For more than 15 years, Italy’s Nut Academy has been training sound technicians, sound designers and producers of electronic music based on the ethos that “the best way to teach is to put the student in the ideal conditions to learn”. This approach has seen Nut Academy invest heavily in its facilities, ensuring they are always state-of-the-art. The latest example of this has been the construction of a Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 studio which has been enhanced with Genelec Smart Active Monitors.
“The idea of making a Dolby Atmos studio was born from the need to keep our teaching in step with the times,” says Vinci Acunto, sound engineer and teacher at Nut Academy. “If you want to work in the field of music production, you definitely have to deal with Atmos. It is a technical need and a creative opportunity in the training course of a sound engineer or a music producer.”
While there were plans in place to build a facility to meet the Dolby specification, the school had struggled to find a suitable time to construct the studio. The opportunity to do this was eventually offered by the pandemic. As restrictions during Italy’s lockdown made it impossible to carry out the day-to-day teaching on site, it provided the perfect time to finally deliver the project.
The school partnered with Midiware, the Italian distributor of Genelec’s wide range of professional monitors, and acoustic consultants Studio Sound Serviceto design and supply a purpose-built studio that could be installed by the Nut Academy team and would meet the necessary immersive audio standards.
“The studio design was originally based on Dolby Atmos Home Entertainment standards but was then certified for Dolby Atmos Music because it was compliant to both standards,” recalls Donato Masci, CEO and Technical Director of Studio Sound Service. “This expresses the versatility of the project. The room can be used to work on music, broadcast and post-production content and, at the same time, as a lecture room with great technological content.”
While it was important to meet Dolby’s standards, teaching is the primary function of the room and this also played an important role in its design. “The Dolby Atmos room can accommodate up to 10 to 15 people for Nut Academy lessons,” notes Studio Sound Service’s Partner and Acoustic Designer Giulia Bondielli. “This required a versatile interior design which is different from a traditional mixing room design with the sofa and the diffuser on the rear wall. We had to optimise the space to satisfy all client needs, and to find the right positions for every studio monitor – as two lateral televisions and a projector screen are used for lessons.”
While the design provided a variety of challenges, the selection of equipment was much simpler. Genelec monitors had been the first choice for the school ever since Midiware had demonstrated the capabilities of The Ones family to Nut Academy. Having heard the monitors, the school immediately knew they would be the right choice and Masci built on this decision to specify a perfect solution for the space. The selection called on 8351 coaxial three-way monitors for the L-C-R positions, while 8340 two-way models provide the surround and overhead channels. Finally, a 7380 subwoofer handles the low frequencies.
“The most surprising thing is that this listening system simplifies our work in the best possible way,” explains Acunto. “Even in more complex contexts typical of the teaching environment – such as open listening, comparison and alternation of various genres over a short time – Genelec’s The Ones prove to be faithful workmates.”
The result is one that everyone involved with the project is rightly proud of. “Firstly, we are deeply happy with the final result because the client is happy with the interior design and the audio solutions we found,” says Bondielli. “Another reason why we are particularly proud of this studio is that the client was able to completely build it himself following our instructions. This is important because it gives even more value to our design.”
“The experience and professionalism of the prestigious team we worked with have allowed us to realise a project that combines impeccable acoustics with refined taste in aesthetic choices,” concludes Acunto.
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