Genelec 5.1 monitoring drives new Soundon OB truck
In response to a surge in OB broadcast sessions, Finland’s Soundon has recently added a second OB van to its fleet – equipped with a 5.1 Genelec Smart Active monitoring system. The addition of the new truck means that Soundon – which specialises in sound recording for concerts and television with multi-camera productions and live broadcasts – now has even more capacity for bookings and post-production studio sessions.
Having relied heavily on a Genelec install in its original truck, the idea was to replicate this layout in the new vehicle. “We wanted to make our new truck similar to the older one, so it would provide seamless control and it wouldn’t matter which one you are working with,” explained Timo Virtanen, Soundon’s sound designer and CEO. “Now when the other truck is somewhere in a production location, we can still do some post in our second truck. There is no need to have a fancy studio room when you can do everything in a moving OB truck. Also, our audio gear has grown so much that we needed a bigger storage area!”
Opting for a Genelec 5.1 solution, 8351 three-way coaxial monitors were installed in the LCR positions, accompanied by the compact 8331s at the rear and complemented by a 7360 subwoofer (soon to be augmented by a second 7360 for even more low end control) – all selected for high-performance and space saving capabilities.
“Back in 2017, we found the 8351As very suitable for us but realised for this project that we needed something different,” recalled Virtanen. “The studio room is quite narrow (2.5m wide) which meant that handling the side reflections was very important to us, so we went with the newer 8351B models. That worked out much better for the low middle frequencies and sounded incredible.”
While both trucks are powered with similar Avid control surfaces, the new truck has a Grace M908 monitor controller, equipped to handle surround and immersive formats. Additionally, GLM software was used to configure and calibrate the monitoring system – ensuring that everything is controlled in-house from recording to post-production. “When you’ve recorded the content yourself, it’s nice to see it through all the way to the end,” Virtanen added.
Minor challenges arose from designing the interior of the truck, from carpentry work and upholstery to the audio and video set up. Custom-built adjustments to the monitor floor stand mountings were implemented, to avoid any falls when hitting the brakes in traffic or accelerating on a freeway. “Adapting to this was relatively easy though, because we were roughly basing this design off the older truck and not completely building from scratch,” Virtanen reflected.
The Genelec touch has clearly added an extra quality to Soundon’s newest OB truck and has provided the business with a huge advantage as it approaches another busy season. “We’ve only had a few gigs with this new truck, but it already sounds better, and the frequency curve is a lot flatter than the old one,” Virtanen concluded. “Genelec monitors are in a completely different world from the others – I’m really satisfied with the result.”