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LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build
Old 23rd August 2019
  #1
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LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build

I'm happy to share some details of microphone manufacturer LEWITTs multi-purpose studio I've been commissioned to build in late spring 2019. As of today (August 2019) we are in the middle of the build process with most of the acoustics already done but still some work left.

The room is a 49,5m^2 [~533sf] part of a generous second floor loft in the 15th district of Austrias capital Vienna surrounded by office space for 30+ employees. With a height of 3,78m [~12'4"] we have a raw volume of 187m^3 [~6,556cf].

The studio space will be used for both audio and video pre & post production as well as photo shootings and microphone testing. The client basically demands a well controlled room decay to cover both control room and recording duties and low noise floor. The overall appearance (colors, shapes, materials, etc.) is based on preliminary work of the inhouse design team. I was encouraged to bring up the technical solutions to these designs within budget which was both fun (because of the friendly team) and quite demanding (because of all the light, heating, air condition -- you name it -- circumstances that had to be considered).

So this is not only an acoustics build but a design challenge as well ... just the kind of project I'm really interested in as an engineer/designer. Apart from the budget which LEWITT and I choose to keep unpublished I am able to disclose pretty much any information that is of interest to the Gearslutz community -- photos, videos, measurements that we did along the way.

Some of the early sketches:
Attached Thumbnails
LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-003-room-rendering.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-006-room-rendering.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-007-room-rendering.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-001-room-rendering.jpg  

Last edited by G. E.; 25th August 2019 at 06:37 PM..
Old 24th August 2019
  #2
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T30 Measurements of the Raw Room Structure

There's an early measurement by Akustik Buch even before additional sound proofing actions on walls, ceiling, and ventilation system were taken for the room.

BTW: When I revisited the room afterwards decay times in the deeper octaves had changed for the better quite substantially.

Initially T30 was specified with 250ms ±10% (compared to 310ms recommended by AES for a room of this size). Later on in the design phase we loosened T30 to 300ms because of some design decisions (partly metal covering of the half the right wall).

Take a look of the original room (red line) before any soundproofing and acoustic treatment, taken from the acoustic report by Akustik Buch:
Attached Thumbnails
LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-005-t60-raw.jpg  
Old 25th August 2019
  #3
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Video Footage of the Original Studio Space

I just found some video footage that gives a good impression about the studio space before we started with the project. It's part of the "LEWITT HQ Office Tour"-video where Founder & CEO Roman Perschon together with Warren Huart (Produce Like A Pro) visit the studio starting at 4:31.
Attached Thumbnails
LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-008-studio-footage.jpg  

Last edited by G. E.; 25th August 2019 at 07:15 PM..
Old 26th August 2019
  #4
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Black and White

The whole room got some dark paint before we started with further treatment.

See before and after (thats wenn we actually moved in to start our work):
Attached Thumbnails
LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-012-room-white.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-011-room-black.jpg  
Old 26th August 2019
  #5
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Shaping T20 with a Kind of Straddling VPRs

To use some corner floor space I came up with what I like to call Enhanced Porous Absorbers ... think of it as a straddling VPR-like construction without exactly being a VPR. I used 2,0m^2 [~22sf] steel per side, sandwiched in 10cm [~4"] polyester absorbent, covered with 4,4m^2 [~47sf] of 5cm polyester absorbent and fabric.

All that gives some really broad absorption as you can see in the T20 diagram:
Attached Thumbnails
LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-010-t20-epa-octave.gif   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-013-epa-unfinished.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-014-epa-measurement.jpg  

Last edited by G. E.; 31st August 2019 at 09:09 AM..
Old 26th August 2019
  #6
Will you be trying to make the rear wall symmetrical?
Old 26th August 2019
  #7
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Rear Wall Symmetry

Quote:
Originally Posted by johannburkard View Post
Will you be trying to make the rear wall symmetrical?
The "rear" wall is about 6m [~20'] away from the the engineer sitting at the desk so I opted for a "dead" wall with broadband absorption. We basically built an 5,5m*3,8m*0,5m [~18'*12'6"1'8"] absorber filled up with 5 [(kPa s)/m^2] absorbent. The corners are unsymmetrical because of an existing vent installation.

A movable diffusive fake wall consisting of three gobos will live 3m [~10'] behind the engineer.
Old 27th August 2019
  #8
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Overall Appearance

Quote:
Originally Posted by G. E. View Post
... The overall appearance (colors, shapes, materials, etc.) is based on preliminary work of the inhouse design team. ...
Inhouse designer Sandra got this concept approved early on:
Attached Thumbnails
LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-015-color-concept.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-016-design-concept.jpg  
Old 27th August 2019
  #9
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Mounting

Quote:
Originally Posted by G. E. View Post
To use some corner floor space I came up with what I like to call Enhanced Porous Absorbers ... think of it as a straddling VPR-like construction without exactly being a VPR. I used 2,0m^2 [~22sf] steel per side, sandwiched in 10cm [~4"] polyester absorbent, covered with 4,4m^2 [~47sf] of 5cm polyester absorbent and fabric.

