EMI can boast one of the most diverse back catalogues in the industry.
From The Beatles to The Beastie Boys and Kylie Minogue to Iron Maiden, EMI can boast one of the most diverse back catalogues in the industry, containing some of the most significant and influential works in modern music. On Rathbone Place in London, a humble, nondescript back-alley plays host to one of the capital's most vibrant, busiest and long-standing recording facilities, the EMI Publishing Studios, now fully equipped and recently updated with Genelec active monitors.
The site houses two UAD-2 powered Pro Tools mixing rooms, which surround an intimate live room. Large consoles are flanked by a selection of classic outboard effects, assorted in-house guitars, amps, drums and a classic Moog Little Phatty. However, as well stocked as these studios were, welcoming the biggest producers and artists in the world, the monitoring wasn't up to scratch. Scott McCormick, EMI Engineer, called in Source Distribution to assess the situation.
"We've always struggled a touch with the acoustics in our studios here, but the Genelecs that Source allowed us to trial made a massive improvement," says Scott. "We now have the 8240s in Studio B and a set of 8250s in Studio A. Both studios can be acoustically difficult but the Genelecs were a massive help, they just work."
Genelec's 8240A Bi-Amplified monitoring system is a compact yet powerful setup that is perfectly suited to a space such as EMI's Studio B. It is able to provide a wide frequency response in even the tightest of spaces and has the ability to out-perform much larger systems.
The DSP function helps the monitors adjust to the room and provide the producers and engineers at EMI with an incredibly accurate and warm sound. "We are getting great levels of bass out of them comparable to our big, flush mounted three-ways and they are worth three grand and are twice the size," said Scott. "Even with the DSP on we aren't getting any fatigue, the frequencies are full and it makes mixing easy, we are now able to fully trust in what we are listening to."
With such a high turnover of producers recording at Rathbone Place, it became increasingly important for Scott to source a monitoring system that was accessible and, at the same time, could deliver on performance. Producers would tend to use Studio A and B for two or three day sessions so need to feel immediately comfortable with the setup. Previously, they have had to constantly adjust bass levels, turning them louder and louder throughout the day, however, with the 8240s & 8250s, the guest producers have been happy with their quality and consistency from the off.
A big draw for producers when working with calibrated 8240 monitors is the trueness of the sound they produce. In a multi-user environment, such as EMI, this accuracy is not to be underestimated as when transporting the mixed tracks out of the studio, producers and artists can be confident that their tracks will sound true on all other systems.
"It's a huge concern with a lot of the producers we work with," says Scott, "if they work on a really bassy setup, for example, and when they play their tracks on an outside system, it sounds terrible. A great thing about the DSP on these is that it doesn't flatter the sound. We know that when we export tracks recorded here, the sound that is produced will be accurate to the recording."
Equally happy with their trial of the 8250As in the Studio A, Scott praised the ability to jack straight from Pro Tools into the monitors. "Being able to bypass the desk in this way means we get the purest path possible. Mixing like this allows us to establish a direct mixing chain and a more analogue chain for vibing, tracking and writing."
Over 30 years' of development, technology and know-how has gone into the latest 8240A and 8250A monitoring systems from Genelec, but for all the technology and design, perhaps Scott offers the most accurate summary of their performance:
"In this studio they do a better job than any set of speakers we've ever used."
For more information, please visit www.genelec.com