When space is at a premium, the 4020C is your compact, faithful friend. Designed for challenging commercial installations, the 4020C squeezes huge performance into a small package.
4020C Installation Speaker
Accuracy of Frequency Response
± 2.5 dB (62 Hz - 20 kHz)
56 Hz - 25 kHz (-6dB)
50W Bass + 50W Treble (Class D)
3.1 kg / 6.8 lb
1 x Euroblock Analog Input
4020C Installation Speaker
62 Hz - 20 kHz (± 2.5 dB)
Low cutoff -6dB
High cutoff -6dB
Peak SPL Maximum peak acoustic output per pair at 1 m distance with music material.
Maximum peak acoustic output per pair at 1 m distance with music material.
Short term max SPL Maximum short term sine wave acoustic output on axis in half space, averaged from 100 Hz to 3 kHz.
Maximum short term sine wave acoustic output on axis in half space, averaged from 100 Hz to 3 kHz.
Long term max SPL Maximum long term RMS acoustic output in same conditions with IEC weighted noise (limited by driver unit protection circuit) at 1 m.
Maximum long term RMS acoustic output in same conditions with IEC weighted noise (limited by driver unit protection circuit) at 1 m.
Self-generated noise Self generated noise level in free field at 1 m on axis (A-weighted).
Self generated noise level in free field at 1 m on axis (A-weighted).
3.1 kg (6.8 lb)
Die cast aluminium
Magnetically shielded bass driver.
Magnetically shielded treble driver.
> 200 Hz ≤0.5 dB
50 W Class D
100-240 VAC 50/60Hz
Signal Processing Section
Input Audio input is via a 10 kOhm balanced connector.
Audio input is via a 10 kOhm balanced connector.
For even more technical details, please see product operating manual.
Precision and clarity
With beautiful aesthetics and 120 RAL colour finishes, the 4020C delivers Genelec’s trademark precision and clarity, with controlled directivity and the ability to adapt to challenging acoustic environments via simple rear panel room compensation switches. This ensures clean, intelligible, non-fatiguing audio whatever the playback level, plus bulletproof 24/7 reliability as standard.
Get more active
The active design of the 4000 series removes the need for bulky external power amplifiers, since the amplifiers, crossover filters and protection circuitry are contained within the speaker cabinet itself. This not only ensures that the electronics and drivers are mutually optimised, but also reduces the need for racks of external amplifiers and associated cabling. And thanks to our extensive range of mounting accessories, the 4000 series can be installed quickly and conveniently in almost any location.
Available in 120 RAL colours
Would you like to match your speakers with your interior design?
No problem – simply choose from our wide range of colour options.*
*RAL colours not available for 4010 model
Directivity Control Waveguide (DCW™) Technology
Minimum Diffraction Enclosure (MDE™) Technology
Reflex Port Design
Room Response Compensation
Intelligent Signal Sensing (ISS™) Technology
Directivity Control Waveguide (DCW™) for flat on- and off-axis response.
A revolutionary approach was taken by Genelec in 1983 with the development of its Directivity Control Waveguide (DCW™) used at the time in an egg-shaped enclosure. The Genelec DCW technology developed and refined over more than 30 years greatly improves the performance of direct radiating multi-way monitors.
The DCW technology shapes the emitted wavefront in a controlled way, allowing predictable tailoring of the directivity (dispersion) pattern. To make the directivity uniform and smooth, the goal is to limit the radiation angle so that the stray radiation is reduced. It results in excellent flatness of the overall frequency response as well as uniform power response. This advanced DCW technology minimizes early reflections and provides a wide and controlled listening area achieving accurate sound reproduction on- and off-axis.
Minimized early reflections and controlled, constant directivity have another important advantage: the frequency balance of the room reverberation field is essentially the same as the direct field from the monitors. As a consequence, the monitoring system's performance is less dependent on room acoustic characteristics.
Sound image width and depth, critical components in any listening environment, are important not only for on-axis listening, but also off-axis. This accommodates not only the engineer doing his or her job, but also others in the listening field, as is so often the case in large control rooms.
