Sweetwater is one of the largest music instrument and pro audio retailers in the world. Their new company headquarters in Fort Wayne, IN is a destination for customers, manufacturers, industry professionals and the community, as well as an exciting work environment for more than 300 staff. The $35M project, which earned LEED ® Platinum certification, is located on 44 acres and features a 180,000 square foot indoor campus uniting sales, service, and administrative offices with Sweetwater’s massive high-tech warehouse, performance theatre and recording studio complex.
Russ Berger Design Group designed the 14,000 sq.ft. technical centerpiece of the new facility — Sweetwater Productions’ three recording studios and the 250-seat Performance Theatre. In addition to providing a home for Sweetwater’s full-service Sweetwater Productions division, the studios allow Sweetwater to showcase equipment for their customers, test and evaluate gear in-house, and to provide training spaces for the Sales Engineers. Studio A’s live room includes two isolation booths and is large enough to support full bands and ensembles. The main control room, which features a Digidesign ICON D-Control console, is configured for 7.1 surround sound. Studios B and C each have a control room and booth for recording voice or solo instruments.
All of the recording spaces are networked for both video and audio, and are interconnected with the Performance Theatre, a 320-seat conference room and an outdoor amphitheater, allowing use of any of these spaces for training, performance, or as recording spaces for large-format sessions.
The Performance Theatre is in constant use in product training for Sweetwater sales engineers, with four full sound systems, audio connectivity at each seat, a complete theatrical surround-sound audio system, and a high-definition video display including a 24-foot wide rear projection screen plus two smaller flanking screens for image magnification. The hall also features an E-coustics(LARES) acoustical architecture system with more than eighty speakers distributed throughout the room,enabling Sweetwater to dynamically change the acoustics of the theater. The variable acoustics make the theater a perfect setting for music performances and recording sessions by local musicians and guest artists.
A central mall connects these facilities with the Sweetwater retail store and offers such amenities as the Down Beat Diner, an employee fitness center and racquetball court, game arcade including golf simulator, concierge service, professional services, and Sweetwater’s Academy of Music, featuring state-of-the-art lesson suites and classrooms. The Sweetwater campus provides a totally integrated studio, retail, performance, and work environment for both customers and employees unlike anything in the music industry.