Grand Bay Recording Studios is the newest facility in Florida’s west coast audio-production community. The three-room, 5,700-square-foot facility occupies its own building in the Ybor City Historic District of East Tampa. Owner and founder Alex Romero and his wife Lorena Romero, the studio’s CFO, opened it in September, after operating studios in other areas of the city since 2018. In that time, they’ve built a thriving business serving the region’s music and commercial recording, mixing and mastering clients, as well as students of the “Master the Bounce” audio engineering course taught there. One of the bedrocks of Grand Bay Recording’s technology foundation are two pairs of Genelec 8361AP Smart Active Monitors™. Two of the studio rooms each use a pair of 8361AP monitors as its mains, with one of the rooms using the white-clad version, which acts as a kind of canvas for the Philips Hue color-changing lighting in the room. In addition, one pair of Genelec 8340AP is used as a second mix-reference monitor. All the Genelec monitors were purchased through Magic Audio of Orlando.
Romero, who has been a Genelec fan since his first pair of 1031s a decade ago, says the 8361A monitors are the ultimate in monitoring accuracy. “I love the way they sound, and especially the fact that the 8361 has plenty of low end even without having to use a subwoofer,” he explains. “We have a 7370A sub on hand, but the 8361A’s low end goes down so smoothly we don’t need it. And I’ve found that that’s a good thing for many music clients: too much low end available can get you into trouble when trying to balance a mix. The 8361A gives you everything you need for a well-balanced mix.” And, he adds, a pair of 8340AP monitors is close at hand when he needs a second mix reference.
But says Romero — who is known by his mix handle MixedByLex on recordings such as Internet Money’s “Somebody” ft. Lil Tecca and A Boogie, and Iann Dior’s album Industry Plant — what really sold him on Genelec is the GLM software. He says he was able to install and position the 8361As himself perfectly for the rooms’ dimensions and geometry. “GLM was really the main reason we went with Genelec,” he says. “I’m not an acoustician, but I know what I want in the way a room should sound. I plug in the monitors and load the software, enter the room dimensions, and Genelec does all the work. It gives me accurate monitoring and imaging, and it’s so much easier to use than the other software out there.” Furthermore, he adds, he’s integrated Genelec’s GLM and AutoCal into Grand Bay Recording’s education program, as a way to explain acoustics, treatments, and acoustical solutions to students. “We plug in the monitors and the acoustic measurement microphone and watch as the Genelec software does its magic,” he says. “You know those students are going to get their own Genelecs later on.” In fact, contends Romero, no other monitor brand can do it all — recording, mixing, mastering, and teaching — like Genelec. “The 8361 covers all the bases and does all of it so well,” he says. “We’re buying them in pairs now, aiming to create a Dolby Atmos monitoring system eventually. The 8361 is going to be the foundation for that, too.”