4040A Installation Speaker
120 W Bass (Class AB) + 120 W Treble (Class AB)
50 Hz - 25 kHz ("-6dB")
Accuracy of Frequency Response
± 3 dB (55 Hz - 20 kHz)
9.9 kg / 21.8 lb
1 x Euroblock Analog Input
4040A Installation Speaker
55 Hz - 20 kHz (± 3 dB)
Low cutoff -6dB
High cutoff -6dB
Short term max SPL Maximum short term sine wave acoustic output on axis in half space, averaged from 100 Hz to 3 kHz at 1 m.
Maximum short term sine wave acoustic output on axis in half space, averaged from 100 Hz to 3 kHz at 1 m.
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 1m on axis (A-weighted).
Self generated noise level in free field at 1m on axis (A-weighted).
9.9 kg (21.8 lb)
Die cast aluminium
> 100 Hz ≤0.5 %
120 W Class AB
120 W Class AB
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 4040A 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. For larger indoor installations such as theatres, restaurants, conference rooms, museums, art galleries, and sport centres, the 4040A is unrivalled.
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
Intelligent Signal Sensing (ISS™) Technology
Minimum Diffraction Enclosure (MDE™) Technology
Reflex Port Design
Room Response Compensation
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.
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
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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) 4040A Line Drawings (DWG) 4040A 4040A - Simulation File (EASE3) 4040A - Simulation File (EASE4) 4040A - Simulation File (CLF) 4040A - Simulation File (GLL)
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 adds Nordic flair to Cuban vibes in Aarhus, Denmark
Madam Cuba bar opts for RAW and custom coloured loudspeakers.
Genelec sustains award-winning Nordic hotel brand with premium audio
Helsinki's Scandic Grand Central Hotel combines work and leisure in stunning Art Noveau building.
Genelec provides unrivalled sound at Stockholm’s Hotel Rival
A Genelec 4000 Series sound system ensures that the pulse never stops.
Genelec delivers a RAW experience behind bars in former prison-turned-hotel
If you’ve ever had a hankering to find yourself behind bars without actually having to commit a crime, then now’s your chance: the notorious Kakola prison in the medieval city of Turku on Finland’s southwestern coast has been converted into an upmarket boutique hotel complete with sophisticated conference, banqueting and restaurant facilities, and a Genelec sound system.
Genelec is the magic ingredient in Farang’s recipe for success
Farang was the first restaurant to be opened a decade ago by BW Restaurants Oy, a private company owned by well-known Finnish chef, Matti Wikberg.
Genelec delivers RAW power to B26 co-working space
Traditional offices are all very well, but what if you don’t actually need one? Or can’t find a space suited to your needs as a small company? Then perhaps a co-working space would be the perfect solution.
Genelec spices up audio quality at The Mill in Malmö
The Quality Hotel, The Mill, in central Malmö, has recently reopened after a full-scale, top-to-bottom renovation. Part of the successful Nordic Choice chain, in addition to its 244 rooms, The Mill boasts ten conference rooms of varying sizes and a highly spec’d gym to cater for all the needs of the business traveller. All of the conference rooms plus the gym are equipped with high quality Genelec sound systems complete with Crestron control for a flawless audio experience.
Genelec loudspeakers found inside Fat Lizard
“We chose Genelec because we trust in Finnish quality and we know from experience that Genelec works”
Genelec serves up gourmet audio at JNcQUOI Asia, Lisbon
Easily the most buzzed-about restaurant opening in Lisbon in recent months, JNcQUOI Asia continues the trend for high-fashion gastronomy in the Portuguese capital set by the original JNcQUOI in 2017. The rampant success of the ‘très chic’ fashion and dining space in the former Teatro Tivoli convinced the owners that there was room in the market for a second high-level dining experience, but this time with a very different twist – JNcQUOI Asia. Like its original counterpart, the new venue is defined by grand scale, stunning design, multiple spaces, and a state-of-the-art Genelec sound system designed and installed by Garrett Audiovisuais.
Genelec helps create award-winning soundscape in New Children’s Hospital
New children's hospital is designed from a child's perspective.
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 delivers premium audio to renowned Nordic consultancy HQ
Miltton is a dynamic, forward-looking consultancy that has grown since its origins two decades ago to become a leading Nordic advisor in communications, leadership, marketing, insight and stakeholder relations.
Travel, food, creativity and Genelec create the perfect Combo!
Combo’s modern approach to hostelling has materialised into an ambitious architectural and urban redevelopment project that has already opened its doors in Venice, Milan and Turin, and is scheduled to extend to other Italian cities very soon.
“Madam Cuba is a simple but classy lady. Her passion for sharing an authentic Cuban experience has created a new level of refined and delicious drinks and cocktails.” So say the owners of the new Madam Cuba bar, ideally situated on the banks of the river Aarhus which flows through the historic Danish city of the same name. Dedicated to the art of cocktails and conversation, Madam Cuba wanted a premium sound system to enhance the Latin vibes and keep their customers entertained until the early hours. Local pro audio specialist Thomas Vestergaard specified a Genelec solution based on the ubiquitous 4000 Series installation loudspeaker range, in the RAW aluminium finish.
