XD Inc. creates an immersive environment for game audio with Genelec
The gaming company, best known for selling over 2 million copies of ‘Human: Fall Flat in China’ within a week of launch, has opted for Genelec Smart Active Monitors in each of these spaces to deliver a pristine audio experience that helps the developers understand the environment that they are creating.
We found that not only does its smart calibration system provide an enormous advantage, the Genelec brand also has a fantastic reputation in the industry.
“In the early stages of the project planning, we decided to go with the Dolby Atmos monitoring system, so that both production and post production could be carried out,” stated Fang Wan, Audio Director of XD Inc. "After conducting extensive research on similar products, we opted for the Genelec system. We found that not only does its smart calibration system provide an enormous advantage, the Genelec brand also has a fantastic reputation in the industry.”
While Suzhou Pineapple Acoustic Engineering Co., Ltd, designed the acoustics for the Dolby Atmos mixing room and editing suites, the system integration and installation was handled by MusicKing (Shanghai) Cultural Development Co., Ltd. All three editing suites are equipped with 8330 nearfield monitors. For the immersive room, the designers chose the three-way coaxial 8351s for the LCR positions, and 8330s for the surround and overhead channels - with a 7360 subwoofer delivering the lower frequencies.
The entire system has been finely calibrated to produce the most accurate sounds for us to be able to create with confidence.
The new audio production spaces have already proven to be advantageous to XD Inc., providing the 20-person team with the space and technology to research and create the right audio for the games they are working on. The facility has received unanimous praise from the entire audio team, with the monitors proving particularly popular.
“The soundfield is immersive and the positioning is accurate,” reflected Fang Wan on the mixing space. “In addition, it has great resolution and sufficient detail. The entire system has been finely calibrated to produce the most accurate sounds for us to be able to create with confidence.”
Genelec monitors deliver high-end music production for Mondosonic Studios
To ensure he achieved the best possible results with his studio, Krrishna turned to Genelec Smart Active Monitoring for the perfect full range solution.
“I have a sound of my own, so each gear selection is based on that particular sound and workflow,” explains Krrishna, discussing the racks of outboard equipment in the studio. “Investing in all of that advanced gear without a great sounding room would have been a failure, so I got to work. It took more than three years to develop my studio’s console room and recording hall. I designed the rooms in ‘golden ratios’ myself and I’m quite happy about the sound I’m getting there now.”
The 600-sq-ft mixing space required monitors which could excel in both coverage and sound quality. Krrishna trialled 10 to 15 monitor speakers to try and find the correct solution for the space, and as part of this process spoke to the experts at Sound Team – a company from which he has bought a large amount of equipment over the last few years.
It’s punchy, wide sounding, with great translation and offers an unbelievable accuracy in the low end.
“Varun spoke to me around mid-2019 about setting up this new room and we discussed a few Genelec monitor options to consider,” recalls Sound Team’s Shiv Sood. “We finally locked on the 1238DF with the 7380A subwoofer. Varun was looking at a high powered three-way active monitor but didn’t want to flush mount the monitors. The 1238DF was perfect as its cabinet depth is around 10 inches, and coupled with the 7380A makes a perfect full range monitoring solution.”
“I couldn’t be happier about what it delivers,” adds Krrishna. “It’s punchy, wide sounding, with great translation and offers an unbelievable accuracy in the low end.”
Genelec made my mixes much greater by providing hyper-detailed monitoring.
Tuning the space saw Genelec Loudspeaker Manager (GLM) software technology put to use. “I recollect that prior to ordering the system, Varun had questions about calibration, phase alignment, level matching and so on,” notes Sood. “As a solution provider you can so confidently explain to him how GLM effectively helps sort all these issues out, and provides the ability to set up all of this even by himself. I believe the sonic experience customers are getting is because GLM really plays a central part in the loudspeaker performance coming together.” Krrishna agrees, describing the GLM integration as “flawless”.
The new monitor setup is something that Krrishna is clearly very happy with. “Genelec made my mixes much greater by providing hyper-detailed monitoring,” he states. “I thank my friend Shiv from Sound Team, who was a great help in choosing and getting the right Genelec speakers for my room.”
The BossHoss find the right mix with Genelec 8341s
The Berlinbased seven piece band previously used Genelec monitors in hired studios and their own editing bay, leaving them eager to find out what the brand could do for their mix room.
The BossHoss formed in 2004, and the self-proclaimed Country Trash Punk Rockers have released 10 studio albums to date and show no signs of slowing down. When heading into the recording sessions for their slated 2021 release, they turned to German audio supplier SMM for advice on how to improve the sessions.
The stereo image is second to none – really precise, accurate and exactly what we needed.