DCW™ Technology key benefits:
- Flat on- and off-axis response for wider usable listening area
- Increased direct-to-reflected sound ratio for reduced control room coloration
- Improved stereo and sound stage imaging
- Increased drive unit sensitivity up to 6 dB
- Increased system maximum sound pressure level capacity
- Decreased drive unit distortion
- Reduced cabinet edge diffraction
- Reduced complete system distortion
Minimum Diffraction Enclosure (MDE™) for uncoloured sound reproduction.
A common problem with standard free-standing loudspeakers is that the front baffle discontinuities cause diffractions and the loudspeaker sharp corners act as secondary sources through reflections.
In order to improve the flatness of the frequency response and the power response of free standing loudspeaker systems, Genelec have designed a highly innovative enclosure optimized to match the properties of the monitor drivers, featuring rounded edges, and gently curved front and sides. In addition to achieving an unsurpassed flatness of the frequency response, the enclosure having minimum diffractions yields superb sound stage imaging qualities.
To achieve such a smooth and elegantly curved cabinet surface and to reduce the outer dimensions of the enclosure, maximising at the same time the internal volume for improved low frequency efficiency, we designed a cabinet made off die-cast aluminium. Aluminium is lightweight, stiff and very easy to damp to yield a “dead” structure. The cabinet walls can be made fairly thin, providing at the same time good EMC shielding and excellent heat sink for the power amplifiers. Die-casting is made in two parts, front and rear, and they are easy to separate for potential servicing needs.
The DCW waveguide has been integrated in the MDE aluminium enclosure to provide improved control of the loudspeaker’s directivity. Basically, the low frequency limit for constant directivity is determined by the size of the waveguide, so the larger the surface the better the control. With a very controlled off-axis radiation, the listening window becomes consistent, which is of utmost importance with multi-channel audio monitoring. Controlled directivity also reduces possible first order reflections on surfaces near the loudspeaker, helping to provide consistent audio reproduction in different acoustical environments. In fact, the entire front baffle is gently curved and the acoustically transparent grilles are part of the outer cabinet aesthetics, blending perfectly with the various other curved surfaces.
Advanced reflex port design for extended low frequency response.
Genelec’s choice for vented, or reflex, enclosures dates back to the S30 model, the first Genelec product from 1978. Port performance has been improved and refined over the years with the aim to increase the woofer’s low frequency extension and sound pressure level capability to provide outstanding bass articulation and definition.
Both driver and vent contribute to the total radiation of a reflex enclosure. Most radiation comes from the driver, but at the vent-enclosure resonant frequency the driver displacement amplitude is small and most of the radiation comes out of the vent.
To minimize the air speed in the tube, the cross sectional area of the vent should be large. This in turn means that the vent tube has to be long which presents quite a design challenge.
The long, curved tube maximizes airflow so deep bass can be reproduced without compression. The reflex tube terminates with a wide flare located on the rear of the enclosure for obvious reasons, minimizing port noises and providing excellent bass articulation.
The curvature of the tube has also been carefully designed to minimize any audible noise, compression or distortion. The inner end of the tube has proper resistive termination to minimize once again audible chuffing noise and air turbulence.
Proper reflex port design allows also to significantly reduce the woofer’s displacement, improving the linear low frequency output capacity.
Precise room response compensation for optimizing in-room performance.
The interaction between room acoustic and loudspeaker radiation is complex. Each room changes somewhat the monitor’s response in a unique way, e.g. reflective vs. damped rooms, or placement against a wall vs. on a stand away from the walls.
All Genelec loudspeaker systems feature room response adjustments to compensate for the room influences and retrieve a flat frequency response at the listening position.
Genelec analogue loudspeaker systems provide versatile Room Response Controls. They include (depending on models):
- Bass Roll-Off and Bass Tilt
- Treble Tilt and Treble Roll-Off
- Bass Level
- Midrange Level
- Treble Level
- Desktop Control
At low frequencies two main controls are provided. The Bass Tilt control, which acts as a shelving filter together with the Bass Roll-off control allowing you to optimize the low and very low frequency response of the system in different installations. Bass, midrange and treble level controls are provided in large systems. These controls allow to optimize the relative balance between the various pass bands.
