Genelec Monitors Power Leiting’s New ‘Game Sound Lab’

A digital entertainment company recently commissioned a 5.1.4 game audio studio based around Genelec Smart Active Monitors, enhancing its ability to create all-round immersive experiences for its users.

Shenzhen Leiting Digital Entertainment Company Ltd - a wholly-owned R&D subsidiary of G-bits - is one of China’s leading video games publishers, with over 45 million players across the country enjoying its mobile and PC releases.

"For a games company like ours, an audio studio is a must," said composer and game sound designer Knuckles (Jianyu) Zhang, who led the studio project. "Our requirements are quite special, though. What we want is not just a recording studio, nor a standard mixing studio or a reviewing studio. To be precise, what we want is a ‘Game Sound Lab’ to assist us in the conceptual design of games.”

Originally conceived as a surround sound studio, the acoustic design and construction of the project was handled by Qiao Zhenyu of Huanyu Acoustics, who persuaded Knuckles (pictured below) to go fully immersive.

Immersive audio technology is no longer a new thing, and we as creators surely have to learn to master this format.

“I knew that many games had already used the 5.1 format to produce sound. But Qiao suggested that since it was already 5.1, why not make it 5.1.4 by adding the 4 height channels? I realised then that immersive audio technology is no longer a new thing, and we as creators surely have to learn to master this format."

The studio then engaged the system integrator DMT to install a pair of Genelec 1234As as its main stereo monitoring system, with a 5.1.4 immersive system comprising 11 8330A nearfield two-way monitors in all positions - complemented by a 7370A subwoofer.

All the monitors were supplied in a Polar White finish, and the entire system was configured and calibrated by DMT using GLM loudspeaker manager software.

“I used various monitors to evaluate my work in different rooms. Sometimes, it would sound fine on my own monitors in my own room, but the results would often vary when I’d listen to material in other spaces. So I’d start to doubt what I was hearing,” said Knuckles.

“It was then that I realised that I needed a genuinely truthful monitoring system to do my work. Genelec's sound is very reliable. You can trust what you’re hearing, and you can be certain about what you create using them. When I use the 1234s to listen to material, I can immediately evaluate the quality of mixing.”

Knuckles is convinced that immersive audio is the format of the future for games developers.

“In recent years, the domestic games industry has attached greater importance to the sound experience,” he added. “As we look to the international market, we’re finding that more and more games with big-budget production are using immersive audio to create the sound experience. Because sometimes, we just want to step into another world and forget about real life, or even ourselves, for a while.

“While others here are still at the learning and building phase with immersive rooms, we already have the experience and a place to create immersive audio. Now we’re one step ahead, we’re ready to take the lead!"