Genelec’s mission has always been to design audio monitoring solutions that help customers create truthful and accurate audio mixes that consistently translate to whatever playback device the listener chooses.
These days that challenge has been heightened since content is now created in such a wide range of environments, some of them acoustically unpredictable. The pandemic saw a big increase in remote working, with many ad hoc production environments quickly springing up, but with the same pressure to create content that translates reliably. So, while flexible working may seem more liberating, it can limit the creative and productive process by encouraging poor audio mixes.
In response to this challenge, at IBC in September, Genelec launched its UNIO audio monitoring platform, which brings together all the benefits of its Smart Active Monitors, GLM calibration software and Aural ID headphone technology — creating seamless integration between professional in-room loudspeaker and headphone monitoring. So, wherever the user chooses to work, they can rely on Genelec loudspeaker monitoring that is automatically calibrated for the room, plus accurate, personalized professional headphone monitoring. Depending on their situation, they can then smoothly switch between loudspeakers and headphones with great translation between them, and no interruption in workflow.
Each Smart Active Monitor has advanced internal DSP circuitry that tightly integrates with GLM software. GLM’s reference microphone kit analyzes the user’s acoustic environment, after which GLM optimizes each monitor and subwoofer for level, distance delay, subwoofer crossover phase and room response equalization, with the option of further fine-tuning. By minimizing the room’s influence on the sound, Smart Active Monitors deliver an unrivaled reference, with excellent translation.
For headphone users, Aural ID employs simple smartphone video footage supplied by the user to analyze how their head, external ear and upper body affect and color the audio arriving from all directions. This effect is unique for every individual and is called the Head-Related Transfer Function. Aural ID then models the user’s own head and upper torso features to calculate their personal HRTF. This information enables precise audio rendering in any direction within the Aural ID plugin. This creates headphone listening with a natural sense of imaging modeled on in-room loudspeaker monitoring, enabling more reliable headphone mixing decisions than ever before.
Tactile hardware control
Right at the heart of UNIO is the brand new 9320A Reference Controller, an intuitive tactile desktop device that integrates all these technologies. With analog, AES/EBU and USB connectivity, the 9320A offers monitor control and management of multiple Smart Active Monitoring systems, and its reference-grade headphone output features excellent linearity and dynamic range, allowing users to combine their choice of professional quality headphones with the Aural ID plugin.
In conclusion, to be able to switch instantly between well-calibrated in-room and headphone monitoring without any interruption in workflow is crucial in today’s production environments. Genelec firmly believes that UNIO is the key to creating a truly next-generation reference quality monitoring system.
The author is public relations director for Genelec.