null Genelec monitors deployed throughout Rome’s ‘secret’ new post facility
Genelec monitors deployed throughout Rome’s ‘secret’ new post facility
"Marco Guadagno and Laura Ciafaloni wanted to keep this operation secret from the first steps to the last, and incredibly they did it," explains Donato Masci from Studio Sound Service, the acoustic design firm responsible for the design and construction of the facility.
As a company, 3Cycle had a history of using various studio facilities around Rome for dubbing work. But strong growth, combined with client support led to the decision to create a dedicated space of their own. While it was important that the dubbing element was catered to, the team wanted to expand the business further and took the opportunity to create a post-production hub that could offer much more. As a result, 3Cycle features seven ADR dubbing rooms, a pair of 5.1 QC rooms, two 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos Home Entertainment rooms and a Dolby Atmos theatrical room.
Genelec monitors were the right choice for 3Cycle because they are a standard for post-production facilities around the world
The design work was carried out by Studio Sound Service’s team of designers made up of Donato Masci, Cecilia Torracchi and Giulia Bondielli, with the acoustic consultancy of Andy Munro. “We have designed a lot of studios together and created a sort of standard for post-production and dubbing, which is recognised and appreciated by numerous broadcasters,” says Donato Masci from Studio Sound Service. “3Cycle wanted to reach an international level and therefore we decided to also involve Andy.”
“3Cycle’s studios have been designed and built following the latest R&D in acoustics,” he continues. “In particular, the acoustics of the recording rooms have been given a neutral balance with the reduction of colouration and artifacts that can affect the final mixing of voices in all forms of media. The control rooms and mixing environments have been given a different approach, to match established international standards and Dolby certification requirements.”
Alongside the cutting-edge acoustics, Genelec Smart Active Monitors feature prominently throughout the facility. Each of the seven ADR rooms feature L-R 8330 monitors with an 8340 for the centre channel. The QC rooms are both equipped with 8340 monitors and a 7380 subwoofer for the 5.1 setup. Finally, the two Dolby Atmos Home Entertainment rooms have been installed with flush-mounted L-C-R S360 monitors, 8340s for the surrounds and overheads, and a 7382 subwoofer delivering the low frequencies.
“Genelec monitors were the right choice for 3Cycle because they are a standard for post-production facilities around the world,” states Masci, explaining the reasons behind selecting the studio monitors. “In addition to this, the GLM loudspeaker manager software helps a lot for the fine tuning, even if the rooms already sound really good.”
With this project taking place during the pandemic, there were obvious challenges. The Studio Sound Service team had difficulty travelling from their headquarters in Florence to the site in northern Rome (as Tuscany remained isolated from Rome for months) meaning that the supervision of the construction site was carried out from a distance. “It definetely wasn't a walk in the park,” notes Masci. “The construction was slowed down by numerous inconveniences related to the pandemic, but nevertheless all the collaborators made all the leaps so as not to accumulate large delays.”
Another major challenge came from isolating the facility. However, With Munro’s assistance, the team managed to create perfectly floating rooms that were mechanically decoupled from the structure. “All the recording rooms have been isolated using floated, room-within-room construction with vibration isolation throughout,” explains Masci. “Control rooms have also been given appropriate isolation, to avoid interference and also to allow accurate monitoring of the recordings themselves.”
the GLM loudspeaker manager software helps a lot for the fine tuning, even if the rooms already sound really good
Reflecting on the overall project, Masci is proud of the end results. “The 3Cycle facility is the largest post-production facility that we’ve designed. It was a challenge but in the end it gave us great satisfaction. 3Cycle’s partners Marco Guadagno and Laura Ciafaloni, and CTO Simone Nobili, believed in us from the beginning and this was very important for us. Of course, during the implementation phases there were difficult moments, especially linked to respecting deadlines which were affected by the pandemic, but the 3Cycle guys have always shown a great and sincere sense of satisfaction.”
This reaction has been mirrored by the local industry, particularly following the secrecy around its creation. “Obviously when the facility opened, it was a big surprise for the city, and talent and producers are still talking positively about the first experiences they had,” says Masci. “It seems they really appreciate the acoustics, but also the general comfort of the rooms that have a particularly refined design.”