With a growing string of L’Oréal Academies around the world training hairdressers in the latest techniques and trends, and the use of its products, the beauty and cosmetics giant recently opened an new facility in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon where integration specialist Garrett Audiovisuais oversaw the A/V installation in the group’s first digital academy – with Genelec loudspeakers in use throughout the training rooms.

L’Oréal ‘digital academy’‘Previously L’Oréal used to rent in equipment for all events,’ explains Garrett’s Carlos Melo. ‘However, after discussions with us, they decided that it would be better to have their own in-house solution rather than having to rely on external A/V companies, as it would be cheaper in the long term and more convenient. They also knew that they could rely on us for support whenever necessary. We recommended Genelec as it delivers everything they required: excellent intelligibility when using microphones, extremely high quality low level ambient sound, and can still blow people away when the DJ comes in.’

Four rooms spread over two floors are used largely for training, and also for parties and other events. They can operate independently or combined in any configuration. The ground floor and first floor control rooms communicate so that L’Oréal can even host a single event across the two floors if necessary – since all audio and video can be streamed live across all four spaces, making the system extremely flexible.

L’Oréal ‘digital academy’For the audio system, Garrett specified two Genelec 8050B loudspeakers and one 7070A subwoofer per room. The 8050B was designed as a studio monitor loudspeaker. The speakers and subs are all active, making installation straightforward with no amplifier racks or long cable runs required. Additionally, a number of AIC25 ceiling speakers have been installed throughout the lobby and other public areas.

According to the Academy supervisor, Sofia Fernandes, the new audio system offers benefits, both in operational terms as well as quality: ‘These rooms are in use every day in a variety of combinations,’ she sayss. ‘Set up is now a piece of cake: all I have to do is plug in the microphone and we’re essentially ready to go. On/off and level can all be controlled remotely via a tablet, or if we have a DJ in, they just run it all from the desk. The sound is amazing, whether it’s speech or music, at high level or low levels. In fact, now the system is in, I simply never have to worry about it – I just turn it on and it works. Room combining is also very straightforward, so there’s no doubt that it has helped me in my job.

‘We no longer have to deal with the disruption of external A/V companies coming in and out – even if they did a good job, it’s still one more thing to deal with. Now we just manage it all ourselves, and probably with even better results. It all looks and feels extremely professional and is perfectly integrated with the rest of our systems. Garrett has done a wonderful job so, yes, we’re very pleased.’

‘From an integrator’s point of view, we believe that Genelec offers a number of advantages for projects like these,’ says Melo. ‘Firstly, we know that the sound quality is truly second to none; secondly, because most of their models are active, it’s very easy to install – and the new networked Smart IP models will be easier still – and finally, we know that once they go in, the equipment is so reliable that, unless the client wants to upgrade or change anything, we probably won’t hear from them again for the next 20 years.’

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