The active design removes the need for bulky amplifiers and associated cabling, simplifying the installation
“As a high end bar serving a fabulous range of sophisticated drinks, Madam Cuba naturally wanted a sound system of the same calibre,” remarks Vestergaard. “They weren’t necessarily looking for a high powered system – the emphasis really is on an atmosphere where the quality of the sound combined with drinks and conversation all meld together for the perfect night. The keywords as far as audio is concerned were comfort and coverage. These are areas in which Genelec excels, so it was an easy choice. The gorgeous RAW aluminium finish – which looks amazing against the distressed brick walls of the bar’s interior – was the cherry on the cake.”
Vestergaard specified four powerful 4040s supplemented by a 7370 subwoofer for the DJ area in front of the bar, and nine compact 4030s with three 7050 subs for the mezzanine sofa/table area. Two compact 4020s in a bright yellow custom RAL finish keep the atmosphere alive in the rest rooms. Control is handled through a DBX zone controller running four zones with local control situated behind the bar.
The wide range of bracket options means that you can install them pretty much anywhere you like
“We decided on the 4040s for the DJ/bar area plus the sub, because even though the brief was for background sound rather than a full PA system, when the bar is crowded, the noise levels can be quite considerable. The sound system needs to make an impact above that, but without giving the impression that it’s really loud and that you have to compete with it to make yourself heard,” explains Vestergaard. “The 4040s are pretty powerful but having the sub as well just adds a bit more bass extension for a really full, rich sound with bags of headroom to spare. The system is just purring rather than roaring.”
For the mezzanine area which is slightly removed from the bar, Vestergaard has opted for the same approach but slightly scaled down in terms of power. “The aim is that customers feel enveloped by the sound but not aggressed by it,” he clarifies. “They should just be enjoying the atmosphere and soaking up the Latin vibes at comfortable levels for a fun night out.
“Genelec loudspeakers are an excellent choice for this sort of application,” concludes Vestergaard. “They sound amazing out of the box, and the room response controls on the back offer further adjustments to tailor frequency response as required. The active design removes the need for bulky amplifiers and associated cabling, thus simplifying the installation process – always a plus – and finally the wide range of bracket options means that you can install them pretty much anywhere you like. They look as good as they sound, and the clients are invariably delighted with the end results.”
Founded in 1963, Scandic is the Nordic region’s largest hotel operator with a network of some 280 hotels across six countries. With 70% of their revenues coming from the business travel and conference sector, Scandic is a pioneer in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) practices, and the majority of its hotels are certified according to the Nordic Ecolabel’s new requirements. The chain has also won numerous awards, recently being recognised as Sweden’s most sustainable hotel brand for the 11th year in a row by Sustainable Brand Index™, Europe’s largest brand study in sustainability. The latest hotel to open its doors is the beautiful Scandic Grand Central Helsinki, complete with a comprehensive Genelec sound system designed and installed by Finnish AV systems specialists, Murea Oy.
Scandic as a brand appreciates quality, and audio systems are no exception
Housed in an imposing Art Nouveau building that was formerly the head office of Finland’s national railway company, the listed building has undergone a meticulous two-year transformation that retains much of the glamour and grand proportions of a bygone age combined with every modern comfort. Scandic Grand Central Helsinki is now also the first hotel building in the world to achieve the prestigious LEEDv4 Platinum rating for the project phase of its development. The LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certificate covers a wide range of themes in sustainable construction, and the platinum rating is the highest possible.
Kristian Sahenkari, Partner and Key Account Manager at Murea, notes that the historical significance of the building and the preservation of its former glory was a key element in the transformation from HQ to hotel. “The building has a long history, and part of our brief was that this should be preserved as much as possible. The installation therefore had to be planned extremely carefully from the outset as the Finnish Heritage Agency had to approve all the installation methods.”
Murea installed a total of twenty-eight Genelec 4030 installation loudspeakers and two powerful 4040s across a total of 17 meeting and event facilities of varying sizes, plus the bar area that required a sound system capable of handling everything from low level background music to high-energy DJ sets, plus of course the sacred ice hockey World Championship games!
“Genelec was an obvious choice from the start,” continues Sahenkari. “Firstly, Scandic as a brand appreciates quality, and audio systems are no exception; their meeting and conference facilities represent an important revenue stream and so they wanted the best possible equipment for these sophisticated, highly specified spaces. Genelec sound quality is unquestionable and the smooth lines of their speaker design blend seamlessly with the environment – a perfect combination of modern technology, design and functionality.”
Scandic deployed a pair of compact 4030 loudspeakers – usually either side of the screen – in each of the smaller conference rooms whilst the largest event space – namely the Grand Ballroom - has a pair of the powerful 4040s for music, speech and presentations.
“We decided on the 4000 Series as they are particularly integrator-friendly,” explains Sahenkari. “Their active design with on-board amplification removes the need for bulky external amplifier racks and simplifies cabling for a cleaner installation. The extensive range of mounting accessories was also a big help when designing speaker positions, particularly for the meeting facilities situated on the second floor of the hotel, which have been preserved in their original form. Consequently, they are all protected by the Finnish Heritage Agency who had to approve every step of the installation process, along with the interior designers who had to approve speaker positions from an aesthetic perspective. Working in a listed building adds an extra layer of complexity as you can’t just drill holes and run cables anywhere you like! We must have used five or six different types of mounting fixture across the various spaces – Genelec had the right product for every situation.”
Genelec definitely ticked all the boxes for this installation
The entire AV system, which spreads across three floors, is centrally managed and processed. Two auxiliary racks were installed for the I/Os as the signal paths are mostly digital via Dante.
