After a tour of the Wargaming recording studios, on the 16th and top floor of their Belarus headquarters, I noticed something a little unexpected. Of the eight separate studio rooms most featured little to no audio hardware. Sure there were a few control surfaces and I spotted an equalizer here and there but compared to the mixers, massive racks full of compressors and patchbays it was like no studio I had ever set foot in.
I asked Aleksey Tomanov, Sound producer, composer and Audio Team Lead at Wargaming what gives? Is this a predominantly digital studio?
“We live in an era where computer power is quite sufficient to do most things digitally,” Aleksey explained. “We do have some hardware stored but in production we mostly use digital processing. We found it was faster and produced almost the same quality as using the hardware. Though we use hardware for mostly mastering.”
Mastering on-site is very rare for any calibre of studio. In the world of audio recording this is usually outsourced and sent to and external studio that focuses entirely on mastering.
“For mastering music we use a TC Electronics Finalizer 96K, effects don’t require that but we use it for music,” Aleksey continued. “We have a separate room where post production and mastering takes place and a person — Sergey Komar— who has some huge experience under his belt in mastering. It doesn’t matter which editor he works in. He uses Logic, Ableton, Cubase, Pro Tools even Fruity Loops.”
There are six sound designers in the Wargaming team in Belarus across eight studios; I was told the studios are among the best in all of eastern Europe. I asked Aleksey what the best benefit of having so many purpose-built rooms was.
“The best benefit of having this studio is quality,” Aleksey replied. “Before I worked as a sound designer in a different place where I sat in my headphones and couldn’t really monitor things. Now I have the opportunity to get it on these speakers. In terms of speed I think that definitely once every sound designer got their own room here, a space to concentrate on their work, it makes things a lot quicker than if they sat in a room all together, interfering with each others work.
“That would make a huge mess,” he concluded, laughing.
We will have more from Aleksey Tomanov and many more interviews from team members from the Wargaming Belarus office.
Stevivor was flown to Minsk as a guest of Wargaming.