Germaine Franco Mixes Film Favorites With NUGEN Audio

Brand’s Plug-ins Serve as Go-to Solutions for Various Large-scale Film Projects, Including Encanto and Netflix’s The Mother

LOS ANGELES, DECEMBER 4, 2023 ― GRAMMY® Award-winning and Oscar-nominated Composer and Music Producer Germaine Franco credits her lifelong success to her early immersion in Latin music, which fueled her creativity. From the start of her career, Franco has incorporated this passion into her work, building an extensive resume and setting the bar high with her deliverables.

Franco was the first Latina to win a GRAMMY Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media, in recognition of her work on Encanto, and the first Latina to receive the Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature for her work on Coco. Other recent projects include composing and producing the score for the Netflix smash hit The Mother, along with two No.1 Netflix films, Work It and The Sleepover, among others.

When mixing for major motion pictures and other high-profile films, Franco’s workflow often includes a significant amount of collaboration. After first orchestrating and developing her ideas, she produces demos that are shared with filmmakers, editors and music supervisors. Because of this, Franco says it is important to have a wide variety of reliable tools in her workstation. This includes various NUGEN Audio plug-ins, such as Halo Upmix, Halo Downmix and Paragon. “It’s vital to have the perfect plug-ins and tools, because it is the norm these days for demos to sound incredible the first time you present them,” she says.

NUGEN’s Halo Upmix was essential for upmixing synths to 5.1 and 7.1 formats for Franco’s work on The Mother. “Halo Upmix was used extensively on The Mother because we wanted to widen the synths and put them in and around the live orchestral recordings,” she explains. “It is a very helpful tool because I often have to deliver in different formats. It’s very reliable and I think it sounds great; it completely expands the stereo sounds of the synths that I work with.”

Franco also deployed Halo Upmix on Encanto. “Everyone was working remotely at that time and we had several musicians on the project who all recorded at home, in stereo,” she adds. “I still had to deliver the mix in 5.1, so Halo Upmix was extremely helpful in those circumstances. Because of those capabilities, Upmix has become one of my favorite plug-ins.”

While upmixing is a necessity for almost every modern film project, there are also many instances when Franco must deploy NUGEN’s Halo Downmix. “Sometimes the directors or editors don’t have a surround setup and are only listening in stereo,” she explains. “In these cases, I mix for surround and then will run it through Halo Downmix to deliver to the editorial house. This way I know they are hearing it exactly as I intend. There was one editor recently who wasn’t working in surround, but we’d already recorded some of the orchestra that way — so I needed to turn my demos in as stereo files. The mixture of having both Halo Upmix and Halo Downmix provided me with the flexibility I needed to make my deliveries.”

NUGEN’s Paragon plug-in is another of Franco’s favorites, and also played a vital role in her work on The Mother, with her biggest praise for the plug-in being how it enhances her tracks. “Simply put, Paragon makes my tracks sound better,” she declares. “I can put it on a 5.1 stem of brass instruments, and they sound so much fuller and more spacious. I also love the various reverb options and the reliability of the plug-in.”

Franco also says that she prefers NUGEN’s plug-ins because of the reliability and usability of the solutions, and that there is no doubt she will continue to incorporate them into her workflow.

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