Due to an increase in demand for Dolby Atmos mixes, Sydney’s Forbes Street Studios have converted their main studio into an immersive mixing room. Owned by Universal Music, the studio has hosted artists such as Elton John, Ocean Alley, Billie Eilish, Shawn Mendes, and Keith Urban since its opening in 2016. Working alongside acoustic consultants Sound Spaces, the studio has now kitted out its main room with a 9.1.4 Genelec Smart Active Monitoring system, aiming to become Australia’s go-to Atmos music mixing destination.
The newly installed system comprises thirteen 8351B three-way monitors, along with a 7382A subwoofer, which Studio Manager Anthony Garvin say were chosen not only for their sound, but also their ability to meet Dolby’s SPL requirements despite their compact form factor. The system was initially calibrated using Genelec’s GLM-4 loudspeaker management software, which is now also being used to power the system up and down alongside the studio computer, and provide remote control over the settings of each monitoring channel. The studio also decided to use identical speaker models for each channel, including the surround and height channels, in an effort to maintain an accurate balance and avoid sounds being “thinned out” when pushed to the edges of an immersive mix.
Since the install, the studio have completed a range of immersive projects for clients such as Vera Blue, BENEE, Lee Kernaghan, Hilltop Hoods, Meg Mac and Dragon, and Havana Brown, in addition to a selection of adverts and trailers. The system has proved to be a hit with the studio’s mixers, with Mix Engineer Callum Howell saying: "I can’t believe how well things translate from our system onto other playback mediums, it’s quite remarkable. It’s a big weight off your shoulders to know that the monitoring has your back when you’re working on a new system in a new format."