null Mexico’s Televisa Univision upgrades to immersive with Genelec

Mexico’s Televisa Univision upgrades to immersive with Genelec

Studio 7 of Televisa’s San Angel facility chooses 7.1.4 Smart Active Monitoring.

Televisa Univision has a history of keeping a keen eye on the cutting-edge standards expected by its global audience. The latest example of this has seen the broadcaster move to immersive audio production, with Genelec Smart Active Monitors and GLM calibration software both playing key roles in the successful upgrade.

Televisa’s studio complex in San Angel is one of two in Mexico City, alongside the Chapultepec facilities and a third in Santa Fe, that perfectly encapsulates this philosophy – with all three locations being led by Engineer Elias Rodríguez, Managing Director of TV and Operations. The San Angel complex was chosen as the perfect location for a new 7.1.4 room for immersive mixing and mastering, since it records on average 15 soap operas and television series every year, and is home to 16 digital studios, all capable of 4K production, and more than 20 editing rooms for video in HD and 4K. There are also 13 sound design and audio post-production rooms, as well as six rooms for recording, editing and foley. The addition of immersive production came from commercial demands: “The world expects content with this format,” states Rafael Alfaro, co-ordinator of audio engineering and projects at Televisa. “The most important TV production companies like Televisa Univision must have series that are Atmos-ready.”

Genelec for me is synonymous with quality and above all reliability.

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Studio 7 is the largest post-production room at the San Angel facility and proved to be the best space to convert. It had previously been a 5.1 room and it was the proportions that led the in-house installation team, working closely with Genelec’s Miguel Dominguez and local distribution partner VARI, to select it for the upgrade.

Televisa has been a Genelec user for more than 20 years, first relying on the much-loved 1031 and 1032 two-way monitors before upgrading to Smart Active Monitoring (SAM) technology, including ‘The Ones’ family of three-way coaxial models. “We began using Genelec monitors around the year 2000,” recalls Alfaro. “We compared the quality of a lot of brands and we considered Genelec to be the best for our purposes.”

Today, if you walk around the post-production facility at San Angel, you will find around 200 Genelec monitors populating the various editing suites, with 8351 coaxial monitors a common sight in the 5.1 rooms. “Working with Genelec in all our control room facilities allows us to make sure that each recording has the best sound quality,” says Alfaro. “It doesn’t matter which room you finalise the mix in, because all of them use the same brand.”

GLM was key to fixing the challenges we faced in the room.

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To upgrade to 7.1.4, Studio 7 has been equipped with seven slimline 1238 three-way monitors in the surround positions, comprising the original five 1238CF models and two new 1238DFs. Four of Televisa’s existing 8351A coaxial three-way monitors were brought into the room to provide the height channels, with the original pair of 7271A subwoofers handling the low frequencies. “These were the right monitors for us in terms of the room size, the quality of the monitors and the supporting technology,” states Alfaro.

Key amongst this supporting technology was GLM calibration software. “GLM was key to fixing the challenges we faced in the room,” recalls Alfaro. “We used it to analyse, compare and make the adjustments to get the best response with the room automatically. It’s a marvellous piece of software, and the additional ability to perform manual fixes makes it even better.”

With Studio 7 up and running for immersive production, Raul Oropeza, Audio Engineering Manager at the facility considers the upgrade a success. “When the 7.1.4 format arrived we had no hesitation in opting for a comprehensive Genelec monitoring system,” he reflects. “We are very satisfied with the result obtained with the integration of this system and the precision of the GLM calibration settings in terms of phase, delay, EQ and SPL. They are extremely precise, which in particular has allowed me to make accurate decisions in my mixing and mastering processes without any problem.”

While Studio 7 was the first space to get the immersive treatment, it will not be the last. The current plan is to upgrade most of the facility’s 5.1 rooms to 5.1.4 or 7.1.4. “Our plan for this year and the next is to continue with the creation of new content in 4K HDR and Atmos sound. So we’re definitely planning to add more monitors to the audio rooms!” concludes Alfaro.

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