The new flagship of The Ones range, the 8361A offers the most advanced acoustic performance of any studio monitor on the planet.
8361A SAM™ Studio Monitor
Smart Active Monitor (SAM™) Systems
Minimum Diffraction Coaxial (MDC™) Driver Technology
30 Hz - 43 kHz (-6 dB)
An exquisite monitoring experience
The largest of our coaxial point source monitors, the 8361A offers extremely high dynamic range, unrivalled directivity and imaging and a short term SPL of 118 dB, enabling it to deliver an exquisite monitoring experience at any listening distance up to 5 metres – and therefore making it perfect for small to medium sized rooms.
Adapts to your space
The 8361A promotes faster and more consistent decision making, and also allows you to work reliably on longer sessions - because unnatural imaging, a main contributor to listener fatigue, is minimised. And by using it in conjunction with our powerful GLM calibration software, the 8361A will adapt to your acoustic space - compensating for any detrimental room influences and helping you produce mixes that translate perfectly, from stereo through to highly complex immersive formats.
8361A SAM™ Studio Monitor Dark Grey
8361A SAM™ Studio Monitor Black
8361A SAM™ Studio Monitor White
1 x 8361A monitor
1 x mains cable 1,8 m
1 x RJ45 cable 5 m
1 x operating manual
1 x The Ones brochure
8361A SAM™ Studio Monitor
It’s our great pleasure to report that globally respected magazine Sound On Sound have awarded our flagship 8361A Smart Active Monitor the ‘Highly Commended’ accolade in the Studio Monitor category of this year’s SOS Awards. The honour is the direct result of votes cast by the magazine’s knowledgeable readership of engineers, producers and creatives.
We’d like to extend our sincere gratitude to everyone that voted for us, and to thank every user that’s given us valuable feedback about the 8361A – it means a great deal to us.
Late last year, Sound On Sound’s Bob Thomas enjoyed a detailed test run of the 8361A with and without our automated GLM 4 calibration software. In summary he noted that it’s “an active monitor that delivers an absolutely stunning overall performance, which can be used at distances from under 1m and up to 5m without any compromises in sound quality.”
700 W Bass (Class D) + 150 W Midrange (Class D) + 150 W Treble (Class D)
30 Hz - 43 kHz ("-6 dB")
Accuracy of Frequency Response
± 1.5 dB (36 Hz - 20 kHz)
31.9 kg / 70.3 lb
2 x RJ45 Control
1 x XLR Analog Input
1 x XLR AES/EBU Input
1 x XLR AES/EBU Output
8361A SAM™ Studio Monitor
36 Hz - 20 kHz (± 1.5 dB)
Low cutoff -6dB
High cutoff -6dB
Short term max SPL
Long term max SPL Maximum long term RMS acoustic output in the same conditions with IEC weighted noise (limited by driver protection circuit) at 1 m.
Maximum long term RMS acoustic output in the same conditions with IEC weighted noise (limited by driver protection circuit) at 1 m.
Self-generated noise Self generated noise level in free space at 1 m on axis (A-weighted)
Self generated noise level in free space at 1 m on axis (A-weighted)
31.9 kg (70.3 lb)
Height with Iso-Pod
Die cast aluminium
Dual 263 x 137 mm (103/8 x 53/8 in) obround cones
8361A midrange driver cone (coaxial)
8361A treble driver metal dome (coaxial)
The latency at high frequencies from the input to the acoustic output, measured in the analog input:
Extended Phase Linearity in GLM set to OFF (top graph)
Extended Phase Linearity in GLM set to ON (bottom graph)
In Genelec performance graphics, the time of converting the from an electronic input signal to the acoustic output in a Genelec monitor is described by two factors – latency and group delay. The group delay factor can be read in the graphics for a specific frequency. The total frequency-specific input-to-output delay is a sum of the latency and group delay factors. To understand the significance of this total delay, consider that moving a loudspeaker away by 1 meter creates an additional delay of about 3 ms.
700 W Class D
150 W Class D
150 W Class D
100-240 VAC 50/60Hz
Signal processing section
2 x Control Two CAT5 (RJ45) GLM Network connectors for computer control using the Genelec Loudspeaker Manager (GLM) software.
Two CAT5 (RJ45) GLM Network connectors for computer control using the Genelec Loudspeaker Manager (GLM) software.
Input Analog signal input connector XLR female, balanced 10 kOhm.
Analog signal input connector XLR female, balanced 10 kOhm.
Input Digital signal input connector XLR female 110 Ohm.
Digital signal input connector XLR female 110 Ohm.
Output Digital signal output / Thru connector XLR male 110 Ohm
Digital signal output / Thru connector XLR male 110 Ohm
For even more technical details please see product operating manual.
Smart Active Monitor (SAM™) Systems
Minimum Diffraction Coaxial (MDC™) Driver Technology
Minimum Diffraction Enclosure (MDE™) Technology
Directivity Control Waveguide (DCW™) Technology
Acoustically Concealed Woofers (ACW™) Technology
Reflex Port Design
Intelligent Signal Sensing (ISS™) Technology
Room Response Compensation
Networked Smart Active Monitor (SAM™) Systems feature automatic calibration to the environment.
The last decade has experienced a rapid increase in global media content creation, resulting in significant changes in the way network facilities deal with increased workload. Now, more than ever, a growing number of audio productions are done in tighter, more confined working environments. This increases acoustic problems and lowers the reliability of monitoring. At the same time, a professional audio engineer needs to have high confidence in a reliable and precise monitoring system that reproduces sound neutrally and without distortion.
Built upon the solid electro-acoustic foundations of the 1200, 8000 and 7000 Series products, Genelec advanced SAM Systems are today’s most advanced and flexible monitoring solutions. They are an indispensable tool for audio professionals, as they are capable to automatically adapt to the acoustic environments and correct for levels, delays and room anomalies. SAM Systems can be controlled via Genelec proprietary Loudspeaker Manager (GLM™) network and software, enabling you to build a highly flexible and reliable monitoring system.
