The Artnovion family discusses everything Acoustics – Part 1

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Above you see the whole Artnovion Family from across the world after two long and glorious days of presentation by Artnovion. Distributors from China, Thailand, US/CAN(ourselves) and even the land down under all made it out to Portugal to hear about all the great things that Artnovion has to offer.

The first night we landed we were picked up at the Porto airport and made our way to Guimarães the birthplace of Portugal. The first night we made our way down to the bar of Hotel de Guimarães with the Austrian distributors – Pro Performance. Our instant connection through Artnovion allowed the friendship to grow into what we now call the Artnovion Family. We discussed our projects, like the Gramophone Showroom and they discussed theirs like the Vienna Opera House! After a few beers we made our way upstairs for our first night in Portugal.

Guimarães and Tams Region

We were set up in Hotel de Guimarães just outside the center of the city. Guimarães as stated above is the birthplace of Portugal. The first king had his castle here before re-conquering the nation of Portugal! The town is lush with charm and the architecture is vastly different then anything you will ever find in North America. The entire region is famous for it’s wood and furniture craftsmen. Which is why Artnovion selected this as their home! It just happens to coincide that Jorge Castro, the CEO, is born and raised in the region and is now raising his family here. The Artnovion family.

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The 1st Day of the Artnovion Conference

jorgehuggingThe first day I woke up with bright and shining. Heading down for breakfast you could feel the atmosphere of excitement. Thinking I would be jet lagged the first day, I downed 3 or 4 excellent Portuguese espressos! Orlando and Lúcia met us in the lobby after breakfast and corralled a bunch of enthusiastic distributors onto the bus. As we drove to the conference, pictures were being taken out of left and right windows as we rolled pass the beautiful countryside. Catching the morning sun, reflecting off the still green rolling hills was something to see!

As we exited the bus we were greeted by Jorge who started giving out hugs! Entering the theater we were greeted by one amazing designed entrance with Artnovions Sahara Acoustic Panels.

 

Once we all got into the theater, Patrícia Silva Castro began her presentation on the region. The region is famous for its footware, metal, fashion and especially furniture! The wood! There is something magical about the wood in Portugal. For years Portugal reined supreme on the seas and ventured out to discover the Americas thanks to their wood. Next up was Jorge himself to explain Why Artnovion!

Why Artnovion

I honestly haven’t had to ask myself this once. One look at Artnovion panels and you know why you are using these instead. But I will give you a quick breakdown of why you should be using Artnovion instead of the other guys…

Performance

Utilizing a proprietary technique in the way they cut and manage their foam they have managed to increase the performance by 20%.

Shipping

This same technique allows us to ship to you 33% more efficiently by the way panels are put together to fit into boxes without wasting space.

Design

Well I already covered this! Design, these things are beautiful, stunning, sexy, and most importantly..high wife approval factor!

Installation

With Artnovions FixArt systems, it’s easy to install! We have a video coming soon for you to watch, stay tuned for that!

Craftsmen

The craftsmen are superb, I watched myself the detail they put into the creation of your panels.

Support

Heard of Impulso yet? Nope? Heres the link! We can measure your room acoustics today, anytime. You are the engineer now.

Project Support

We ourselves have just completed training to help manage Project Support in the US and Canada. With full design and acoustic recommendations, Artnovion has got their competitors beat.

Education Resources

Check out Artnovions educational hub, as it expands they will be teaching us more and more about acoustics.

Product Installation

Nathaniel Bailey the head of R&D went over product installation with us. They created a glass panels so that we could visualize how things worked. Nat, is easily one of the most brilliant gentlmen I have had the pleasure to work with. I was able to work with the team for an extra week as I completed my training to help manage project support and Nat is one of the hardest workers I have ever met. Honestly the entire team is! Artnovion is one of the luckiest companies I have ever seen to find a group of hard working, professional team members.

FixArt Metal 

FixArt Metal is designed for most of the panels to be clipped into the walls. Using the templates you mark up your walls on were the metal clips go. Drill them into the walls, (note:if using drywall please use drywall anchors) along the marked positions from the template. Then it’s as simple as clipping your panels on. The brackets fold into the panels between the wood frame and foam. You can adjust the metal brackets if you are not aligned perfectly. You can also adjust a clip on the bracket to push the panels out further to line them up with each other perfectly. Watch the video to learn more!

FixArt Tube 

FixArt Tube is quite amazing. It makes it even easier to slide panels side to side and is honestly even easier then FixArt metal. I would always recommend these but they do bring the panels out a very slight amount from the wall compared to FixArt Metal brackets. Aesthetically on the walls it becomes easier to see down the side of the panels – It also creates an air gap that increases the performance of the panel. With the tubes you mount brackets to the back of the panels and using the template mount the tubes to the wall. Watch the video to learn how!

