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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Studio in a Box

There is no doubt COVID-19 lockdowns have accelerated the development of working-from-home and remote production workflow solutions.

Los Angeles-based Studiobox was born during pandemic lockdowns as a solution to continue production. Co-founders Ian Smith and Max Ostrove quickly realised that they could go one better than sending kits of parts.

“We figured that we could leverage technology to control lights, camera and audio through a computer and then combine them all in a ready-to-record unit that could be shipped anywhere and set up in minutes,” explains Max. “By solving for Covid, it turns out we stumbled into the future of production, where it’s just easier and cheaper to send a Studiobox than fly and house a crew for a shoot.”

Designed for live webinars, interviews, press junkets, live-streamed web content, talking-head TV segments or even running a virtual course, each ‘Studiobox’ includes a professional grade 4k camera, lighting and audio equipment. Studiobox prides itself in providing a complete, one-stop, ‘out of the box’ solution. The tech is all hidden, leaving a simple, straightforward interface for clients, whilst everything is controlled remotely.

An EVO 8 audio interface powers the audio for Studiobox. EVO 8 is a 4-in/4-out audio interface with an intuitive feature set. This includes four EVO Preamps offering 58dB of gain as well as high performance converters providing 113dB of dynamic range. Powered directly via USB, EVO 8 can be controlled via its customisable software, EVO Mixer.

“In order to control lights, camera and audio via computer, each element requires an interface. The EVO 8 is our interface between the computer and the multiple microphones we use,” explains co-founder, Ian Smith.

“An integral need for our product was an audio interface that could be controlled from a computer. The EVO provides a very slick, easy-to-use computer interface,” he continues, explaining their choice of EVO 8. “We work with the EVO through its software, allowing our operators to remotely control the unit over the internet without asking the talent to touch any hardware. The software controller is the major standout feature. It was the best one we found in an audio interface.”

With the operators monitoring and adjusting the audio in realtime, they haven’t yet utilised the automatic levels setting function, Smartgain. This could be set to change, however, according to Ian: “We have plans to automate many of the functions in the box, so that an operator isn’t necessary. At that time the Smartgain function could be a critical feature.”

Co-founder Max Ostrove confirms that the future is looking bright for this fast-growing start-up.

“Studiobox is currently developing software to allow anyone to control a box,” he says. “We imagine remote production units becoming a part of video creator’s kits, like a drone or slow motion camera. For the audio world, the remote podcast recording box is coming out next.”

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