Genelec’s Will Eggleston Says Size Matters

By Dan Daley

Musing on where monitoring is headed in the digital-TV environment, Will Eggleston, marketing director for speaker-maker Genelec, says size does matter: the size of the room and the size of the speaker.

“You’re increasingly putting 5.1 monitoring systems into smaller and smaller rooms,” he says. “Especially in some of the editing rooms, even a stereo pair is hard to position properly. In the production environment, sometimes they’re there for little more than a confidence check.”

Eggleston says speaker manufacturers have been following consoles into putting more performance into smaller and smaller footprints. Genelec’s entry is the 6010 monitor paired with a 5040 sub, with speaker management built into the sub assembly. In fact, he adds, the entire micro monitoring movement is not only being driven by the need to put three times as many transducers into ever smaller spaces, but that would have been impossible to do even five or six years ago, without the ability to precisely cut aluminum, which offers better performance than plastics, especially in low frequencies, and the capability to do computerized virtual prototyping, to predict that performance in a variety of conditions before committing to production.

“These are pretty amazing responses to how monitoring is evolving, but we have no choice,” he says. “The reality is, we’re putting more and more content into a larger number of channels and doing it more often.”

Eggleston cites an encounter on the 2009 NAB Show floor that underscores that. “I was talking with some broadcasters from Brazil, and they told me they had to routinely handle 16 channels of embedded audio simultaneously: a 5.1 feed and stereo feed for the original [native] language and a 5.1 feed and stereo feed for the translated language broadcast, all in one embedded wire.

“The transition from stereo to 5.1 is far more complex than it was when we went from mono to stereo,” he adds. “The sport broadcast arena is where a lot of these concepts are being tested.”