The GLM 3 software is a highly intuitive and powerful monitor control networking system that manages connectivity to all SAM studio monitors and subwoofers on the network – up to 30. The GLM 3 software features adjustment of levels, distance delays and flexible room response compensation equalization with the state-of-the-art and robust AutoCal™ automated calibration system. All parameters and settings are stored in system setup files or saved in each individual monitor or subwoofer if the GLM network needs to be disconnected.
Also, all acoustical features of SAM Systems can be optimised for different working styles or client demands. Additionally, even if the monitors or the production projects move between rooms, you can expect SAM technology to achieve the highest consistency in monitoring, providing a neutral sound stage imaging with low distortion.
Genelec SAM Systems offers a comprehensive, solution-oriented, intelligently networked product range supporting analogue and digital signals in virtually any working environment.
Minimum Diffraction Coaxial (MDC™) transducer reproduces outstanding sound image.
Typical to all current coaxial designs is somewhat ragged frequency response due to inherent diffraction problems. However, crossover issues due to non-coincident location of sources are solved with a coaxial configuration. Here lay the seeds of Genelec’s Minimum Diffraction Coaxial (MDC™) solution: while it benefits from typical coaxial design advantages, it now overcomes their serious shortages as well.
The first step is to minimize the cone displacement, in other words to limit the low frequency bandwidth of the driver. Next, is to avoid all sources of diffractions. The main structure of the MDC design consists of an integrated MF diaphragm-suspension- tweeter construction. The visible part of the coaxial driver is formed by the curved flexible skin with the dome tweeter assembly in its centre. The inner section joins the cone to the tweeter without any acoustical discontinuity, and the outer one does the same between the cone and the driver chassis.
As there are no acoustically observable discontinuities between the tweeter and the cone, just a smooth surface, there is no diffraction either. The cone profile is very carefully optimized to form an integrated directivity control waveguide for the tweeter radiation. The driver outer edge is terminated to a normal Genelec DCW in order to control the dispersion of midrange radiation as well. The response is very smooth both on and off-axis and free from any anomalies and directivity is well controlled.
This breakthrough in coaxial design provides improved imaging and overall sound quality on- and off-axis, extremely smooth frequency response leading to outstanding clarity and definition of the inner details of the music.
The main novelties of Genelec combined DCW™ and MDC™ designs:
- Diffraction-free joint between tweeter and midrange diaphragm
- Diffraction-free joint between midrange diaphragm and DCW™ waveguide
- A proprietary midrange diaphragm technology – laminate structure combining a rigid cone and elastic, lossy materials including the suspension itself
- A midrange diaphragm-suspension pair which cancels all possible non-linearity
- Smoother frequency response
- Ensures the drivers to couple coherently over their full operating bandwidth
- Significantly improves the directivity control in the critical frequency range
- Provides balanced suspension dynamics to minimize acoustic distortion
- Optimizes the use of the front baffle area while maintaining the 8000 series appearance and benefits
Minimum Diffraction Enclosure (MDE™) for uncoloured sound reproduction.
A common problem with standard free-standing loudspeakers is that the front baffle discontinuities cause diffractions and the loudspeaker sharp corners act as secondary sources through reflections.
In order to improve the flatness of the frequency response and the power response of free standing loudspeaker systems, Genelec have designed a highly innovative enclosure optimized to match the properties of the monitor drivers, featuring rounded edges, and gently curved front and sides. In addition to achieving an unsurpassed flatness of the frequency response, the enclosure having minimum diffractions yields superb sound stage imaging qualities.
To achieve such a smooth and elegantly curved cabinet surface and to reduce the outer dimensions of the enclosure, maximising at the same time the internal volume for improved low frequency efficiency, we designed a cabinet made off die-cast aluminium. Aluminium is lightweight, stiff and very easy to damp to yield a “dead” structure. The cabinet walls can be made fairly thin, providing at the same time good EMC shielding and excellent heat sink for the power amplifiers. Die-casting is made in two parts, front and rear, and they are easy to separate for potential servicing needs.
The DCW waveguide has been integrated in the MDE aluminium enclosure to provide improved control of the loudspeaker’s directivity. Basically, the low frequency limit for constant directivity is determined by the size of the waveguide, so the larger the surface the better the control. With a very controlled off-axis radiation, the listening window becomes consistent, which is of utmost importance with multi-channel audio monitoring. Controlled directivity also reduces possible first order reflections on surfaces near the loudspeaker, helping to provide consistent audio reproduction in different acoustical environments. In fact, the entire front baffle is gently curved and the acoustically transparent grilles are part of the outer cabinet aesthetics, blending perfectly with the various other curved surfaces.
Directivity Control Waveguide (DCW™) for flat on- and off-axis response.
A revolutionary approach was taken by Genelec in 1983 with the development of its Directivity Control Waveguide (DCW™) used at the time in an egg-shaped enclosure. The Genelec DCW technology developed and refined over more than 30 years greatly improves the performance of direct radiating multi-way monitors.
The DCW technology shapes the emitted wavefront in a controlled way, allowing predictable tailoring of the directivity (dispersion) pattern. To make the directivity uniform and smooth, the goal is to limit the radiation angle so that the stray radiation is reduced. It results in excellent flatness of the overall frequency response as well as uniform power response. This advanced DCW technology minimizes early reflections and provides a wide and controlled listening area achieving accurate sound reproduction on- and off-axis.
Minimized early reflections and controlled, constant directivity have another important advantage: the frequency balance of the room reverberation field is essentially the same as the direct field from the monitors. As a consequence, the monitoring system's performance is less dependent on room acoustic characteristics.
Sound image width and depth, critical components in any listening environment, are important not only for on-axis listening, but also off-axis. This accommodates not only the engineer doing his or her job, but also others in the listening field, as is so often the case in large control rooms.
DCW™ Technology key benefits:
- Flat on- and off-axis response for wider usable listening area
- Increased direct-to-reflected sound ratio for reduced control room coloration
- Improved stereo and sound stage imaging
- Increased drive unit sensitivity up to 6 dB
- Increased system maximum sound pressure level capacity
- Decreased drive unit distortion
- Reduced cabinet edge diffraction
- Reduced complete system distortion
Acoustically Concealed Woofers (ACW™) for controlled directivity down to low frequencies.
