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Case Study: Universal goes Gaga for Genelec speakers after HQ audio upgrade

Please don't stop the music! Leading music company brings the quality of audio for its offices and meeting rooms to a level its employees and visitors expect

Universal Music Group is the world’s leading music company with operations in music recording, music publishing, merchandising and content creation in over 60 countries worldwide. Many of the worlds best-known and most successful artists are signed to Universal, including Madonna, U2, Metallica, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Kanye West, Avicii, The Killers and many more. A Genelec sound system has recently been installed at the Universal Music offices in Helsinki, Finland, delivering quality sound to the entire office space.

Universal’s two-floor office is located in the Merikortteli building in the trendy Punavuori area of Helsinki. Previously a vast 28,000m² industrial building, Merikortteli has now largely been converted to a host of sophisticated office spaces. When Universal moved in in 2010, they called upon the services of interior designer, Eliisa Korpijärvi, to transform the dark and dingy factory area into a cosy, yet modern, office, with a light colour palette. The open plan space houses more than 20 employees, with two separate offices and meeting rooms, as well as a kitchen and living area. Whilst the renovated space retains its clean, modern feel, the same could no longer be said of the loudspeaker system which was starting to fall below the high standards required by Universal. The organisation turned to Heikki Konttinen of AV installation company, Attime Oy, to provide a system more in keeping with Universal’s expectations.

As per the specification provided by Universal, Konttinen installed a distributed audio system comprising a total of twenty wall-mounted Genelec 4030B loudspeakers throughout the first and second floor spaces, delivering a precise, neutral listening experience across the entire premises. The 4030Bs form part of Genelec’s successful 4000 Series of dedicated, active installation speakers featuring integrated power amplifiers, active crossover filters and protection circuitry for straightforward, hassle-free installation and ultra-reliable, transparent audio performance. Several compact SAMstudio monitors with Genelec’s patented Smart Active Monitoring have also been installed in certain areas dedicated to critical listening.

Eero Ojansuu, finance director at the Universal Music office, comments: “Genelec was an obvious choice for us, as the company is already a household name throughout the music business for the superior quality of their studio monitoring speakers, and now also for premium speakers for consumers and in installations. Sound quality was our first priority, but the clean design and the variety of colour options that Genelec offer made the decision very easy.”

Genelec speakers have also been installed in each of the four meeting rooms, two of which feature a pair of 4030Bs whilst the remaining two rooms benefit from a pair each of the larger 8340A (SAM) monitors. “We decided on the 8340As for our two biggest meeting rooms as these are generally the rooms where we listen to new music for the first time, and then introduce it to the media. Specifically designed for critical listening and powerful enough to cover our larger meeting room spaces with ease, the 8340As deliver all the detail and clarity we need at volumes that remain comfortable.” Another area dedicated to critical listening is the A&R room where there is a pair of the even more powerful 8250A (SAM) monitors, and finally, a pair of 8320A (SAM) monitors has been installed in the MD’s office.

Ojansuu adds: “The quality of sound in the office is balanced, strong and highly detailed,” he continues. “The system has definitely achieved what we were looking for. We are a modern music company with exceptionally high standards, and we want people to feel that from the moment they step into our office.”