New niche widens for Vagabond Audio

When Oscar-nominated producer/director Tod Lending needed to improve audio on his latest project ?- an hourlong, $1.5 million doc, “The Principal Story,” scheduled for a “POV” episode on PBS this fall — he took the track to Drew Weir at Vagabond Audio.

Long form audio isn’t Vagabond’s main business, which comes from a full range of audio services for commercials.

“But it is becoming a niche we’re developing,” says executive producer Rise Sanders, Vagabond Audio partner and wife of engineer/sound designer Weir. Coincidentally, Sanders is a seasoned documentary director herself.

Vagabond’s assignment on Lending’s doc was to elevate the sound levels, “to give it that clean, crisp sound that you’re used to hearing on television.”

That was accomplished by cleaning the track with a new program Vagabond recently acquired called Isotope Ozone, which Sanders says “is quite magic.”

“We’ve seen unusable audio before, where it’s recorded too high or too low and the sound waves are cut off at the top and bottom. Ozone may not correct the problem 100%, but it’s 83% magic and can fix a lot of things,” she adds with a laugh.