The 8351 Acoustically Coaxial Three-way system features our novel Acoustically Concealed Woofer (ACW™) technology. The Acoustically Concealed Woofers radiate through slots located on both ends of the enclosure.
The 8351 features two woofers and the positions of the two woofers have been chosen to extend the coaxial acoustical radiation concept towards low frequencies. In terms of low frequency directivity, when two woofers are used, separated by a distance, the system of two woofers behaves acoustically like one giant woofer spanning the distance between the two woofers. Also, such a dual woofer design extends the control of the directivity to low frequencies along the largest front baffle dimension.
The ACW technology makes the woofer openings and the woofer drivers acoustically invisible to the acoustical radiation from the minimum diffraction coaxial (MDC™) driver responsible for the midrange and tweeter frequencies. The radiation openings are optimized for size and curvature to minimize any acoustic diffractions.
The ACW solution also allows us to use the whole front baffle surface of the 8351 as one giant Directivity Control Waveguide (DCW™) that is part and built into a Minimum Diffraction Enclosure (MDE™).
The 8351 ACW arrangement creates a monitor that has a physically compact size yet behaves like a much larger system in terms of low frequency directivity.
Such controlled low frequency directivity translates to improved quality of monitoring and smaller low frequencies interaction between the monitor and the room.
Sophisticated drive unit protection circuitry for safe operation.
When working in critical audio production environments it is essential that monitoring systems remain reliable and functional at all times. One of the main reasons behind Genelec’s excellent success in broadcasting environments is the reliability of our products and a key element behind the reliability is the internal protection circuitry found in all products since 1978.
The protection circuitry prevents driver failures by detecting signal levels, and in case of sudden peaks or constantly too high levels, taking the signal level down automatically. Of course this feature does not affect the sound quality in any way when working within the specifications of the loudspeaker, but only prevents inadequate input signals from breaking the loudspeaker.
Protection circuitry features and benefits:
- Reduces the output level when required, (e.g. when driver voice coil temperature reaches the safe limit) which highly improves the system reliability
- Appropriate protection circuitry design in every loudspeaker and subwoofer enables to maximise system output sound level.
Each transducer is driven by its own optimized amplifier.
Audio electronic crossovers allow to split the audio signal into separate frequency bands that can be separately routed to individual power amplifiers which then are connected to specific transducers optimized for a particular frequency band.
In a typical 2-way loudspeaker system, the active crossover needs two power amplifiers — one for the woofer and one for the tweeter. The power amplifiers are connected directly to the drivers of an active loudspeaker, resulting in the power amplifier’s load becoming much simpler and well known. Each driver-specific power amplifier has only a limited frequency range to amplify (the power amplifier is placed after the active crossover) and this adds to the ease of design.
The active design principle offers multiple benefits:
- The power amplifiers are directly connected to the speaker drivers, maximizing the control exerted by the power amplifier’s damping on the driver’s voice coil, reducing the consequences of dynamic changes in the driver electrical characteristics. This may improve the transient response of the system.
- There is a reduction in the power amplifier output requirement. With no energy lost in the passive crossover filter components, the amplifier power output requirements are reduced considerably (by up to 1/2 in some cases) without any reduction in the acoustic power output of the loudspeaker system. This can reduce costs and increase audio quality and system reliability.
- No loss between amplifier and driver units results in maximum acoustic efficiency
- Active technology can achieve superior sound output vs. size vs. low frequency cut-off performance
- All loudspeakers are delivered as a factory aligned system (amplifiers, crossover electronics and enclosure-driver systems)
Advanced reflex port design for extended low frequency response.
Genelec’s choice for vented, or reflex, enclosures dates back to the S30 model, the first Genelec product from 1978. Port performance has been improved and refined over the years with the aim to increase the woofer’s low frequency extension and sound pressure level capability to provide outstanding bass articulation and definition.
Both driver and vent contribute to the total radiation of a reflex enclosure. Most radiation comes from the driver, but at the vent-enclosure resonant frequency the driver displacement amplitude is small and most of the radiation comes out of the vent.
To minimize the air speed in the tube, the cross sectional area of the vent should be large. This in turn means that the vent tube has to be long which presents quite a design challenge.
The long, curved tube maximizes airflow so deep bass can be reproduced without compression. The reflex tube terminates with a wide flare located on the rear of the enclosure for obvious reasons, minimizing port noises and providing excellent bass articulation.
The curvature of the tube has also been carefully designed to minimize any audible noise, compression or distortion. The inner end of the tube has proper resistive termination to minimize once again audible chuffing noise and air turbulence.
Proper reflex port design allows also to significantly reduce the woofer’s displacement, improving the linear low frequency output capacity.
Intelligent Signal Sensing (ISS™) for power consumption reduction in stand-by mode.
Introduced early 2013, Genelec’s Intelligent Signal-Sensing technology has been developed to meet with both European Union ErP Directives and the company’s own wider sustainability commitments.
The Intelligent Signal Sensing, ISS™ circuitry tracks the signal input of the loudspeaker and detects if it is in use. If the ISS circuit does not find any audio on the input for a period of time, it sets the loudspeaker to a low-power sleep state and the loudspeaker will consume less than 0.5 watts. When an input signal is detected, the loudspeaker immediately turns itself on. Basically, the loudspeaker system will start saving power as soon as work is interrupted.
Additionally an ‘ISS Disable’ switch is located on each product’s back plate next to the other room response controls. First, when the mains power switch of the loudspeaker is set to “ON”, the ISS™ auto-start function (low-power sleep state on/off) of the loudspeaker is active.
If this function is not desired, the ISS™ function can be disabled by setting the “ISS Disable” switch on the back panel to “ON” position. In this mode, the monitor is only powered on and off using the mains power switch.
Note that the mains power switch will always turn the monitor off completely.
Active crossover operating at low signal levels.
Audio electronic crossovers allow to split the audio signal into separate frequency bands that can be separately routed to individual power amplifiers which then are connected to specific transducers optimized for a particular frequency band.
