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Clash of Clans firm adds huge Genelec installation to HQ

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Clash of Clans is to gaming what Game of Thrones is to HBO — in other words, a household name. Released in 2012 when Supercell was still a fledgling Finnish mobile games developer, Clash of Clans — along with family favourite Hay Day and more recent releases such as Boom Beach and Brawl Stars — have all contributed to making Supercell one of the most successful and profitable mobile gaming companies in the world.

In 2021, Supercell finally moved into its first custom-built offices in Helsinki — a building named Wood City that has been designed from the ground up to represent the company culture and to encourage wellbeing and productivity. It was a massive project at every level, not least of which were the exacting AV requirements. Nearly 500 Genelec loudspeakers have been integrated across the building, including some 300 Smart IP networked loudspeakers.

Tapio Ilomäki from Akukon Oy — which project-managed the AV installation for Supercell — commented: “This project was completely different from almost anything I have ever seen, right down to the smallest detail. Everything started with what Supercell does and specifically, how they want to do things and how they want to work. This affected every single detail of what we do and how we do it — the entire AV project was dominated by Supercell’s vision, which for me was just wonderful.”

Markus Haikonen, head of AV and broadcast at Supercell, added: “When we started to build the company’s new home, we needed to reimagine the spaces where we work,” he says.

Supercell’s philosophy has always been that the best work is created by small teams of passionate people where creativity is the driving force; larger teams can quickly become encumbered by bureaucracy, hierarchy and politics which can stifle the creative process. Hence the company’s organisational model is built around these small independent teams — or ‘cells’ as they are known internally — and the new offices needed to reflect this.

“We needed rock-solid AV project management, which is what Akukon did for us. We also needed a lot of help with the design, which Akukon and Audico did together,” explains Haikonen.

Akukon is the leading  acoustics and AV design firm in Finland and Akukon collaborated with AV solutions experts, Audico Systems Oy, which handled the systems design and integration.

“In designing these spaces — especially the team spaces and the meeting rooms — it was essential that they are, easy to use, easy to monitor, and fit our needs. It also goes without saying that quality is really important to us,” continues Haikonen. “From an audio point of view, Genelec was an ideal choice, especially the new Smart IP loudspeakers.

“We’ve always been great fans of Genelec and use their loudspeakers throughout our offices globally, so it was a natural choice for this project as well. When we heard about Smart IP with its built-in DSP, we immediately saw that it would be a great fit for our team space and meeting room designs where there is no centralised DSP. We also wanted the reliability and flexibility offered by the Smart IP concept.”

Terhi Salo, technical specialist at Audico takes up the story: “Of the 500 Genelec loudspeakers installed all around the building, a little over 300 of them are 4430 Smart IP loudspeakers, while the rest are other Genelec active loudspeakers that have been repurposed from Supercell’s previous offices.

“Genelec Smart IP loudspeakers are ideally suited to large, complex installations like this because all you need to plug into the loudspeaker is one Ethernet cable,” Salo continues. “With that cable you get power, audio and the ability to control the loudspeaker and its DSP. Having them networked has been a huge help in configuring the system, especially during the commissioning phase when it was super-handy to be able to access the loudspeakers’ DSP remotely. For example, during the testing period, if anyone reported a problem in a certain area, I usually already knew what the problem was before my colleague on site got in the room!

“Regarding room set-up and configuration, we have a variety of different spaces which required different approaches,” explains Salo. “For the Teams spaces and the medium- sized Zoom rooms where the audio system is straightforward with just two Genelec loudspeakers, we use the speakers’ in- built DSP for EQ and volume control. In the larger rooms with more gear, we used Smart IP Manager to update the firmware of the loudspeakers, while everything audio-related is handled by the Q-SYS processor from QSC and then sent to the loudspeakers. The IP addresses were set up with a custom script created by my colleague, and the speakers were named in Dante Controller. Finally, now that the system is up and running, monitoring is carried out via the Genelec API using a custom Audico software.”

In the two largest meeting rooms, Genelec’s ‘The Ones’ coaxial three-way loudspeakers have been deployed as the main system, with 4430 Smart IP loudspeakers utilised for Voice Lift and as a delay system for the main speakers. A Voice Lift system uses a combination of strategically placed microphones and loudspeakers to subtly amplify speech so that a person speaking on one side of a large room can be heard at the same level at the opposite side of the room, even if they’re 30 metres away. Genelec systems also grace the main lobby, the gym, the cafeteria, and the staff entertainment facility. Many of the loudspeakers were subsequently painted in custom colours to blend seamlessly with the fantastic Supercell décor.

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