The Seoul Arts Center in South Korea recently incorporated immersive audio capabilities into its production environment with Genelec Smart Active Monitoring to meet the goal of recording classical performances at the venue and creating audio content that would meet the demands of modern broadcast standards, in addition to preparing 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 a redundant arrangement for swift analogue-to-digital switching, Genelec monitors proved to be the perfect fit.”
The center opted for a 5.1.4 immersive system, driven by 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,” sayss Kim.
With the design decided, Seoul Arts Center worked with local Genelec partner Sama Sound to select the Smart Active Monitors to meet the requirements. The left-center-right and surround channels are handled with 8341 three-way coaxial monitor while 8330 two-way models are used for the height channels as they met the weight restrictions for installation above the concert hall control booth. Low-frequency extension is handled by a 7370 subwoofer.
The monitors were able to be integrated with the concert hall’s existing audio infrastructure due to a combination of the digital I/O and the daisy chain connectivity that facilitated direct network connections.
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 overhead speakers to be installed,” Kim notes. “Thus, it was challenging to choose suitable brackets and change the height and angle of the overhead speakers. 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 control booth also required the flexibility to rearrange monitors and calibrate the system when changes were made to the sound or video system infrastructures. By using GLM software, the team can achieve more 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,” Kim concludes. “We are truly delighted 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 world-class venue in a modern format that brings the full texture of the sound to a new audience.”