null Genelec RAW Monitors Outfit the Dolby Atmos Classroom at Appalachian State University
Genelec RAW Monitors Outfit the Dolby Atmos Classroom at Appalachian State University
The Music Industry Studies program at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, offers a Bachelor of Science degree with a minor in Business. Offering three concentrations – Recording and Production, Marketing and Promotion, and Manufacturing and Merchandising – the program has its hub in the Robert F. Gilley Recording Studio on campus. That facility, which is housed in the Mariam Cannon Hayes School of Music, has just opened its newest room, a Dolby Atmos® mix classroom, which is fitted with a 7.1.4 monitoring array of Genelec RAW 8320 and 8330 speakers plus a 7360 subwoofer. Genelec RAW models, designed specifically with sustainability in mind, provide a stylish matte “industrial aluminum” aesthetic that particularly suits this facility. The monitors were purchased through Guitar Center Professional in Greensboro, NC, and the array was installed by a team of over a dozen seniors in the Music Industry Studies program, who also built much of the rest of the Atmos room, under the supervision of Scott Wynne, the Director for the Gilley Recording Studio and Professor for the Music Industry Studies program.
“In 2003, they finished construction on an actual recording facility, which meant that they wouldn’t have students running a 16-channel snake across the hallway and tracking on semi-pro gear, and that’s when the Robert F. Gilley recording studios started,” says Wynne, who arrived in 2006 after teaching at Florida Atlantic University. “Now, we have four different control rooms and several million dollars of gear, because I want the students to actually learn on the equipment that plug-ins are designed from.” That desire for authenticity led to the choice of Genelec speakers for the Atmos monitoring array. After the university’s facilities team strengthened the room’s ceiling infrastructure to better support the new speakers, the Atmos array was installed by the students, with seven 8330s comprising the horizontal array – three as the L-C-R on stands and four others wall mounted as left-right front surrounds and left-right rear surrounds – and four 8320s installed in the ceiling using Genelec 442BS brackets. The 7360 subwoofer is freestanding on the floor. “We used a laser protractor and determined the exact positions with the students, and they literally screwed the brackets into those joists, trying to make sure that they got as much experience out of this as possible,” Wynne explains.
The choice of Genelec speakers for such a pivotal space as the Atmos studio had to do with Genelec’s reputation as an incredibly accurate monitoring solution, the choice of professional production studios worldwide, as well as the proprietary self-calibrating GLM software for the Genelec Smart Active Monitors™. Wynne says GLM allows the production program to move the monitors around the room as needed for various types of productions, without ever losing ideal speaker placement for imaging and phasing. In the process, he adds, the GLM software became part of the teaching process. “It becomes a lesson about acoustics,” he says. “What I love about them is their ability to show you the frequency response in the GLM software, in order to notice where the frequency dips are, where you’re getting too much push. You can then physically show that to your students and say, all right, what do you think these problems are culminating from? And they can make suggestions: what if we moved the speakers back? What if we moved them a little bit closer? What could we do in the room acoustically to fix some of these anomalies that we’re seeing? There are a lot of great software programs that are out there that can show you this, but because GLM’s functionality is so seamlessly integrated with the speakers, we can make a change in the classroom and in less than a minute they can immediately see that response change.” But just as important as Genelec’s feature set and sonic quality is its support of education. “They’ve always been great at creating an educational experience for students, and for having their tech come out and do lectures and share knowledge with classes,” he says.
Finally, there’s the RAW look. “That's exactly the finish I wanted,” says Wynne. “That was the look that I felt like the facility needed to set it apart. I think they complement the space and the students all love it. Everything about them allowed us to feel like we have a very unique room here.”