On our way to the Factory

After a quick coffee break for more of that delicious Portuguese espresso, we made our way to the busses and on to the factory. We arrived at the factory for a quick family lunch as they gave us samples of a number of different Portuguese dishes…and the sweets! The delicious desserts that come with Portuguese food. After lunch we were told no photos inside the factory but they would take select photos form their photographers for us. The craftsmen and detail work done in the factory is stunning and makes you wonder how in the world Artnovion panels are so inexpensive!

I took lots of notes and we have written an article that we will posted on later this week. Stay tuned for that!

New Technologies

For a one year old company the amount of product lines Artnovion has is quite remarkable! Everything they have done in the first year has surpassed everyones, including Artnovions own expectations! They have done a remarkable job breaking into the market and they have done so by bringing a superior product in both design and performance. So when we got to the new products it was no surprise that we were expecting something amazing! The new products definitely blew our minds and I have broken them down for you below. You can click on the buttons to view more detailed posts on each product. (some still to come)

The New Mobile Walls

Fixing systems have been one of the benchmarks of Artnovion that has proven that they are the superior acoustic panel company. With mobile walls, it is particularly useful for trade shows and demo rooms. We have even had customers use mobile walls in their rooms so they can remove panels or move them around. With the new mobile walls, they can now fix together to create an air tight gap between the walls. Additionally there will now be a 4 high mobile wall! For your taller ceilings in trade shows this will help dramatically.

New and Improved Bass Traps

The first thing we were shown is the improved bass traps. Now instead of only corner BTs they have created on wall bass traps. What this will allow us to do is for rooms that have massive pressure or velocity problems down the center of the room or in unique locations. Most of the time pressure builds up in the corner and that is the reason BTs are always suggested for corners. In the rare instance there is pressure elsewhere, we now have that solution.

In a project we are currently working on the rooms height is precisely half of the rooms length. This has created a very high pressure area down the center of the room that eliminated the frequencies between 33hz and 45hz. With the wall BTs we can help solve this problem with an Artnovion solution as corner BTs would not help much out.

Skyros

For the pro-audio segment a new tuneable absorption panel has entered the market! It is a wood or fabric product and comes in double length. Skyros unique technology allows adjustment to target a specific range of mid and high frequencies, from 400Hz to 6000Hz. The panel primarily utilizes the Helmhotz theory to accomplish it’s absorption as well as some porous technique.

Azores – The panel that will blow your mind! 

This new panel was revealed at the conference and is the perfect solution for everything! The panel can be cut and carved into any shape but comes standard in a half circle, triangle and square. They can be connected together to make any shape you want. Hung from the ceiling to create clouds, mounted on the walls with out FixArt systems. They can do any and everything! Created for Interior Designers but they will be available for everyone. Our article detailing this product in its entirety is coming later this week.

Azores Absorber

The Artnovion Office

After learning about all the new products we made our way on to the Artnovion office. This is were the family is truly made and I had the wonderful opportunity to extend my stay and work with the Artnovion team in their offices.

In the office as you enter the warehouse you will find Jorge’s new toy. The impedance tube. Here they will be testing out all their products performance. With the source at one end and receiver at the other, the sample product is introduced in the tube. After establishing a baseline, they carry out a comparative analysis to test each product.

Also on the 1st floor is the resonance chamber were they can do even more testing. Nat, the head of R&D was jokingly explaining how he comes in at midnight to do his testing. Because the spaces are not 100% isolated it’s best to do it when there is little to no noise outside. That is one dedicated worker!

On our way upstairs you enter to the desk space. It’s open seating as the team is a collaborative effort. With beautiful acoustic panels surround the office, sound could not be more perfect. Then you enter the conference room which doubles as Jorges office. Jorge himself, has traveled for over 60% of the past year, so when asked why he doesn’t have his own office, his explanation is, “the world is his office!” We are on a mission to bring beautiful sound to the world and Jorge is leading the way.

First day wraps up with a dinner and drinks

Finally we made our way to dinner at Telheiro restaurant. The restaurant is all decked out with Artnovion. We had some amazingly delicious food that the waiters served family style. Which as I learned is the norm for Portugal. The wine was flowing and the food was delicious. I sat next to whom has become a new good friend of mine, Paul of Wavetrain from Australia. After dinner we made our way back to the Hotel.  The Italians took over the Piano and starting singing us amazing music all night long and Orlando the CFO of Artnovion met us at the bar were he introduced us to few different types of Portuguese drinks and beer.  The beer was so cheap! For a 6 pack here in Vancouver, Canada you can easily buy yourself a weeks worth of beer in Portugal. Time flew by that night and before I knew it, it was 1am and I had to make my way up to bed. The jet lag tomorrow was sure going to kick in!

The Second Day of the Conference

The weather finally decided to work with us and gave us a little sunshine. The second day was in a cute little local boutique store called Banema that is the supplier for Artnovions wood.  The drive from our hotel to Porto took us a bit and I snagged a quick nap as my jet lag was finally catching up to me. Most people were taking pictures left and right but I knew I had the opportunity to stay and train with the team so I would be able to get those later. So an hour long nap called!

