roongta.

Not all of Famous’ bets have reaped rich rewards though. “In the early 2000s we also set up an old film restoration division. Thought it wasn’t very successful we did restore films like Sholay and Mr. India.”

FUTURE TECH AT FAMOUS

Today, Famous is laying emphasis on future tech, inspite of some who are at odds with the company’s business model. The studio has expanded into offering high end production services such as Motion Capture, Phantom Flex tabletop production, Dolby Atmos audio mixing and a brand new creative Co-working space called The Famous Working Company which is due to launch in June this year. “As a third generation member who has entered the business two years back, I have the opportunity and am focused on developing the business for the next generation,” enthuses Roongta.

Motion Capture:

Famous recently collaborated with Centroid UK, a pioneer and leading Motion Capture facility based out of Pinewood Studios in London who have worked on major Hollywood projects, films and AAA games such as Spectre, Guardians of the Galaxy, Planet of the Apes and Assassin’s Creed. As part of the JV, Famous has setup a dedicated studio in Mumbai to build an international grade mocap studio, spanning over 1500 square feet, that houses technologies capable of producing live on set capture, virtual production, cinema layout, crowd simulation and facial as well as body animation services making it India’s first end-to-end Motion Capture Lab.

“We had the existing technology and all we had to do was reinvest and have it up and running for the next generation of producers. Motion Capture enables live capture, and makes it very easy for an animator to add a live character on the captured data which adds a different level of realism. It opens up a big opportunity for the gaming industry too. This technology offers solutions to different industries in media and entertainment. The benefit for Famous is that our visual effects team, Famous House of Artists gets an opportunity to explore, learn and create characters which can be offered to clients as part of a complete workflow.”

Internationally, Motion Capture has contributed greatly to film-making & gaming, through films like ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, ‘Godzilla’, ‘Ant-Man’, ‘Mad Max’ and ‘Assassin’s Creed’. Bollywood however has not really embraced it though the South Indian movie industry has already. “Stakehokders in Bollywood are yet to embrace this technology. They probably feel it’s going to cost them more, but they don’t realize that they save a lot of time. Saving time is far more important than money because you will eventually save money, if you save time.”


Famous Studio’s Founder - Mr. J.B. Roongta (r) at the BBC Studios in London in 1961 for an interview on his contribution to Indian Cinema

Co-Working Space:

Also on the cards for Famous, is the ambitious co-working space business, which will offer current and next generation of creative professional access to a world-class office space in addition to the studio’s existing production and post-production infrastructure. By offering the entire content services value chain under one roof, Famous hopes to add value to the industry and cement their name as India’s leading creative hub. “This is is going to be a game changer for Famous because there is no space in India where there is a co-working space clubbed with a studio and access to facilities and leading talent. We are opening a 140-seater next month here at Mahalaxmi and it’s expandable to 400 seats once the space fills up, which we believe it will in a couple of months. We have named it the Famous Working Company so it resonates. We want to invite companies in the media and tech space who are working across the board, across different industries to come in and use this space. Through a facility like Famous, we offer a workspace and a chance to collaborate and use the facilities at much discounted rates,” explains Roongta.

Phantom Flex Tabletop Production:

Famous launched a Phantom flex visual lab in 2018. “We have been successfully working with agencies and producers on creating stunning visuals for their brands. Our in-house team of experts and engineers work closely with our clients to produce high quality visuals. A great output can be achieved with the Phantom camera and we have a whole set of lights, rigs and post-production that go with it.”


The international grade mocap studio, spanning over 1500 square feet, housing technologies capable of producing live on set capture, virtual production, cinema layout, crowd simulation and facial as well as body animation services making it India’s first end-to-end Motion Capture Lab

Dolby Atmos Studio:

Famous Digital recently joined the elite ranks of facilities globally with a state of the art Dolby Atmos 7.1.4. HE room. The former Galatica A control room in Famous’ Santacruz facility, has been converted into a 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos HE certified mixing room. The new studio boasts a custom-built Dynaudio Acoustics M3 monitors, 18” subwoofer and Dynaudio surround and overhead speakers, Dolby recommended LG C8 4K HDR 65” monitor with Dolby Vision, Genelec nearfields, Avid S6-M40-32 fader console with dual Avid MTRX interfaces connected to a ProTools HDX|2 system, running 128 channels of MADI, 16 AES/ EBU, and 24 analog IO simultaneously. The studio also flaunts a certified hardware Dolby Atmos HE Renderer and the custom-built Argosy table by AVS in Germany. Full Story in Mar-Apr issue of PALM technology, pg. 30.

