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Music Production

Creating (and Monitoring) the Sounds of Modern Life

Left to his own devices, Richard Devine creates the sounds of your devices.

Atlanta, GA (August 9, 2018)—If you think of the term “the soundtrack of your life,” you might think of hit songs from the past, or music from films, but the true soundtrack of our lives these days comes from devices. It might be signal sounds from your car or a greeting theme from a piece of software, but these innocuous aural moments create the backdrop to our daily existence. Which brings us to composer and sound designer Richard Devine.

While Devine releases albums like many artists, millions of people have heard his work coming out of their personal electronics every day. Devine creates sound assets for the likes of Apple, Microsoft, Google and others, as well as content companies like Sony Media and the video game Doom. These range from individual sounds to complete music tracks heard through these companies’ diverse products.

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“What I do is definitely off the beaten path,” says Devine, whose sounds are applied to consumer products that range from smartphone apps to electric cars and touch on leading-edge areas such as AI and VR. “There’s a tremendous amount of detail in these sounds I’m building, and they have to work across an incredibly wide range of uses and in any environment anywhere on earth.”

They may be used around the globe, but those sounds most often originate in his Atlanta-based studio, outfitted with various sets of Genelec monitors, he says, explaining, “For what I do, I need absolute, brutal sonic honesty from my monitor speakers.”

Some of those speakers include a pair of Genelec 6010s that he bought in 2006 as portable travel monitors for editing and mixing on the road (and still uses today); elsewhere in his facility, there’s the Genelec 8331A Smart Active Monitors and 7350A Smart Active Subwoofer that he purchased earlier this year and that now constitute his main stereo 2.1 system for editing.

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Since he first worked on the 6010s, Devine has built an entire monitoring environment around Genelec’s monitoring technology, with a 5.1 array of 8020Cs and a 7350B sub for his VR mix room, 8030As and a 7370A sub for game and video mixes, and now the 8331/7350A system for editing, which makes these his most-used speakers on a day-to-day basis.

“I’m really drawn to Genelec’s new technology, such as the auto-alignment feature of their GLM software,” he says. “The ability of the speakers and the software to run a quick but accurate room analysis and calibrate each speaker on the spot has been a lifesaver for me. In the past, I’ve had issues around speaker placement and phase, especially with subs; Genelec solves those problems for me.”

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Devine says accuracy is his single most important criteria for a monitor, and only Genelec has been able to consistently deliver that for him. “The 8331s are like a micro lens on audio for me,” he says. “I’m blown away by how much detail you can hear through them. It’s almost clinical, but that’s what’s needed for some of what I do. It’s all in the details, and those are always in the Genelecs.”

Genelec USA •