Image Image Image 01 Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

My Ultra Interactive Online Portfolio.

Scroll to Top

To Top

BLOG - Independent

Steve Kultgen NAB Recap

A few weeks ago, Steve Kultgen, Senior Audio Engineer, went to the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) show in Las Vegas, Nevada. There were many presentations on the popularity of voice command, increased use of drones in production and interactive story-telling. Below are some other highlights of his visit.


The floor at NAB. The NAB Show is an annual trade show produced by the National Association of Broadcasters.


Here is the timeline of the Dolby Audio Momentum. Today the mix norm is 5.1, but new Dolby Atmos technology incorporates four additional audio channels for a more immersive listening experience.


Blackmagic has integrated the Fairlight audio suite tools into its DaVinci Resolve 14 software.  The move allows for simultaneous color correction, editing, and audio post in a single application.


Steve met with several music libraries. Here he is speaking with Bob Frymire of APM. With the prominence of internet advertising, libraries have now begun to charge more for internet licensing than broadcast licenses.


Drones are expanding the ability to shoot in places we couldn’t before, increasing capability and cost-effectiveness. The “sky is the limit”  visually, however quality audio is still not developed for drones. That’s okay because Independent is here to help you out! Check out our sound reel.


25 Years of Independent – Now and Then

Independent was founded in 1991. Our space has seen many renovations over the years. Use the sliders below to see photos from the 1990s to 2016.

We’ll start with a slideshow of us moving in the first Fairlights, our audio editing system. Back then they came fully assembled. The only way we could fit them into the office was to rent a crane and bring them through the kitchen windows!

The Lobby.

The opposite view of the lobby.

Out the front window. Remember Ed Debevic’s? Since they closed there have been a long list of rotating restaurants.


Now and then of Theater. Quite the change in color scheme.

The Kitchen

The Main Hallway

The Studios Hallway, which used to hold the archive boxes. We now do all our backups digitally. Today that hallway displays  our composer’s guitars.


Italy – Look at those 1990’s era monitors!

The Studios’ offices used to be an open space until it was built out into several rooms.

Bamboo used to be in Manhattan, then it moved into Music, and then moved to its current location. Confused, yet?

The current Bamboo location.


United Adworkers MKE 99 2015

Another successful and fun United Adworkers Milwaukee 99 show voiced once again by Peter Batchelder. Congrats to the winners! Below are spots that won awards that Independent worked on.

Gold – 30 or less campaign
GS Design
Mercury Marine
Ultra Smooth, Tough, Powerfully Light

Silver – Social Media Campaign
Fueling Good
Kevin Klimek: Edit Steve Kultgen: Mix
Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 4.03.04 PM

Silver – Digital Video
CHI Health
Dr Carollo
Kevin Klimek: Edit Rob Due: Color Steve Kultgen: Mix

Bronze – Integrated Campaign
Michigan State
Spartans Will
Kevin Klimek: Edit, Rob Due: Color, John Roberts: Animation, Peter Batchelder: Mixmichiganweb

Merit – Award Digital Video Single
Milwaukee Bucks
Rob Due: Edit & Color, John Fischer: Animation, Randy Bobo: Mix (A New Beginning)

Merit – Award Digital Video Campaign
Wheaten Franciscan
Achoo, Mirror, Gotta Go
Rob Due: Edit & Color Steve Kultgen: Mix
Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 4.01.57 PM

Hall of Fame
Birdsall-Voss & Kloppenburg
Schaefers Food Mart
“It’s that Good”
Mix: Steve Kultgen (Milwaukee Sound)


Peter, Jamie, Aidan, Sheila

Independent Drink of The Month

You may have met Independent on our website but get to know us more with the Independent Drink of the Month. Every month we will feature a favorite drink of an Independent employee. This October we will start with Randy. His drink is a gin and tonic. When in a session request the drink of the month from your editor, engineer, or designer and we’ll have it made and delivered. We’ll post the new drink on our blog and social media on the first work day of the month. Enjoy!


Independent Movie Night – Halloween Edition

hallowmovienightwebsiteversiondate location

Inspired by the Milwaukee Film Festival we decided to start Independent Movie Night. Our first night is the Halloween Edition which will be October 28th at 6pm. We will be showing a film in three of our suites. We will provide refreshments and libations. While not necessary wear a costume, you may be rewarded! The three films we’ll be showing are the The Others, 28 Days Later, and Young Frankenstein. RSVP by clicking which movie you’d like to see.

RSVP by October 23rd. Any questions, send us an email!

youngfrankenstein theothers 28days

Milwaukee Film Festival 2015

The Milwaukee Film Festival starts this week! Below are some of the many films that we worked on and their screening times. We have ticket vouchers available for the film festival. If you’re in for a session between now and October 8th say the words “Independent loves Milwaukee Film” to Jamie at the front desk. You can emailtweet, caption an Instagram post with those words and tag Independent and we will contact you for an address to send you those vouchers!