Active crossovers come in both digital and analogue varieties. Genelec digital active crossovers include additional signal processing, such as driver protection, delay, and equalization.
Genelec analogue active crossover filters contain electronic components that are operated at low signal levels suitable for power amplifier inputs. This is in contrast to passive crossovers that operate at the high signal levels of the power amplifier's outputs, having to handle high currents and in some cases high voltages.
In a typical 2-way system the active crossover needs two power amplifiers — one for the woofer and one for the tweeter.
The active crossover design offers multiple benefits:
- The frequency response becomes independent of any dynamic changes in the driver's electrical characteristics or the drive level.
- There is an increased flexibility and precision to adjust and fine tune each output frequency response for the specific drivers used.
- Each driver has its own signal processing and power amplifier. This isolates each driver from the drive signals handled by the other drivers, reducing inter-modulation distortion and overdriving problems.
- The ability to compensate for sensitivity variations between drivers.
- The possibility to compensate for the frequency and phase response anomalies associated with a driver’s characteristics within the intended pass-band.
- The flat frequency response of a high-quality active loudspeaker is a result of the combined effect of the crossover filter response, power amplifier responses and driver responses in a loudspeaker enclosure.
Using the active approach enables frequency response adjustments and optimization of the full loudspeaker system, placed in various room environments, without expensive external equalizers. The end result is a simpler, more reliable, efficient, consistent and precise active loudspeaker system.
Vibration decoupling Iso-Pod™ stand improves sound image definition.
Although it is advisable to use sturdy and stable floor stands together with free-standing loudspeakers, a very common solution is to place loudspeakers directly on a table or on a console meter bridge.
This causes several detrimental side effects. Aiming of the loudspeaker axis towards the listener is rarely implemented, also, unwanted mechanical vibration do propagate from the loudspeaker to the mounting surface, and first order reflection on the work surface causes comb filtering and hence ripples in the frequency response.
To solve these very common problems Genelec developed an efficient and very practical solution. We designed a loudspeaker stand called Iso-Pod™ - Isolation Positioner/Decoupler that is attached to the aluminium enclosure. It has four shallow feet and it is made from special lossy rubber-like material. It is firmly attached to the enclosure so that it can be slid along the curved bottom or side surface to allow for a ±15° tilt of the loudspeaker.
The loudspeakers’ acoustical axis can then be pointed precisely towards the listener by adjusting the enclosure’s inclination with the Iso-Pod. The vibration isolation and damping properties reduce midrange coloration caused by unwanted vibration transmitted to supporting surfaces.
This innovative solution is an integral part of Genelec loudspeaker design and provides clear benefits in usability and sound quality.
Versatile mounting options for all installation needs.
In addition to perfect acoustical design and advanced tailoring options to optimize the loudspeaker’s behaviour to the room environment, Genelec loudspeakers offer a variety of mounting options for easy installation in different applications.
Our wide range of accessories and fixed mounting points on the back of our aluminium enclosure products offer solutions to all common installation situations. M6 support points have been integrated in the die-cast enclosure for wall and ceiling mounts.
Some models also feature a 3/8” thread at the bottom of the enclosure to fit a robust microphone stand. Other larger and heavier models feature M10 fixing points. Special floor stand plates have been designed in order to fit the Iso-Pod stand that is part of our product design.
With these features our loudspeakers have found their way to a variety of applications beyond the professional audio and studio world, for example in commercial and AV installation projects as well as in home environments all around the world.
Precise room response compensation for optimizing in-room performance.
The interaction between room acoustic and loudspeaker radiation is complex. Each room changes somewhat the monitor’s response in a unique way, e.g. reflective vs. damped rooms, or placement against a wall vs. on a stand away from the walls.
All Genelec loudspeaker systems feature room response adjustments to compensate for the room influences and retrieve a flat frequency response at the listening position.
Genelec analogue loudspeaker systems provide versatile Room Response Controls. They include (depending on models):
- Bass Roll-Off and Bass Tilt
- Treble Tilt and Treble Roll-Off
- Bass Level
- Midrange Level
- Treble Level
- Desktop Control
At low frequencies two main controls are provided. The Bass Tilt control, which acts as a shelving filter together with the Bass Roll-off control allowing you to optimize the low and very low frequency response of the system in different installations. Bass, midrange and treble level controls are provided in large systems. These controls allow to optimize the relative balance between the various pass bands.
The operating manual and datasheet of each loudspeaker contains a list of preferred room response control settings for different installations. These have been specified out of long practical experience and measurements of various kind of typical acoustic environments.
Smart Active Monitor (SAM™) Systems
Genelec SAM Systems offer a comprehensive, solution-oriented, intelligently networked product range which all feature Genelec Loudspeaker Manager (GLM™) software and its automatic calibration system called AutoCal™.
Genelec AutoCal provides the industry’s first integrated process for complete automated measurement, analysis, and adjustment of every monitor on the GLM control network. The system measures the response in the listening area and applies relevant compensation in the low and low-mid frequencies to minimise the detrimental room acoustic anomalies as well as the differences between various listening positions. AutoCal also aligns relative levels, time-of-flight, as well as adjusts correct crossover phase (called AutoPhase) for all subwoofers on the network.
The Acoustic Response Editor provides accurate graphical display of the measured response, filter compensation and the resulting system response for each monitor, with full manual control of acoustic settings.
RAK Studios chooses Genelec for world-class immersive room
Over its 46-year lifespan, RAK Studios has been the choice of a fleet of iconic musical pioneers, ranging from David Bowie and Pink Floyd to Adele and Arctic Monkeys.
Sydney’s JMC Academy renovates with Genelec
Top college installs Smart Active Monitors in two flagship studios.
Home is where The Ones are
Genelec offers next-level listening experience for movies and gaming.
Genelec flagship studio monitors make Argentinian debut with Javier Fracchia
Javier Fracchia’s studio in Buenos Aires has become the first mastering facility in Argentina to feature Genelec 8361A studio monitors, the flagship of ‘The Ones’ range of coaxial three-way point source models.
