Genelec Monitoring Makes a “Splash” with Noise Floor Post

Santa Monica-based audio post production facility gets all the sonic nuances for ABC-TV’s new prime-time reality series hit Splash using Genelec 8250A and 8240A Smart Active Monitors™ (SAM™) and 7270A subwoofer.

Genelec 8250AABC-TV’s hit series Splash, which debuted on March 19 and immediately drew an audience of over 11 million viewers, follows 10 celebrities as they train and compete in regulation platform and springboard diving at dizzying heights in front of a weekly poolside audience. The show has more audio elements than many reality or even scripted programs, which makes it a challenge for post-production company Noise Floor Post. But the sound for Splash is going swimmingly, thanks to a 5.1 surround array consisting of Genelec 8250A and 8240A DSP monitors, along with a Genelec AD9200A Analog to Digital converter that allows them to use the 7270A Active Subwoofer with analog signal sources through the studio’s Avid Icon console. Genelec’s 8250A and 8240A both reflect the company’s Smart Active Monitoring™ (SAM™) concept, which allows monitors to be controlled with digital networking to enable the building of highly flexible computer-controlled systems of monitors.

Noise Floor Post Co-Owner and Re-recording Mixer Michael Solano, who founded the company with Partner and Supervising Sound Editor Ryan Owens in 2007, has been mixing television for 15 years, and his work can be heard on series including The Biggest Loser for NBC, Flying Wild Alaska on Discovery, and Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition for ABC, as well as Splash. He says the show is shot in front of a live audience, necessitating a lot of individual sound elements. “We’re trying to get as many microphone sources as we can and not just relying on the line mix,” he says. “We’re deconstructing that and recutting to make it a very engaging show from a sound point of view. The live components are what makes it unique – you have an audience around the pool and you need to reflect all of the action that’s constantly taking place.”

Helping accomplish that is a 5.1 surround array consisting of three Genelec 8250A speakers for the L-C-R array and a pair of 8240As for the rear surround array. This is bolstered by the 7270A subwoofer that’s used in conjunction with the AD9200A analog-to-digital converter. The Genelec AD9200A converter outputs AES3 format with 24-bit word length and 192 kHz sample rate, allowing Solano to control it through the studio’s Avid Icon console. “This enables me to use the control surface to do functions like muting and soloing as needed,” he explains.

The system benefits from SAM, which includes AutoCal™ calibration system, part of the GLM™ software package that lets Genelecs conform to the parameters of the room. “The GLM package is crucial for me,” says Solano. “The more information I have, the better mix decisions I can make, and the clarity that I get from this system in this room is spectacular because of the DSP system and the Genelec speakers themselves. I’m getting a level of detail that no other speaker has ever given me. I always know that I’m hearing everything totally accurately, and that’s critical on a reality show. The most important parts of any studio are its monitoring speakers, and I’ll only use Genelecs. We’re planning on converting all of our rooms to Genelec in the future. We plan to become an all-Genelec facility, because it’s taken us to the next level as an audio post-production company.”

For more information, please visit www.genelec.com