AES Section Meeting Reports

Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences - May 18, 2019

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Meeting Summary: CRAS AES was proud to have Genelec visit the Gilbert campus. As they walked in, students were greeted by a table setup with three sets of Genelec speakers. The event opened with a demo of a set of speakers that filled the room with sound. It turned out that the source of the sound came from the smallest set of speakers, the 8010As. Genelec Representative Dave Maclaughlin started by talking about how he got started and ended up working for Genelec. He gained experience as a disc jockey, working in radio in high school onwards, learning electrical engineering in college. Then he worked for some of the biggest radio stations as a disc jockey, made some records which went on to become platinum and had a 25 year stint as a program director in for a college in New England. Genelec needed someone involved in education so they came to him and now he continues to do what he loves which is teach. Genelec is the first company to build and create active monitors and minimum diffraction enclosures (MDE™). MDE™s are 100% Recycled aluminum molded cabinet, have curved surfaces, integrated waveguides, multiple mounting options, isopods and is rear ported.

First, he asked if anyone had some experience mixing, and in one room it sounds great but then you take the same mix to a different place and it sounds completely different. Most students nodded. Maclaughlin noted that this is a problem that should be addressed. He showed a diagram of a Monitor to Mixer loop. We choose microphones that aren't accurate or flat as each singer or instrumentalist is individual and certain microphones work better on them than others. We have the same approach towards mixers. Every mixer has a difference in quality and have different mix busses that go to the monitors. We listen to those monitors with our ears and depending on the type of room we are in, our brain interprets those sounds differently and we base our mixing decisions on that. So why should we use monitors instead of speakers? Monitors are tuned to the room to be flat. Speakers have a not-so-flat frequency response. If we're using those speakers for mixing, they would greatly alter our perception of what we're hearing, making it harder to make accurate judgements. He noted "The two most important purchases an engineer can buy are good quality audio converters and good speakers." He went on to add placement of speakers is very important. Ideally your speakers should be 30º apart and you should be in the front 38% of the room, otherwise you'll have a bunch of interference. Then he went on to talk about their comprehensive family of SAM™ (Smart Active Monitor) solutions which all come with class de-amplifiers. All SAM™ speakers all have analog and digital inputs. Then he discussed the GLM Network™ which can control up to 128 monitors and subwoofers in one room. It can't optimize the room, nor optimize placement but it can calibrate and correct frequency response and time-of-flight. It can also has a Subjective EQ Trim and Level Calibration.

Next, he took a short Q&A with the students. Last, he gave a demonstration of three speaker sets: the 8010As, the 8330s, and the 8341s. One student asked, as the 8010As were the only ones that didn't have an SAM™ solution, and therefore didn't have a flat frequency response. How would one compensate for that? Maclaughlin replied that the best way to listen to the 8010As would be according to the listening room's frequency response. The demonstration ended with several songs of varying genres being played from each set of speakers

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