Working in the comedy world
With 26 years of experience in professional audio, Production Sound and Re-recording Mixer Thomas Cassetta has worked on many notable projects, including mixing for a variety of comedy specials, such as “Jim Jefferies: High n’ Dry,” “Hasan Minhaj: The King’s Jester” and Ari Shaffir’s “Jew.” In 2022, after working on Andrew Schulz’s self-released YouTube special, “Infamous,” Cassetta was approached by the acclaimed comedian to work as an audio consultant for his podcast show, “FLAGRANT.” Wanting to deliver radio-quality audio while also keeping the system simple for the rest of the audio team, Cassetta turned to NUGEN Audio’s VisLM loudness metering system.
“This podcast could have easily tumbled into chaos, and the quality could have faded if the tools and simplicity were not there; and that’s why I chose NUGEN Audio.”
“My initial approach was to install the best post-production tools, which are also simple enough for someone who is not a trained audio engineer to use, to deliver consistent audio,” says Cassetta. “This podcast could have easily tumbled into chaos, and the quality could have faded if the tools and simplicity were not there; and that’s why I chose NUGEN Audio.”
The podcast’s production team consists of three additional members, none of whom are formally trained audio engineers. The main benefit of the NUGEN Audio VisLM plug-in is its accessibility. “With such a diverse team, the simple aspects of the software are our favorite parts,” explains Cassetta. “The plug-in allows even non-professionals to see a very clear representation of loudness, a feature which is unbeatable by any other competitor. One specific standout function is the plug-in’s history window. We absolutely love getting the visual reinforcement of the history field; and the accuracy is matchless.”
“If you buy the right tools the first time, you’ll never have to replace them. NUGEN Audio is definitely a brand that has the right tools.”
Controlling the dynamics
As the show can include multiple guests, four comedians as hosts and two off-screen producers, the commentary can also sometimes become erratic. “It is a wildly dynamic show, so we have to make sure each speaker is represented and has a proper dynamic range among everyone,” continues Cassetta. “We’ll have people screaming on top of others who are whispering―and we have to represent the whispers, too. The VisLM timeline function gives us a bullet proof representation of what our loudness ranges are and where our variances between speakers lie; it’s amazing.”
''The VisLM timeline function gives us a bullet proof representation of what our loudness ranges are and where our variances between speakers lie; it’s amazing.”
Along with VisLM, Cassetta often relies on the NUGEN Audio MasterCheck plug-in, as well as the brand’s ISL True Peak limiter and LM-Correct loudness compliance tool. “We constantly strive to improve the quality and efficiency of our show. Therefore, I use MasterCheck on my personal workstation to ensure each of our templates hit a spec that will play nicely for all listeners,” he says. “As for ISL, I trust that whatever I throw at it, it will give me what I ask. It doesn’t let anything slip through, which is exactly what you need if you’re trying to be precise. We run everything through LM-Correct at the end, to ensure that everything―every single clip, every ad read―cuts in at the exact same volume.
“As for ISL, I trust that whatever I throw at it, it will give me what I ask. It doesn’t let anything slip through, which is exactly what you need if you’re trying to be precise.''
Aside from “FLAGRANT,” Cassetta often turns to NUGEN solutions for his other projects as well. “I own and have used almost every NUGEN Audio plug-in at this point,” he adds. “I use the Halo Upmix and Halo Downmix in all my comedy special post-production workflows. They are the greatest upmixer and downmixer I have ever used. With comedy specials, I have to recreate the space, immersive quality and atmosphere of a room. Halo Upmix allows me to take music elements that were mixed in stereo and give viewers that big, immersive feeling of being in the venue. When I send my final deliverables, I know that exact experience is going to translate across every platform and format, from surround to simple stereo.”
Cassetta lives by the mantra: “if you buy the right tools the first time, you’ll never have to replace them. NUGEN Audio is definitely a brand that has the right tools.”
Bring transparent solidity to your bass; sharpen, define and align for the tightest mix. Monofilter anchors your bass with ease, while retaining the perceived spatial characteristics of the original sound.
Loudness compliance perfectly integrated into your workflow, using a clear resizeable interface and ground breaking ReMEM automated loudness memory technology.