“Genelec definitely ticked all the boxes for this installation,” concludes Sahenkari. “It’s a high quality Finnish brand built according to sustainable principles; an extremely important point for Scandic in light of their strong commitment to sustainability. Additionally, the timeless design of Genelec loudspeakers and their ability to deliver crystalline audio quality for decades to come made them the perfect choice. Everyone is happy.”
The Rival hotel in the chic and bustling Södermalm district of Stockholm is renowned as one of the city’s favourite meeting spots. A building with lots of history, it has remained dedicated to entertainment and hospitality since its beginnings in 1937. In 2002, the complex was purchased by Benny Andersson (yes, that Benny Andersson from the legendary ‘70s supergroup, ABBA) along with two associates, and extensive redevelopment work began to shape the complex into what it is today – a luxury 99-room boutique hotel complete with bars, a bistro and café, modern meeting facilities and a theatre. The latest addition is a brand new bar named after Benny’s faithful Jack Russell terrier; Watson’s Bar offers food and drinks in a vibrant atmosphere with great music at the heart of the experience. A Genelec 4000 Series sound system ensures that the pulse never stops.
Open seven days a week from 11am – 1am except Sundays which has a Monday-morning-conscious closing time of 11pm, Watson’s Bar has rapidly become a favourite haunt for a relaxed lunch, a sneaky afternoon cocktail and of course afterwork DJ sessions. The combination of comfortable, attractive seating areas, cocktails, oysters and champagne, generous opening hours and excellent music has proved extremely popular with hotel guests and Stockholm residents alike. Rival turned to Adolfsson & Partners – a Stockholm-based firm who specialise in delivering turnkey building and interiors solutions – to conceive, design and deliver the new space. AV integration specialists, Hages, were engaged to design and install a fully integrated sound system capable of delivering a high quality, relaxed music experience during the day as well as high energy DJ sessions for the evening crowd.
Genelec is an ideal choice for this type of installation where sound quality, tonal balance and high reliability are paramount.
Genelec loudspeakers had already provided many years of reliable service in the upstairs area of the hotel, so Hages had no hesitation in recommending a system for the new Watson’s Bar based on Genelec 4000 Series installation loudspeakers. “Our challenge was to accomplish a nice, full-bodied sound that would cover the whole of the new Watson’s Bar, from the leafy outdoor terrace through to the bar inside plus the reception and lobby,” says Hages’ Thomas Axelsson. “We decided on a combination of Genelec 4040 and 4030 loudspeakers supplemented by a 7360 subwoofer for low end reinforcement. We had less than three weeks to turn the project around and quite a few space restrictions to adhere to, but I’m delighted with the results, as is the client.”
"Genelec is an ideal choice for this type of installation where sound quality, tonal balance and high reliability are paramount," continues Axelsson. "Those were the client's criteria, and Genelec ticks all of those boxes. It's difficult to beat Genelec sound quality and reliability. Plus there was already an existing Genelec system in the bar upstairs that the client was very happy with, so it made Genelec a very easy choice.
"From our point of view we also wanted the solution to be easy to install, and Genelec 4000 Series loudspeakers are active, which means no external amplifiers to worry about. This is an important point when you're tight on space - and they also look great in the areas where they are visible. This is always a priority when architects are involved – they don’t like to see big ugly speakers cluttering up their design!”
However, for the Watson's Bar installation, the majority of the loudspeakers are completely hidden; five 4030s are concealed behind grilles over wall-hanging shelves down the sides of the bar, and the 7360 sub is neatly hidden in a specially built compartment under a sofa. Four powerful white 4040s grace the upper bar. Zone configuration and DSP is handled by a Bose ControlSpace ESP-880A processor connected to a programmable CC64 interface panel for straightforward, fingertip control of all zones and sources. A DJ output as well as a central music solution is housed in a technical cabinet behind the bar.
The response we received from guests during our opening week was absolutely fantastic.
Hotel Rival’s CEO Jesper Henryson is enthusiastic about the guests’ reactions to the new venue: “The response we received from guests during our opening week was absolutely fantastic. Both hotel guests and Stockholmers alike seem to have found a common meeting place to relax and enjoy great food and amazing cocktails in an atmosphere of jazz, funk and soul. Welcome to Watson’s Bar!”
Whilst the food and bedding are much improved upon its former prison days, much of the original architecture has been preserved, and there is no shortage of chains and handcuffs dotted around to remind guests of where they really are…
Rooms aside, Hotel Kakola also offers extensive conference and banqueting facilities in a unique setting. The company turned to Genelec partner and specialist AV integrator, Hifistudio Esitystekniikka to design and install a comprehensive sound system across all of the public areas of the hotel.
“The client wanted a high quality audio system capable of handling low level, high quality background music for the restaurant areas as well as crystal clear vocal reinforcement for conferencing purposes. The system also had to be capable of handling ‘easy’ live music when required,” explains Antti Vuorilahti, co-owner of Hifistudio. “It was also important for them to use domestic suppliers where possible in an effort to support the economy, reduce their carbon footprint and work against climate change, so the decision to use Genelec was a very easy one.”
Vuorilahti specified 24 compact Genelec 4020 and two powerful 4040 loudspeakers in RAW aluminium finish across three separate zones: the reception area; restaurant Ruben, located in the former prison canteen; and a versatile space known as the Pavilion which can be rented separately or combined with other restaurant facilities for larger events. It can also be used as a workspace and even divided into smaller units with the help of light wall structures.
