The name Genelec is synonymous with fluid design, adaptive performance, and audio accuracy in its monitors. Howard Jones, Genelec’s communications director says the company’s ongoing drive to innovate is largely inspired by the demands of its customers.
RedTech: Where do you see opportunities to secure the future of radio?
Howard Jones: There’s no doubt that we’ve seen an increase in the use of IP and cloud technology in radio studio integration, the emergence of more hybrid “visual” radio and more content generated remotely — a trend that’s been “normalized” by the pandemic.
As a loudspeaker brand, we’ve been able to address all these trends with a range that offers IP-compatible studio monitors such as the 8430 and our range of Smart Active Monitors that adapt their performance to compensate for the acoustic properties of any room environment, from a well-designed radio studio to a more ad-hoc, challenging acoustic space.
Low-power consumption and sustainability have also become increasingly important for the future of broadcasting (and the planet!), and these are design features that are embedded in Genelec’s DNA.
RedTech: What inspires your company to innovate?
Jones: We’re an engineering-driven company, so that desire to innovate has always been very strong, but what really inspires that innovation is our customers.
Our very first studio monitor — the S30 — was born from a request from Finnish broadcaster YLE for a new type of active loudspeaker for their new radio house. They had a clear design brief which included consistent performance, total reliability, easy serviceability and the monitor’s ability to adapt to the acoustic environment of the room.
So, the S30 created a blueprint for how we approach monitoring design. Ever since then, we’ve remained totally focused on understanding the challenges our customers face and developing the best solutions to help them. It is this process that drives innovation.
We’re an engineering-driven company, so that desire to innovate has always been very strong; but what really inspires that innovation is our customers.
RedTech: How do your products make radio increasingly resilient, relevant and competitive?
Jones: Knowing that content is king, we’ve always aimed to produce monitoring solutions that promote the most truthful and accurate reproduction, so that a station can rely on its content translating consistently to the listener across multiple devices.
With the growth of visual radio, the aesthetic design of our monitors (created in conjunction with leading industrial designer Harri Koskinen) has become a key benefit. Of course, reliability and a long product lifecycle are also really important for our customers, who need to know that they are making a secure, long-term, futureproof investment.
Also, the adaptability of our modern DSP-powered designs means that our customers can still rely on accurate audio even when working in remote spaces with little or no acoustic treatment. So, we offer a great solution when the budget for room acoustics is tight.
RedTech: What one piece of advice would you give those running radio stations today?
Jones: As I’ve gotten older, I listen to more radio, at home and on the move. While it may sound obvious, I always gravitate toward stations with consistently good and engaging content — day after day.
So, for me, that would be the single biggest focus, and then just make sure I can find you and tune in wherever I am!
RedTech: How do you imagine radio by the end of the next decade?
Jones: It’ll be increasingly digital and cloud-based, with more video content and more remote and decentralized workflows, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see AI playing more of a role.
This Q&A was published in the 2023 edition of The Innovators. Read the entire issue here.