The operating manual and datasheet of each loudspeaker contains a list of preferred room response control settings for different installations. These have been specified out of long practical experience and measurements of various kind of typical acoustic environments.
Smart Active Monitor (SAM™) Systems
Genelec SAM Systems offer a comprehensive, solution-oriented, intelligently networked product range which all feature Genelec Loudspeaker Manager (GLM™) software and its automatic calibration system called AutoCal™.
Genelec AutoCal provides the industry’s first integrated process for complete automated measurement, analysis, and adjustment of every monitor on the GLM control network. The system measures the response in the listening area and applies relevant compensation in the low and low-mid frequencies to minimise the detrimental room acoustic anomalies as well as the differences between various listening positions. AutoCal also aligns relative levels, time-of-flight, as well as adjusts correct crossover phase (called AutoPhase) for all subwoofers on the network.
The Acoustic Response Editor provides accurate graphical display of the measured response, filter compensation and the resulting system response for each monitor, with full manual control of acoustic settings.
Each transducer is driven by its own optimized amplifier.
Audio electronic crossovers allow to split the audio signal into separate frequency bands that can be separately routed to individual power amplifiers which then are connected to specific transducers optimized for a particular frequency band.
In a typical 2-way loudspeaker system, the active crossover needs two power amplifiers — one for the woofer and one for the tweeter. The power amplifiers are connected directly to the drivers of an active loudspeaker, resulting in the power amplifier’s load becoming much simpler and well known. Each driver-specific power amplifier has only a limited frequency range to amplify (the power amplifier is placed after the active crossover) and this adds to the ease of design.
The active design principle offers multiple benefits:
- The power amplifiers are directly connected to the speaker drivers, maximizing the control exerted by the power amplifier’s damping on the driver’s voice coil, reducing the consequences of dynamic changes in the driver electrical characteristics. This may improve the transient response of the system.
- There is a reduction in the power amplifier output requirement. With no energy lost in the passive crossover filter components, the amplifier power output requirements are reduced considerably (by up to 1/2 in some cases) without any reduction in the acoustic power output of the loudspeaker system. This can reduce costs and increase audio quality and system reliability.
- No loss between amplifier and driver units results in maximum acoustic efficiency
- Active technology can achieve superior sound output vs. size vs. low frequency cut-off performance
- All loudspeakers are delivered as a factory aligned system (amplifiers, crossover electronics and enclosure-driver systems)
Active crossover operating at low signal levels.
Audio electronic crossovers allow to split the audio signal into separate frequency bands that can be separately routed to individual power amplifiers which then are connected to specific transducers optimized for a particular frequency band.
Active crossovers come in both digital and analogue varieties. Genelec digital active crossovers include additional signal processing, such as driver protection, delay, and equalization.
Genelec analogue active crossover filters contain electronic components that are operated at low signal levels suitable for power amplifier inputs. This is in contrast to passive crossovers that operate at the high signal levels of the power amplifier's outputs, having to handle high currents and in some cases high voltages.
In a typical 2-way system the active crossover needs two power amplifiers — one for the woofer and one for the tweeter.
The active crossover design offers multiple benefits:
- The frequency response becomes independent of any dynamic changes in the driver's electrical characteristics or the drive level.
- There is an increased flexibility and precision to adjust and fine tune each output frequency response for the specific drivers used.
- Each driver has its own signal processing and power amplifier. This isolates each driver from the drive signals handled by the other drivers, reducing inter-modulation distortion and overdriving problems.
- The ability to compensate for sensitivity variations between drivers.
- The possibility to compensate for the frequency and phase response anomalies associated with a driver’s characteristics within the intended pass-band.
- The flat frequency response of a high-quality active loudspeaker is a result of the combined effect of the crossover filter response, power amplifier responses and driver responses in a loudspeaker enclosure.
Using the active approach enables frequency response adjustments and optimization of the full loudspeaker system, placed in various room environments, without expensive external equalizers. The end result is a simpler, more reliable, efficient, consistent and precise active loudspeaker system.
Sophisticated drive unit protection circuitry for safe operation.
When working in critical audio production environments it is essential that monitoring systems remain reliable and functional at all times. One of the main reasons behind Genelec’s excellent success in broadcasting environments is the reliability of our products and a key element behind the reliability is the internal protection circuitry found in all products since 1978.