“The RAW finish is ideal for Kakola,” emphasises Vuorilahti. “The industrial look fits perfectly into the ‘prison’ ambience and from a sustainability point of view, it ticks all the boxes as it requires no painting and less finishing material. Like most Genelec loudspeakers, the enclosure is made from recycled aluminium, and of course the sound quality is exceptional.” Another important point was the choice of active loudspeakers which reduces cabling and removes the need for external amplifier racks, making installation faster, easier and more discreet.
Symetrix Prism 8x8 digital signal processors provide effortless control over a Dante network for each of the zones. “Symetrix supplies high quality products that marry well with a Genelec solution,” says Vuorilahti. “They are easy to configure and – something that was high on the hotel team’s agenda – very easy to use. Symetrix touch panels in each zone allow hotel staff to select and control the sound sources in every area and even mix them if necessary. It’s all very neat, tidy and straightforward and delivers excellent results.”
Kakolanruusu, a restaurant that is also housed in the former prison building but under separate ownership from the hotel, has likewise been supplied with a Genelec 4000 Series audio solution, also designed and installed by Hifistudio.
Vuorilahti selected 14 mid-sized Genelec 4030 loudspeakers in white to deliver ambient background music with the ability to adapt to larger events when required. “Kakolanruusu caters for corporate groups as well as for private diners,” explains Vuorilahti. “Their spaces are fully equipped with screens and video projectors, so it was crucial that they had a high quality PA system to match. Genelec was an obvious choice for all the same reasons of reliability, sustainability and Finnish heritage. Like Hotel Kakola, we’ve provided a Symetrix Prism DSP (12x12) and touchscreen that offers the same easyto-configure, easy-to-operate control for an efficient system that looks as good as it sounds.
“From an integrator’s point of view, we have complete faith in Genelec as a company as well as in their products,” he continues. “Their service is excellent at every level, both pre- and post-sales, technical or whatever it is you need – there is always someone ready to help – and of course the products themselves are excellent. It’s rare that we have a problem with a Genelec installation, but if we do, it’s never a problem for long.
“Both of these projects – Hotel Kakola and Kakolanruusu – have been thoroughly enjoyable, even if we were faced with certain time constraints. We’re proud to have assisted with the transformation of a former prison into what it is today, and preserved a bit of Finnish history using Finnish products.”
Since their beginnings in 2009, the company has opened seven more restaurants and a cocktail bar in the Finnish capital of Helsinki and employs around 200 people. Farang, their flagship venue, has recently relocated to stunning new premises spread over two floors offering both public and private dining facilities plus a large bar. A key part of the overall experience is the soundscape, delivered by a comprehensive 4000 Series Genelec sound system, designed and installed by renowned Finnish AV integration specialists, 4Business Oy.
“The brief from Matti was very clear,” explains 4Business’s Janne Lankinen: “With the new premises, Farang is set to make even more of an impact on the Helsinki restaurant scene, so sound quality - along with everything else - had to be absolutely top notch. Genelec was an obvious choice for us as it matched all of the quality and reliability criteria – and Matti was already familiar with the brand as he’d used Genelec almost exclusively for his other restaurant projects.
“The layout and the surfaces of Farang were a bit of a challenge from an audio perspective,” Lankinen describes. “The feel is quite industrial with lots of exposed concrete and metalwork. There are no convenient - and sound-absorbing - false ceilings or wall panels to hide behind, so we had to make sure that all cabling, mountings and installation were done properly as everything was visible. It also meant we had to be very careful with our system design in order to minimise unwanted reflections and reverberations. The restaurant is situated in a building which also houses newly renovated offices, so we also had to ensure that there was no sound conduction through the structure to the other premises in the building, especially for the low frequencies. Finally, the restaurant is spread over two floors with a very large opening between them; not only did we need to design a system that would cover the whole area evenly with no dead spots or hotspots, but we were inevitably confronted with problems of sound leakage between the two floors.”
Lankinen and his team conducted exhaustive simulations to determine coverage before specifying a system comprising a total of 54 active Genelec loudspeakers and subwoofers. “We decided on the analogue 4000 Series loudspeakers - with Symetrix Prism DSP processors equipped with Dante I/O expanders for matrixing, EQ and delay - as it was a useful approach to optimise the overall cost,” notes Lankinen. “Our aim was to ensure that when you move around the space, the audio experience remains similar throughout, and that the sound pressure would not drop at any point in a way that you’d feel that the music was disappearing.
“We used a mixture of 4020s, 4030s and the powerful 4040s depending on required throw and maximum SPL. Every single speaker was meticulously aligned and DSP was adjusted individually for the best possible results. That, together with acoustic treatment to minimise leakage between floors has enabled us to achieve a system that works beautifully at low sound pressure levels throughout the restaurant, and still has enough power in reserve to be turned up when required for a real party atmosphere.”
For the 7300 Series smart active subwoofers that are mounted in the ceiling, 4Business designed a custom mounting solution that is mechanically isolated from the structure. This ensures that any vibrations are conducted into Sylomer absorbers rather than the hollow core slab which might cause unwanted disturbance elsewhere in the building. When it came to calibrating the subwoofers, 4Business used Genelec’s GLM software with AutoCal to speed up the final adjustment process and ensure that every element of the system was sounding its best.
Responsibility and sustainability are key principles for Farang, and Genelec supports and communicates these values.
“I’m delighted with the results,” reports Lankinen. “The audio system supports the Farang brand as a top-class, place-to-be venue in Helsinki. What’s more, responsibility and sustainability are key principles for Farang and BW Restaurants, and Genelec supports and communicates these values consistently, making them a perfect match. The atmosphere in the restaurant is social and relaxed thanks to carefully thought-out playlists and high quality sound support.”
