Acclaimed record producer Trina Shoemaker counts among her credits such top acts as Rodney Crowell, Queens of the Stone Age, Josh Ritter, Emmylou Harris, Brandi Carlile, Sheryl Crow and many others. She has won three GRAMMY Awards, for her work with Sheryl Crow and Stephen Curtis Chapman, and been nominated for several others.
She recently has taken a bold upgrade in monitoring with the acquisition of 8351 three-way Smart Active Monitors (SAM) from Genelec at her home studio, one of her primary workspaces.
Shoemaker notes, “These monitors make my incredibly long work days less fatiguing on my ears. Ten or 12 hours of constant critical listening tends to be very draining, but with these monitors it’s not an issue, even at loud volumes. But I can keep them at a low-to-medium volume, and they still sound full and balanced and very, very clear and smooth. It’s like putting on just the right prescription of contact lenses for my ears.”
Like many industry veterans, Shoemaker wasn’t aiming for a change in her sound, so any upgrade in gear needs to integrate well into the existing workflow. She remarks, “I would say my mixes haven’t changed, and that’s a good thing, but the 8351’s have made things easier to assess. I can hear detail on reverbs more clearly, and I can hear if I’ve got a little lump in the lower mids more clearly on the 8351’s. There were things I wouldn’t catch on my other speakers until I did a car test. That happens far less on the 8351’s.”
She adds, “I appreciate the way these monitors have certain proprietary tools in place – GLM AutoCal™ technology – to analyze your room and optimize the sound in terms of EQ and establishing the ‘sweet spot.’ I know exactly where the standing waves are in my room near my chair, and I’m actually used to them and prefer to work with those waves as they are, but just to see what the monitors are capable of, I enabled the automated calibration tools to tune the system to my room. The AutoCal correctly analyzed the room and adjusted the curve accordingly. I heard the change immediately. It was delightful. A very fun learning tool as well.”
All in all, she is very pleased with the monitors, and continues to admire the Genelec brand. “These are extremely high fidelity and very elegant monitors,” she notes. “I respect what Genelec is able to accomplish with their monitors, and I find them beautiful. I have always loved Genelecs.”
More information: Genelec