L-R : IGUANA STUDIO ’ S VIC BRANCO , GREG CAMPBELL & THIAGO LIMA brands , and it was too laborious to work on them . They don ’ t have the built-in calibration [ that Genelec does ]. I ’ m 57 , so I remember mono . This is a huge leap forward . We got a pair of Genelecs , and once we had those in our possession , well , I don ’ t know why anyone would go another route .”
Initially , Branco was going to install the Atmos system in Iguana ’ s B Room , which is “ a full-blown , mini version of our A Room ,” roughly 12 x 14 ft . During a Zoom call with Genelec ’ s Canadian distributor , SFM ; however , ( which Branco took in the A Room with the studio ’ s storied SSL console in view ), one of the reps , a musician who ’ d previously worked at Iguana on the SSL said , ‘ The system ’ s going to sound amazing in that room .’ “ So , we kyboshed rebuilding the B Room and tweaked the A Room ,” Branco explains .
Doing so only required minor work , he adds , “ Knocking down a producer ’ s desk that provided substantial space , redoing a bit of flooring , and cutting holes in the ceiling to hang the loudspeakers . There was a conversation about downscaling the console , but it wasn ’ t practical – it ’ s 18 feet long . And we wanted to get up and running quickly .”
The SSL 4082 E / G board has been the centerpiece of Iguana ’ s A Room since 2001 and remains so . And , frankly , the board has a fair bit of cache , not only in terms of its vintage but the fact it ’ s been used by a variety of A-list artists over its lifetime , among them , Aerosmith , Diana Ross , David Bowie , Iggy Pop , Diana Krall , Sting , and many others . In addition , there are a number of well-known Canadian acts who
got their start recording at Iguana and have gone on to global success . “ Alexisonfire ’ s first record , Billy Talent ’ s first EP , Nelly Furtado , Arkells , the list goes on and on … Over the years , numerous artists have gotten their start at Iguana and it ’ s something that we take great pride in , having played a small part of their rise to success ,” Branco adds .
The SSL 4082 E / G itself was actually custom built-in Oxford , England , specifically for the Power Station Studios in New York City , and features 162 inputs plus eight standard stereo subgroups , four stereo custom patchable VCAs , and total recall automation .
This is the first commercial Genelec Atmos room in Canada , Branco is proud to report . To get the ball rolling , he reached out to SFM , as well as Long & McQuade . “ All of them were instrumental in making this happen ,” notes Branco . Mason Hasan from Commercial Business Services did an incredible job on the install . So was Thiago Lima , Iguana ’ s head engineer . Originally from Brazil , where he worked with some of the most prominent artists in the country , Lima has been a tremendous asset to the studio , overall , and especially the completion of the Atmos install recently .
“ We also worked with Martin Pilchner and Giovanni Asselta , head of senior staff solutions for Dolby Labs in South America , along with Adam Plante at SFM . Lima actually reached out to his colleague , Giovanni , who ’ s based in São Paulo and is the South American Dolby rep . We worked with him in the preliminary stages and then brought Martin in to do the schematics and speaker placement . We measured every little corner of the room .” Pilchner ’ s expertise was critical , Branco adds . “ And Adam helped us find the right speaker product for the room . And Jeff Long , [ Long & McQuade ’ s VP of sales and marketing ,] really , he made this deal happen – I can ’ t thank him enough – in terms of expediting the delivery and crunching the numbers and making the deal work . Steeles store manager Frank Montalto was also a tremendous help .”
The assistance of Asselta at Dolby Labs / South America was important to the installation and software setup for the Atmos system , Lima explains : “ He helped us get started by giving us a better understanding of the technology . He gave us information on the render and software setup along with speaker choices recommended by Dolby that would best fit our room . We then took those suggestions to Martin Pilchner along with a drawing of our studio , and Martin was able to fine tune the setup ; Db , SPL , speaker positions , angles based on our room dimensions and the speakers we selected ; the Genelec 8351s , 8040s , and 7370 sub .”
Having decided to embrace spatial audio at Iguana , Branco approached Pilchner Schoustal International with the schematic idea . From there , “ Our role was to refine the system and rationalize it into the space . Given the room size and context , the Dolby DARDT is a great asset in the design process to optimize speaker selections , configurations , and speaker orientations , as well as confirm required output capability ,” Pilchner notes . “ The software ,
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