Montgomery County Community College, in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, offers a highly respected audio-production program. Leading to an Associate’s Degree, the college’s Sound Recording and Music Technology (SRT) program curriculum is a comprehensive approach to a successful career, and it includes an equally well-thought-out teaching/learning environment: a state-of-the-art studio/mixing suite designed by the industry-leading Walters-Storyk Design Group, opened in 2018. Key to making that space as sonically accurate as possible, as well as reflective of what students will find when they move forward into careers in professional facilities, is monitoring by Genelec.
Most recently, the studio has added immersive audio to its capabilities, with the implementation of a Dolby Atmos® immersive-sound system, installed by David Ivory (Director of the SRT program and a producer and GRAMMY®-nominated engineer) and Vinson Tomas (Studio Engineer/Tech Services), with an all-Genelec 7.1.4 monitoring array. Specifically, the horizontal array comprises seven Genelec 8351 Smart Active Monitors™ for L-C-R and surrounds, with LFE from a 7380A Smart Active Subwoofer™. There are four 8340A monitors attached to the ceiling above the mix position, acting as the overhead array, with a separate 7370A subwoofer providing LFE for those.
“I love Genelec, and always have,” says Ivory. “They’re not merely speakers – they’re true monitors, for you to monitor the sound in a specific and literal way. I’ve always been a fan and wherever I’ve worked, I’ve used Genelecs.” Ivory’s work includes stints as an independent producer and engineer at Philadelphia’s famed Sigma Sound, where he worked with artists including The Roots, Erykah Badu and Patti LaBelle. At Montgomery County Community College’s SRT, he has overseen both the program’s curriculum and the technology complement for the Blue Bell Campus’ Advanced Technology Center (ATC), which also features state-of-the-art electronic music and computer labs, all equipped with Genelec 8350A speakers in a white finish. The new Genelec immersive monitoring array, purchased through Sweetwater, was installed by Ivory and Vinson Tomas, Studio Manager, Tech Services.
But in addition to Genelec’s sonic accuracy, Ivory says its technology is equally compelling – specifically, the Genelec Loudspeaker Manager™ (GLM™) system, a sophisticated software platform coupled with Genelec's AutoCal™ calibration algorithm. The GLM software lets users manage levels, distance delays, and frequency balances of more than 80 networked speakers, all from a single, intuitive interface, while AutoCal automatically measures, analyzes, and adjusts speaker settings.
“For an immersive monitoring environment, GLM is invaluable,” he says. “The system can EQ itself and adjust volume automatically. To do that manually would require an additional card and lot of time and effort, which the GLM saves us, not to mention cost. To me, Genelec is the only way to do immersive sound — and the only way to teach it.”