AES Section Meeting Reports

Atlanta - October 15, 2007

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The Atlanta Section of the AES, in conjunction with the Atlanta Chapter of SBE, hosted a presentation of Genelec's DSP Monitoring Systems on Monday October 16th at Glow in the Dark recording studios in Atlanta. There were 21 attendees, of which 10 were AES members. The presentation was hosted by Bruce Bartone, National Sales Manager for Genelec and Will Eggleston, Genelec's Marketing Director . It was sponsored by Techrep Marketing.

Guests were welcomed and the presenters were introduced by Atlanta Section Committee Member Phil Van Peborgh.

Mr. Eggleston noted the disparity among the quality of mixes produced on CD's. He noted that these inconsistencies are not necessarily the result of poor engineering or production practices but are often attributed to the wide variety of monitoring systems and mixing environments in use. Correct monitor integration into the environment is the new frontier for consistent and accurate audio monitoring. He stated that Genelec has been working on a DSP based monitoring system for the past 7 years to help improve the monitoring conditions in studios.

The system demonstrated was a 5.1 surround set up under the control of Genelec's Loud Speaker Management and AutoCal software running on a standard laptop computer. Source play back was from a DVD player running through a Dolby DP564 reference decoder.

The loudspeakers used in the demonstration were five Genelec 6.5" bi-amp 8240A's and one 7260A 10" DSP sub. These speakers utilized both analog and digital signal inputs and also employ Ethernet to communicate parameters with the laptop. Mr. Bartone demonstrated the calibration process in which a series tones and sweeps are sent from each speaker and picked up by a microphone placed in the proposed listening position. The system then adjusts delay, filtering and levels to each speaker optimizing the listening environment for consistently flat response.

One question arose about the use of the internal sound card within the laptop referencing the inconsistencies of soundcards and how this affects the accuracy of the calibration process. Mr. Eggleston pointed out that end users currently need to ensure their soundcards are set properly before beginning the calibration process. He also noted that Genelec will soon be releasing their own external USB powered sound card for use with the system which will overcome some of the limitations of using internal sound cards and will provide greater flexibility for future developments.

Mr. Eggleston noted other speaker manufacturers are also developing DSP based speaker calibration systems and it is hoped that as these systems become more widespread, the quality of sound reaching the consumer will be improved and become more consistent.

The Atlanta Section of the AES would like to thank Matt Goldman of Glow in the Dark Studios for allowing the use of his facility and also Phil Van Peborgh of Techrep Marketing for sponsoring and coordinating this event.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society