We have crystal clear audio throughout that sounds amazing, yet doesn’t get in the way of conversation.
Matti Wikberg echoes Lankinen’s sentiments entirely. “All my goals have been achieved, and frankly, exceeded,” he admits. “Janne and his team identified the challenges from the outset and solved them beautifully. We have crystal clear audio throughout that sounds amazing, yet doesn’t get in the way of conversation, whether you’re two or ten people at the table. The right atmosphere enhances the experience immeasurably, and that’s what we’ve achieved here.”
B26 in Västerås, Sweden, offers 5000m2 of luxuriously appointed space over seven floors for companies to work, do business, meet and create together. With areas for working together, or apart, meeting rooms, a restaurant plus a vast roof terrace with panoramic views, B26 is Västerås’s first co-working space and it is world class. B26 called on award- winning Swedish AV integration specialists, JML-System AB to design the high quality AV systems throughout the building. JML- System specified Genelec’s new RAW finish 4000 Series installation loudspeakers as the perfect solution for B26’s needs.
WE’VE DELIVERED A FLEXIBLE, EASY-TO-USE SYSTEM THAT SOUNDS GREAT BOTH AT LOW AND HIGH LEVELS.
The building that houses B26 was designed in the 1950s by the renowned Västerås architect Sven Ahlbom and bears traces of the industrialization that saw Västerås develop from a small town to the big city it is today. B26 was keen to retain the industrial feel of the space whilst still creating a modern, welcoming atmosphere. Aesthetics were therefore as much a part of the brief as audio quality. JML-System’s Johnny Franzén explains:
“We needed to think about design and function as well as cutting edge technology. As B26 is a very new concept, the client wanted assurances that we would not only provide the best of what is available today, but that it would also stand the test of time. We worked on the project for a long time before agreeing on the best way forward.”
“Genelec looked like a good solution from the outset, but when it became clear that the RAW finish was available, all the pieces fell into place,” he admits.
“Visually, the RAW models with their ‘unfinished’ natural aluminium casings are a perfect fit for the old factory environment with its exposed bricks and ductwork. The fact that they are environmentally friendly was also a big plus point for B26, as part of their philosophy is to actively reduce their environmental impact.”
THE RAW FINISH LOOKS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING AND IT’S AN EVEN MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY PRODUCT.
Genelec’s RAW models require no painting and less finishing material for an even more environmentally friendly solution. The speaker enclosures are already made from recycled aluminium, and the RAW option takes full advantage of the natural beauty of the material to give a uniquely nuanced finish for each loudspeaker. All RAW models feature Genelec’s Minimum Diffraction Enclosure (MDE) design, whose curved form delivers incredibly flat frequency response, precise imaging and unparalleled acoustical performance.
Aside from the aesthetics, the technical requirement was for a high quality audio system that would work at low levels during the day but could be turned up after hours to create a club-like, party atmosphere with no loss of quality.
JML-System specified a multi-zone, distributed system based on 42 of the powerful 4040 installation loudspeakers – the largest in the 4000 Series – and 20 of the compact 4020 loudspeakers for the smaller areas. There is also a pair of 8050B nearfield studio loudspeakers that deliver cinema-quality audio for the drop-down projector screen in the main open plan meeting and social space. This space also benefits from a mini- auditorium area complete with a cleverly designed raked seating area.
“We opted for the 4040s in the larger areas as they are sufficiently powerful and develop enough low end that we didn’t need to supplement them with subwoofers,” says Franzén. “This saved on cost, space and also meant that we didn’t have to worry about uneven levels. This can sometimes happen with the use of subwoofers as part of a distributed system in a large space, unless you use a lot of subs, and then you run into the problem of where to put them. However, the 4040s have enough headroom to be used at pretty high levels to generate a real ‘club’ atmosphere after work, and still sound amazing. The smaller 4020s were perfect for the smaller spaces.”
In addition to audio quality, another major consideration for JML-System was the fact that the Genelec 4000 Series loudspeakers are active. “This was important for us as it makes installation a lot simpler,” notes Franzén. “We don’t have to worry about extra cabling or finding room for amplifiers; everything you need is already in the box, and Genelec has a wide range of mounting accessories that are perfectly suited to most situations.”
In keeping with the modern industrial feel of the B26 premises, all of the loudspeaker cables are housed in shiny metal pipework which marries perfectly with the RAW recycled aluminium finish of the loudspeakers. Franzén is delighted with the results. “From an audio perspective, we know we can count on Genelec to deliver the highest quality, and it’s the case for B26. In partnership with our subcontractor One4All AB, we’ve delivered a flexible, easy-to-use system that sounds great both at low and high levels with no hot spots or dead zones. However, I think the real plus for this installation was the RAW finish – it looks absolutely amazing, and it’s an even more environmentally friendly product from a Scandinavian company that already ranks very high on the sustainability scale. This was definitely what tipped the balance for B26 who are absolutely thrilled with the results at every level.”
Nordic Choice turned to leading Swedish integrator, Informationsteknik, to design, supply and install the AV systems throughout the hotel. With offices in Stockholm and Malmö, Informationsteknik is one of Sweden’s leading suppliers of customised solutions of audio, lighting, and video technology for meeting and conference spaces. Informationsteknik had no hesitation in specifying Genelec throughout to meet the hotel’s exacting quality and aesthetic requirements.
