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Kondás Ferenc of the Hungarian State Opera, pictured in the Friscay Studio. Photo credit: OperaCafé

The Friscay Studio features a Genelec 5.1 Smart Active Monitoring system. Photo credit: OperaCafé

The Friscay Studio live area. Photo credit: Berecz Valter

Exterior of Eiffel Art Studios. Photo credit: Rákossy Péter

Hungarian State Opear House Genelec case study


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Tel: (615) 662-1616


Hungarian State Opera selects Genelec monitors for new 5.1 studio

NATICK, MA, February 28, 2023 — Hungary’s largest cultural development project of the decade has seen the transformation of what was once the country’s largest indoor railway complex into the Eiffel Art Studios, the Hungarian State Opera’s new logistics and art center. At the heart of the transformation is Eiffel Hall, a space for workshops, rehearsals and a recording studio for the State Opera. And while the space pays tribute to both the 200-year history of Hungarian opera culture and the venue’s industrial past, it also highlights the best in modern sound technology, thanks to Genelec monitors.

The decision to build a recording studio was an unusual one for a venue like this, but the reasoning came from the devastating effects of Covid-19 on Budapest’s recording studios. It also gave the State Opera the opportunity to create exactly the space it needed, resulting in a colossal recording complex where changes could be made from any area.

“That’s why it was a great idea to make a studio of this unprecedented size in Hungary,” explains Kondás Ferenc from the Hungarian State Opera. “We’re now able to record from each room in the studio. The studio has been designed so that you don’t have to go down to the big room for minor sound corrections. So, if a correction to a vocal or instrumental performance is needed, it’s happening right there. Or if an advertising voiceover or narration needs to be recorded, it’s also happening there – we wanted everything to be easily accessible.”

The result has seen the 5.1 recording space equipped with five 8341 three-way coaxial monitors and one 7370 subwoofer in the control room, run digitally via an 9301 multichannel interface. Additionally, a pair of 8040 two-way monitors are used with an iMac for quick recordings in the control room, while another stereo pair of 8040s are employed in the live area by the conductor and musicians when required.

GLM calibration software was employed to individually optimize the 5.1 monitoring system in the Friscay Studio for different listening positions. “We measured using GLM in three different places; in the sound engineer’s position, in the musical director’s position, and in the place where the composer or conductor would be listening,” Ferenc adds. “The conductor or composer can’t fit with the score beside the sound engineer, so they sit behind them, and that’s why this third set-up was created. In the studio we’ve created 2.0 and 5.1 settings in GLM, but for recordings and live streams we normally use the 2.0 setting.”

Building a studio of this stature in a busy city will always have its challenges, particularly when there’s a two-way tram track that runs directly outside the building. “The hardest part was finding a solution for the low frequencies, and having trams run outside puts us at a disadvantage,” explains Ferenc. “Luckily, the team at our acoustic consultants Arató Akusztikai Kft solved this problem by building a “box-within-a-box” system. Under the inner floating floor is a rubber layer, and the inner light structure wall is fixed to the main wall with vibration isolation elements. As a result, this building system excludes the noise of the road and trams.”

The end result has certainly created a breathtaking setup for both the install team and musicians: “Even the conductors were surprised to feel the effect of what they were doing on the podium, and they could genuinely hear the result of their baton!” says Ferenc. “The composers also heard more of their pieces than when they played the score in their mind and imagined how it was going to sound. But everybody was satisfied – one of the lead singers said that when he listened to his microphone played back, he could not only hear it perfectly, but he could also feel every vibration.”

Reflecting on the new facility, Ferenc is delighted with what can now be achieved. “The Hungarian State Opera never had a studio like this before. The musicians and the sound engineers are satisfied, with lots of recordings and streams happening since the studio was completed. The act of creating a record isn’t about compromise. It’s about artistic freedom, which represents added value in the final product.”

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Photo file 1: Hungarian_Opera_House_PR_image_1.JPG
Photo caption 1: Kondás Ferenc of the Hungarian State Opera, pictured in the Friscay Studio. Photo credit: OperaCafé

Photo file 2: Hungarian_Opera_House_PR_image_2.JPG
Photo caption 2: The Friscay Studio features a Genelec 5.1 Smart Active Monitoring system. Photo credit: OperaCafé

Photo file 3: Hungarian_Opera_House_PR_image_3.JPG
Photo caption 3: The Friscay Studio live area. Photo credit: Berecz Valter

Photo file 4: Hungarian_Opera_House_PR_image_4.JPG
Photo caption 4: Exterior of Eiffel Art Studios. Photo credit: Rákossy Péter

PDF file: Hungarian_State_Opera_Case_Study_Final.pdf
PDF caption: Hungarian State Opear House Genelec case study

Genelec, the pioneer in Active Monitoring technology, is celebrating 45 years of designing and manufacturing active loudspeakers for true and accurate sound reproduction. Genelec is credited with promoting the concept of active transducer technology. Since its inception in 1978, Genelec has concentrated its efforts and resources into creating active monitors with unparalleled sonic integrity. The result is an active speaker system that has earned global acclaim for its accurate imaging, extremely high acoustic output from small enclosures, true high-fidelity with low distortion, and deep, rich bass.

Genelec is also celebrating over 15 years of its Smart Active Monitoring™ technology, which allows studio monitors to be networked, configured and calibrated for the user’s specific acoustic environment. Each Smart Active Monitor or subwoofer is equipped with advanced internal DSP circuitry, which tightly integrates with the GLM (Genelec Loudspeaker Manager) software application, running on Mac or PC. GLM’s reference microphone kit allows the user’s acoustic environment to be analyzed, after which GLM’s AutoCal feature optimizes each Smart Active Monitor for level, distance delay, subwoofer crossover phase and room response equalization, with the option of further fine tuning by the user. By minimizing the room’s influence on the sound, Smart Active Monitors deliver an unrivalled reference, with excellent translation between rooms.

Other brand and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

—For more information on the complete range of Genelec Active Monitoring Systems, contact: Genelec Inc., 7 Tech Circle, Natick, MA 01760. Tel: (508) 652-0900; Fax: (508) 652-0909;














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