BAM Studios Expansion: Chicago Sound Boutique Gets A New Suite and A New Engineer
BAM Studios, a Chicago-based sound boutique, is adding a new suite to its Michigan Avenue facility and has tapped audio design veteran/VO artist Dave Leffel as its new engineer. Leffel, most recently an audio designer at Swell, made the move to join longtime colleague and friend Brian Reed, owner of BAM! effective April 1st. Reed and Leffel, both with musical backgrounds, focused their careers on audio engineering. Reed holds a Bachelor of Music from The University of Miami in Florida and Leffel received his Bachelor of Music from Millikin University. They first met whiledeveloping the audio department at Szabo Tohtz/Skyview from a “one man show” to a staff of six. After twelve years with Skyview, Reed opened BAM! and Leffel went on to stints with CRC and Swell. In addition to his audio engineering, over the years Leffel has established himself as a successful producer and director of VO talent and is an active member of SAG/AFTRA represented by Voices Unlimited. “I’m excited to be working with Dave again,” says Reed. “He has a unique exposure to the business; both on the technical and the talent side that fits well with BAM! and our clients.”Since opening its doors in 1999, BAM! Studio has become one of the most diverse and sought after audio boutiques in Chicago. Its sleek interior and superior acoustics, designed by the award winning Russ Berger Design Group, has helped position BAM! in the agency, broadcast and feature film markets.In addition to major agencies like Leo Burnett, Cramer-Krasselt, Noble BBDS, and Storandt, Pann, Margolis & Partners, BAM!’s clientele also includes the likes of 20th Century Fox, Disney and Pixar who’ve used BAM! for automated dialogue replacement (ADR) work on such projects as “The Simpsons,” “Toy Story 2” and “CSI: Miami.” “I was drawn to BAM! because it is a strong creative force in the radio, TV and film industries with such a common sense business model,” says Leffel. “Audio is our specialty, that’s all we do. This simplicity and focus allows Brian the freedom toquickly adapt the company to changing technology and trends. Clients want a shop that has the best gear and creative tools and someone who really knows how to use them.”Regarding the expansion, Reed notes that he is modeling the new suite to complement BAM!’s existing design. Both suites house identical Digidesign Pro Tools systems, an extensive online music and sound effects library, ISDN and full FTP services for client sharing. “Overall, it adds to our current surround sound capabilities for both TV and film and is conducive to our ‘one-on-one’ way of doing business,” says Reed. “We steer clear of the factory mentality so prevalent in our industry and the new expansion will mirror that philosophy.”Recent projects for the team include a new television campaign for ESPN Radio through Z Group Films (Chicago/Venice, CA.) working with producer Jeff Martin and creative Vince Cook. Also, currently airing in movie theaters nationwide is a surround sound commercial series for Altoids via agency Leo Burnett (Chicago).