Hilversum The Netherlands

Acoustics of historic television building tackled

Television producer Talpa, known for formats such as The Voice and Utopia, has launched a new daily reality soap on SBS6: House of Talent. In the programme, eight talents work on their singing careers and live together for a year in a historic building in Hilversum: Het Omroep Gebouw. Merford was called in to improve the acoustics of the building.

  • Talpa
  • Interior

The participants of House of Talent must become as popular as possible in order to remain in the house and to have a chance to win the prize: a professional musical career. Every six weeks they have to release a single and there is an elimination round. The money that is earned through live performances and the attention gained on social media are decisive for this. Two experienced artist managers each guide four talents. They pull out all the stops to make their own artists as popular as possible. The managers work together with a booking office and arrange all the artists’ performances.

Het Omroep Gebouw

The building is located in Hilversum, media city of the Netherlands, and a stone's throw away from all major music studios and radio stations. The building, built in 1936, has a rich history; until 2000 the AVRO radio and TV studios were located here. The building has been completely refurbished for ‘House of Talent’. In addition to bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen, there is a social media room, a recording studio, a rehearsal room and even a theater with 400 seats. The artist managers each have their own office.

Talpa approached Merford with the request to improve the acoustics of a number of rooms, making it pleasant to stay in the rooms as well as sound having no negative influence on the TV recordings. It was important that the proposed solutions match the design, therefore we were always in close contact with Talpa’s stylist. Based on the aesthetic and budgetary requirements and the possibilities of the space, Merford prepared advice for the products and quantities to be used.

The walls of the various rooms often consist of glass. This not only created a resonant space, but also a more limited surface area to be able to apply acoustic measures. Therefore, ceiling solutions were chosen in these rooms.

In the hall, entrance and the manager's office, Flamex Facet was chosen, a white rectangular acoustic plate with a facet edge. The rehearsal room has a high ceiling and a balcony. That is why extra-long acoustic Flamex Cylinders of 120 cm are used. In addition to more sound absorption, this also gives more volume, which aesthetically fits well with the room. To prevent drilling into the ceiling of the monumental building, Merford glued the cylinders and acoustic panels to the ceiling.

Recording studio

A completely new recording studio has been built in the house especially for recording the participants' singles, consisting of a vocal booth and control room. The acoustics are very important for optimum recording quality. Unlike in a normal living or rehearsal room, a large amount of absorption material must be applied to the various surfaces in a recording studio. Based on input from the studio designer and stylist from Talpa, Merford has delivered a customised solution: Flamex acoustic panels with a pyramid profile for the walls and bass traps for the corners, both spray-painted in matching and desired RAL colours.