Genelec Monitors Power Smart Studio’s New Immersive Demo Space

Situated on the outskirts of Dublin, Ireland, Smart Studio has created a proof-of-concept demo studio – a space where clients can get to grips with exactly what a modular studio design can deliver. The facility features a cutting-edge control room and voiceover booth equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and software, including a Genelec Smart Active Monitoring System.

Jim Dunne, Smart Studio’s Managing Director and Senior Designer, emphasised the company’s unique approach, deviating from the traditionally complex and time-consuming build process of high-quality sound studios. “The Smart Studio approach is different,” he states. “As industry insiders, we know what our clients require, and we deliver it in a simplified and efficient process.”

The company sought the expertise of Michael Browne from local Genelec distributor Big Bear Sound when the crucial decision about the monitoring format arose. Dolby Atmos quickly emerged as the natural choice. “Choosing a 7.1.4 immersive format for our demo room was a no-brainer,” says Dunne. “In this industry, everyone’s eyeing Dolby Atmos for their studios. Whether it’s upgrading or setting up new rooms, people want to comply with the Atmos format. It’s the future, and studios are prepping themselves for it. We hardly see anyone going for 5.1, and stereo is even rarer. The drive in the industry is to be Dolby compatible, and that’s why we went with the 7.1.4 format – it’s about staying ahead and being ready for the future of audio.”

The design of Smart Studio’s modular spaces is remarkably robust, incorporating acoustics within the modules that have been accurately crafted to tackle any challenges that individuals may encounter.

In the monitor selection process, Dunne turned to Dolby’s DARDT interactive room design tool, which helps studio designers match the models to the room in order to meet Dolby’s strict specifications. “Genelec always has a very comprehensive range of monitors available – they really do cover all the options. We wanted an LCR setup of a very high calibre. We also took inspiration from studios like King Lear in London – we saw exactly what they were putting in, and from that we had a good guide on where we should be going.”

The complete configuration of the demo studio includes three 1237 three-way main monitors as the LCR solution, four8331 coaxial three-ways for surrounds, four 8330 two-ways for the height channels – all complemented by a 7380 subwoofer.

Smart Studio used GLM (Genelec Loudspeaker Manager) software to add the finishing touch. “The Genelec system uses the ability to calibrate the speakers to the room and marry them together which was perfect for finessing the room, providing a solid backdrop. The super-smooth low-end response and spatial accuracy of the system has really elevated this space,” Dunne adds.

Now it’s complete, the next stage for Smart Studio includes using the demo studio for a masterclass series and educational sessions. Dunne explains: “The whole point of Smart Studio is to leave our customers with a room that’s very ‘plug and play.’ Being an installation engineer, I know what it means to put the equipment cables in. We know that the room is a host space to accommodate the equipment and people perfectly – making sure all those dots are joined up.

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