The protection circuitry prevents driver failures by detecting signal levels, and in case of sudden peaks or constantly too high levels, taking the signal level down automatically. Of course this feature does not affect the sound quality in any way when working within the specifications of the loudspeaker, but only prevents inadequate input signals from breaking the loudspeaker.
Protection circuitry features and benefits:
- Reduces the output level when required, (e.g. when driver voice coil temperature reaches the safe limit) which highly improves the system reliability
- Appropriate protection circuitry design in every loudspeaker and subwoofer enables to maximise system output sound level.
Intelligent Signal Sensing (ISS™) for power consumption reduction in stand-by mode.
Introduced early 2013, Genelec’s Intelligent Signal-Sensing technology has been developed to meet with both European Union ErP Directives and the company’s own wider sustainability commitments.
The Intelligent Signal Sensing, ISS™ circuitry tracks the signal input of the loudspeaker and detects if it is in use. If the ISS circuit does not find any audio on the input for a period of time, it sets the loudspeaker to a low-power sleep state and the loudspeaker will consume less than 0.5 watts. When an input signal is detected, the loudspeaker immediately turns itself on. Basically, the loudspeaker system will start saving power as soon as work is interrupted.
Additionally an ‘ISS Disable’ switch is located on each product’s back plate next to the other room response controls. First, when the mains power switch of the loudspeaker is set to “ON”, the ISS™ auto-start function (low-power sleep state on/off) of the loudspeaker is active.
If this function is not desired, the ISS™ function can be disabled by setting the “ISS Disable” switch on the back panel to “ON” position. In this mode, the monitor is only powered on and off using the mains power switch.
Note that the mains power switch will always turn the monitor off completely.
Versatile mounting options for all installation needs.
In addition to perfect acoustical design and advanced tailoring options to optimize the loudspeaker’s behaviour to the room environment, Genelec loudspeakers offer a variety of mounting options for easy installation in different applications.
Our wide range of accessories and fixed mounting points on the back of our aluminium enclosure products offer solutions to all common installation situations. M6 support points have been integrated in the die-cast enclosure for wall and ceiling mounts.
Some models also feature a 3/8” thread at the bottom of the enclosure to fit a robust microphone stand. Other larger and heavier models feature M10 fixing points. Special floor stand plates have been designed in order to fit the Iso-Pod stand that is part of our product design.
With these features our loudspeakers have found their way to a variety of applications beyond the professional audio and studio world, for example in commercial and AV installation projects as well as in home environments all around the world.
DownloadsLine Drawings (PDF) 4020C Line Drawings (DWG) 4020C Simulation File (EASE3) 4020C Simulation File (EASE4) 4020C Simulation File (CLF) 4020C Simulation File (GLL) 4020C
Mounting your monitors with our accessories
Genelec offers you a wide variety of functional and smart mounting accessories for different installations. With our mounting equipment it is possible to mount loudspeakers, whether you are seeking monitor stands, wall mounts or ceiling mounts. Our accessories range includes floor and table stands, ceiling and wall mounts, adapters, slatwall mounts, but also flush-mounting and rack-mounting kits. For a complete overview of our accessories offering, please visit our accessories page.
Genelec Provides Muscle for SPR Athlete Factory
A powerful blend of Genelec products delivers exemplary audio performance at leading martial arts gym in Sweden.
Genelec steams into action at new Amerikalinjen Hotel, Oslo
Amerikalinjen recreates the glamour of a bygone age with Genelec.
G Livelab – The future of live music in Tampere relies on Genelec
Genelec Smart IP opens up ‘world of possibilities’ for new G Livelab live venue.
Genelec helps create award-winning soundscape in New Children’s Hospital
New children's hospital is designed from a child's perspective.
A powerful blend of Genelec products delivers exemplary audio performance at leading martial arts gym in Sweden.
The SPR Athlete Factory is a premium gym in the heart of the Swedish capital of Stockholm, specialising in functional physical performance training, or body mechanics, and high-level martial arts. Founder, Waldo Zapata, was keen to create the best possible environment for his athletes, both during their training sessions as well as before and after, and this included a state-of-the-art sound system based on Genelec’s 4000 Series installation loudspeakers installed by systems integrators, MA Ljud & Bildmontage - who had already installed a Genelec system into Zapata’s first gym in Södermalm.