The conference rooms are all named after the various spices that are sold at the famous Möllevångstorget market nearby. As a result, each room benefits from its own rich colour scheme according to the spice after which it is named. Cocoa, saffron and cinnamon are just some of the names that have inspired the décor.
“We deliberately chose to invest a little extra in technology in our meeting rooms as we wanted the best possible experience for our guests”
Gustav Rue from Informationsteknik’s installation sales department explains that of all the requirements specified in the brief, the need to match the technology with the décor was perhaps the most challenging. “When we were asked to find a comprehensive solution of very high quality, it emerged relatively early on that a decisive factor would be how the technology could be colour-matched to match the interior,” notes Rue. “Genelec proved to be the perfect solution, both in terms of quality and aesthetics.”
“We selected a variety of models from the 4000 Series of installation speakers depending on the size of the room,” he continues. “As far as quality is concerned, their clarity and vocal intelligibility is second to none. They are also incredibly reliable, which is important for a busy hotel conference environment. However, what really made the difference for this project was the fact that we could custom paint the speakers in absolutely any shade to precisely match the colour palette of each space. As you move from room to room, the feeling is completely seamless.”
Hotel manager Burim Sumiq is thrilled with the results. “We deliberately chose to invest a little extra in technology in our meeting rooms as we wanted the best possible experience for our guests,” he reveals. “We’re right in the centre of Malmö and only 30 minutes from Copenhagen so we’re ideally placed as a business hub.”
“We wanted to focus on sound and speaker experience, but with a special proviso: our conference rooms are really something quite special, each with a unique and carefully designed colour scheme, so it seemed important to us to find a company that could deliver a solution that could match the interior without compromising on sound quality. Our local integration partner, Informationsteknik, recommended Genelec, which I already knew to be a brand that stood for quality and fantastic sound. However, once the speakers were installed and we heard them for the first time, I was literally blown away. The sound was quite simply amazing. Best of all, it didn’t need to be excessively loud, the clarity and intelligibility at low volumes are superb, and that is really important for our guests – they don’t need to hike up the volume in order to have a great sound experience.”
Gustav Rue is delighted to have a happy client. “It’s always satisfying when the customer is happy, and in this instance it’s not just about the technology – which, in any case, is of top quality – it’s about the whole aesthetic experience, and Genelec really came through for us at every level. They are a great partner to work with – always helpful and engaged in our customer’s project, and of course, they make great-sounding loudspeakers!”
Fat Lizard Bar & Restaurant in Espoo, Finland, takes its name from the local Fat Lizard craft brewery who are partners in the business, and enjoys a prime location close to the town’s brand new metro station and Aalto University – a guaranteed source of customers! The restaurant chose to install a high quality Genelec sound system throughout, based on the 4000 Series range of active installation loudspeakers.
According to Fat Lizard’s Tiina Karling, Genelec was an easy choice. “We have worked with integrators ESF Esitystekniikka Oy in the past, and always trusted them as a high quality supplier. When we told them what we were looking for, they recommended Genelec straight away.”
ESF’s Risto Heininen explained that the new restaurant was looking for a high quality, flexible sound system that could feed separate zones across the bar and restaurant, where there is also a dance floor area. There is even a room set aside for private functions. “Technically the system had to sound great and offer individual control over each zone. Aesthetically it needed to be in keeping with the clean, modern look of the new venue,” says Heininen. “Genelec was an obvious choice.”
ESF installed a total of twelve 4030 loudspeakers across the restaurant and private function room, and six of the larger, more powerful 4040s around the bar/dancefloor area.
Karling is thrilled with the results. “We chose Genelec because we trust in Finnish quality and we know from experience that Genelec works,” she affirms. “By having the speakers in evidence rather than hiding them, we’re showing our customers that we have invested in a high quality system. It sounds very good across the whole area – very smooth yet detailed even at low levels, allowing customers to carry on conversations as well as enjoy the music, and of course when we turn it up, the whole place is hopping! We often receive compliments about the music we play – we wouldn’t be getting that sort of feedback unless the whole thing sounded good, so for me, that’s a vote of confidence in the system as a whole.”
“It was a massive project,” confirms Garrett’s sales director, Raúl Fernandes. “We were involved from the very start, which was extremely helpful, but the pressure for everything to be perfect was possibly worse for the second venue than for the first! It’s always the problem when the first job is so successful – the second has to be even better…”
With the capacity to accommodate over 300 people, JNcQUOI Asia is not just about the food. It’s a place where people come to see and to be seen, offering four different spaces for customers to relax and soak up the atmosphere: a large bar with comfortable seating – which also hosts a DJ booth; the main dining room dominated by a huge, golden dragon skeleton suspended from the central glass atrium; a glamourous sushi bar; and a comfortable terrace and interior garden. Garrett supplied an extremely high quality, zoned audio solution throughout with full control.
The first area is the bar, itself separated into three separate zones: the DJ area which utilises a pair of Genelec G Fives offering professional active loudspeaker performance but with flexible XLR and RCA connectivity, and a pair of 5041 in-wall subwoofers behind the DJ booth; the main bar area which is equipped with six 4030 and six of the larger 4040 installation loudspeakers plus three 5041 subwoofers hidden in columns; and finally the toilets – a design haven in themselves! – where Garrett installed four AIC25 in-ceiling speakers.