With more espresso already prepared at our destination I downed 2 more, an orange juice and sat up-front ready to take notes for the day!

Marketing

Artnovion has always won my appreciation since the day we started their distribution in North America. Brand guidelines? Holy cow! A manufacturer whom is actually providing us with loads of marketing material, guidelines and has everything figured out. This is a dream come true. Not having to come up with my own lifestyle imagery makes my life a thousand times easier. Better yet, anytime I’ve ever asked for anything related to marketing I receive a quick and prompt reply. Artnovion has got their stuff together and it makes me love this company even more.

Pedro Gomes Design

14One of the first presentations after Jorge brought us all back to reality was branding from Pedro of Pedro Gomes Design. He created the Impulso Apps design and they created the branding guidelines and much of their marketing material. This naturally peaked my interest and helped wake me up.

One of the things that I thought was quite interesting was how they came about the selection of Artnovions color pallet. They chose the thought of an iceberg and how 90% of the iceberg is below water. This 90% represents the hard work, persistence and discipline of the company that all leads to the success of the Artnovion family.

 

Next up Logistics

Lucia is head of logistics and took us through how the entire process works. The detail they take into packing their products and the R&D they have gone through to ensure that shipping is pristine and efficient. Not only do they make safely packing  products a primary objective they have taken packing into their designs. Take for example the new and improved Myron diffusers from the Pro Side. The product was originally not fitting together like a nice puzzle piece so they built out new models that would. This isn’t just as simple as shaving off some edges but Nathaniel the head of R&D has to ensure that performance is not lost. Not the easiest thing in the world to reduce mass and size while maintaining performance.

 

apart together

20To the left you can see a cut layer of what an Artnovion box looks like packed. Padding on top, Padding on bottom, the panels wrapped and snug together to improve space. Making the product cheaper for the end user by reducing shipping cost! The Alps is similair to the Myron in how it diffuses. However the Alps is made of wood and a much heavier product with a slightly different shape and diffusion field. Myron for pro, Alps for high end.

 

Sales with Orlando Quong

Orlando whom is the CFO comes from the banking investment background. He is currently jointly managing the sales team due to his winning personality and work ethic! Last night, I had a question regarding this article and I fired off an email at what would be 3 am their time. What has become a standard event and not unsurprising at all is Orlando replying to me within 10 minutes. I’m going to have to make a mental note to only email Orlando during reasonable hours.

Orlando went over some new sales products, including all new kits that will be coming out soon. These kits will package products together so that an end user can simply purchase it for their studio without going through the design and support process.

For those who are utilizing professional support the design team will create a full report for you. The report includes the following:

  1. 3d Depiction of the environment
  2. Proposed Panels with finishings and models
  3. Outline Drawings for installation visualization
  4. Room Acoustic Data including:
    1. Acoustic Treatment calculations of RT, Bass Ratio and Acoustic Target Values
    2. Acoustic Modes – with 3d room modes and low frequency response

Room Acoustics with Jorge Castro

Jorge teaches part time for Graduate Students in Porto when they ask him too. So he brought up a whiteboard and began his lecture. Soon enough my notes were filled with Room Modes, RT, a bunch of random numbers and equations and crudely drawn sketches of studios, cinemas and even restaurants and auditoriums. Most interesting was his training for classrooms and how to place panels to still maintain the teachers voice to the back of the room and prevent un-wanted reflections to the students and teacher. All while still allowing the students voices to carry out to the teacher in the front.

To do this, you place absorption panels on the ceilings but you start part of the way back towards the students. Each row of panels decreases in distance from the other row until you reach the back wall at which point you do a few absorption panels on the back wall above students reach. The interval break in the panels absorbs some of the worst reflections but allows for some to still reach each row of students. While the backwall panels absorb the longest reflections to create a more pleasant experience. By not placing the panels towards the front half of the room you allow for quiet Susy in the back row to still be heard by the teacher!

There you have it, a 1 hour class in 4 sentences. Maybe later in some of our educational posts we will teach you more and go into it in much more depth!

Exploring the Douro Countryside

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The conference ended with a boat ride down the Douro river with dinner and some Port wine. We were able to catch some of the last bits on sunshine on our boat ride before heading out to try and catch the sunset. Un-fortunately the fog rolled in and ruined our view of the sunset! It seems the weather god’s were not on our side the entire day. For dinner the design crew sat together. Myself, Paul from Wavetrain, Claudia and Anne the interior designers and Nat the R&D/Acoustician. We decided to allow Orlando to join us at the design table! Lots of interesting ideas flowed at the table, from new acoustic panel designs to interesting ways to design rooms.

With dinner over we took back to the top of the boat for some last minute night views of the great city of Porto. I was lucky enough to visit the city again a day later with breathtaking views and sunshine.

Here are some more photos from the conference: