World-class Mansion Sound studios
Posted on: Tuesday 30th of August 2022
Located in Branson, Missouri, Mansion Sound is a multimillion-dollar custom designed studio complex created specifically for audio production in music, film, television and postproduction. Both of its studios feature Solid State Logic mixing systems and all-Genelec 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos immersive monitoring. The new facility, which opened on August 1, 2022, features an SSL 96-input Duality Fuse SuperAnalogue console, the first of its kind to be installed anywhere in the world, and an SSL System T S500 48-fader digital audio mixing console. [click to view large images]
Studio A – Atmos monitoring and Duality Fuse
Studio A has the most powerful Genelec Dolby Atmos system in the United States to date, and the largest and most powerful Solid State Logic Duality Fuse 96-channel SuperAnalogue mixing console yet built – the first of its kind to be installed anywhere in the world.
Studio A’s Dolby Atmos system includes a horizontal array consisting of seven soffit-mounted 1234A Smart Active Monitors for LCR and surrounds, four 8351B monitors above the mix position acting as the overhead array, and two 7382A subwoofers handling bass management as well as the LFE, along with two Genelec 9301A AES/EBU Multichannel Interfaces.
Duality Fuse is a new flagship console model from SSL that, among other new features, offers a fully integrated Fusion analogue processor in the centre section, providing users with a set of colouration tools for adding tonal character, weight and space to stereo stems. “This latest version of Duality, the Duality Fuse, does things no other console can do,” says Danny Stone, Mansion Sound’s Chief Engineer, “and it’s all backed by the support that only SSL can offer.”
Studio B – immersive audio with SSL System T
Studio B employs Genelec’s The Ones monitoring, and features seven 8351B monitors for the LCR and surrounds, four 8341A monitors for the overhead array, and two 7380A subwoofers handling bass management and the LFE, along with two Genelec 9301A AES/EBU Multichannel Interfaces. Studio B also has a Solid State Logic System T S500 48-fader/256-channel immersive mixing console.
Stone continues, “For the B room, we wanted a console and controller that could provide everything we were used to, like SSL EQs and compressors, but with the added flexibility of a high channel count, multi-format busing and tight DAW integration. Once we saw the System T S500 we knew it could do everything that we wanted. The onboard SSL processing and the power and flexibility to tackle recording and mixing duties across stereo and immersive formats put the S500 way ahead of the competition. The training the SSL engineers gave us really empowered us to get the best out of this fantastic console. They can even provide us with support by driving the console remotely from their L.A. and New York offices using TeamViewer.”
Mansion Entertainment Group
Mansion Sound, part of The Mansion Entertainment Group headquartered in Branson, Missouri, encompasses a strategically defined global brand of creative production entities. In addition to Mansion Sound, the core brand includes Mansion Animation, Mansion Film & Television and Mansion Studios, a film and television production and post-production campus now in full development and pre-construction. At the heart of the group is the Mansion Theatre for the Performing Arts, a 3,000-seat multi-purpose venue that is currently celebrating its thirtieth anniversary and is considered a premier center for the performing arts in the Midwest United States.
“The first time I heard the Genelec 1031A, I just couldn’t believe the imaging and the detail,” stated Danny Stone. “I heard things in mixes that I’d never heard before, not only in my own work but in other people’s work as well. I said, ‘this is the holy grail of speakers’; everything else paled in comparison.” It took a little over a year for Mansion Sound to go from concept to completion when re-designing their studios to add the immersive Dolby Atmos format.
When it came time to decide on what monitors to employ for their new immersive rooms, Stone said the decision was easy. “I have been a major Genelec fan since I first heard the 1031As, and I’ve heard all the competitors. And there’s some good boxes out there. But for me, nothing translates as well as Genelec. It’s not just about highs and lows; it’s the imaging, the detail, the depth of it. I always felt like I could see into the music in a way that I never was able to before, so choosing Genelecs for our immersive rooms was the obvious choice.”
The A and the B room — using an SSL SB32.24 stage box controlled by the System T — can both access 128 lines from the stage of the Mansion Theatre, which is in the same building. Both control rooms can also source 128 inputs from a spacious adjacent tracking room, measuring approximately 25 feet by 16 feet, that features three iso booths, the largest accommodating the studio’s Yamaha C7 grand piano. A Dante network enables content sharing between the two rooms, which are each equipped with a maxed-out 34-core Apple Macintosh computer running Pro Tools with access to two Avid 100TB servers, connected via a 10Gb switch, and individual Avid MTRX conversion, routing and monitoring systems.
Two processing racks that float between the A and the B room are loaded with Chandler, GML, Manley and Shadow Hills units. Six Bricasti reverbs may be shared in any combination between the two rooms. A credenza in the A room additionally houses a large selection of classic and modern preamps, effects and processing devices, including LA-2A and Sta-Level units. The System T in the B room has access to two 500 series racks with modules from API, Chandler, Focusrite, Millennia Media, Maag, Neve, Pultec, Shadow Hills and others, including a Solid State Logic UltraViolet EQ.
On top of their Genelec immersive sound-systems in studio “A” and “B,” Mansion Sound also has other Genelec speakers in the complex. “In addition to our immersive rooms we have a pair of 1039As and two pairs of 8050As,” commented Stone. “I personally have two pairs of 1030As, and we still have three 1031As. You can’t go anywhere in the Mansion and not see a Genelec speaker.”
Ozark Symphony opens
The inaugural project at Mansion Sound was An Ozark Mountain Symphony: A Musical Celebration, an hour-long special featuring The Springfield Symphony Orchestra and a galaxy of Disney, Broadway, gospel and country music stars. Filmed live in concert at the Mansion Theatre For The Performing Arts, it was recorded and mixed at Mansion Sound by multiple GRAMMY, Latin GRAMMY and Emmy winning producer, mixer and engineer Dave Reitzas and will premiere on PBS nationwide later this year and in 2023. Commenting on working at Mansion Sound, Dave Reitzas stated, “It was an amazing feeling to be working in a studio in Branson, Missouri that rivals some of the best studios I work at in L.A. The staff and the equipment are outstanding! And to be in a room surrounded with Genelec speakers makes me feel right at home as I have been a longtime user for the past 28 years.”