“As with the first venue, our primary objective was to ensure a consistently good audio performance throughout the building,” says Morgan Askeholt, owner and founder of MA Ljud & Bildmontage. “One of the main reasons for selecting Genelec initially was the impeccable sound quality, and the fact that you know that they will continue to deliver that quality for many years to come. I particularly appreciate the Directivity Control Waveguide technology which enabled us to deliver a flat frequency response for excellent sound both on- and off-axis. This was important for the Södermalm installation which, as a retro-fit, meant that the positioning of some of the speakers was not perhaps as we would’ve liked. However, for the City venue, we were able to integrate the audio design into the build, which means our results were better still.”
“The best sound is what you feel and experience without it being an intrusion or a distraction.”
Nevertheless, the acoustic environment in any gymnasium is a challenging one, and the new city centre SPR Athlete Factory was no exception with a large amount of hard, reflective surfaces, including stone. “My goal was to fill the respective sound zones with the right number of speakers to ensure that the system can be heard everywhere, even at low levels, despite the challenging environment,” explains Askeholt. “The best sound is what you feel and experience without it being an intrusion or a distraction.”
A total of nine zones have been set up on the premises, facilitated via Sonos CONNECT players. Mono summing adapters were used with every Sonos player in order to provide a mono signal to all the Genelec speakers. As the Sonos units don’t have a designated subwoofer output, Askeholt used the bass management feature of Genelec’s 7040A subwoofer to resolve the issue. The result is that music can be easily streamed and played in different zones through the entire Genelec speaker setup, providing outstanding audio clarity and precision.
In the larger areas such as the gym and the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) combat area, Askeholt opted for Genelec’s powerful 4040A active loudspeakers, and thanks to their impressive low frequency performance there was no need to install additional subwoofers - saving space and ensuring a more streamlined setup. The 4040A’s phoenix-type connectors made installation straightforward, allowing them to be daisy-chained together.
“The fact that they are all active is a big bonus as it simplifies installation and saves space."
A combination of 4030C and the slightly smaller 4020C loudspeakers are used throughout the rest of the facility including the juice/coffee bar, the locker rooms, and reception - which also features a Genelec 7040A subwoofer to reinforce the low end. “The volume in the reception area needs to be at very low levels, so the addition of a subwoofer helps to improve the sound considerably,” explains Askeholt.
“In addition to their excellent sound quality, Genelec’s 4000 Series installation loudspeakers offer a number of other benefits,” he continues. “The fact that they are all active is a big bonus as it simplifies installation and saves space, since we don’t have to find room for an amplifier rack. There is also a very wide choice of mounting accessories making it very easy to adapt the installation to the constraints of the room. The results across both gyms have been excellent, both from an audio point of view, and also the experience of working with Genelec equipment. I shall definitely be specifying Genelec loudspeakers much more for commercial projects in the future.”
The Amerikalinjen building located in the most central and vibrant part of Oslo has a rich and colourful history. It was inaugurated in 1919 as the headquarters of the Norwegian America Line, a hugely successful passenger and freight shipping company that opened up the New World for hundreds of thousands of Norwegians.
100 years later the architectural landmark has been reborn as one of Oslo’s premier urban boutique hotels, complete with a comprehensive Genelec sound system supplied by Norwegian pro audio specialists, Benum. Occupying some of Oslo’s most prime real estate, Amerikalinjen - owned by the Nordic Choice Hotels group - has retained all of its authenticity whilst providing today’s travellers with a thoroughly modern experience.
You know that once they are in, the client will have trouble-free service for years.
The remit was clear – Amerikalinjen wanted the best possible sound in all areas of the hotel, to match the rest of the high quality services and fittings. The requirement was for four separate areas: reception; the restaurant; the cocktail bar; and the beautifully luxuriant conservatory at the heart of the hotel. Everything should sound extraordinary.
“Genelec was a completely natural choice for this installation,” declares Ronald Hernes, Benum CEO who oversaw the Amerikalinjen project. “Firstly, the sound quality is second to none. Secondly, they are active speakers which are therefore easier to cable and install, and there is no need for an amp rack room. Finally, you know that once they are in, the client will have trouble-free service for years. There’s no doubt that, for a project of this calibre, Genelec ticks all the boxes.” Nevertheless, he recalls that the mission was not without its challenges:
“From an architectural point of view, the building is beautiful with lofty ceilings and large windows,” says Hernes. “It looks wonderful, but it’s not ideal when it comes to speaker placement. Our main concern was achieving the required coverage with such large volumes of space to cover. In the conservatory, we also had to think about the reflections off the glass roof. Fortunately there’s quite a lot of greenery which helps deaden the room a little.”
We are getting positive feedback on the sound on a weekly basis.
Benum suggested increasing the amount of loudspeakers in each area in order to achieve optimal coverage and sound quality even at low levels, yet still conserving sufficient headroom to be able to turn up the volume when required for a more party-like ambience.
“We opted for eight of the larger 4030Cs in the cocktail bar to make sure they had enough power for the late-night crowd. For reception, the restaurant, and the conservatory ‘garden’ we used lots of 4020Cs. Each area also benefits from a pair of 7040A subwoofers (except reception which only has one) to provide a subtle, but critical boost to the low end without
being too physically imposing. In total we installed thirty-eight 4020Cs, eight 4030Cs and seven 7040A subs. Everything is on a Dante network distributed via an Allen & Heath dLive DM0 MixRack which is broken out into analogue at each zone via a Neutrik interface, and then to the loudspeakers via Sonifex active balanced splitters. Each zone is equipped with an A&H IP1 network controller which gives local operators access to source selection and
volume. Finally, we put an A&H IP6 in reception which provides control over multiple zones.”
Wilhelm Hartwig, Amerikalinjen’s general manager, is delighted with the results. “High quality audio, especially in the common areas, was an early focus,” he explains. “We chose Genelec as a premium Scandinavian brand and we are incredibly happy with the results. We are getting positive feedback on the sound on a weekly basis. I’ve worked at many hotels but I can’t ever remember guests commenting on the sound quality before! That is really quite something.”
In the wake of the unmitigated success that is G Livelab Helsinki, the Finnish Musicians’ Union has opened a brand new – and bigger – venue in the vibrant city of Tampere, some 200km north of the Finnish capital. The same team was deployed to realise the Tampere project which is built according to the same ‘music first’ philosophy as Helsinki. The result is an extraordinary live music experience based on quality programming, modern design, and state-of-the-art Genelec audio systems including the ground-breaking new 4430 Smart IP loudspeaker.
Housed in a striking red brick building which was formerly the boiler house of the Frenckell paper mill in the heart of the city, the venue hosts up to 250 people and offers a hugely varied programme including jazz, folk, world music, pop/rock, chamber music, electronic music and more. Akukon Oy designed the acoustics, electroacoustics, lighting, sound, video, communication systems and basic IT structure as well as the rigging systems, as they did for Helsinki, and leading Nordic AV integrator, Bright – another key member of the Helsinki team – brought Akukon’s vision to life.
“Genelec was already a tried and tested solution with the first G Livelab project in Helsinki which has had great reviews,” explains Bright’s Head of Installation, Santtu Sipilä. “People really liked what we achieved in Helsinki, so it was an obvious decision to equip the Tampere club with Genelecs as well.”
The biggest difference between the two venues is the space – Tampere is much bigger with significantly higher ceilings. Although this posed certain challenges in terms of acoustic treatment, it also allowed greater freedom for the audio design.
The second notable difference is the use of Genelec’s 4430 Smart IP loudspeakers which weren’t available at the time of the Helsinki installation.
“We definitely wanted the new 4430s for easier cabling and added control; it’s opened up a world of possibilities for us,” admits Sipilä. “We have a fully networked system running on Dante – this includes the big loudspeakers used for the main PA – and any of the 4430s can take any signal from anywhere. This means that we can use the same loudspeakers for virtual acoustics, surround sound, background music, delays… the possibilities are endless, and it’s enabled us to considerably reduce the total amount of loudspeakers required in order to achieve what we wanted. We are able to make art with loudspeakers and we are not limited in any way in terms of how we can use the system.”
