Genelec reveals star talent in Chinese ‘Performance Store’

A new concept store gives free rein to non-professional singers in a high quality environment.

Download Case Study PDF.

The Mida Performance Store in Changsha, the capital city of China’s Hunan province, is a new concept that offers a high-spec live performance venue, bar and social media experience for music lovers. It provides an open stage for anyone wanting to give free rein to their singing talents in front of an appreciative audience of their peers. The entire performance space is equipped with Genelec loudspeakers for a high quality audio experience for both performers and audience members alike.

The performance area is a specially built stage named ‘Minishow’. The rest of the store is comprised of the audience area and the bar. Unlike a traditional live performance venue, the performers on stage are not professionals. Anyone is free to scan the codes on the screen, choose their songs and perform them on stage when their turn comes in a truly professional environment with pristine audio quality from Genelec. The concept has proved hugely popular with customer flow reaching 120,000 in the first month of opening followed by 200,000 in the second month. On the Store Member’s Day, performance waiting time exceeded three hours!

Much of the popularity is attributed to the superlative quality of the Genelec audio experience that forms an integral part of the concept. From the outset the brief was to deliver the best possible sound, both for the audience and the performers. To this end, the Mida team had no hesitation in choosing a Genelec solution throughout the store.

“Genelec is widely known throughout the professional audio industry,” remarked Mr Zhang Hongxu, head of market operations at Mida Performance Store. “A great many albums are recorded and mixed using Genelec. There are vast numbers of people that secretly harbour the soul of a singer but it’s difficult for ordinary consumers to experience a professional environment and facilities. Some people regard high reverberation levels as ‘good sound’, which is far from the truth. What we want to do is to bring a truly professional experience to ordinary people, to allow all music lovers to enjoy a high end performance.”

The store covers an area of about 50 square meters including the stage, audience area and the bar. After careful consideration of the layout, traffic flow, and the crosstalk from other areas in the store, the engineers from Mida and Genelec China selected a pair of Genelec 1032Cs as the main loudspeakers flown either side of the stage, supplemented by five 4030Cs to provide extended coverage across the rest of the audience and bar area, plus a further four 4030Cs for stage foldback.

"It’s a totally new experience – all the subtleties and detail of each vocal performance are revealed."

The goal was to achieve smooth, even coverage across the designated audience area, with clear, detailed audio at optimum SPLs, thus avoiding the typical reaction to low quality audio with poor intelligibility which is simply to turn up the volume. “Almost everyone has experienced karaoke with poor sound quality, even if they are unable to pinpoint why the sound is bad,” says Mr Zhang Hongxu. “Here, whether the customer is performing on stage or is part of the audience, there is none of the harshness in the high frequencies that is unpleasant to the ear or the booming in the low end that destroys the detail; unfortunately these are common issues in many live venues and karaoke bars (KTVs). On the contrary, Genelec loudspeakers are renowned for their transparent reproduction of the original sound source. Anyone that cares about singing cares about their own vocals and singing technique – if they are performing in a KTV with low quality audio, they can’t hear the detail in the vocal or distinguish between different techniques. However, at the Mida Performance Store, it’s a totally new experience – all the subtleties and detail of each vocal performance are revealed, to the great delight of both the performers and the audience.”

"It has a high quality sound system that allows people to feel the magic of music at a far more profound level."

Yu Huangliang, the Hunan area champion of the reality TV show, Sing China, has become a frequent visitor to Mida Performance. “I have experienced a variety of different performance venues, but once I sang on Mida’s stage, I refused to go anywhere else,” she said. “If you want to enjoy yourself to the full whilst singing, it has to be at Mida. Not only does it have a particularly good audience atmosphere, but more importantly, it has a high quality sound system that allows people to feel the magic of music at a far more profound level.”

In order to overcome the common challenges of live venues such as uncomfortably high SPLs, lack of detail, uneven frequency response and coverage, and to achieve the goal of “singing and enjoying the stage”, the Mida and Genelec China engineering teams put a lot of thought into the position and calibration of the whole loudspeaker system.

In order to fly the main 1032C loudspeakers in the limited space above the stage, they had to be placed horizontally. Once installed, engineers used  Genelec GLM software for automatic measurement and calibration in the first instance and then fine-tuned the results manually according to feedback from the singers. The 4030Cs that provide the rest of the coverage of the audience area were calibrated in order to provide an SPL variation of no more than 2dB across the whole of the listening zone, delivering the same high quality audio experience to everyone in the audience, regardless of their distance from the stage.

Mr Zhang Hongxu is thrilled with the results: “Our goal from the outset was to allow ordinary people to enjoy the same experience as professional singers, and let the audience enjoy professional quality sound. We’ve achieved all of this thanks to Genelec, and the popularity of the venue since the store opened proves that the public agrees with us.”

THE KIT

9 x  4030C

2 x 1032C