Nut Academy in Naples, Italy, which has been training sound technicians, sound designers and producers of electronic music for more than 15 years, recently constructed a new Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 studio that’s equipped with Genelec Smart Active Monitors.
“The idea of making a Dolby Atmos studio was born from the need to keep our teaching in step with the times,” says Vinci Acunto, sound engineer and teacher at Nut Academy. “If you want to work in the field of music production, you definitely have to deal with Atmos. It is a technical need and a creative opportunity in the training course of a sound engineer or a music producer.”
While there were plans in place to build a facility to meet the Dolby specification, the school had struggled to find a suitable time to construct the studio. The opportunity to do this was eventually offered by the pandemic.
The school partnered with Midiware, the Italian distributor of Genelec monitors, along with acoustic consultants Studio Sound Service to design and supply a purpose-built studio that could be installed by the Nut Academy team and would meet the necessary immersive audio standards.
“The studio design was originally based on Dolby Atmos Home Entertainment standards but was then certified for Dolby Atmos Music because it was compliant to both standards,” explains Donato Masci, CEO and technical director of Studio Sound Service. “This expresses the versatility of the project. The room can be used to work on music, broadcast and post-production content and, at the same time, as a lecture room with great technological content.”
While it was important to meet Dolby’s standards, teaching is the primary function of the room and this also played an important role in its design. “The Dolby Atmos room can accommodate up to 10 to 15 people for Nut Academy lessons,” notes Studio Sound Service partner and acoustic designer Giulia Bondielli. “This required a versatile interior design which is different from a traditional mixing room design with the sofa and the diffuser on the rear wall. We had to optimize the space to satisfy all client needs, and to find the right positions for every studio monitor – as two lateral televisions and a projector screen are used for lessons.”
The monitor deployment calls on 8351 coaxial three-way monitors for the left-center-right positions, while 8340 two-way models provide the surround and overhead channels. Finally, a 7380 subwoofer handles the low frequencies.
“The most surprising thing is that this listening system simplifies our work in the best possible way,” says Acunto. “Even in more complex contexts typical of the teaching environment – such as open listening, comparison and alternation of various genres over a short time – Genelec’s The Ones prove to be faithful workmates.”