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Chicago’s Earhole Studios Chooses Genelec Active Monitors

NATICK, MA, March 7, 2012 — Original music and audio post production house Earhole Studios in Chicago has installed a Genelec 5.1 Active DSP Monitoring System as part of an upgrade to surround sound mixing capabilities in Studio B. Concurrently, composer and engineer Eric Lambert acquired a Genelec SE (Small Environment) DSP Monitoring System for his home studio to enable him to seamlessly transfer projects between Earhole Studios and his home composition room.

The new 5.1 system in Earhole’s Studio B comprises five Genelec 8240A Bi-Amplified DSP Monitors for the front LCR array and rear surrounds, with a 7260A Active DSP Subwoofer. Lambert’s home 2.1 setup consists of an 8130A Digital Monitoring System plus an SE7261A Active DSP Subwoofer, which is designed specifically for use with the 8130A stereo pair.

Initial plans were for an aesthetic makeover of Studio B, which is one of three rooms at Earhole, says Lambert. “But we said, while we’re at it, let’s see if we can make some sonic improvements. We have surround capability in my composition room but that was being used primarily for music and we didn’t really have time to do mixes in that room. We wanted to move mixing to another room so we bought the Genelec 5.1 DSP system.”

Genelec’s AutoCal™ software, the industry’s first integrated process for automated measurement, analysis and adjustment of every monitoring loudspeaker in the control network, has been especially useful, according to Lambert. The system’s multiple setup capability, in particular, which allows the 5.1 Active DSP Monitoring System to be calibrated for several listening positions, has become very popular with Earhole’s clients, he says.

“If you’re sitting in the engineer’s position you have the monitors calibrated specifically for those two ears,” explains Lambert. “But we have a huge room with clients sitting all over the place. A lot of times they’ll be frustrated by the fact that when they’re listening to a surround mix it doesn’t seem focused on them. With that DSP, we can calibrate that sweet spot to those other positions. So you can set up multiple listening positions, expanding the flexibility of the system.”

He continues, “The clients love that it sounds better, but they’re also impressed that a company like ours has that technology. We’ve even had engineers from other facilities around town come in, guys who have been around a long time and really know what’s going on, and they have been really, really impressed. It blows some people’s minds that there is the technology to do that, and it makes Earhole look good, because they’ve never seen that anywhere else.”

The GLM.SE™ (Genelec Loudspeaker Manager for Small Environments) software and the extended AutoCal capabilities of the 7260A Active DSP Subwoofer have allowed Lambert to overcome some challenges in his home studio. “I’ve had a lot of acoustic issues in that room. There’s only so much I can get away with as far as sonic treatment goes. When you share a house with somebody else they don’t necessarily want it to look like a studio, so you make compromises. All of the other speakers that I’ve tried sounded okay but there were always some pretty big issues. But when I got to hear the Genelec DSP system in action at Earhole I realized it actually works. The following night after we got the DSP system installed at work I bought the SE system for home.”

The new SE setup ensures that projects translate accurately and consistently between the studio and his home, according to Lambert. “I’ll start a project at Earhole and have to finish at home, or get a call late, when I’m not at work, and decide to work on things at home. It’s nice to have a similar, consistent monitoring environment at home. They’ve really made all the guesswork go away.”

Lambert reports, “All of our rooms have Genelecs. The other two rooms have older Genelecs that we’ve had for several years. We have some other composers who work in other areas; a couple of them also have Genelecs. It was about 10 years ago that we bought our first pair, and we’ve been happy with Genelecs ever since.”

Tom Wiebe, co-owner of Wiebe Music, which was established in the early 1990s, opened Earhole Studios in December 2003, moving the business and staff, including Lambert, into a new location in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Simultaneously, the company made the transition from a jingle house into an original music and audio post production venture. Today, recent Earhole clients include Chrysler, UPS, Sprite, Motorola, Allstate, BP and MGD, among others.

For more information, please visit www.genelecusa.com/.

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