|At 133rd AES, San Francisco, Genelec (booth 911) has introduced its Smart Active Monitor (SAM) concept. As part of a new streamlined marketing effort, Genelec has folded its line of DSP monitors under the SAM classification, which now includes all Genelec monitors with a 82xx product name (photo: the 8260A Tri-Amplified DSP Monitor System). Models in the SAM range are capable of automatically adapting to acoustical environments to offer an indispensable tool for sound professionals in broadcasting, post production, music studios and more. A SAM system can be controlled with digital networking, enabling users to build highly flexible computer-controlled systems of monitors.
Dr. Aki V. Mäkivirta, Genelec Research and Development Manager, noted, “Smart Active Monitoring is a concept that bundles all the benefits of Genelec’s advanced monitoring systems to a single, easily understandable and descriptive term. SAM is also a concept that describes perfectly the current technology leap pioneered by Genelec in the evolution of the active monitoring loudspeaker – the transition from the analogue to the digital world, where digital technologies, along with software features, increase quality and bring unique user experiences to the customers, and enable seamless integration of monitoring speakers and subwoofers to a well-calibrated and correctly aligned reproduction system. At Genelec, we believe that progress towards Smart Active Monitors will open a new era in the development of the audio monitoring industry.”
The acoustical features of SAMs can be optimized with automatic calibration for different working styles or client demands. Such adaptations include aligning levels at the listening position, adjusting delays from the signal input to the listening location, and compensating for the acoustical room influences in the frequency responses (equalization). One of these proprietary tools is AutoCal, Genelec´s acoustic calibration solution that is supplied alongside the Genelec Loudspeaker Management software package, GLM. The capabilities of SAMs can be increased later with software upgrades both in the monitoring speakers themselves and in the system management software.
Will Eggleston, Genelec USA Marketing Director, stated, “The SAM launch marks the beginning of a new era in audio monitoring for Genelec, thanks to the rise of digital technology and evolving market expectations about the possibilities of audio monitors. Also, designers of systems have shown that digital monitors have some notable capabilities beyond the analogue realm. SAM embodies the shift from the analogue to the digital world, looking at increasing sound quality and the listening experience of the user while allowing the integration of monitors and subs into a correctly aligned reproduction system.”
Using GLM software and AutoCal improves performance and not only helps the user to achieve a flat frequency response at listening position but also handles phase alignment in between monitors and subwoofer and not least time-of-flight compensation, the latter of high importance when retro-fitting systems in existing rooms where equal distance between all monitors and listening position may not be possible to respect.
In addition to the traditional building blocks of an active monitoring speaker, SAMs contain further building blocks such as digital signal processing of the audio signal instead of traditional analog filtering; control networking, enabling SAMs to form a seamless reproductions system, fully controllable at the main listening position; acoustical measurement system, enabling multipoint measurements of acoustical environment at the listening area; sophisticated automatic system calibration algorithm, enabling SAMs to adapt to their acoustic environments and to be integrated as a full reproduction system; and GUI, enabling users to interact with all components of the monitoring system and to customize the system to best fit to the environments and applications.