Genelec in Natick, Mass., reports that music mixer Eric Schilling (pictured) is using a Genelec 8200 Series Active DSP Monitoring System for the U.S. television premier season of The X Factor to create the 5.1-channel mix of the live music segments for broadcast on the Fox network. The monitoring system comprises Genelec 8250A and 8240A Bi-Amplified DSP Monitors, together with a 7260A subwoofer, and was supplied by remote broadcast music production specialists M3 (Music Mix Mobile).
Music mixer Eric Schilling at the 5.1-channel mixing control center for the live music segments for Fox Television's The X Factor.
The show’s production audio mixer, Michael Abbott—a veteran broadcast mixer and sound designer, and the owner of All Ears, Inc.—specified the monitoring system.
Joel Singer, co-founder and chief engineer of M3, states: “Mike [Abbott], as the A1 on the show, had a vision for what he wanted to do with regard to the music system on The X Factor. He came to us and said that he would like to incorporate the workflow we use on some of these big music award shows, like the Grammy Awards and the Country Music Awards, and what M3 does by building and designing reference-quality 5.1 mixing systems, and develop it for this show. As the system architect, I designed the music system based on the needs of the show as a reliable, fully functioning 5.1 mixing system. It was a good meeting of the minds because we’ve worked with Mike on many, many different projects.”
“My agenda for the sound design of this show was to use components that have previously produced favorable results on other broadcasts, and Genelec has been part of that formula,” Abbott says. “I prefer the music mixers to use whatever they are comfortable with, and Eric is very familiar with the tonal response of the Genelec monitors from working with M3 on many other broadcast productions. The result of this team effort has yielded a streamlined workflow with audio quality second-to-none. And from everything I’ve heard, this has made a tremendous difference to our viewers at home.”
Schilling comments, “I have been using the 8200 Series monitors in my studio and for broadcast music mixing since they where released. I always find that the mixes I do with these monitors translate very well to other listening environments outside of my work, which, to me, is of paramount importance.”
Schilling’s temporary studio is set up at CBS Television City in Los Angeles, where the show is produced. MSR Acoustics in Novato, Calif., provided professional-grade acoustical treatments for the trailer outside CBS Television City. MSR provided a Dimension4 SõN Acoustics 150 system, an acoustical treatment solution for professional studios comprised of absorbers, diffusers, and bass traps. MSR augmented this setup with its ZSound Trio system, which is comprised of absorbers, diffusers and a corner bass absorber, and is available in three ranges of room sizes.
According to Singer, this was the first semi-permanent mixing system installation project for M3, which operates remote music production trucks out of New Jersey and California. “A Gelco trailer is a less-than-ideal space for anything, so we had to overcome some different issues in there,” he acknowledges. “Through the use of some acoustic materials and help from an acoustics company that came in and worked out some of the reflections and other issues, we were able to solve some of the reverberant issues in the room. This provided a comfortable environment for Eric to mix the music on the show.”
The onboard DSP features of the Genelec system, including AutoCal automated calibration, which can be centrally controlled by computer using the GLM (Genelec Loudspeaker Management) control network, proved invaluable in the challenging space. “Having the Genelecs, and being able to tune them and look at the rest of the room as a tuned space, helped us out,” reports Singer. “We were really able to use those monitors and adjust them to make the system suitable for what Eric was used to hearing and gave him a reference point so that he could start mixing a show that would translate onto television.”
The X Factor, which is franchised globally, made its U.S. television debut on September 21, 2011, and extends through December 22. The show originated in the U.K., where it has frequently been Number One in the ratings over its eight seasons.
Visit Music Mix Mobile at www.musicmixmobile.com.
The official site of The X Factor is www.thexfactorusa.com.