NATICK, MA, February 16, 2023 — Established in 1915 in St. Louis, Missouri, the non-profit, independent Webster University serves more than 10,000 students at more than 50 locations on four continents, with more than 200,000 alumni. The Audio Aesthetics and Technology department in the School of Communications offers two degrees: a bachelor of science focusing on the technical aspects of audio production, including recording, mixing, acoustics, and live sound; and a bachelor of arts preparing graduates for careers in film sound, animation, game audio, and other media-arts applications.
With a major remodeling of the Sverdrup Building housing the School of Communications, Webster has a brand-new suite of audio facilities including multiple fully-equipped recording studios – one of which is a Dolby Atmos®-ready control room with a 7.1.4 monitoring complement – as well as three multi-purpose isolation rooms that can be used as iso booths for recording or practice or writing rooms, and two Technical Ear Training rooms where students learn to develop critical-listening skills and which can also be used as small mix rooms. Every one of those spaces, all designed by St. Louis-based V Three Studios and opened fully for the Winter 2023 semester, is fitted exclusively with active monitoring from Genelec.
Studio A has a pair of 1234A Smart Active Monitors™ (SAM) as the main L-R array, a 7382A Smart Active Subwoofer, and a pair of 1032A Studio Monitors as nearfields. Studio B (the Atmos-equipped room) uses three 8351B SAMs as the main L-C-R array, eight 8341A SAMs as surrounds and overheads, a 7370A SAM sub and two W371A SAM Woofer Systems paired to the L-R 8351Bs, and a combination of pairs of 8331A and 8330A monitors as stereo nearfield options. Studio C has a pair of 1032B nearfield monitors. All three iso rooms are equipped with a pair of 8320A SAMs. Technical Ear Training Lab A has five 8320As, two 1032Bs and a 7350A SAM sub, allowing it to be used for surround monitoring, as well as a pair of 1032Bs for nearfield monitoring. Technical Ear Training Lab B has pairs of 1032Bs and 8010As as nearfields, as well as 7050C and 7040A subs. The studios also made extensive use of Genelec’s GLM™ (Genelec Loudspeaker Manager) and AutoCal™ software tools, assuring perfect calibration of every monitor in each space.
“This is a very robust professional audio program that we redeveloped four years ago to take into account new developments in the technology and business of audio, and now we have entirely new studios to go along with that,” states Casey Hunter, Assistant Professor / Director of Studios at the university program. “V Three came to us with design ideas, and we were able to specify the equipment and technology platforms we wanted for each space. Every room has Genelec monitors and technology in it.”
Hunter says the entire facility, which is fully networked via Dante over Cat-6 cabling, is consistently Genelec, a practice that goes back to the program’s earlier iteration that used Genelec 1032 monitors as its baseline monitoring standard. “We’ve always loved the sound of Genelecs — we can work for hours and never experience fatigue,” he explains. “With the investment in new equipment and technology in the remodeling, we’re benefiting from a much wider range of Genelec monitor types and we can better fit each specific studio and room with the exact right speaker type. We actually visited the Genelec Experience Center in Natick, Massachusetts, to audition everything Genelec offers, and that’s reflected in the new studios. The kind of relationship we’ve developed with Genelec has resulted in some great advantages. For instance, Genelec Inc. Senior Technical Sales Manager Paul Stewart showed us how to integrate the Elgato Stream Deck controller with the GLM over MIDI as the way to select instantly between different sets of monitors, which is incredibly useful in rooms like Studio B, with its Atmos surround and stereo arrays, and Technical Ear Training Lab A, which has surround and stereo monitoring capability. This facility is going to give students a great springboard into careers in pro audio, where they will also be hearing plenty of Genelec monitoring.”
“We have had a strong audio program for many years, and now we are able to provide our students state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, fully equivalent to the best professional studios, preparing our students to succeed now and in the future,” said Eric Rothenbuhler, Dean of the School of Communications.