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 11.33.50 AM

Milwaukee Film Festival Sponsor Trailer

Music & Mix: Peter Batchelder
Edit & Color: Rob Due
Premiering Opening Night










30 seconds Away: Breaking the Cycle

Director: Faith Kohler
Sound Design: Randy Bobo
Music: Peter Batchelder
Color: Rob Due
Tuesday, Sept 29th Oriental Theatre 6:30om
Friday, Oct 2nd Times Cinema 3:30pm
Tuesday, Oct 6th Avalon Theater 9:45pm










Sound Man

Director: Chip Duncan
Sound Design & Mix: Randy Bobo
Friday, Oct 2nd Oriental Theatre 6:30pm (Milwaukee Show II)











Director: John Roberts
Animation: John Roberts
Music, Sound Design & Mix: Peter Batchelder
Color: Rob Due
Screenwriter: Ryan Plato
Friday, Oct 2nd Oriental Theatre 6:30pm (Milwaukee Show II)











Director: Sitora Takanaev
Sound Design & Mix: Peter Batchelder
Color: Rob Due

Friday, Oct 2nd Oriental Theatre 6:30pm (Milwaukee Show II)










Avi, La Petite Ballerina

Director: Susan Kerns
Mix: Randy Bobo
Color: Rob Due
Monday, Sept 28th Downer Theatre 4pm
Sunday, Oct 4th Avalon Theater 1pm
Thursday, Oct 8th Oriental Theatre 8pm


The 414s: The Original Teenage Hackers

Director: Michael T. Vollmann
Color: Rob Due
Animation: John Roberts
Thursday, Oct 8th Oriental Theatre 7pm








Sylvan Esso: Dreamy Bruises

Director: Tim Gable, Bob Purvis
Color: Rob Due
VFX: John Roberts
Wednesday, Sept 30th Oriental Theatre 6:30pm










Kane Place Record Club: Sunshine

Director: John Roberts
Animation: John Roberts
Sound Design: Steve Kultgen
Cell Animation: Morgan Bobo
Wednesday, Sept 30th Oriental Theatre 6:30pm


2015 Rob Due Color Reel

Here is our latest color reel.  If you would like us to help your next project look beautiful, contact Jerry Riedel. All color grading by Rob Due using DaVinci Resolve.



United Adworkers Golf Outing 2015

We had a lot of fun at the United Adworkers golf outing last Friday. We were manning tee box #10 giving away way awesome yellow hats! (We still have some leftover. Next time you’re in, come collect one!) We also made the golfers break a sweat in either a sack race (coffee bean sacks courtesy of Stone Creek Coffee) or a three legged race to win sweet prizes like a ribbon wand or a Hello Kitty soda! If you would like any high resolution version of the photos, email




Musicless Music Videos

The musicless music video meme starts with a classic music video. The audio is removed and all new SFX are added. Here’s an example of one, “Dancing in the Street” with David Bowie and Mick Jagger. Studios put their sound design skills to the test and each designed their own musicless music video.

Below is Steve’s musicless music video of “Let’s Get Physical” by Olivia Newton John.

“I had to manipulate most of the sound effects I used from our library. Some effects were the actual sounds with extra noises added to help tell the story.  Then we had to come up with some lines for when Olivia was on camera. This was a group effort. Then I put Peter and Aidan in the booth for vocalizations and foley. It was fun. There was a lot of Peter getting slapped I must say. Finally, mixing it all together so it sounded like this was happening in that space. And there ya go.”



Read more…

If you think wellness is expensive, then try illness.

It has been proven that healthy and happy employees are more productive employees. (Article from the CDC, Article from CBS News)  Independent also strives to keep it’s employees healthy in the workplace so we can create the best work possible. All of us are eternally hunched over our workstations, therefore once a month we have a masseuse come in and give us chair massages. If you happen to be in for a session during this time and would like a massage, let us know!

To help us make balanced healthy food decisions, last Friday we had in nutritionist Bernie Rosen of Rosen Wellness, LLC. He talked about the balance of proteins, grains, and fats and how they work in our body. He used the analogy, “A carb is like a piece of paper that burns quickly and therefore need a lot of it to feel full. Fat is a like a log, that burns slow and steady therefore you only need a little to feel full”. Bernie helps others learn to live a healthier lifestyle by creating their own wellness plan addressing diet, exercise and stress management. If you’re interested in nutrition counseling, feel free to send Bernie an email, he’ll be glad to answer questions.

How do you keep healthy in the workplace? Any suggestions for Independent to make our studios a healthier environment for you the client?








← Older
1 2 3 4