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China Film Group completes huge monitoring upgrade with Genelec

NATICK, MA — China Film Group is a forward-thinking production house that has consistently embraced new technology and never shied away from investing in the right equipment. The latest example of this has seen its Sound and Picture Production Center install 147 Genelec monitors across 28 recording studios, editing rooms and production studios.

China Film upgraded due to the increased importance that is placed on audio by consumers. “In film and television, sound is greater than visuals, where ‘greater’ refers to the spatial extension,” states China Film Sound Director, Wang Danrong. “Sound fills the entire space, while visuals are confined to the screen.”

This shift has placed different demands on the monitoring environment, with engineers placing more emphasis on precision and uniformity. “When evaluating a piece of equipment, we usually consider its technology, parameters, and more,” continues Wang Danrong. “Personally, I believe it’s essential to look at the brand’s history and its pursuit of sound. I find Genelec’s pursuit of ‘real’ sound quite reliable.”

Supporting China Film through the process was Digital Media Technology Co. Ltd. (DMT). It took on the responsibility for the design and integration of the monitoring system. “Genelec’s outstanding product quality and stable performance have always been our guarantee of confidence in system design,” states Wang Yufei, the project’s overall supervisor and Technical Director of DMT. “When you recommend a professional product to a client, you don’t want it to have any issues. Nowadays, the production cycle for filmmaking is tight, and the importance of delivering projects on time is comparable to live television broadcasts. Any flaws in sound could potentially delay the film’s release, so the entire range of Genelec solutions can be said to help films meet their scheduled release dates.”

The staggering breadth of the project has seen China Film equip four 7.1.4 immersive rooms, twenty rooms with either 5.0 or 5.1 surround systems, and a further four stereo rooms – entirely with Genelec Smart Active Monitoring. Rooms 212, 311 and 312 all serve as 7.1.4 immersive pre-mix stages, while Room 412 is a dedicated Atmos mixing stage largely powered by 8361 three-way coaxial monitors from The Ones series – complemented by 8350 two-way models in the overhead positions, with a 7380 subwoofer handling the LFE content.

All the studios in the complex have benefitted from system calibration via Genelec’s GLM software. “Using GLM, there’s almost no need for extensive manual operations,” notes Wang Guanghou, Mixing Engineer at China Film. “Just running GLM once covers most aspects. The consistency of the L-C-R channels after GLM calibration is better. Moreover, GLM allows for precise adjustment of the subwoofer’s phase. In the past, adjusting 90° and then listening, adjusting 180° and listening again… doing this for every angle consumed a lot of time. So, with GLM, it’s quite user-friendly now, and the calibration methods are indeed more numerous and effective than before.”

With the rooms installed and calibrated, one of the major advantages has been the consistency of sound throughout its Sound and Picture Production Center. “Although the models in each room may differ, there is a basic consistency in all Genelec monitors,” explains Wang Danrong.

“The mixes I do on Genelecs translate well to other places,” adds Zhu Yanfeng, Mixing Engineer at China Film. “There won’t be a situation where the performance of the monitors is too exaggerated, leading to the discovery of missing elements when changing the listening environment. I think Genelec’s response curve is relatively smooth and flat. The sound coming out of Genelec monitors, I feel, is relatively guaranteed.”

The result of this is the ability to hear more details earlier in the process, creating a speedier transition to the final mix, and ultimately a more efficient workflow. Wang Guanghou has his own metaphor for the sound characteristics of the new monitoring environment. “Genelec’s sound is like lightly roasted coffee, preserving its original and authentic aroma – without any additives or miscellaneous flavors!”

For more information, please visit www.genelec.com.

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