Pro AVL MEA January-February 2022

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Finland gets to business

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Banks of distributed Genelec Smart IP loudspeakers accompany guests along their journey at every turn

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Creating a stark contrast to the exterior buzz at Dubai Expo 2020, the Finland Pavilion soothes visitors with an immersive soundscape that follows them along their discovery of Finland ARRIVING AT THE GIGANTIC EXPO SITE FROM THE Mobility entrance, the uniquely designed Finland Pavilion, affectionately dubbed the Snow Cape, immediately sticks out against the backdrop of other bizarre creations. Architecturally from the outside, the building has been constructed to resemble an Arabic tent made of snow, fusing Finland’s icy landscape with the host nation’s desert environment. However, it’s on the inside where things get interesting. Stepping through the tent-like entrance, the environment descends into darkness and a journey of the technologies that power some of Finland’s most innovative industrial sectors emerges alongside examples of what the country is best known for – nature and sustainability. Within the Snow Cape Pavilion, over 100 Finnish companies are presenting their world-class solutions in areas such as natural resources and energy, ICT and digitalisation, smart cities, technology, education, health, design and tourism. Visitors experience a dramatic contrast between the sensory overload of the Expo environment and the calm, Nordic atmosphere inside the central void. A key element of this transition is the use of dozens of compact Genelec active loudspeakers, which deliver a tranquil but immersive soundscape that follows visitors along their journey. A total of 84 4430 Smart IP installation loudspeakers are incorporated into the pavilion, including a 10-channel immersive loudspeaker array that reproduces specially commissioned sound art by Finnish composer Emilia Takayama, entitled The Land of Snow. The Smart IP solutions perfectly embody the pavilion’s sustainable theme. Manufactured from recycled aluminium, 74 4430 Smart IP loudspeakers are located in the exhibition area, configured as a custom immersive array, with the remainder handling The Land of Snow sound art content in “The Gorge” area occupying the centre of the pavilion. “The Gorge is the space where we are providing a complete opposite to the Expo,” explains Severi Keinälä from Business Finland, commissioner general of Finland at Expo 2020 Dubai. “The Expo has millions of screens, lights and noises that all

increase your heart rate and blood pressure. Here, there is nothing to fix your eyes on, just pure Finnish granite on the floor, timber going up to 50m and cool air being pushed up from the ground via displacement, and then just the soundscape of real nature sounds. The idea with the soundscape here is to create an auditory experience akin to being inside Finland’s National Park. When you come here, you calm down, and a primary element of this is done through sound.” Creating an almost cathedral-like ambience, the soundscape inside The Gorge envelopes visitors from 12 surrounding 4430 Smart IP speakers hidden in the timber walls. The networkable Smart IP audio solution, like the other audiovisual technologies inside the space, provides single-cable convenience – power, audio and loudspeaker management via a standard Cat cable, greatly simplifying the integration procedure. Designed by Genelec and commissioned by local partner GSL Professional, the audio infrastructure operates via Dante and is powered using standard PoE+ network switches. The system installation and programming were handled by Audico Systems from Finland. Audio content is fed into the system over Dante via five JoeCo Blackbox BBR64Dante recorders situated in the upstairs control room with the necessary audio processing handled by a pair of QSC Q-SYS Core 110f. “Because the speakers have power over Ethernet, that means we only had to run half the amount of cables,” adds Petri Ryöppy from Business Finland. “It’s a really clever system but, of course, all this has to be planned well in advance. The sound quality is so good with the Genelecs that we don’t have to worry in that regard but, the more speakers we used, the fewer decibels we needed to create the soundscape and the more localisation points we had available. We can roll the soundscape when somebody’s moving on the screen quite smoothly around the area, back and forth.” The pavilion features two levels: the ground level for the general exhibition and a second level with VIP and conference

The 4080s stay out of sight inside the central Gorge

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