Seoul Arts Center adds immersive audio capabilities with Genelec

The Seoul Arts Center Control Room

The Seoul Arts Center has incorporated immersive audio capabilities into its production environment with the help of a new Genelec Smart Active Monitoring solution. The goal was to be able to record the top-class classical performances at the venue, create audio content that would meet the demands of modern broadcast standards and prepare the venue for expected future requirements.

 “We have created an immersive audio production environment for the concert hall that allows us to record classical performances, create immersive audio content and be ready for UHD broadcast standards,” explains Wave Kim, Seoul Arts Center’s sound engineer. “Due to their seamless integration with our sound production and monitoring system and a redundant arrangement for swift analog-to-digital switching, Genelec monitors proved the perfect fit.”

The Seoul Arts Center opted for a 5.1.4 immersive system based on the control booth’s workflow and space utilization as it accommodates multiple production teams. “The 5.1.4 system was ideal because the extra surround speakers of a 7.1.4 system would have interfered with the movement of people entering and leaving the booth and the video production infrastructure,” explains Kim.

With the design decided, the Seoul Arts Center worked with local Genelec partner Sama Sound to select the right Smart Active Monitors to meet the requirements. The L-C-R and surround channels use 8341 three-way coaxial monitors with 8330 two-way models for the height channels as they met the weight restrictions for installation above the concert hall control booth. A 7370 subwoofer handles the low-frequency extension.

The seamless operation, well-balanced composition, and high-resolution mode have surpassed our expectations.

Wave Kim, Seoul Arts Center’s sound engineer

Genelec’s Smart Active Monitoring technology could easily integrate with the concert hall’s existing audio infrastructure, thanks to a combination of the digital I/O and the daisy chain connectivity that facilitated direct network connections.

The challenges

One of the major challenges for the project came from the physical size of the control booth. “In the design stage, we discovered that the booth roof is lower than the height suggested for overhead speakers,” recalls Kim. “Thus, it was challenging to choose suitable brackets and change the height and angle of the overhead speakers. However, we overcame the challenge quickly thanks to various K&M stands and their compatibility with Genelec speakers. In addition, it was not easy to fix and wire the overhead speakers due to the facility piping installed in the ceiling, but the high level of on-site technology and experience of Sama Sound enabled stable and clean construction.”

Sound engineer Wave Kim in the Seoul Arts Center Control Room

The concert hall’s control booth also required the flexibility to rearrange monitors and calibrate the system when changing the sound or video system infrastructures. By using GLM software, the team easily achieved consistent audio quality even after rearranging the monitors. “The instant multi-speaker layout tuning capabilities of GLM proved invaluable during the installation of the immersive audio system and interior construction of the control booth,” states Kim.

The Seoul Arts Center is thrilled with the results achieved through its partnership with Genelec and Sama Sound. It says the new system delivers a flawless and detailed audio experience within the prestigious concert hall, enabling accurate monitoring of top-class performances without any distortion. This perfectly fulfills the requirement for the immersive live recording of classical concerts and content production that meets international immersive audio standards.

“We are truly delighted with our achievements,” Kim concludes, “all thanks to Genelec. The seamless operation, well-balanced composition, and high-resolution mode have surpassed our expectations. We now have a monitoring solution that allows us to share the incredible performances from our world-class venue in a modern format that brings the full texture of the sound to a new audience.”

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