NATICK, MA, April 12, 2023 — VSOP Studios joined the ranks of Chicago’s elite recording facilities when it opened in 2016, in the city’s West Town neighborhood. Chief Engineer and Studio Owner Matt Hennessy, who designed the studios with general contractor and architect Lane Wintz, took that up another notch when he implemented Dolby Atmos® mix capability in the facility’s Studio A in 2022. He chose Genelec’s “The Ones” compact three-way Smart Active Monitors™ (SAM) as the monitoring solution for the 7.1.4 Atmos system. The new array comprises three 8351B SAM studio monitors as the L-C-R front array, eight 8341As for rear, side and overhead surrounds, and a 7380A SAM subwoofer.
“It had to be Genelecs for this move into immersive mixing,” says Hennessy, who trained at Berklee College of Music, where he studied both Jazz Performance and Production before beginning a two-decades-plus career manning consoles for artists including Twista, Jay-Z, Beyoncé and DMX. “I’ve been using the 1031As since the early 2000s, with a 7070 sub. They’ve been in pretty much every room I’ve ever worked in, and I love them.” Those same 1031A monitors he’d had for so long are still working, in VSOP Studios’ B room. When it came time to make the move to Atmos, Hennessy knew where to turn.
“The sound is great, as always, but the automatic calibration capability is critical for monitoring in this format,” he explains, referring to Genelec’s proprietary technologies including GLM 4 (Genelec Loudspeaker Manager) software for connecting, calibrating and controlling a SAM system. “You want to have the speakers precisely positioned and equidistant from each other, but you can’t always achieve that symmetry perfectly with a dozen speakers, and there are always obstacles and aspects of the room itself that can be acoustically challenging. We got them as well-positioned as we could, and the Genelecs sounded fantastic just out of the box. But once we ran the SAM tuning, with phase and time alignment and bass management, it was night and day! It just blew me away. That’s why we had to have Genelecs.”