Super Audio Mastering Trusts Trinnov Audio30 May 2013
eMerging, Trinnov’s UK Distributor installed a Room/Speaker Optimisation System in Simon Heyworth’s Devonshire Mastering Studio.
Picture: Mastering Engineers, Andy Miles (left) and, Simon Heyworth (right) with their new Trinnov Optimizer System.
Impressed with the elegance and quality of Trinnov Audio room optimisation, Simon Heyworth of Super Audio Mastering has chosen to install a system in his world renowned mastering studio.
Simon Heyworth began his audio career back in the early days of Richard Branson’s Virgin Records empire at The Manor Studios in 1970, where he would soon establish his reputation as engineer and co-producer on the 15 million selling album, Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells”.
This flying start has led to a prestigious 40 year career in the music industry including collaborations with artists such as Brian Eno, King Crimson, Imogen Heap, Marillion, Nick Drake, Depeche Mode, Simple Minds and many more.
Having established himself as a Mastering engineer in London at both Chop’em Out and Sanctuary and also in Belgium at Galaxy Studios, during the summer of 2002 Simon setup his own state-of-the-art Mastering facility, Super Audio Mastering in Devon, South West England which is now considered one of the world’s finest Mastering Studios.
Q&A with Simon Heyworth
How did you first hear about Trinnov?
“I was talking to Paul Mortimer from eMerging about new gear and the discussion shifted towards a French brand he now distributes in the UK called Trinnov Audio whom have developed a room and speaker optimization system”.
What were you thinking at the time?
“The final bits of acoustic room treatment can often mean the use of equalizers across the monitoring system. Once one has sorted out all the timing and phase issues with the room using physical room acoustics, one may still need to complete more work on these issues and how the monitors interact with the surfaces within the space (console, equipment etc). I was interested to see how real-time DSP 3D room/speaker optimization technology could work, as it involves A-D’s and D-A’s between the output of the console and the power amps”.
Was it worth giving it a try?
“Absolutely! Although I was very sceptical at first it must be said. This kind of system has been around for a while but there has never been the combination of computing power, high quality A-D’s and enough elegant algorithms to make it all work coherently.
So, Paul came down to the Studio to demo the system. We set about taking readings using the Trinnov 3D mic and tweaking the system to suit our needs. From the outset it was clear that the A-D and D-A’s were of a very high quality. To be absolutely certain we switched out all the DSP processing just to listen to the A-D/D-A conversion and they were really transparent. So much so that I was tempted to use them as Mastering A-D’s as well, to add to our arsenal.
Since our initial aim with the Trinnov was to get our Dunlavy SC-V’s to work in this room I was very surprised to find that after a little over 5 minutes of room calibration and some detailed listening to a few choice reference records, the improvement of the stereo image and the low end control was obvious. I soon realized that I was finally getting to hear these speakers in the way I first heard them in various Mastering facilities in the USA. By the end of the day I seriously started thinking that the Trinnov could be a very good addition to our monitoring system”.
What are your other monitors of choice?
“I have traditionally used TDL Reference Series over the years for my Stereo Mastering work and M&K MPS-2510’s in a 5.1 Surround array for my Surround work”.
How do you think the Trinnov system will affect the way you work?
“I don’t think I will do anything different as a Mastering engineer, it will just enable Andy and I to hear what is going on even more clearly. Through Trinnov you hear it flatter – truer than it was before, which is good, but it does not necessarily mean you use it to create a completely flat sounding room. The target curve feature and the realtime graphic equalizer allows one to tailor the sound to have an accurate but also pleasant/exciting sounding room for our clients to spend time in. Also, as we have the 3D Trinnov microphone we are able to check the room alignment on regular basis”.
Would you recommend Trinnov?
“Yes. The overall soundstage is now more stable but one definitely needs to listen to it and take time to see how it can improve the accuracy of your listening space. I don’t think people should be scared of it. As I mentioned earlier, I was very sceptical about what it would do to the sound adding another conversion and DSP into the chain but quite simply, I want people to be able to experience this room in an exciting but accurate way and hear what their mix really sounds like on a big or small system. Trinnov has provided me with an elegant way of achieving this”.
Trinnov Room Correction and Optimisation Explained
Using EQ and phase correction (in the frequency and time domains), it allows for ‘reverse convolution’ to take control of the sound that the room is adding to direct sound from your monitoring.
Apart from in an anechoeic chamber, sound never travels just from a speaker to a listener. In fact, sound will encounter countless surfaces, materials, and even other sound waves, which will affect what a listener hears. And because sound reproduction takes place across frequency and time, the nature of how it is affected varies between high and low frequencies at different times after a sound is reproduced. However, because room size and layout largely stay the same, it is possible to analyse a room, calculate what might affect sound reproduction at the point a listeners is sat, and compensate for this.The ultimate goal of a system like Trinnov Optimizer is to let the listener hear a true representation of the sound being reproduced by the speakers, compensating for the effect of the room on the sound.