“We have gone ahead and secured the MPAA compliance, an integral ingredient for any post studio and haven’t left an inch in terms of investment. Everything is state-of-the art in this studio and I have very high expectations. I feel we should be able to get the entire ROI within 3-4 years and this is not an optimistic estimate, this is a very realistic estimate,” asserts Roongta.

When queried if the saturation of recording studios in Mumbai poses a challenge and his take on balancing the investment in a recording studio, Roongta says, “The past few years has seen an explosion of new recording studios. Some of India’s leading creative sound designers and sound engineers have set up their own shop. The challenge is definitely there, but for Famous, along with the audio services, we also have the opportunity of offering the video services as a package deal. Famous is more of a one-stop shop solution. Sound is an integral part of an experience. The next big technology is going to be immersive media so at the end of the day, our technology has the capability to complement the visuals. Yes, in today’s scenario, to invest in a big studio in Mumbai may not be easy simply because of prohibitive overheads. That being said, with the introduction of 5G and cheaper devices, the business and demand for content will only grow and there will be a requirement for state of the art sound studios”

Feature Film Production:

“For the first time in over 10 years, we are betting big on IP and production with a feature film. It’s a 90 minute feature on a very relatable topic with Kirti Kulhari, Nivedita Bhattacharya and Medha Shankar in lead roles. Kay Kay Menon plays a cameo as well. We are looking to invest in content and build our own IP. We have stayed away from producing films because of the nature of the film industry but this time around the right people have backed us. The movie is scheduled for a July/August release.”

In the last decade alone, Roongta admits to having invested in the range of 25 to 30 crores plus, which includes buying property, continuous upgrade in Visual effects facilities, overhaul of Color Grading/Online Editing facilities, the recent Dolby Atmos studio, investment into content security like MPAA compliance and now the the Co-working space. “Although it may not sound very high as compared to some other global studios out there, we are proud that 80% of our investments have been successful and this again goes back to our philosophy of not overcommitting. This investment is just in technology and space. I don’t even know how much money has been reinvested into this building to maintain it. That’s a separate investment altogether,” he says.


The former Galatica A control room in Famous’ Santacruz facility converted into a state-of-the art 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos HE certified mixing room

"Although the story remains the same,
the writing has changed."

With Roongta moving in so many directions at the same time coupled with the grand scale of the ambition, selling the plan to the family must have been complex. Difference of opinion in any business is inevitable and Roongta admits wrangling with his father, though he believes that the advantages of being in a family run business far outweigh the disadvantages. “At the end of the day, he has so much more experience. I would say there are a lot more advantages then disadvantages. You naturally get a lot of mentoring from your seniors and the team that builds around the family business becomes a family, so that’s key. The team is a very close-knit team with some of them having more than 25 years of experience. They have all started their careers at Famous. Many of the team members have seen me grow up and they see more similarities between me and my grandfather and my father. Our team meetings are very casual but highly productive. I see potential in our team and my informal management style has propelled every team member to act as a leader. We set targets and then reflect on performance in order to make certain adjustments. There have to be certain management elements which are corporatized but the family owned business aspect adds a lot of freedom,” he explains.

FUTURE VISION

Going forward, the company plans on introducing an incubator for the Media and Entertainment industry by adding labs, live demonstrations, masterclasses, education and investment opportunities to for upcoming media and tech companies. By hosting master classes and inviting the best speakers in the industry to talk about their experiences, the incubator service would provide tech-savvy and creative companies or individuals an avenue to convert their ideas into a proper business. Mentorship would also be an integral part of the incubator and eventually Famous would like to host events where companies can pitch to corporates for investment.

“It is very important to reinvent, offer the best and maintain the legacy. It is very easy for the legacy to fade away. There have been a lot of significant changes in terms of the company structure ever since I entered the family business two years back. It is operating differently because we now have team strength of over 250 creatives. Earlier, we worked out of Mahalaxmi, but now we have five facilities in Santacruz. Although the story remains the same, the writing has changed. I’m adopting a different approach in terms of hiring talent. In the 1990s and early 2000s when the post business was really picking up, we focused our recruiting based on experience, but now I’m changing my approach by hiring graduates and young professionals who are keen on learning, exploring and adding value to our business. They blend into the culture and it’s already proving successful,” he says.

“My main vision is to give back to the community through the workspace, through mentorship, incubation and training. Secondly, we want to scale up our VFX offering because of the huge demand. My aim is in the next five years to have a team of atleast 400-500 people in our VFX team constantly churning out work for all platforms, whether it is OTT or feature films or TV commercials. Last but not least, my dream is to reenergize the original Famous Studio building which saw a massive slump when lot of people moved to the suburbs. We still have producers calling Famous their home. That’s a very big takeaway for me. I want the next generation of talent to work out of Famous Mahalaxmi and bring it back to its erstwhile glory,” he concludes.

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