Michael Carnes is a legend in the pro audio industry. As a long-time software developer and musician, he is responsible for the Lexicon 960L, the PCM96 and Lexicon plug-ins. In recent years, Carnes founded Exponential Audio, a leading company in digital reverb, best known for its R4, PhoenixVerb Surround and Symphony. When he built his reference audio system, Carnes chose Genelec audio monitors.
Carnes' Exponential Audio was recently acquired by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based iZotope, a designer of software, plug-ins, hardware and mobile apps. Beyond hardware and software development, Carnes holds an advanced degree in classical composition, adding musicality and creativity to the plug-ins he develops.
“I've been making music or doing recording for as long as I can remember,” said Carnes. “These days I record a lot of classical music, but I've been involved in developing audio editing software and effects processing software, and in the creation and generation of reverbs that work in immersive audio like Dolby Atmos and other forms."
Carnes said the reason he uses Genelec today is because of his work in the immersive audio format. “When you're working with immersive audio, the needs that you have for precise imaging only increase. Also, the need for trustworthy reproduction is important. In my world, you don't get to hang the mic for a second time. Of course, you have to use quality microphones, you have to know where they get placed when capturing the audio/performance, and then when you have to listen, you really need to hear what it was you heard in the first place. The whole signal chain has to be trustworthy."
Currently, Carnes uses a Genelec 11.1 configuration consisting of Genelec 8341A Smart Active Monitors in the L-C-R position. Genelec 8331A Smart Active Monitors for the sides, the rears, and for height channels, and a 7370A Smart Active Subwoofer for the low end.
Carnes also likes the Genelec Loudspeaker Manager (GLM) network and software, which enables him to build a flexible and reliable monitoring system.
"One of the problems you have when you're working anywhere past stereo, in the simplest sense, is that you want one volume control – and this is true in surround, and it's an even bigger problem when you're dealing with immersive with height channels,” said Carnes. "GLM takes care of that – GLM sets up the room. You can then move into the mode where all you need to do is turn the system on, turn it up and down to whatever level you want. You're done.”
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