After 35 years of sound mixing, Andy D’Addario has received a Creative Arts Emmy nomination, and it’s for a mixer’s dream show, “Mozart in the Jungle.” The Amazon series manages to make playing the oboe sexy, conducting an orchestra funny, and the business of classical music intriguing.
Feeling the Sound
A former scoring mixer, D’Addario has worked on classics like “Tootsie” and “Back to the Future,” and has been a mixer for Ella Fitzgerald and other jazz greats. He’s often been in the middle of a 90-piece group of musicians. “For me,” he says, “it’s not what you hear, it’s what you feel. I feel like I was born to do ‘Mozart.’”
D’Addario shares the nomination with fellow re-recording mixer Gary Gegan, his teammate at post-production sound studio Formosa Group, along with production mixer Thomas Varga and ADR mixers Bill Higley and Chris Navarro.
No Walk in the Park
The job of a lead mixer is to take dialogue, music, and sound effects and blend them to support story and character. “Usually the sound is developed in the first few episodes,” says D’Addario, “but with ‘Mozart,’ we move to so many different locations [in New York City], that there is always something new and fresh to develop.”
Gegan describes one scene in which Hailey, played by Lola Kirke, walks on a path next to the Hudson River and tries to break up with her boyfriend. “New York is a very noisy place,” he says. “Anything shot outside has a layer of noise that makes it difficult to achieve sonic subtlety.” D’Addario and Gegan wanted to make the scene sound park-like by adding the voices and footsteps of other pedestrians, as well as elements like birds, bicycles, and harbor sounds. “The background noise in the production dialogue made it hard to hear the added details and get a feeling of intimacy,” says Gegan, “but Andy worked his magic with some noise-reduction tools, I wove the other sounds in and out, and we wound up getting what we were looking for.”