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Genelec bridges the gap between sound and silence at Lili Time Café, Shanghai

Genelec bridges the gap between sound and silence at Lili Time Café, Shanghai

China – “Deafness is not the opposite of hearing. It is a silence full of sound”, astutely observes the famous playwright Mark Medhoff. Unfortunately, the condition of deafness is often misunderstood, or worse, neglected in our society. LiLi Time, a cafe on busy Mengzi Road in Shanghai, is an exception; cultivate a community where people who are deaf or hard of hearing can feel comfortable and their experience has now been enhanced with a Genelec G Series speaker system.

There is, of course, very good reasoning behind this decision. Sound exists in the physical realm: it is essentially “remote touch” as neuroscientist Diana Deutsch of the University of California, San Diego claims, and deaf people can still experience music through vibrations of air molecules. Zhang Lili admits that she had never heard of the Genelec brand before, but she and several team members shared a common love for music, believing that good sound quality can bring a positive emotional experience. , which is why LiLi Time ended up choosing a Genelec solution over other audio brands.

“In fact, when people wear a hearing aid, they can hear a little sound,” says Zhang Lili. “Deaf customers and staff will tell me that they can feel the vibration of sound. After considering our options, we chose a Genelec audio solution because of the brand’s superior sound texture and the direct emotional experience that it evokes.” She goes on to draw the parallel between good coffee and music: “Both are linked to our physical perception, albeit different senses, and both equally contribute to creating a warm space, where people can be comfortable. and communicate freely.” An added benefit of high-quality speakers in this type of environment is the prevention of the “recruitment” syndrome that people with hearing loss can sometimes experience, which manifests as a reduced tolerance for loud sounds. This means that the acceptable sound volume range for the listener can be quite narrow, so a distributed loudspeaker system with good performance is essential to achieve the best results.

After an in-depth discussion with the Genelec team in Beijing, it appeared that the solution had to fulfill three main tasks: the distribution of high-fidelity BGMs (background music), the hosting of live musical performances, and finally the system had to be easy for guest musicians to plug in and use. To this end, a combination of Genelec G One and G Three two-way active loudspeakers has been specified, delivering on all fronts.

Each model has been selected based on the acoustics and functional requirements of each room. For the larger first floor, G Threes were implemented for wide sound coverage, while ultra-compact G Ones were selected for the more intimate environment of the cafe’s upper level. The provision of simple room compensation switches on the rear panel on both models also meant that each speaker’s response could be tailored to each room’s individual acoustics.

With the addition of a digital mixer, staff now fully control cafe audio levels through the familiar interface of a mobile phone or iPad. Plus, the G-Series’ active speaker design eliminates the need for bulky external amplifiers, providing a compact and flexible plug-and-play solution for visiting vocalists and bands.

Si Xuan, café designer and frequent performer, is thrilled with the upgrade: “Our live music capabilities have been vastly improved. Not only do we have full, wireless control of BGM, but we can easily plug in guitars, keyboards and other instruments, and have the ability to fine-tune sound remotely in real time.”

It is evident from the care that Zhang Lili and Si Xuan put into the cafe’s interior design that aesthetics were also a consideration. Zhang Lili recalls enthusiastically, “Since installation, we have received many positive comments from customers, who often take pictures of the speakers. They are drawn to Genelec’s distinctive and eye-catching design as well as the their precise sound and the durability of their recycled aluminum cabinets is simply the icing on the cake!”

One of the cafe’s baristas, nicknamed Xiaoyu, was offered an interview at LiLi Time after struggling to find work in Shanghai: “I will always remember that day. I was very nervous during the interview because I didn’t know how to express myself. , since I had not studied coffee and had no experience in service. But everyone looked at me with a smile on their face and gave me great encouragement. He continues, “Over time, I have seen the number of customers increase in the cafe, and more and more customers are happy to let me speak to them in sign language. All of this makes me so happy!”

LiLi Time provides a space where everyone is encouraged to interact with each other and express their artistic talents. It serves as a place of refuge where all guests can feel comfortable and enjoy quality coffee, music and company.

Genelec bridges the gap between sound and silence at Lili Time Café, ShanghaiGenelec bridges the gap between sound and silence at Lili Time Café, Shanghai

April 27, 2022