“When working on a new album, we always like to try out new equipment to drive creativity,” explains BossHoss guitarist, songwriter and producer Sascha Vollmer. “A friend of mine from SMM recommended I give Genelec a try and sure enough, when I was introduced to the 8341s, I was instantly hooked.”
The band are now using a single pair of 8341s in a stereo configuration. “Since we have installed the 8341s, we don’t use our midfield speakers anymore,” Vollmer explains. “The stereo image is second to none – really precise, accurate and exactly what we needed.”
One of the major benefits of this new monitoring system has been the use of GLM (Genelec Loudspeaker Manager) software. Vollmer has been particularly impressed with GLM and the ability to auto-calibrate the 8341 setup to suit the band’s ever-changing recording environment. “Having the freedom to adapt with the GLM application was ideal for us as we are often having to change furniture as well as instruments hanging on the walls,” Vollmer continues. “GLM gave us flexibility as well as quick and easy configuration if we wanted to switch rooms.”
The new album was mixed with the Genelec system and I realised that’s the mix I’m most proud of.
Part of ‘The Ones’ range of three-way coaxial, ultimate point source monitors, the 8341s deliver precision reference performance. The Ones’ design provides extraordinary imaging, extended frequency response, controlled directivity and fatigue-free listening – even on long sessions.
Vollmer also appreciates the heightened level of detail in his mixes: “Sometimes when we’re listening back to each song, we realise that we have to add extra elements. We probably wouldn’t have picked up on that type of detail with any previous monitor. That’s why we want to continue to use Genelec for future recordings and mixing sessions – we don’t want to miss anything else.”
He concludes: “Just recently, I had a long car ride and listened through our last three to four albums. The new album was mixed with the Genelec system and I realised that’s the mix I’m most proud of – it just translated so perfectly. Genelec has become an essential part of our studio.”
Sound and Vision: In conversation with Hiroyuki Sawano
“As a young student, my first musical influence was the singer Aska. I was fascinated with his songs, and at that point I started to dream vaguely about a career in music. At middle school I started to listen to TM Network, and I particularly liked the band leader, Tetsuya Komuro - who had been writing for multiple projects, including movie scores. So that inspired me to start focusing more on composition.”
Emerging from music college, the young Hiroyuki started pitching himself for musical projects while absorbing influences from Ryuichi Sakamoto, Joe Hisaishi and Yoko Kanno, as well as international film composers such as Hans Zimmer and Danny Elfman.
Hiroyuki’s close relationship with the world of animation started with the Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn series, which established his credentials and led to other high profile anime projects including Attack on Titan and Guilty Crown.
Describing his approach to film scoring, Hiroyuki says “Basically, I set up a meeting and have a team to come up with a music menu, then discuss the direction with the director. According to this menu, I start composing in the DTM (Desktop Music) environment, finish up the main song representing the whole soundtrack, and then construct the other parts. In some cases I start by creating rhythm parts or a melody. The main theme or character theme always plays a significant role, so I strengthen that before starting anything else.”
Alongside his film projects, Hiroyuki always fostered a desire to work on vocal music too, so he created the [nZk] project to provide a vehicle for his own unique interpretation of pop.
“It always comes down to the idea that you still pursue what you feel is right with your sound. There were times when I looked at the singles chart and found that my song was not selling well enough, and I thought, ‘Well, I might have to write a J-Pop style song next time’, and got a little anxious. But even if you try, it's not always easy to sell, and I came to think that there's not much meaning to be able to sell in the first place. The most essential thing is whether you like the music I'm producing, and that is the music you have to reach out with, and that is something I ended up with when making the second [nZk] album, called 2V-ALK.”
My ideal speaker is something that excites me when I'm writing songs.
Hiroyuki’s relationship with Genelec began in 2010. Having seen Genelec ‘just about everywhere I worked,’ he invested in his own pair of 8040s for his home studio.
“My ideal speaker is something that excites me when I'm writing songs. I asked my friend for advice and was told, ‘Genelec is the one for you.’ Ever since then, I've loved my 8040s. But at the end of 2019, I switched to the 8341s from ‘The Ones’ series, which are known for their neutral sound. Honestly, I was a bit worried that they might sound flatter, but I found that the 8341s translate really well, with a clearer mid-range, and I like the way their top-end is more extended.”
The design, sound image and sound balance - Genelec meets all my criteria.
The 8341s work closely with the GLM loudspeaker manager software, which Hiroyuki is a big fan of. “I use GLM all the time. There are times when engineers come over to mix in my studio, and they say that the combination of the 8341s with GLM make it easier to produce a correct mix. It’s a very ‘engineer-oriented’ sound!”
Summing up his thoughts on the monitors, Hiroyuki concludes that Genelec provides “a sound that elevates me. The design, sound image and sound balance - Genelec meets all my criteria.”
For more information please visit www.sawanohiroyuki.com and www.sh-nzk.net.