All that gives some really broad absorption as you can see in the T30 diagram:
That's a very good result, I want to do the same! Can you share how the mounting is done? If the Enhanced Porous Absorber is hanged to the ceiling I understand how it can be done without glue, but I cannot see how to do on the wall.
  • Glue: did you use adhesive between the metal and the polyester absorbent? What type?
  • Structure: do you use a frame (wood or metal)? Do you use screw? How do you ensure the metal will not fall while being freely floating onto the absorber?
  • Hanging: how is the Enhanced Porous Absorber attached to the wall?
  • Location: is it mounted on wall, on wall corner, or on ceiling?
Thanks
Olivier
Old 27th August 2019
  #10
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EPA Details

Quote:
Originally Posted by OlivierDeGre View Post
...
  • Glue: did you use adhesive between the metal and the polyester absorbent? What type?
  • Structure: do you use a frame (wood or metal)? Do you use screw? How do you ensure the metal will not fall while being freely floating onto the absorber?
  • Hanging: how is the Enhanced Porous Absorber attached to the wall?
  • Location: is it mounted on wall, on wall corner, or on ceiling?
...
I used double-faced adhesive foil to "mount" the metal sheet on both sides to be sandwiched in between absorbent. I oversized the absorbent to make sure the metal won't touch anything else. This block basically sits on a plate. the rest of the frame just makes sure that the whole block stays there straddling the corner.

Look for a basic enhanced porous absorber scheme described some years ago.
Old 28th August 2019
  #11
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Shell of Hexagons

Inhouse product designer Gernot worked out the hexagon (together with some pentagons) shell structure. Consisting of 15 different shapes they sum up to a total of 68 modules to be mounted on three walls and the ceiling:
Attached Thumbnails
LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-017-hexagons.jpg  
Old 28th August 2019
  #12
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Hexagon Mounting Support

For easy mounting and resolving service issues (LED lights) every module can be accessed individually:
Attached Thumbnails
LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-018-hexagons-mounting.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-019-hexagons-mounting.jpg  
Old 28th August 2019
  #13
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Get Dirty

After discussing how to implement the rusty look of the right side we went for the real thing. I ordered nine naked steel sheets in the size 2,0m*1,0m [~6'7"*3'3"] with 3 pieces each of 0,5mm [~3/128"], 0,75mm [~1/32"], 1,0mm [~3/64"] thickness.

Rusting the sheets started outside on a rainy weekend and I had a lot of fun watching and guiding the process (there's only so much that you can do to it):
Attached Thumbnails
LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-020-rusting.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-021-rusting.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-022-rusting.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-023-rusting.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-024-rusting.jpg  

LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-025-rusting.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-026-rusting.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-027-rusting.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-028-rusting.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-029-rusting.jpg  

LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-030-rusting.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-031-rusting.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-032-rusting.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-033-rusting.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-034-rusting.jpg  

LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-035-rusting.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-036-rusting.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-037-rusting.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-038-rusting.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-039-rusting.jpg  

Old 28th August 2019
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G. E. View Post
Rusting the sheets ...
Can I ask what you did when the sheet were rusty enough? For example, did you lacquer them to keep the rust on the sheets and off the hands of anyone who could touch the sheets in situ?
Old 29th August 2019
  #15
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Lackering Rust

Quote:
Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
Can I ask what you did when the sheet were rusty enough? For example, did you lacquer them to keep the rust on the sheets and off the hands of anyone who could touch the sheets in situ?
Yes, after drying up on a sunny day they got lacquered three times on the fronts (two of them got rust treatment on both sides) and one time on the back.

In total I got 11 designs on 9 sheets to choose from:
Attached Thumbnails
LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-040-rusty.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-041-rusty.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-042-rusty.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-043-rusty.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-044-rusty.jpg  

LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-045-rusty.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-046-rusty.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-047-rusty.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-048-rusty.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-049-rusty.jpg  

LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-050-rusty.jpg  
Old 30th August 2019
  #16
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Rusty Imaging

Further down the process I did some photo compositing for the soon to be built wall:
Attached Thumbnails
LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-051-rusty-imaging.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-052-rusty-imaging.jpg  
Old 31st August 2019
  #17
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Rusty Wall Details

To make use of the rusty wall for the acoustic treatment the sheets were mounted on magnetic foil over wooden frame and secured with some tiny screws. The back was filled with polyester absorbent just slightly touching the sheets. This way there is no metal ringing (remember plate reverbs, do you?) and the sheets act as membrane absorbers in the high bass/low mid range.

