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Tokyo’s Zukan Museum Ginza

Tokyo’s Zukan Museum Ginza

The museum has deployed over 100 Genelec studio loudspeakers, including 8010, 8020 and 7360 models

Genelec Zukan Museum Ginza case study


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Genelec creates immersive journey into the natural world at Zukan Museum Ginza

— Over 100 Genelec loudspeakers combined with cutting-edge video technology guide visitors through interactive journey —

NATICK, MA, July 18, 2023 — A trip to a modern museum is a treat for all ages, offering us the chance to be plunged into alternative realities as part of an experience designed to entertain as well as educate. Inspired by Shogakukan’s NEO series of picture books, the Zukan Museum Ginza in Tokyo is a perfect example: described as an ‘experience-based facility’ that fuses the digital and the real, Zukan Museum offers an immersive and interactive journey to discover the natural world beyond time and space. Over 100 Genelec loudspeakers combined with cutting edge video technology help drive the experience where natural environments of forests and water are seamlessly connected for a magical journey through the world of living things.

“The museum faithfully recreates the ecosystem of the natural world, with different creatures appearing in each area, such as the forest, savanna, underwater, etc., where the act of observing and recording the creatures is interactive. For example, if you get too close to a creature, it will be startled and run away,” explains Mr. Jun Fujiwara of invisi Ltd – who handled the sound production and UX design.

“The acoustical element is made up of three components: sounds produced by living creatures; background environmental sounds; and musical elements,” explains Takashi Miyamoto of coton Inc – who was responsible for implementing the audio system and sound design. “The environment changes according to the time of day, just as it does in the real world. The musical elements are generated using coton’s original music generation technology called ‘soundtope’ which automatically produces the most appropriate music based on the season and time of day, for a truly authentic experience.”

These three acoustical elements, with a total of 150 channels of sound, create different worlds in each of the multiple areas within the museum. There is no physical separation between areas, so it was particularly important to ensure that transitions from one area to another are smooth and coherent.

“In order to ensure seamless transitions between naturescapes, we used a common tonal scale between adjacent areas to prevent sounds from clashing with each other,” continues Miyamoto. “Furthermore, in terms of timbre, the placement of intermediate common tones between areas has the effect of a boundary partition, like a sound curtain. Another acoustical issue that emerged was the panning system, which pans the sound produced by the creatures. The loudspeaker arrangements didn't allow us to use existing panners, so we had to develop our own panning system.”

According to Miyamoto, the excellent localization achieved by Genelec loudspeakers with the panning was the deciding factor in deploying them at the museum, along with their extremely accurate sound reproduction. “Other loudspeakers used different mechanisms to achieve localization, but that was problematic in multichannel setups, and in general, they lacked the accurate sound reproduction we were looking for. Genelec’s superlative acoustic characteristics and flexible installation were a major attraction.” Fujiwara agrees: “As we wanted to prioritize the atmosphere of the museum, we tried to make the loudspeakers as invisible as possible. We explored various options, including high positions on the ceiling and gaps in the structure. This meant the loudspeakers had to be as small as possible – and when it came to the size/performance ratio, Genelec was the obvious choice.”

At the Zukan Museum, 85 compact 8010 active studio loudspeakers, 23 of the slightly larger 8020 models, and seven 7360 subwoofers were installed throughout the space. The 8010 is used widely throughout the museum due to its combination of exceptional performance and small footprint, while the 8020 is used specifically for reproducing creature sounds ­– which require more low-end. In addition, Genelec’s huge range of accessories proved ideal for the project, with the 8000-420 short wall mount and 8000-416 truss mount both employed to achieve flexible installation tailored to the space.

“To create the world that living creatures inhabit, we received supervision from Emeritus university professors and other experts,” observes Mr. Takayuki Kitai of AID-DCC Inc – who was involved in the overall creative process of the facility. “We believe that we managed to provide an experience unique to this museum that cannot be obtained in conventional facilities. Since its opening, the museum has received favorable reviews from various fields as a new form of experiential facility. I hope many people will experience it.”

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Photo file 1: Zukan_Museum_PR_Image_1.JPG
Photo caption 1: Tokyo’s Zukan Museum Ginza

Photo file 2: Zukan_Museum_PR_Image_2.JPG
Photo caption 2: Tokyo’s Zukan Museum Ginza

Photo file 3: Zukan_Museum_PR_Image_3.JPG
Photo caption 3: The museum has deployed over 100 Genelec studio loudspeakers, including 8010, 8020 and 7360 models

PDF file: Zukan_Museum_Genelec_Case_Study_FINALAL.pdf
PDF caption: Genelec Zukan Museum Ginza case study

Genelec, the pioneer in Active Monitoring technology, is celebrating 45 years of designing and manufacturing active loudspeakers for true and accurate sound reproduction. Genelec is credited with promoting the concept of active transducer technology. Since its inception in 1978, Genelec has concentrated its efforts and resources into creating active monitors with unparalleled sonic integrity. The result is an active speaker system that has earned global acclaim for its accurate imaging, extremely high acoustic output from small enclosures, true high-fidelity with low distortion, and deep, rich bass.

Genelec is also celebrating over 15 years of its Smart Active Monitoring™ technology, which allows studio monitors to be networked, configured and calibrated for the user’s specific acoustic environment. Each Smart Active Monitor or subwoofer is equipped with advanced internal DSP circuitry, which tightly integrates with the GLM (Genelec Loudspeaker Manager) software application, running on Mac or PC. GLM’s reference microphone kit allows the user’s acoustic environment to be analyzed, after which GLM’s AutoCal feature optimizes each Smart Active Monitor for level, distance delay, subwoofer crossover phase and room response equalization, with the option of further fine tuning by the user. By minimizing the room’s influence on the sound, Smart Active Monitors deliver an unrivalled reference, with excellent translation between rooms.

Other brand and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

—For more information on the complete range of Genelec Active Monitoring Systems, contact: Genelec Inc., 7 Tech Circle, Natick, MA 01760. Tel: (508) 652-0900; Web:
















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