Genelec monitors ensure quality and rapid turnaround at Studio 26miles

Set over three sites, Studio 26miles is a hub of sonic creativity for broadcasting, content production and local language dubbing, delivering exceptional audio quality at a pace that sets it apart. The studio’s most recent addition is a Genelec-powered immersive space with a Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 mixing room, a stereo mix room and a booth.

Studio 26miles has worked on a variety of TV drama hits including SignalStrangerArthdal ChroniclesItaewon ClassVoice and Hometown. One of the important factors behind its success has been its refusal to compromise on quality. With the time constraints often associated with TV drama production it’s easy to make concessions. However, this is not the case at Studio 26miles.

“TV dramas have a limited amount of time to work with compared to movies,” explains Wave Kim, Studio26’s Sound Supervisor. “So, people often make compromises regarding sound and are less concerned about Foley than they might be for film. However, our studio does not differentiate the way of sound mixing, whether it’s stereo, overseas OTT, 5.1, or Atmos.”

One area where this is particularly visible has been with dialogue. “As a lot of sound is lost due to compression for broadcasting, we have a differentiated approach to dialogue tone, which is critical for matching video and audio,” states Kim. “Since the dialogue is the primary way to feel the actors’ emotions, we use our know-how to enhance the delivery of the dialogue.”

The decision to open the third site and move into Atmos production came from commercial demands. The team’s initial vision for a Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 mixing room evolved as they recognized its urgent necessity, driven by the demand from industry giants like Netflix. This meant that what was originally planned to be a project for the future became a reality two years ahead of schedule.

One of the key decisions for Studio 26miles was the selection of the studio monitors. Driven by the desire for impeccable phase management in multichannel mixing, Genelec was chosen to ensure quality, while maintaining a rapid turnaround.

“I’m very familiar with Genelec speakers because I used the 1031s when I first started music mixing,” Kim explains. “I’ve been using Genelec for a long time and got so used to the sound of their speakers – so I didn’t want to take the considerable risk of choosing a different brand.”

Recognizing the significance of uniformity, the team’s reliance on Genelec’s coaxial speaker technology showcased their commitment to precision. “Of course, a coaxial speaker has very controlled directivity. However, as the number of speakers increases, phase management becomes more important. At this point, I decided that coaxial speakers would be the best fit,” states Kim.

With the brand and style of monitor decided, the design of the Atmos space proceeded relatively smoothly with Genelec’s Smart Active Monitors providing the right solution for the space. Working with local Genelec partner Sama Sound, Studio 26miles opted for ‘The Ones’ three-way models, with three 8351s for the L-C-R positions, four 8341s for surrounds and four 8331s as overheads. Finally, low frequencies are handled by two 7380 subwoofers, and the entire system was configured and calibrated using Genelec GLM loudspeaker manager software.

“We’ve changed every monitor speaker to Genelec in all of our facilities,” notes Kim. “With multichannel mixing, we have to be careful about phase, so using monitor speakers of the same brand, if not the same model, is better for managing the channel phase later on. For this reason, it made sense to switch to Genelec speakers in all our studios.”

Reflecting on the overall project, Kim is clearly satisfied with the decision to opt for Genelec at the new facility. “When I listened to some work that I was mixing in stereo in the main studio during the construction phase, I was pleased that there wasn’t a lot of deviation, but where I needed to, I added acoustic treatment to address frequency dips at some listening points. I’m delighted with the full range of sound, and the clients have given me incredibly positive feedback,” he concludes.