Sound Designer Jeffrey Pitts Relies on Active Monitoring Tools from Genelec as He Moves Into Cinema

Cinema sound and television audio (broadcast and streamed) are racing from 5.1 surround to 7.1 to formats that range from 11.2 in broadcast for residential applications to as many as 64 individual speaker locations for object-based audio platforms like Dolby’s Atmos and Auro Technologies’ Auro-3D platforms.

Sound specialists are coming to terms with this tectonic shift in technology, looking for the best tools to face the new frontiers with. Jeffrey Pitts is one of them; the winner of two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series on the hit Starz series, Black Sails, with an additional win and four more nominations, the sound designer is preparing his personal editing facility for the multi-channel future with loudspeakers from Genelec, the leader in active monitoring technology for nearly 40 years.

Recently, Pitts changed out his L-C-R array with three Genelec 8351A compact three-way Smart Active Monitors, which replaced the speakers he’d been working with since establishing his freelance sound design business in the Los Angeles area in 2007.

Genelec 8351

Genelec 8351

Since then, he’s become an in-demand sound-design specialist, working for studios including Technicolor, Universal and Netflix, on upcoming features like Deathnote and Blair Witch and USA Network’s, Mr. Robot.

“Atmos is next,” he said, noting what may be sound-for-picture’s coming inflection point. “5.1 is great, but the ability to have eight channels and to be able to place audio objects across as many as 64 speaker channels in theaters. But you need the right tools.”

Those include a suite of plug-ins from Dolby that allow Pitts to emulate a 64-channel array in his own studio before it goes to the mix stage. But even more fundamental to his transition to future formats will be his monitoring solutions, and he’s already decided: they’ll be all Genelec.

With his foundational 8351 L-C-R array already in place, he plans to have a 7.2 system ready by mid year, using Genelec 8330 five-inch Smart Active Monitors for stereo rear surround speakers and stereo side surround speakers. By year’s end, Pitts plans to have added a total of eight more 8330 speakers by then, adding four more to create an immersive overhead speaker array, along with Genelec subs.

“The great thing about the 8351 is that you’re not experiencing ear fatigue, even during long sessions,” Pitts said. Using a Dorrough loudness meter as a reference, he’s found that he’s working at lower indicated levels on the Genelec speakers than with the previous array but still getting the full-range sound and all the impact and energy he used to find only at louder volumes.

“I was often peaking the meters before; I switched to the Genelecs in the middle of a project, and that’s when I really noticed the difference. I’m working now with less volume, and EQing is easier without sacrificing any of the energy I need to feel.” 

Let us know what you think…

Log-in or Register for free to post comments…

You might also like...

A Conversation with Up-and-Coming Audio Mixer Sean Prickett

In this interview, we meet Sean Prickett – a “young gun” audio mixer that’s making a name for himself on some of TV’s most high-profile live and audition shows. Most recently, Sean was A1 for the live-broadcast finals of the CBS r…

Improving Audio Quality on DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras  

It has been just over a decade since the first video camera was integrated into the form factor of a 35mm film camera. The technical ability to cram both video and digital photographic camera technology into a single device that…

BCE - Going Deeper - Choosing Routers

At the start of 2013, BCE at RTL City was a hole in Luxembourg’s ground and in less than four years they were on air broadcasting 35 different channels across Europe and Singapore. Costas Colombus is BCE’s Special Projects Manager and…

Articles You May Have Missed – November 8, 2017

More pixels, more audio channels and increased complexity. Those are some of the challenges facing today’s broadcast and media engineers. In this week’s review of technology briefs, we first examine a prediction of 8K cameras being used for the…

Articles You May Have Missed – October 25, 2017

Any new media or production and playout center must be built leveraging the latest in IP-centric technology. Here are two articles that examine the latest technology being installed in live broadcast and playout applications and OB trucks. Combined, the articles…