The challenge for the bar area was to provide sufficient coverage for what is a very open space without sacrificing quality for SPL. The solution also had to be as discreet and as aesthetically pleasing as possible. “We spent a long time getting loudspeaker placement absolutely right for optimum results, and then we fine-tuned the system with the loudspeakers’ own on-board room response controls plus EQ and delay via a matrix. Our service manager, Luis Tavares, did a fantastic job of tuning the system, especially here in this room,” recounts Fernandes who also notes that there is an output to each speaker enabling every speaker to be controlled individually for maximum precision. “When the system was commissioned, we turned the music up pretty loud and I invited the owner to come and stand in the middle of the room with me. We could still carry on a conversation – I told him that this is why we use Genelec!”
“A good live band actually sounds amazing as the system is so well calibrated to the space.”
It’s also possible to have live music in the bar although the system wasn’t initially designed with live music in mind. “The owner changed his mind at the last minute! Fortunately, we had enough inputs and outputs still available to make it possible – we just had to add extra microphones and a digital mixer,” says Fernandes. “A good live band actually sounds amazing as the system is so well calibrated to the space. It also helps that there are lots of nice, absorbent surfaces in the bar area to reduce the amount of reflections.”
“The larger 4040s gave us the extended bass response we required whilst still remaining aesthetically pleasing.”
For the restaurant area, Garrett opted for a total of fourteen 4040s. The biggest issue here was the acoustics, as the outside wall is mostly glass and there is a huge glass atrium overhead that houses the rather magnificent dragon. “As there was no room for subs in the restaurant, the larger 4040s gave us the extended bass response we required whilst still remaining aesthetically pleasing. The most challenging aspect was managing the very reflective environment. Fortunately, Genelec products excel in that respect, and once again we were able to calibrate the system very precisely for optimum results – in other words, intelligible, clean audio at levels where diners can still hold a conversation at normal, comfortable levels.”
The project manager for JNcQUOI Asia was Garrett’s Mário Trigueiros, who also oversaw the original JNcQUOI project, and he was keen to point out how Genelec’s GLM software had helped the Garrett team optimise the loudspeaker system performance for different situations. “GLM is an amazing tool for system calibration,” he says. “We used it to perform all the measurements that were then turned into presets accessible via the control system. We’ve done all of the hard work upfront to ensure that the system is fully optimised for every situation, be it background music, a DJ or a live band.”
Garrett has provided control for all four zones, giving access to level, mute and source selection for the audio system, plus lighting and temperature. There are presets for daytime and night-time ambience settings. Access is via strategically placed wall panels or a mobile phone app.
Garrett also went to the trouble of measuring the sound outside the restaurant to ensure that there was absolutely no issue for the hotel next door, some of whose rooms border directly onto the bar. “We had to ensure that there was no sound leakage whatsoever. Once again, Genelec is an excellent choice in this respect because the loudspeakers are extremely efficient with tightly controlled directivity. Listeners have the impression that the system is loud because intelligibility is high which enables us to keep SPLs down – which is great for the neighbours!”
Fernandes and Trigueiros are proud of what they have achieved at JNcQUOI Asia. “It’s another fantastic showcase for both us and Genelec,” confirms Trigueiros. “Genelec is a very high quality brand, ideally suited to this kind of high-end environment where failure of any kind, or sub-par performance would not be tolerated. Nevertheless, the active system design is a bonus – firstly because it saves on space and makes for a much cleaner installation, and secondly, in the unlikely event that one does go down, it doesn’t compromise the rest of the system. That is very reassuring for the owners, although we’ve never had a failure yet. The owners are thrilled with the results and so are we. You only have to look at the reviews to realise that the concept is a success at every level.”
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.”
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 company has recently transformed an old red brick factory building into their new Miltton House headquarters in Helsinki. High quality audio visual technology naturally plays a key role in the new venue. Systems integration specialists, Digisähkö Oy, who were charged with designing and installing the AV systems, selected Genelec loudspeakers throughout, for a premium audio experience.
Designed as a physical meeting place and an inspiration hub as well as a workplace for Miltton’s talent and its stakeholders, high quality AV systems were a priority from the start. “The investment in Miltton House represents the next phase in Miltton’s growth story,” explains Camilla Linniemi, Partner & Director at Miltton Group. “The ways of working are under constant change and the best ideas happen when people connect in a meaningful way.” To that end, in the early stages of the project, Miltton engaged top acoustic consultants and AV designers, Akukon Oy, to come up with an initial design, which was then developed and refined by Digisähkö as the project progressed.
They are extremely aesthetic, so they blend well into every environment, and so very easy to install.
“Akukon had specified that the speakers should be ‘separate, high quality active loudspeakers,’ so as far as we were concerned, Genelec was the obvious choice,” relates Digisähkö CEO, Jani Hirvonen. “The brand is synonymous with quality and matched all of Miltton’s criteria concerning sustainability. It was a very easy decision.”
Digisähkö installed a total of 50 loudspeakers from Genelec’s 4000 Series installation range throughout the building. 42 compact 4020 speakers equip Miltton’s wide variety of meeting and conference rooms. Two of the more powerful 4030s grace the company’s airy entrance lobby whilst a pair of the heavy-hitting 4040s are reserved for the demo room. “The 4000 Series loudspeakers make life very easy for us as an integrator,” confirms Hirvonen. “They are extremely aesthetic, so they blend well into every environment; they are active loudspeakers, and so very easy to install; there is a good range of mounting accessories; and of course, they sound fantastic with incredible clarity and detail, even at low levels.”
We asked for a design that would combine flawless audio quality with sufficient power and coverage.