Miami’s Bay Eight Studios reaches 'new level' with Genelec
Bay Eight Recording Studios is the latest incarnation of a Miami studio institution. Founded in 2000 by GRAMMY® Award-winner Fabio “Estefano” Salgado on a John Arthur and Bret Lambert design, it quickly became the hub for his productions of Latin American crossover artists including Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, Thalía and Enrique Iglesias.
Mike Elizondo chooses 8361 & W371 for his Nashville studio
GRAMMY-winning producer and songwriter Mike Elizondo is among music’s most versatile talents, with credits ranging from 50 Cent, Eminem and Mary J. Blige to Carrie Underwood, Twenty One Pilots, Ry Cooder, Fiona Apple and beyond.
Genelec Monitors Chosen for PNDA Studios in Haddonfield, NJ
“The 8361s give me the sound, the low end, that I need to mix pop and R&B records without the need for a sub. I can turn them up and not lose the sound quality. They’re the perfect speakers for what I do. And they look great.”
Now, the famous London facility is leading the way forward again, this time with a top-to-bottom rebuild of its historic Studio 4 into a Gold Standard space for immersive mixing, complete with a scalable 9.1.4 monitoring solution based around Genelec’s ‘The Ones’ Smart Active Monitor family.
RAK had been having creative and commercial discussions about building an immersive space for a number of years, with Studio 4 always earmarked for the project. However, it was clear that flexibility needed to be a key factor so it could adapt to any project that came through the door. The space had to be a state-of-the-art immersive studio while also offering a world-class stereo experience, creating the multi-functional room that RAK needed.
“In a project like this, you either do it properly, or you don’t do it at all,” states Emma Townsend, Studio Manager at RAK. “We just had to tear the whole thing down and start from an empty shell.”
The decision to rebuild rather than retrofit gave RAK the opportunity to work out exactly what it wanted to achieve with the space, a process it went through with the support of Level Acoustic Design for the acoustic design and Studio Creations for the build. “From the get-go we knew this could be more than just an Atmos room,” explains Andy Leese, RAK’s General Manager. “We wanted a room that was a master of all trades, so that you could do Atmos or stereo mixing, or you could sit in there to have a writing session and collaborate. We wanted it to be a really nice place to spend time.”
Photo credit: Bennie Curnow
“From a design perspective we worked with the RAK team to balance a number of objectives,” adds Matt Ward, Technical Manager at Level Acoustic Design. “Obviously, the internal room acoustic had to be world class. We needed to dramatically improve the isolation, both from the street outside and to/from the accommodation above – which could be hosting producers and artists working in the other studios within the facility. Lastly, the room needed to feel like part of RAK, both in aesthetic and vibe, maintaining the natural daylight of the windows opening out onto Chalbert Street, and providing connection to the other studios.”
Finding the right equipment to achieve its vision led RAK to embark on a thorough due-diligence process. The studio’s engineering team spent time in various different rooms listening to monitors from every major brand, before reaching a unanimous decision to choose Genelec.
“We invited the entire engineering team to our London Experience Centre,” recalls Andy Bensley, Regional Business Development Manager at Genelec. “They were quite taken with some of the technology that’s inherent in The Ones – things like the very consistent and controlled dispersion characteristics, wide stereo imaging and the LF extension of the W371 adaptive woofer systems. Our ethos matched theirs in terms of how they envisaged working in this new format.”
The resulting solution features nine 8361 three-way coaxial monitors in the front and surround positions, with three W371 woofer systems extending the low frequency LCR performance. Four 8351s serve as the height channels, with a pair of 7380 subwoofers handling system LF duties. GLM software was employed for the main system calibration, taking care of in-room frequency response compensation, distance delay and level alignment. “The precision of Level Acoustic’s design and Studio Creation’s build provided the ideal foundation for the system to be calibrated,” says Bensley. “From the initial GLM measurements we were incredibly happy with the setup, and it gave us a fantastic starting point to refine the performance and ultimately deliver a Gold Standard immersive system.”
In addition to the Genelec monitors, Studio 4 runs Pro Tools via Avid MTRX and HDX 3 plus S1 control surfaces, and also features a Grace Design m908 immersive monitor controller and the classic selection of outboard that you would expect from RAK.
With the project complete, Studio 4 is now a cutting-edge space that still fits with the aesthetic of RAK while also allowing it to offer artists new creative possibilities. “We already had three absolutely excellent tracking rooms, but different clients prefer different rooms for different things. The one thing that we were missing was a really good listening, writing and mixing room, and that’s what we’ve got now,” reflects Townsend. “Everyone who’s been in there so far is really happy with the sound of the room. It sounds great.”
“We couldn’t be more delighted with how Studio Creations have realised the design, and how the Genelec monitoring system and room interact,” reflects Ward. “The point source design and close-to-ideal impulse response of The Ones series, managed with GLM, gives incredible three-dimensional imaging and detailed articulation to the Atmos array, and the W371 woofers provide a smooth and clear low frequency extension way down below 20 Hz.”
“We wanted to be able to represent all the diversity of everything that goes on at RAK, and it dovetails so beautifully into all the things we’ve got planned in the future,” concludes Leese. “It sounds truly amazing, and I think it’s going to sound better over time when the room beds in. We’re so pleased about how it’s all come out. The look of it, the feel and the location itself of the room in the building was always really lovely – and now it’s even better because the internals are just so well done.”
The recent renovation of JMC Academy’s Sydney campus has seen two of its studios equipped with Genelec Smart Active Monitoring solutions. The new studios needed to give JMC’s students the experience of working with high-end professional equipment while also providing the longevity required by educational institutions.
JMC’s Sydney campus studios were fully redesigned from the ground up by architect Shaun Carter and interior designer Julie Niass, from architectural firm Carter Williamson. The renovation required the multifunction Studio A and the adjacent Studio C to have both surround and stereo monitoring configurations. Acoustic engineer Glenn Leembruggen of Acoustic Directions specified Genelec’s ‘The Ones’ series for the studio redesign and, with the help of Genelec’s Australian distributor Studio Connections, was able to deliver a quality design solution.
being able to automatically calibrate the monitor to sound neutral within any given room is a real benefit.
