null Genelec 5.1 monitoring drives new Soundon OB truck

Genelec 5.1 monitoring drives new Soundon OB truck

Top Finnish OB outfit chooses The Ones Smart Active Monitors.

Live production had to adapt and evolve quite drastically during the global pandemic to handle the broadcasting of events without the usual crowds, while also maintaining social distancing. The modern OB truck has stepped in as both a production centre and technology hub and has provided an ideal solution to mandated social distancing for essential crew, while also harnessing the latest technologies to deliver efficiency and quality programming.

In a post-pandemic world, the OB truck has continued to be at the heart of the action and has become quite the powerhouse: directing, routing, engineering and outputting sometimes hundreds of sources to and from the venue for the match, concert or other live event. Since the arrival of IP-based production and SMPTE-2110, OB design companies, systems integrators, live production service providers and broadcasters have all collaborated to make the truck an ever-more efficient dual-nature toolbox.

One company to take particular advantage of this is Finland-based Soundon. The company specialises in sound recording for concerts and television with its main area of expertise lying in multi-camera productions and live broadcasts. Observing the surge in OB truck broadcast sessions, the Soundon team decided to purchase and customise a second truck to accompany its original vehicle, allowing it to take on more bookings and ensuring more post-production studio sessions could take place.

The 8351B models worked out much better for the low middle frequencies.

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Having relied heavily on a successful Genelec install in its original truck, the idea was to replicate this layout in the new vehicle. “We wanted to make our new truck similar to the older one, so it would provide seamless control and it wouldn’t matter which one you are working with,” explains Timo Virtanen, Soundon’s Sound Designer and CEO. “Now when the other truck is somewhere in a production location, we can still do some post in our second truck. There is no need to have a fancy studio room when you can do everything in a moving OB truck. Also, our audio gear has grown so much that we needed a bigger storage area!”

Opting for a popular Genelec 5.1 solution, 8351 three-way coaxial monitors were installed in the LCR positions, accompanied by the compact 8331s at the rear and complemented by a 7360 subwoofer (soon to be augmented by a second 7360 for even more low end control) – all selected for high-performance and space saving capabilities. “Back in 2017, we found the 8351As very suitable for us but realised for this project that we needed something different,” recalls Virtanen. “The studio room is quite narrow (2.5 m wide) which meant that handling the side reflections was very important to us, so we went with the newer 8351B models. That worked out much better for the low middle frequencies and sounded incredible.”

Genelec monitors are in a completely different world from the others.

Soundon PR Image 2
Timo Virtanen, Soundon’s Sound Designer and CEO.

While both trucks are powered with similar Avid control surfaces, the new truck has a Grace M908 monitor controller, equipped to handle surround and immersive formats. Additionally, GLM software was used to configure and calibrate the monitoring system – ensuring that everything is controlled in-house from recording to post-production. “When you’ve recorded the content yourself, it’s nice to see it through all the way to the end,” Virtanen smiles.

Minor challenges arose from designing the interior of the truck, from carpentry work and upholstery to the audio and video set up. Custom-built adjustments to the monitor floor stand mountings were implemented, to avoid any falls when hitting the brakes in traffic or accelerating on a freeway. “Adapting to this was relatively easy though, because we were roughly basing this design off the older truck and not completely building from scratch,” Virtanen reflects.

The Genelec touch has clearly added an extra quality to Soundon’s newest OB truck and has provided the business with a huge advantage as it approaches another busy season. “We’ve only had a few gigs with this new truck, but it already sounds better, and the frequency curve is a lot flatter than the old one,” Virtanen concludes. “Genelec monitors are in a completely different world from the others – I’m really satisfied with the result.”

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