Tapio Ilomäki, the project manager for Akukon, agrees: “Our primary objective was the same as for Helsinki: to deliver a high-quality system with high musicality that serves the performer best. However, the versatility of systems and spaces was a key element of the design; modern venues need to be multi-purpose and they have to be able to facilitate these changes as quickly and easily as possible, for optimum functionality and quick return on investment. The use of the 4430s plays an important role at this level as well as offering extremely musical sound with very low distortion.”
The ability to have everything delivered over just a single cable is every installer’s dream.
Sipilä is also extremely impressed with the PoE (Power over Ethernet) capabilities of the 4430s. “We were really surprised by the SPLs and sound quality from this size of loudspeaker over PoE. We honestly didn’t think it was possible, so yes, we’re very impressed. The ability to have everything delivered over just a single cable is every installer’s dream, so I think that Genelec’s Smart IP range will be figuring in a great many of our future designs!”
In addition to the 4430s, the main PA system comprises a pair of 1236 SAM studio monitors, the flagship of the Genelec range, seventeen S360s for surround and delay, a pair of 1238s as the first delay line, and finally a flown sub array of nine 7380 subwoofers. “We didn’t have either the height or the space to include subs in Helsinki, so this is a welcome addition in Tampere which gives us some extra headroom in the system and helps add body and fullness to the sound,” continues Sipilä.
When you come here to listen to live music, it will most likely sound even better than it did on the record.
Renowned Finnish singer/songwriter, Markus Nordenstreng of Tuomo & Markus and the Latebirds considers G Livelab as his favourite venue for intimate performances. “Some of the best music I have ever heard has been live, but sound quality is often let down by the venue, either through bad acoustic treatment or a sub-par sound system – or both. What you have here at G Livelab is just the opposite end of the scale – for me it’s the ultimate live sound experience. When you come here to listen to live music, it will most likely sound even better than it did on the record – you can hear things you never heard before. It would be a great service to mankind if there was a G Livelab in every city around the world!”
The final word goes to Annamaija Saarela, CEO of G Livelab Tampere: “G Livelab isn’t just about the technology or the programming – it’s about the whole experience of enjoying live music, and I’m proud to say that in bringing together the best of everything and everyone involved, we have achieved a result that is even greater than the sum of the parts. We’ve had nothing but positive feedback since we opened, both from the public and musicians alike.”
The New Children’s Hospital (HUS) in Helsinki is one of a kind. Over a million Finns contributed funds to build the new €170M state-ofthe-art facility which welcomed its first patients in late 2018. Focused on demanding, specialised health care for children, the new facility is a case study in patient-centric design that uses art and play – both recognised as key elements for a ‘healing environment’ - combined with the latest digital technology to provide the highest quality medical care in a safe, reassuring environment for the children and their families.
Part of the hospital’s innovative approach included the development of a buildingwide soundscape to create a soothing sonic environment for patients and staff. Genelec is proud to have contributed to this unique endeavour with the provision of nearly 100 loudspeakers, including 39 Genelec 8430A IP SAM™ loudspeakers which serve the soundscape project and were donated outright. Indeed, the soundscape design was recently awarded the Grand Prix in the soundscapes and ambient sound category of the 2019 International Sound Awards (ISA) in Hamburg.
The project was led by paediatrics specialist, Pekka Lahdenne, head of digital and innovations services at HUS who engaged Miikka Peltomaa, an ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat) specialist and keen musician. Dr Peltomaa’s brief was to create the best possible sound experience in one of the world’s most modern children’s hospitals. “My role was kind of CEO of the project,” he says with a smile. “I chose the professionals and collaborators for the venture, for which we had no budget, begged for donations (which was fun and easy) and looked after the project as it developed.
The project steering group consisted of me and Dr Outi Ampuja. Outi is an adjunct professor at the university of Helsinki and a recognised expert in noise analysis and the effects of noise, sound and silence on the human body. Her input was invaluable.”