Having previously relied on a pair of 20-year-old 1034As in Studio A, JMC was aware of Genelec’s longevity. Centring around a 48 channel SSL Duality Console, the design team opted for 8361A monitors to be soffit-mounted into the wall in the LCR positions, with a pair of 8351Bs straddling the console bridge as stereo nearfields. Supporting these are 8340As for the rears and a 7360A for the sub, resulting in a fully independent 5.1 surround system. “For students to work on post-production video mixes or record a full band, Genelec monitors offer an amazing sonic performance,” says Paul Newcomb, Business Development Manager at Studio Connections.
Studio C was ultimately fitted out with a pair of Genelec 8351Bs, also seamlessly soffit-mounted into the wall and reproducing every subtle nuance of the music being heard in incredible detail. “The music seemed to float mid-air like a transparent three-dimensional puzzle,” adds Newcomb. “Robust and durable, they were able to perform at their breath-taking best and sounded fantastic.”
Due to the diversity of mixes and applications in each studio, the design team calibrated the entire installation with Genelec’s GLM loudspeaker management software, fully optimising every monitor for the room and allowing users to switch between monitors and maintain precise control of listening levels in each studio. “GLM always plays a major role in the sound of the monitors,” Newcomb explains. “Each space is different, and being able to automatically calibrate the monitor to sound neutral within any given room is a real benefit. The flexibility to set up and store groups, settings and listening positions is extraordinary – Genelec is definitely in a class of its own with this technology.”
JMC have provided their students with a great opportunity to learn their craft using monitors which tell the truth, sonically.
The final result has impressed the team at JMC as they’re now able to offer a space that audio engineers and producers are happy to work in. The studios boast an inspiring, world-class atmosphere, allowing students to access real-world experiences of audio engineering and production during their training.
“For students, facilities like JMC Academy are often the first time they get to experience a professional recording environment,” Newcomb concludes. “JMC have provided them with a great opportunity to learn their craft using monitors which tell the truth, sonically. We’re confident that their experience will be a positive one and that working with Genelec will become a partnership that they can trust in for many years to come.”
We’re certainly more accustomed to seeing Genelec’s flagship Smart Active Monitor range, The Ones, gracing high end production studios. The list of accolades from producers and musicians worldwide who appreciate the extraordinary imaging, accuracy and transparency of the world’s most compact three-way studio monitors, is extensive to say the least. However, there is no reason that a private residence cannot benefit from the same levels of performance as a professional studio — and that is exactly what Jarno Vihonen decided for his Joensuu home in eastern Finland.
Jarno — a self-confessed audiophile — is no stranger to Genelec, having used them in his living room for years to enhance his movie-watching and gaming experience.
“A plethora of creators, from musicians to sound designers for video games use Genelec loudspeakers as the tools of their trade,” he explains. “Above all, I want to recreate that sound in my home environment and hear their work exactly as they intended it to sound. Genelec’s GLM calibration software works to correct the worst humps and slopes in frequency response that come with the peculiar shape of my listening space."
“My initial setup was a 5.1 configuration implemented with compact 8020B loudspeakers and a 7050B subwoofer,” he continues. “As living room setups go, that was pretty advanced for its time, although once The Ones were released, there was no question of me not investing — I upgraded to my first Ones setup with the 8351As in the L-C-R positions, plus 8340A two-ways as rears. Size-wise it worked perfectly for my living room space, and in terms of audio reproduction, it was a class above. However, when I met Pasi Pönkkä from Genelec through one of their ‘Calibration Tours’ he made it sound even better.”
I want to recreate sound in my home environment and hear their work exactly as they intended it to sound.
Genelec offers regular Calibration Tours in Finland for which customers can register online and explain their Genelec Smart Active Monitoring setup. A Genelec specialist then arranges a time to visit each customer to discuss loudspeaker placement and the room’s acoustics, before using their deep knowledge and extensive experience to help the customer perform some fine-tuning of their setup. “I found talking to Pasi about my setup, as well as others that he had worked on, very insightful,” recalls Jarno. “He was obviously very experienced in working with clients to get the most out of their systems in a variety of spaces, from home setups using The Ones, to professional studios for top recording artists."
“Pasi’s manual fine-tuning of the system’s GLM calibration settings yielded improved results over my own purely automated calibration, plus I also got some pointers as to how I might tackle some of the challenges that my asymmetric space presented.”
“Jarno’s unusually shaped space definitely warranted some special attention when it came to calibration,” agrees Pasi. “GLM’s AutoCal automatic calibration algorithm has been a fantastic tool for the majority of circumstances but when there are particular anomalies to overcome, as in this instance, a bit of manual tweaking can make a real difference. It also happens that some customers in home environments prefer a bit more ‘air’ or ‘flavour’ in the tone rather than a completely flat calibration — and so some subtle manual fine-tuning can also help in this situation. But, the new GLM 4.1 update — which features the next-generation AutoCal 2 algorithm — does a lot of this work automatically, so customers should find that there is generally much less fine tuning required now after the initial AutoCal calibration.”
GLM’s new, next-generation AUTOCAL 2 algorithm has contributed tremendously to the end result.
After the Calibration Tour, as Genelec expanded The Ones range with new models plus an upgrade to the 8351A, Jarno was tempted again, specifically to upgrade his front row of 8351A loudspeakers. “I had initially thought about upgrading to the same size of speaker, going from the 8351A to the 8351B which offered increased SPL, greater LF extension and additional room compensation controls. But ultimately, I settled on the larger, more powerful flagship 8361A which promised the ultimate listening experience. My aim was also to future-proof my setup in case I have the opportunity to build a bespoke space for an immersive system with Dolby Atmos and the like, in the future.”
In upgrading to the 8361As, Jarno also decided to tackle some of the acoustic challenges inherent in his unusually shaped listening space which features a double height ceiling in certain areas. All the speakers were repositioned, including his recently upgraded surround speakers (now 8341As) and the 7380A subwoofer. He also added pleated curtains to dampen reflected sound from some of the bare spaces in the living room, as well as some cleverly concealed acoustic panels to help with reverberant sound.
