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Ikegami chooses Genelec speakers for new seminar room

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Founded in 1946, Ikegami Tsushinki is a Japanese manufacturer of professional broadcast equipment that is renowned for its television cameras. Indeed, Ikegami introduced the world’s first hand-held TV camera, which debuted in the US in 1962 when CBS used it to document the launch of NASA’s Aurora 7 crewed space flight.

The company, which is working on next-generation broadcasting standards with IP workflows, celebrates its 75th anniversary this year – a milestone that has been marked by a comprehensive renovation of its offices in Tokyo, including the addition of a sophisticated seminar room equipped with Smart IP loudspeakers from Genelec.

Akiko Kurazumi, manager of Ikegami’s general affairs group, says the company previously had few large rooms that could accommodate company events. “We used to rent nearby public facilities for training sessions or other corporate events,” she says. “When the pandemic hit, we were obliged to move things online, but the idea was raised of having our own facility for the future. The timing was perfect, as it coincided with the office renovations, so we built a new seminar room.”

During the design process, Ikegami consulted long-standing business colleague Tetsushi Hirai of TXA Planning, who has a deep knowledge of the latest AV equipment. Hirai offered a proposal based on the theme of ‘Staying focused on the seminar’.

“I make it a rule to design sound systems that place intelligible audio exactly where it should be, so that audiences and participants can concentrate on the content and get the most from their experience,” he says. “Ikegami’s seminar room was no exception.”

Indeed, the design was developed entirely from an attendee perspective: the rectangular room has been configured with six separate audio zones and designed in such a way that the speaker’s voice can be heard clearly from anywhere in the room, with no interference between zones. Hirai says Genelec’s Smart IP loudspeakers offer the best means to achieve this design.

“The room features a number of pillars, so we installed six 4430 loudspeakers in an L/C/R configuration for the front half of the room, and the same for the back half, to deliver audio to each of the six zones,” he adds. “The speakers are angled radially towards the centre of each zone. The large display panels are also an important part of the experience, so the system has been configured in such a way that sound appears to be coming from the display where appropriate, which is placed close to the speaker for a realistic experience. We defined the centre 4430 above the screens, as the virtual sound source, and calculated the time alignment for each loudspeaker position using 3D modelling software. Amazingly, once the time alignment was set, the sound output was so good, I didn’t even need to calibrate the loudspeakers – they sounded fantastic straight out of the box.

“When I listen to these loudspeakers, the clarity is astonishing. Their excellent linear characteristics – that I measured for myself – meant I didn’t have to calibrate them afterwards. The system design was much easier as a result.”

The Smart IP solution was also perfect fit for the hi-tech, forward-thinking culture at Ikegami. “Ikegami is paving the way with the adoption of standards and technologies such as ST 2110, which enables audio, video and control data transport, and is also developing media over IP, which incorporates remote control capabilities,” says Hirai. “Genelec’s Smart IP platform that delivers audio, power and control via a single network cable fits right into that scenario and is a future-proof solution that will be able to adapt to new-generation innovations.”

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