Orange is with the rusty wall installed:
Attached Thumbnails
LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-056-rusty-wall-cutting.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-056-rusty-wall-mounting.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-054-rusty-wall.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-055-rusty-wall.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-053-t20-rusty-wall.gif  

Old 31st August 2019
  #18
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That wall is beautiful!
Old 31st August 2019
  #19
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Rusty Wall Pic

Quote:
Originally Posted by scraggs View Post
That wall is beautiful!
Thanks, I still haven't got any nice camera pics, here's another one from my mobile:
Attached Thumbnails
LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-057-rusty-wall.jpg  
Old 2nd September 2019
  #20
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Rear Wall Details

Quote:
Originally Posted by G. E. View Post
The "rear" wall is about 6m [~20'] away from the the engineer sitting at the desk so I opted for a "dead" wall with broadband absorption. We basically built an 5,5m*3,8m*0,5m [~18'*12'6"1'8"] absorber filled up with 5 [(kPa s)/m^2] absorbent. The corners are unsymmetrical because of an existing vent installation. ...
The rear wall came up pretty fast -- luckily we didn't have to cut most of the sheets because they fit right out of the box (actually they came as rolls). Everything has been wrapped with black Molton fabric with a front of removable tiles (magnet-mounted wooden frames covered with high quality fabric).

Now this acts as an additional broadband absorber (yellow line):
Attached Thumbnails
LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-058-rear-wall.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-059-rear-wall.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-060-rear-wall.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-061-rear-wall.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-062-rear-wall.jpg  

LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-063-rear-wall.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-064-t20-rear-wall.gif  

Last edited by G. E.; 2nd September 2019 at 01:07 PM..
Old 2nd September 2019
  #21
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Backdrop

By the end of the rear wall mounting a backdrop got installed right in front of the rear wall. The mounting plates went into in the ceilings double layer dry wall secured with toggle plugs.
Attached Thumbnails
LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-065-backdrop.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-066-backdrop.jpg  
Old 2nd September 2019
  #22
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Trussing

Quote:
Originally Posted by G. E. View Post
... The mounting plates went into in the ceilings double layer dry wall secured with toggle plugs.
The same goes for the U-shaped black aluminium truss to be used for photo and video lights:
Attached Thumbnails
LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-067-truss.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-068-truss.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-069-truss.jpg  
Old 4th September 2019
  #23
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Left Side Wall

Quote:
Originally Posted by G. E. View Post
... with a front of removable tiles (magnet-mounted wooden frames covered with high quality fabric) ...
Opposite the rusty metal wall 5cm [~2"] absorbent got covered the same way as the back wall. Now this depth doesn't do a lot to the reverb (olive-green line) but it prevents shuttering from the side walls:
Attached Thumbnails
LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-071-absorber-wall.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-070-absorber-wall.gif  
Old 6th September 2019
  #24
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Hexagon Prototyping

Quote:
Originally Posted by G. E. View Post
For easy mounting and resolving service issues (LED lights) every module can be accessed individually:
Meanwhile we mounted a prototype to check size and stability -- worked out just fine (we measured the mounted panel within 2mm [~1/16"] from its calculated position in the room).

The first front panels (kind of triangular BAD-panel) got machined and mounted as well:
Attached Thumbnails
LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-072-hexagons-prototyping.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-073-hexagons-prototyping.jpg  
Old 7th September 2019
  #25
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It looks super!!!!

What RT60 are you targeting for this room?
Old 7th September 2019
  #26
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T30

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSilver View Post
... What RT60 are you targeting for this room?
The room is targeted at T30=300ms, see Post #2 for more details.
Old 8th September 2019
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G. E. View Post
The rear wall came up pretty fast -- luckily we didn't have to cut most of the sheets because they fit right out of the box (actually they came as rolls). Everything has been wrapped with black Molton fabric with a front of removable tiles (magnet-mounted wooden frames covered with high quality fabric).

Now this acts as an additional broadband absorber (yellow line):
Can you explain more about the footings that support the rear wall?

How do the fabric frames attach magnetically with no iron (except nails?) on the wall framing?
Old 8th September 2019
  #28
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Answers

Quote:
Originally Posted by OpusOfTrolls View Post
Can you explain more about the footings that support the rear wall?
I prefer to have some space from the floor in case of thorough cleaning, additional cabling, water damage, you name it. Plus the footings are adjustable in height so we were able to start the construction from a flat ground.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OpusOfTrolls View Post
How do the fabric frames attach magnetically with no iron (except nails?) on the wall framing?
First of all the frames are really light-weight! I used screw-on counterparts for magnets on the wall framing.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #29
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First Batch Of Hexagons

Quote:
Originally Posted by G. E. View Post
... Consisting of 15 different shapes they sum up to a total of 68 modules to be mounted on three walls and the ceiling:
The first batch of raw hexagons (well, partly split into pentagons) got delivered, mounting looks just fine.
Attached Thumbnails
LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-074-hexagons-delivery.jpg   LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-075-hexagons-mounting.jpg  
Old 4 weeks ago
  #30
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Cable Locker

Quote:
Originally Posted by G. E. View Post
Opposite the rusty metal wall 5cm [~2"] absorbent got covered the same way as the back wall. ...
Another detail of this wall: there's a cable locker behind a door for quick access in recording situations:
Attached Thumbnails
LEWITT Headquarters Studio Build-lewitt-hq-studio-build-076-cable-locker.jpg  
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