Just 60 km from the Russian border lies the Finnish city of Joensuu, the EU's most easterly city and self-styled 'Forestry Capital of Europe'. With a well respected University and Polytechnic, that attracts students from all over Finland, this is both an attractive and active place. However, even in a country of low population, this region of North Karelia has few people, and many of the young eventually head the 500km south to Helsinki. There's has been considerable investment in developing the local economy and infrastructure but in more recent times some EU money has been directed at stimulating the region's culture and media.
One of the results is CADIMEF, the Carelian Digital Media Factory. Run under the auspices of the North Karelian Polytechnic, it's based around newly built TV and audio studios equipped to a very high level, with a developing mission to bring all the advantages offered by modern technology to this area.
audio control room
The audio control room is large and specifically designed for surround formats. Based around a 72 channel Digidesign Pro Control and Pro Tools system, there's additional digital mixing support in the form of a Mackie D8B, racks of outboard processors, and most digital audio recording formats. The studio was designed for equal use on video post and music recording with full specification Dolby Surround EX monitoring. The all-Genelec system comprises 1038 for front L&R with 1038AC for centre, and 1037s for the three rear positions. The low frequency bass management system was designed by Genelec's Ari Varla and consists of three 1094 sub woofers that crossover at 85Hz with the LCR 1038s, while the LFE channel is mixed across all three subs. All monitors are mounted within the walls, the dedicated centre rear monitor has a rear positioned wall all of its own! A set of 1031s on stands are used for nearfield applications
The video/post control room is similar in size, shape with 5.1 monitoring. The front is dominated by a large video screen. Camera control equipment sits alongside an Philips SDI mixer, Avid Symphony workstation, Pinnacle Deko 500 graphics processing etc.
The main studio floor has four cameras, lighting grids and booms with enough space to hold a small symphony orchestra. It is also used for music only work, feeding to the audio control room although a second smaller musicians area can be used independently or in tandem. A large auditorium within the building has links for recording together with permanent camera positions, or for the preview of completed productions. An all Genelec surround system provides playback with this area.
These facilities are used for the training of students at the Polytechnic but also within the wider remit of CADIMEF who look to stimulate media activity in the region through training and more practical activities. They can provide all forms of media services from TV programming to DVD mastering to outside clients where their activities supplement rather than compete with local commercial media companies.
Logger Kitchen set
Across town, a large factory previously used for making boats has been pressed into use as a film sound stage. By offering practical support to production companies, several large movie projects have been attracted to the area. In return for practical assistance, CADIMEF places around 20 final year students in all areas of the production so that they may gain real industry experience without needing to leave the area, and maybe develop their careers locally. A wide variety of practical joint ventures with the Finnish media business, such as this, ensures that virtually all ex-students have found employment in their chosen fields.