So, now that the new setup has ‘bedded in’, how does Jarno feel about the results? “At first glance, I thought the 8361As were comically large — any pictures of them don’t really do the size justice,” he says with a grin. “However, I’m used to it now so it’s less of a shock!"
“When it comes to the listening experience, I’m really enjoying it; the new speakers add a very substantial layer of nuance, especially in the lower frequencies. I’d liken the difference to running the 8351As uncalibrated versus calibrated — the low end was always there, but when uncalibrated it could sound overbearing in my space. I think beyond the upgrade in hardware (as well as the physical size of the speakers over what I had previously), the availability of more nuanced calibration controls on the 8361A model, and GLM’s new AutoCal 2 calibration algorithm, have contributed tremendously to the end result."
“Also, in switching over to the larger speaker, I’ve found my subwoofer doing far less of the heavy lifting, since I’m no longer passing the lower frequencies from the main speakers to it. As such, it’s now free to exclusively handle LF when playing surround media like movies and games, which also makes a considerable difference. I’m really loving what we’ve achieved here, it’s everything I’d ever hoped it would be.”
Thrilled as he is with the current setup, Jarno’s ambitions don’t stop there: his aim is to expand the setup further with overhead speakers for an immersive setup. “Video game developers are slowly but surely moving on from traditional surround sound to adopting Dolby Atmos for their next-generation titles. That’s my goal for future upgrades — although it’s one that I’ll probably put off until I have a new space to work with, though!”
When Fracchia was looking to move away from his previous 2.1 system at his mastering studio to full range monitors, Genelec was not originally a brand he had considered. However, having researched the technology behind The Ones and then hearing the monitors in action for himself, he was convinced that these would provide the perfect solution to meet his needs.
“My background is in live sound, so I know the advantage that coaxial systems bring to stage monitors, and reading all the positive comments about The Ones intrigued me,” recalls Fracchia. “When I was able to hear them at the CAPER show in Buenos Aires I immediately wanted to hear more.”
The stereo image was just amazing, and I didn’t need to listen to anything else to make a decision. All the information I needed was there.
Genelec’s local distributor Equaphon agreed to set up a demo of the 8351s at Fracchia’s studio so he could get a clearer picture of the capabilities of The Ones range. “Listening to the 8351s in my studio just made me smile,” says Fracchia. “The stereo image was just amazing, and I didn’t need to listen to anything else to make a decision. All the information I needed was there.”
While the 8351s were almost perfect, there was one issue. Fracchia works mostly with urban music and needed his monitors to reproduce the lowest frequencies at high levels, to remove the need for a sub. The 8351 didn’t provide quite enough low end for Fracchia both in terms of frequency range and SPL. As an alternative, the Equaphon team suggested the flagship 8361s. Having already heard the 8351s, Fracchia knew that the technical specs of the 8361s would be able to solve the minor issues he had, and agreed with Equaphon’s proposed solution, keeping the 8351s at his studio until the 8361s arrived.
The acoustic treatment that is already installed at the studio meant that Fracchia was less concerned with the calibration of the monitors. However, he has found the GLM loudspeaker management software to be a very useful tool. Since the mastering process relies on monitoring at consistent and well-defined levels, he is making use of GLM’s powerful monitor control features. “Controlling volume is an essential part of my work,” he explains. “So I connect a microphone to GLM so that I can get a real-time SPL reading of my listening level.”
The extra headroom in the low frequencies, the pristine stereo image and the wider sweet spot all provide clear improvements to my mastering work.
Reflecting on what his new monitoring solution has brought him, Fracchia is clearly very happy with his decision to invest in the 8361s. “The extra headroom in the low frequencies, the pristine stereo image and the wider sweet spot all provide clear improvements to my mastering work,” he states. “I am now able to perceive even 1 dB of difference at any frequency, and I can now work at high levels without distortion.”
The 1,700-square-foot studio continued a winning streak for subsequent owners and artists right through its acquisition, in 2015, by Matthew DeFreitas, who renamed it Bay Eight after an acoustical update by acoustician Ross Alexander. Most recently, the studio took another leap forward with the purchase of a pair of Genelec 8361A “The Ones” Smart Active Monitors™ in white. These two-way speakers include Genelec’s acclaimed GLM™ calibration software, which allowed DeFreitas to create distinct, highly accurate monitoring zones for mixers seated at Studio A’s SSL AWS 900+ console or producers seated on the couch at the mix room’s producer’s desk island.
The 8361s, which were purchased through Mike Harris at Harris Audio Systems in Miami, have taken what was already a great mix room to a completely new level, says DeFreitas. “We were looking to change things up a little, and people had been telling me how good the Genelecs sound,” he says. “So we went for the 8361s, and we demoed them for two weeks. We were getting great response from everyone who heard them, and the GLM software added a lot of flexibility to the studio’s workflow, so we went for it.”
As good as the 8361s sound, they also look great, which is no small matter in a design capital like Miami. “They look very cool — the white design option was a great move on Genelec’s part,” he says, noting how well they pair aesthetically with the studio’s vintage-modern interior, which fuses the studio’s history with modern design elements such as Aztec and contemporary-inspired accents, and custom hand-painted murals by local Miami artists Lola Blu, Ariel Cruz and Weiyi Fan. “They have the perfect look for Miami. And the perfect sound.”
He credits his versatility in part to his history as a bass player: “Being a bassist first, I think, gave me an advantage in my work. It trained my ears in a particular way, to hear the big picture, support the ensemble, listen to the drums and singer, and when to trim the fat, so to speak. And I think it also got me thinking in terms across genres, whether it’s jazz, rock, R&B, or something else. Not every producer is an instrumentalist first, but for me I think it’s shaped the way I approach this work, and it’s led to some great projects and successes in my career.” Recently his path led to a relocation from L.A. (where he was based for over 15 years) to Gallatin, TN – just north of Nashville, where he now lives and works in a 5000-square-foot state-of-the-art studio. And a key component of his new setup is his pair of W371A Smart Active Woofer Systems and 8361A Smart Active Monitors™ from Genelec, which he sourced through Vintage King in Nashville.