However, there was one area where Miltton had very specific – and high-level – requirements, and that was for their 350m2 event space in the heart of the building, known as Tori. Designed for events of up to 500 people, the space is easily adaptable for the style of the occasion – from cocktail parties to seminars – with seating for up to 300 people. The audio system needed to be similarly versatile with the ability to cater for everything from a DJ or live band to seminar material.
“The requirement was clearly for a high output, high fidelity sound system with connections for a DJ mixer, which is a very different animal from a conference room system,” notes Hirvonen. “We asked Henri Ulmanen at Genelec to come up with a design that would combine flawless audio quality with sufficient power and coverage to fill the space with no hot spots or dead zones.”
Ulmanen decided on a main system of two S360 smart active loudspeakers supported by two powerful 7380 subwoofers for low end reinforcement, supplemented by four 4040 loudspeakers (two per side) as delays/sidefills. “I decided on the S360s because of their excellent, neutral reproduction and a long-throw capability that delivers reference-quality accuracy at listening distances of over 10 metres,” explains Ulmanen. “Combined with the 7380 subs they are an excellent solution for any environment looking for premium quality, high SPL vocal and music reproduction in a compact form factor.
“Another important element was the fact that, as a smart active loudspeaker, we can use our GLM software to configure and optimise the S360s to compensate for any detrimental room influences,” he continues. “The Tori event space has a pretty industrial feel with concrete floors and lots of floor-to-ceiling windows, so this was very helpful in ironing out anomalies, especially when the room is being used at full capacity.”
All of the AV systems and the Helvar Dali lighting throughout the building are controlled by the Control4 automation system, via individual touch screens in each of the meeting rooms and the Tori event space for easy operation. Digisähkö implemented the integration between the systems as well as the installation of all of the AV technology.
“We’re very proud of this installation and Miltton are thrilled with the results,” said Hirvonen. “They wanted a modern, high quality, sustainable AV solution that is versatile, easy to operate, and reflects their values as a company. Genelec ticked all the boxes and integrates perfectly into the total solution. It’s a great success all round.”
Here, travellers are greeted by airy common spaces, a trendy bar and eatery, relaxed work spaces with free wi-fi, as well as several dedicated event, exposition and meeting spaces. There is also music throughout most of the common areas, thanks to a Genelec sound system. This is Combo, a meeting point for contemporary globetrotters, or indeed anyone that just fancies dropping in.
Photography by: Pepe Fotografia
Far more than the hostels of old, Combo bills itself as a cultural hub and a meeting point for citizens of the world, combining hospitality with music. The hostels in Turin and Milan boast their own radio booths, which broadcast full time in the hostels and online, and all sites offer rooms equipped with AV technology to host talks, screenings, live sets, listening sessions, art workshops and more. The AV systems across all three sites were conceived by Italian AV specialists, ADVICTED, and supplied by local Genelec AV distributor Prase Engineering.
Combo’s reception, restaurant, bar and public areas all boast a Genelec sound system based on the ubiquitous 4000 Series installation loudspeakers. These active loudspeakers were specifically requested by ADVICTED founder, Salvatore Brigaglia, for their combination of clean Nordic design and characteristic crystal clear sound, and welcomed by architect Ole Sondresen – whose designs are focused on an all-encompassing, holistic approach to sustainable building. In order to give the musical soul of Combo’s philosophy an eye-catching visual form, dozens of 4030 and 4040 loudspeakers were chosen in black, whilst a number of smaller 4020s were selected in white.
Photography by: Claudia Zalla
"Genelec was an all-round quality choice,” says Salvatore Brigaglia. “The surprisingly clean and minimalist design, combined with solid construction and impeccable audio performance, enhances the interior design choices and translates the Combo philosophy into sound. Moreover, choosing an active speaker translates into significant cost savings and optimisation of the space in the technical rooms. These are crucial aspects in a project designed to be replicated in several locations.”
Across the three sites, ADVICTED utilised a total of twenty-three compact 4020s, fifty-five 4030s and forty-one of the powerful 4040 loudspeakers, all on a dedicated Dante network infrastructure built on X440-G2 Extreme Networks switches and a Biamp Tesira SERVER equipped with a Dante card. Genelec speakers serve all of the conference and multi-purpose event rooms, which are equipped with state-of-the-art AV presentation technology. They also serve as monitors in the radio booths in Turin and Milan, where Combo’s playlist is developed every day by the radio web team and tailored to the time, mood and events of the day.
Photography by: Formentini Zanatta
“The entire Combo audio system is on the Dante network,” clarifies Luigi Schiavone, Combo Project Manager for Prase Media Technologies. “The result is a building capable of continuously changing shape from a technical point of view, with future-proof flexibility and scalability.”
According to Brigaglia, Genelec fits perfectly into the Combo landscape. “Firstly, from a quality point of view, it’s hard to do better than Genelec,” he says. “That goes for audio quality, build quality and aesthetics. Then there is the issue of sustainability, which is important for Combo. We know that a Genelec solution will last for decades, and still sound as good as the day it was put in. They are also made from recycled aluminium for a reduced carbon footprint. As active speakers, they are easy to install, and the 4000 Series models benefit from onboard room response controls which enable us to optimise the sound in each space. Finally, they are easy to integrate into a multi-site, multimanufacturer, networked solution with centralised control and monitoring. Combo are thrilled with the results and we are looking forward to rolling out new venues in other Italian cities soon.”
Photography by: Claudia Zalla
Main photo: Formentini Zanatta