Including a breathtaking view of the Frankfurt skyline in the new CUPRA Music Labs of the world-renowned music manager Stefan Dabruck.
In 2021, mbakustik GmbH created uncompromising studio acoustics for SDM (Stefan Dabruck’s SDM Productions GmbH & Co. KG). In one of the most demanding construction environments, the top floor of a skyscraper in Frankfurt’s popular Westend, six studio rooms were planned, realized, and “acoustically ready” handed over to the proud owner.
THIS IS NEXT LEVEL! GERMAN SOUND ENGINEERING FOR THE WORLD’S BEST PRODUCERS OF TOMORROW.
Music-Manager Stefan Dabruck about the CUPRA Music Labs in Esquire video-interview from Juli 7, 2021
mbakustik is an internationally recognized office for professional studio acoustics. For Stefan Dabruck, one of the most successful music producers in the world with more than 600 diamond, platinum, and gold records, the studio realized his vision “of the best studio for the international producer elite of tomorrow”. The manager of, among others, Robin Schulz, Alle Farben, Quarterhead, LOVRA, and Hugel, together with the young car brand CUPRA from SEAT, has brought the dream of every music producer to life. The CUPRA Music Labs – a high-end recording studio with the title WORLD CLASS. CUPRA offers artists a stage with the CUPRA Music Labs. It is the first car manufacturer to have its own sound studio that also focuses on music.
We simply wanted to set a new standard in the studio landscape with our studios. Our aim was to build one of the technically best and best-sounding studios in Central Europe. In the middle of the Frankfurt skyline, in the heart of Europe. And we managed to do that with our five studios, the writing-room and the vocal-booth. I would like to thank all partners and especially Markus Bertram from mbakustik and his dedicated team for the great work!
2021 I Stefan Dabruck – Stefan Dabruck Management
The extensive range of acoustic services provided by mbakustik is impressive. It ranges from the draft and implementation planning of the acoustic expansion to the detailed participation in the electrical, ventilation, and air conditioning planning. Furthermore, to the realization of the soundproofing shells in the gutted floor to the room acoustic expansion and the commissioning of all on-site studio space.
Due to the unusual statics of the building, no large loads were allowed to be brought in. The planners from mbakustik have developed a solution that offers optimal sound insulation at all times despite these limitations. Thanks to a cement screed cleverly laid against this background, absolutely nothing can be heard even at extreme listening levels in the large Control A on the floor below.
The soundproofing of the rooms to the corridor is at a proud 65 dB due to a consistent double-shell wall construction including sand filling so that the sound development between all studio rooms is so low that it can no longer be determined by measurements.
As internationally experienced studio acoustics specialists the new SDM Studios was an extraordinarily exciting project for us. The challenge of planning and implementing six parallel studio rooms at this high level for an extremely demanding customer was not only a huge challenge for me personally, but for the entire mbakustik team. In particular, the consistency with which SDM and Stefan approached the construction project, and which is reflected in countless details, was a lot of fun for us and led to uncompromising studio acoustics for SDM. A truly unique project!
2021 I Markus Bertram – mbakustik GmbH
Control A, the largest control room, has a studio glass pane with a breathtaking panoramic view of the Frankfurt skyline. In order to put this unique view in the limelight, mbakustik deliberately avoided a visually disturbing frame construction. The mitered glass panes are directly glued and sealed together. With a window width of 5.70m, this means an immense challenge for the statics of the self-supporting facing shell. A masterpiece by the mbakustik drywall builders.
The space-creating expansion with the in-house acoustic design system (ADS) from mbakustik ensures error-free damping of the control room in the entire frequency range. The important anechoic zone (RFZ) is as large as possible, the reverberation time is low and even, and longitudinal and transverse modes are optimally damped. In the rear third, diffusers of the Skyline type in the special color gold and diffusers of the D517 type in white ensure maximum scattering of the remaining reflections. The effect of the conventional bass absorbers of the acoustic design system (ADS) is supplemented in Control A by two built-in compensation subwoofers as active bass traps. This ensures that the room always behaves linearly, even at very low frequencies. Thanks to the wide LED light profiles integrated into the acoustic design system (ADS), the room is also illuminated in zones and without glare.
A noiseless air conditioning of the room is realized with convectors. These work without any fans and therefore do not emit any background noise. Ideal for particularly demanding sound control rooms. The convectors need “space”. This is why they were integrated directly into the acoustic design system (ADS) to combine acoustics and air conditioning technology at the highest level.
Two large monitor systems are used in the Control-A. The impressive top model from the German quality manufacturer Neumann consists of two KH420 three-way monitors. Each with a KH870 subwoofer, and the Barefoot Masterstack 12 in the special color white. In Germany, this is the first and so far only example of this top model from the American premium manufacturer. Calibrated on-site by mbakustik with the personal support of Thomas Barefoot. The top model is particularly impressive due to its resolution, speed, and high-level stability.
In addition to Control A, two other medium-sized control rooms were built. Control B and Control C have also been upgraded with the Acoustic Design System (ADS), and each has a powerful compensation subwoofer. The smaller editing rooms Control D and E are equipped with mbakustik type A115 broadband absorbers so that a total of five director’s workstations are available. Studios B to E are equipped with Neumann KH310 active monitors and KH870 subwoofers and studio desks from Sessiondesk. For the large Control A, Sessiondesk made a custom-made extra-wide trapezoidal table.
The frequency response at the listening position in Control A, B and C corresponds, among other things, to the strict +/- 3dB specification of the European Broadcast Union (EBU). It thus satisfies all building and room acoustic requirements of international studio standards for control rooms. The smaller Control D and E are within a +/- 5dB corridor and meet all building and room acoustic requirements of international studio standards for editing rooms.
The fully air-conditioned vocal booth, a small recording room for voices, impresses with a constructive ADS bass trap. In addition, with a broadband absorber of type A115 and a sound-absorbing curtain of type AV15. Both products were manufactured in mbakustik’s in-house acoustics factory.
The Vocalbooth not only offers a breathtaking view of the Frankfurt skyline but also top-level room and building acoustics.
More project images of the construction phases and completion of uncompromising studio acoustics for SDM:
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