He recalls, “I had made the decision to move to the Nashville area, but the original plan was to move into a small setup where I could do just some pre-production work but do the real work at Nashville’s great studios. But this five-acre property came up in Gallatin, and I couldn’t really turn it down! Its previous owner built it, and he was a studio designer by trade. It’s a gorgeous space. And then tragically the pandemic hit, but I’m now fortunate to have a fully-decked-out space to call my own. I often work with a dedicated tracking engineer, and this setup is great for that. It’s my dream scenario.”
Elizondo has been a Genelec user for years, having previously relied on a pair of 1031’s for much of his work. So when he reached out to a trusted friend who has his finger on the pulse of the latest and greatest audio products, and the friend recommended Genelec 8361A monitors and the W371A systems for the new space, Elizondo did not hesitate to commit. “I ordered them right away, ‘sight-unheard,’” he laughs.
Other gear at the new space includes an SSL 4056 E/G console, a Neve BCM10, an Ampex MM1000 tape machine, an eight-track Scully 280B tape machine and an Endless Analog CLASP tape-to-digital converter. And the Genelecs fit right in. He recalls, “Initially, I figured the Genelec 8361A’s and the W371A’s would be my ‘mains,’ and I’d rely on a different set as nearfields, but I’ve ended up using the Genelecs for both applications. I remember when we got the monitors set up, and I brought up some of my go-to test mixes and favorite albums to listen to, and I just instantly felt like I was immersed in this music. The low end is important to me, and the low end felt punchy and defined and not at all muddy – I knew that what I was hearing was totally accurate. I kept on pulling up more records, trying to find some fault with my new Genelec five-way system, but there wasn’t any fault to be found. After several hours listening to different records, everything just felt great. And I recognized the feeling in terms of continuity from my previous Genelecs – this is definitely part of that heritage, but the next generation of it.”
Elizondo is particularly fond of Genelec’s GLM software and the AutoCal protocol, which automatically calibrates the monitors for a room and allows for multiple adjustable sweet spots as presets. “Currently I have three sweet spots set up in the control room that I can toggle between – one for my main position, one at the client sofa behind me, and one at a sidecar workstation, where I do some programming work on another rig at the side of the room. I can push a button, and it feels like the Genelecs are right in front of me no matter where I’m positioned. It’s a game changer. And with clients, to be able give them the sweet spot where they’re already seated – that can really help keep the flow of ideas going, rather than stopping everything to say, ‘hey, come sit in my chair and hear what I’m hearing.’ AutoCal is like magic.”
And he’s been putting the new setup to good use, with new projects from Lake Street Dive and Twenty One Pilots in the works, as well as a major country artist. “I try to put a high level of polish into everything I work on, so even if it’s at the pre-production stage of a project, it can sound like a final mix when it leaves my facility. The combination of the Genelec 8361A’s and the W371A’s really let me apply that level of professionalism to this music, so my engineer and I know that what we hear is accurate and will translate across different setups and speaker rigs and car stereos. I’m proud to be able to offer that level of detail in what I do, and Genelec helps make it happen.”
In many ways, the fundamentals of music production have not changed: writing a song, then going into a recording studio with an engineer and a producer and putting it all together. On the other hand, Tyler Costantino — TyCo, to his friends and colleagues — and his PNDA Studios, in Haddonfield, NJ, just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, are emblematic of how music production has evolved with the rise of social media. The Full Sail University graduate and his partner, Kate Nece, who does video editing, have some of what would be considered traditional music clients, including several successful singer-songwriters. But much of PNDA’s success is based around TyCo’s astute understanding of how music and social media intertwine.
He produces and also manages several high-profile influencers — creatives whose talents are often less traditional but no less impactful on a digital landscape. They include Mark Thomas, aka Duhitzmark, who boasts millions of followers and was one of the first and biggest stars on the social media app Musical.ly (later merged with the wildly popular app TikTok), Nashville country/pop artist Dalton Mauldin, and JJ Hannon, whose Instagram account has 1.3 million followers. Tyco, knowing the influencer space on all social media platforms, has also used TikTok to market artists for major record labels.
Collectively, PNDA’s network of influencers has over 500 million followers and has millions of fans on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
TyCo’s studio is equally unconventional. A console was kept in place for a while after it was opened nearly five years ago, mainly as a reference point for new clients who might have been expecting a more typical studio environment. But the facility’s black & white design aesthetic and its spare, modernistic vibe reflect how music production has moved into an almost post-technological, software-driven space – the console wasn’t being used, so it was an easy decision to sell it to a more conventional studio space that would put it to great use. But beneath its minimalistic sheen, PNDA Studios is built to let creativity flourish, to let those who work there hear what needs to be heard, just as the best classic studios of the last century were able to. So the console may be gone, but one traditional element of elite studios cannot be sacrificed: state-of-the-art studio monitoring.
That’s where Genelec comes in. TyCo first heard Genelec 1031s as a student at Full Sail. “I fell in love with them immediately,” he recalls. “When it came time for my first studio, which was more traditional, I went with the 8050s. I stayed with those for eight years.” For the latest iteration of his workspace, TyCo continued with Genelec, but this time moved on to the 8361A 3-Way Coaxial Smart Active Studio Monitors – the largest system in Genelec’s “The Ones” series.
And while they offered him the same accuracy and authenticity that Genelec is revered for (as well as Genelec’s Smart Active Monitoring technology and GLM calibration software that adapts itself to the room), this generation of Genelec also satisfied his design-aesthetic needs, with a stark white-and-black motif that perfectly matches the rest of the studio. “I literally built this studio around these speakers, both in terms of monitoring and in terms of the look,” he says. “The 8361s give me the sound, the low end, that I need to mix pop and R&B records without the need for a sub. I can turn them up and not lose the sound quality. They’re the perfect speakers for what I do. And they look great.”
“It’s hard to find any reason to criticise them”
Julian Rodgers, Pro Tools Expert
Pro Tools Expert - 8361A Review
“Absolutely stunning overall performance”
Bob Thomas, Sound On Sound