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Recording Childish Gambino on the Road

Recording in hotels and backstage areas required monitoring that could overcome its surroundings.

Natick, MA (January 11, 2019)—After acquiring Genelec 8341A smart active monitors and a Genelec 7360 subwoofer, engineer and mixer Riley Mackin now takes them with him everywhere he works—and that recently meant a string of green rooms and arena backstage areas on the Childish Gambino (AKA Donald Glover) “This Is America” tour.

Mackin says the 8341A monitors he picked up from retailer Westlake Professional for his personal studio in Los Angeles are a good fit for Glover because of the breadth of the artist’s sonic range. The 8341s are part of Genelec’s trio of point-source, three-way monitor series known collectively as “The Ones” that also includes the 8351 and 8331A.

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“[Glover] has a very eclectic sound,” Mackin explains. “He’s mainly a hip-hop artist, so the speakers have to be able to handle the typical super low end as well as the high-hat on top, but he also has a lot of other instrumentation in between, including a [Fender] Rhodes and a clavinet. When you have an array of sounds like that, especially something with the hard attack of a clav, it takes a pretty amazing speaker to not let you get tired of listening—but that’s what the 8341 can do. I can hear all the dynamics but without my ears getting battered.”

As a result, he said, the monitors allow him to stay flexible, able to work regardless of his changing surroundings. “[The 8341As] have an even flatter response than before, and as a result they translate perfectly from studio to studio, room to room, better than ever, and always without any listening fatigue. The low end is especially good, with plenty of punch but that stays tight with the rest of the track.”

Genelec •