Dolby Atmos mix setup at Atomic Productions, featuring Genelec Smart Active Monitors.
Genelec 8340A and 8330A Smart Active Monitors and 7370A and 7360A Smart Active Subwoofers bring Atomic Productions’ new Dolby Atmos mix suite to life while giving the commercial production company a new set of services to offer clients.
Whether it’s spots for the San Francisco 49ers, DocuSign, Hewlett Packard Enterprise or Comcast SportsNet, productions from corporate video to indie film, or acclaimed campaigns for Fiji Water and Mountain Mike’s Pizza, Atomic Productions has been part of the Bay Area’s media matrix since 1990, when founder and Executive Producer Danny Angotti opened the doors on what would become a seven-suite production facility in Emeryville, CA. In that time, they’ve won four Emmy Awards and kept themselves on the industry’s technological cutting edge. And recently, that included commissioning a new audio suite equipped for Dolby Atmos production. The new mix room contains a complete Genelec monitoring array, designed and installed by Burbank-based ALT Systems, comprising an L-C-R array of three 8340A Smart Active Monitors, four 8330A Smart Active Monitors used as the left and right side and rear surrounds, and four more 8330As as the overheads. The low end of this immersive system is more than amply covered by both Genelec 7370A and 7360A Smart Active Subwoofers. ALT Systems relied on Genelec’s proprietary GLM calibration software to assure exact and perfect placement of each component in the array.
“For years we were outsourcing most of our sound production, but when we made the decision to bring most of that in house to become a more full-service company, we wanted to make it state of the art, so we went with Dolby Atmos,” explains Angotti. “The Genelec 8340 and 8330 monitors were recommended as the ones that would best maximize the impact of this new room.” He adds that Genelec also offered substantial design advice that helped considerably when planning the room. Atomic Productions already had several pairs of Genelec 6010A compact studio monitors in the facility, used for monitoring audio for their video production and editing services, so the move to the larger 8340 and 8330 monitors felt natural, he says.
And the team has been hard at work in this new mix room, generating stereo and surround mixes for projects including a Visa broadcast commercial and the opening montage for a forthcoming documentary film about the Vallecitos Nuclear Center. Johnny Small, Atomic Productions’ sound designer and motion graphics editor, (and the room’s primary audio engineer), says the difference that Genelec monitoring makes is immediately audible. “You can hear things you never heard before, particularly on the low end, because the 7370 and 7360 subs have so much definition as well as power,” he says. “When you’re coming from a desktop-type listening environment to this, it’s really night and day.”
For the facility’s frequent work with voiceover tracks, Small says the Genelecs have been particularly useful. Since the start of the pandemic, sonic quality of certain voiceover source material has become increasingly inconsistent, as more of that type of work has been done in home studios and spaces not intended for high-end recording work. “A lot of those sorts of environments aren’t acoustically treated, so you can hear anomalies like reflections that you couldn’t hear before. That gives us the chance to treat and address them, which increases the overall quality of a project’s audio. The new Genelec monitors make a difference in a number of important ways.” Angotti concludes by adding, “Plus, we have the opportunity to really crank things up like a theater system, which is great for a bit of fun with clients. When you play Top Gun: Maverick in Atmos, those subs blow the doors off the room, and clients love it!”
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