The Seoul Arts Center has incorporated immersive audio capabilities into its production environment with the help of a new Genelec Smart Active Monitoring solution. The goal was to be able to record the top-class classical performances that take place at the venue and create audio content that would meet the demands of modern broadcast standards. Per a statement, it also involved preparing the venue for expected future requirements.
“We have created an immersive audio production environment for the concert hall that allows us to record classical performances and create immersive audio content — and to be ready for UHD broadcast standards,” explains Wave Kim, Seoul Arts Center’s sound engineer. “Due to their seamless integration with our sound production and monitoring system, and an arrangement for swift analogue-to-digital switching; Genelec monitors proved to be the perfect fit.”
The Seoul Arts Center opted for a 5.1.4 immersive system. The team selected this system based on the need to consider the control booth’s workflow and space utilization, as it accommodates multiple production teams. “The 5.1.4 system was ideal because the extra surround speakers of a 7.1.4 system would have interfered with the movement of people entering and leaving the booth, as well as with the video-production infrastructure,” explains Kim.
Outfitting the Space
With the design decided, Seoul Arts Center worked with local Genelec partner Sama Sound to select the right Smart Active Monitors to meet the requirements. The L-C-R and surround channels are catered for by 8341 three-way coaxial monitors. Meanwhile, the 8330 two-way models are ideal for the height channels as they met the weight restrictions for installation above the concert hall control booth. Additionally, a 7370 subwoofer handles low frequency extension.
Genelec’s Smart Active Monitoring technology integrated easily with the concert hall’s existing audio infrastructure. Here, the integration occurred due to the combination of the digital I/O and the daisy chain connectivity that facilitated direct network connections.
Addressing the Challenges
One of the major challenges for the project came from the physical size of the control booth. “In the design stage, we discovered that the roof of the booth is lower than the proper height suggested for installed overhead speakers,” recalls Kim. “Thus, it became challenging to choose suitable brackets and change the height and angle of the overhead speakers.”
He then adds, “However, thanks to various K&M stands and their compatibility with Genelec speakers, we overcame the challenge quickly. In addition, it was not easy to fix and wire the overhead speakers due to the facility piping installed in the ceiling, but the high level of on-site technology and experience of Sama Sound enabled stable and clean construction.”
The concert hall’s control booth also required the flexibility to rearrange monitors and calibrate the system according to changes in the sound or video system infrastructures. By using GLM software, the team could easily achieve consistent audio quality even after rearrangement of the monitors. “The instant multi-speaker layout tuning capabilities of GLM proved invaluable during the installation of the immersive audio system and interior construction of the control booth,” states Kim.
Implementing the Improved Acoustics
The Seoul Arts Center notes their enthusiasm with the results achieved through their partnership with Genelec and Sama Sound. Per a statement, the new system has delivered a flawless and detailed audio experience within the prestigious concert hall. Additionally, it has enabled accurate monitoring of top-class performances without any distortion. This fulfils the requirement for immersive live recording of classical concerts and content production that meets international immersive audio standards.
With the Genelec system in place, the Seoul Arts Center now looks forward to implementing the venue’s acoustics. Kim concludes, “We are truly happy with our achievements, all thanks to Genelec. The seamless operation, well-balanced composition and high-resolution mode have surpassed our expectations. We now have a monitoring solution that allows us to share the incredible performances from our venue in a modern format that brings the full texture of the sound to a new audience.”
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