HTWK Leipzig Goes Immersive with Genelec

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As a university of applied sciences, HTWK Leipzig in Germany has created a series of new immersive spaces that will give its students an understanding of some of the most advanced production techniques available. To achieve this, the university needed a monitoring solution that would be flexible enough to meet the needs of multiple formats – so turned to Genelec’s “The Ones” series of three-way coaxial monitors.
Working with VST Saalfeld and local Genelec distributor Audio Pro Heilbronn, the university wanted to upgrade its production and presentation facilities to provide students with new creative environments to learn in, as well as a larger space to show their work. It needed to upgrade its presentation room to 7.1.4 – plus a “Voice of God” channel – to be able to play back reference productions made in Dolby Atmos, Auro 3D, MPEG-H and experimental formats. In addition to this there was also the need to create an immersive suite where a complete 17.2 half-dome setup could be used as part of HTWK Leipzig’s ambisonics workflow and for external renderers.
“We were looking at several projects simultaneously, including the upgrade of our presentation room to 7.1.4, the installation of a new production suite for higher immersive formats up to 17.2 and the installation of a new production suite for sound design,” explains Christian Birkner, Technical Manager at HTWK Leipzig’s campus studios. “We needed monitors that would be able to scale with the room sizes to be able to create comparable listening situations across the new spaces. We’ve used Genelec monitors for more than 15 years now, so I was pretty sure that The Ones wouldn’t disappoint us.”
The decision to use Genelec’s The Ones family was made for several reasons. “They create comparable and very accurate listening situations for the various spaces,” explains Birkner. “In addition to this, we liked the easy and very versatile setup of the systems with GLM 4 calibration software, while the stylish look of The Ones made the systems appear very modern and special.”
While the decision to stay with Genelec monitoring was easy, the challenge came with the placement of the monitors in the spaces. “As not all the monitors could be placed in the desired positions, we needed a system which would allow us to correct these placement issues,” recalls Birkner. “We found that Genelec monitors fitted perfectly in all the different rooms and production suites.”
The core of the new system is based on the 8331 three-way coaxial monitor, with 8340 and 8350 two-way nearfield models also called into action. Low end across the new spaces is handled by 73607370 and 7380 subwoofers.
While the monitors themselves were definite problem-solvers for the university, it was GLM that Birkner reserves the most praise for. “The new GLM 4 system handled all the necessary corrections automatically – there was practically no need for any manual adjustments,” he states. “It’s a great feature to adapt each set of monitors to the room and also to teach how DSP systems for monitors work. Additionally, GLM’s new GRADE room acoustic report is a great tool for analyzing and fine-tuning the monitoring system and the room. With GLM 4 it’s now even more convenient to setup and control our monitors, and since it’s now compatible with newer Mac OS systems, we can save one extra computer just for measuring the monitors.”
With the project complete, Birkner is keen to discuss what he feels has been a positive addition to HTWK Leipzig’s facilities. “It’s very impressive how well the new solutions have integrated into the rooms and how comfortable I am using them, especially with the huge immersive system which completely envelops the listener.” The new setup is also providing major benefits for the university’s students. “First of all, they can now be creative with several immersive formats,” says Birkner. “This means they can learn within these workflows – how they technically work and how they can be used in productions.”
Reflecting on the project, Birkner is clearly satisfied and already planning more things for the future. “I am very happy with the results and even have some new ideas,” he smiles. “The Genelec Smart IP speakers would probably fit some of them very well…”
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