CAS Quarterly

Fall 2019

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66 F A L L 2 0 1 9 C A S Q U A R T E R L Y there are a few other options from professional manufacturers such as Behringer and IK Multimedia, I'm personally familiar with those from Genelec and JBL. In my home studio, I have JBL LSR 4328 speakers which use their RMC (Room Mode Correction) software and Genelec 8331 SAM (Smart Active Monitoring) speakers that use the GLM (Genelec Loudspeaker Manager) software. "Where would the audio world be without acronyms," ask the members of AES, AMPAS, ATAS, CAS, MPSE, SMPTEā€¦ Anyway, just set up the speaker's calibration mic in the sweetspot and let the sine wave sweep for each speaker play through. The software will then analyze and adjust content. The JBL RMC software really just tries to tame some of the room mode issues (below 200 Hz). And while mixes are more accurate with RMC enabled than without it, I still had to be cognizant of what was and wasn't accurate when mixing; knowing the speakers just like we know what headphones sound like. I have always been a fan of Genelec's and the GLM software does a really strong job of evening-out a room with minimal effort. As a fun educational use at school, since you can alter the sweetspot, we'll take readings from various positions in a room so that different students can be "in" the sweetspot with a click of a mouse. It's also a great way for them to better understand the effects of a space on reproduced sound. I'd been spoiled by purpose-built rooms at PostWorks and Sony Music Studios (RIP), not to mention other spaces where I'd listen to playbacks. This studio was retrofitted into a less- than-optimal existing space and hadn't been fully tuned or treated as it was in transition. While I was, obviously, aware of the effects of environment on sound, I hadn't expected things to be so "off" when in a "facility." Shortly thereafter, the room was adjusted and tuned by acoustician Carl Tatz and sounds as you'd expect a properly treated room to sound: great. Some areas of audio production allow work to take place unsupervised outside of a professional studio; mixing, editing, and music creation come to mind. With that, folks are working in rooms that often aren't as acoustically transparent as they'd find in a "facility." For years, manufacturers have been looking to fill that need, implementing technology to help bring accuracy to listening outside of a studio at a reasonable price. Generally, this is accomplished in two main ways: with self- aligning monitors or with software that processes signals before they reach the monitor. SELF-CALIBRATING MONITORS Self-aligning or calibrating speakers aim to significantly help out the cause in hardware form. Many consumer home theater systems even offer self-calibration (I have one myself). While ROOM CALIBRATION WITH b y M a t t F o g l i a C A S Eleven years ago, I moved from New York City to the Nashville area after accepting a faculty position at Middle Tennessee State University. I remember sitting down in one of the university's smaller studios and being excited to see the same Genelec 1037 monitors I had in my studio at PostWorks. However, as soon as I hit play on the CD player (everyone has a reference CD, right?), things sounded horribly wrong. How could these awesome (and awesomely expensive) speakers sound so ... yucky?

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