The idea was to create a soundscape based on the visual theme of each of the hospital’s eight floors, starting in the underground car park. Inspiration was drawn mostly from the natural world as well as the much-loved Finnish Moomin stories; the ocean theme for the underground carpark gives way to the shore at ground level, through valleys, forests and mountains all the way up the stars on level eight. Dr Peltomaa recruited Antti Ikonen, Head of Sound in New Media at Aalto university and ten of his MA students for the mammoth task of developing the content.
“Firstly, the sound is generative, not looping, to avoid stress and ear fatigue,” explains Antti. “All the audio material is hosted in a single computer which generates and renders the soundscapes before feeding them out to each floor and location via the hospital’s IP network. Each soundscape contains ingredients from real sound environments like the ocean, the forest, the jungle, blended with all sorts of other elements that we either created or recorded ourselves or sourced from sound libraries. It was a huge undertaking.”
“The design and planning started before the building even existed,” he continues. “We discussed with the architects, doctors, electrical engineers, IT people, and Genelec how to implement this holistic technological system. The idea was not to fill the building with background music but to create a discreet, lowlevel ambience that is pleasurable and soothing for the kids but won’t disturb nurses or other staff.” A crucial element of the design was speaker placement, which was determined at the very outset of the project and effectively designed into the building to facilitate cabling and infrastructure. The soundscape is delivered via 39 Genelec 8430A IP SAM loudspeakers and ten AIC25 in-ceiling loudspeakers distributed throughout the hospital’s lobbies and corridors from the underground car park all the way up to the top floor. They are specifically not located in proximity to the nurses’ workstations so as not to disturb hospital staff, and neither are they found in patients’ rooms, operating theatres, meeting rooms or any other space that has a specific function.
“The huge advantage of using IP networked loudspeakers is that there’s no need for traditional audio cables when connecting the loudspeakers to the sound source (in this case an Apple Mac Pro computer running the audio engine). Without IP audio, the sound system would have required hundreds of metres of audio cable and would have been vulnerable to many kinds of interference,” explains Antti.
“In an IP audio network, the signal is conveyed as data via the ethernet cables of the computer network. In other words, the sound system is utilising a network which exists anyway. This, of course, is a huge cost saving. And last but not least, there’s no loss in the signal chain and the audio is reproduced perfectly in full quality.”
Jon-Patrik Kuhlefelt, sound technician and digital audio specialist from the Sibelius Academy at Helsinki’s University of the Arts, also played an important role in the technical system design and content planning for the soundscape. “The heart of the system is the Mac Pro running a Max/MSP patch,” he confirms. “A Focusrite REDNET PCIeR audio interface in the Mac Pro feeds Dante streams to a BSS BLU-806DA DSP processor, that is used mainly for muting all the loudspeakers in case of a fire alarm. From there, the outputs are fed to the Genelec 8430A IP SAM loudspeakers via AES67. Finally, we have a Focusrite REDNET AM2 feeding the AIC25s.”
“All system tuning and individual loudspeaker configuration is done directly in the Max patch rather than in the loudspeakers themselves, for the simple reason that if ever we need to exchange a loudspeaker for any reason, all we have to do is swap it out, configure the IP address and select the correct input stream – the new loudspeaker is automatically configured as the old one was, so there is much less risk of altering the sonics of the system by accident. Finally, since the Mac Pro is connected to the hospital’s existing IT infrastructure, we can easily control the system from anywhere in the hospital via VNC (remote desktop) using the hospital’s Wi-Fi. That’s a big help when working with a large distributed system like this.”
Another point worth mentioning is that because all of the Genelec speakers are active, there is no need to worry about finding room for amplifier racks. “There are nearly 100 Genelec loudspeakers throughout the building in total – in addition to those used for the soundscape project, there are over fifty 4000 Series loudspeakers (mainly the compact 4020Cs) found in meeting rooms and conference areas throughout the hospital – that would have been a lot of amplifiers to house!” says Miikka Peltomaa.
The final word goes to Antti Ikonen: “Genelec was an ideal partner for such an ambitious and challenging project as the New Children’s Hospital soundscape. In addition to providing the loudspeakers, Genelec helped the sound design team to resolve the technical issues which were inevitable in such pioneering work. We’re all very proud of what we’ve achieved here and hope it will be the blueprint for many projects to come.”