Lewitt is a Vienna-based manufacturer of innovative microphones and other audio gear. The company was started in 2009 and, with a wide range of award-winning products, has become one of the fastest-growing microphone companies in the market.

Moritz Lochner is the Chief Operating Officer and Head of Product & Marketing at Lewitt. He has a wide range of experience in audio engineering and product building.

Iwona, AV Tech Magazine: Hello Moritz! It’s a pleasure to talk to you. I’d like to start our meeting by asking about your background. Could you tell us how your journey with audio began?

Moritz Lochner, Lewitt: I think it’s probably a pretty classic story. Like many people in our industry, I was playing guitar and interested in music. At some point, I became intrigued by the technical aspects, particularly the recording world, and that was very exciting to me. For about 10 years, I worked as a self-employed audio engineer in various fields, from live sound to studio recording, as well as in broadcasting stations, TV, both in post-production and live production. On the side, along with some of my colleagues, I initiated a small project—we were building prototypes for exhibitions. It was during a period when I was delving into electronics and software development. Then I met Roman, the founder of Lewitt, and we hit it off. Those two aspects (audio engineering and product building) blended together perfectly. I’ve been with Lewitt for over 10 years now.

What is your role at Lewitt nowadays?

From the very beginning, I worked at Lewitt in product management. Though I am the COO of the company, my main responsibility is leading the product management and marketing departments.

What is the philosophy of Lewitt, and what do the research and product development processes look like?

When Lewitt was founded, the audio industry was and still is quite conservative. There’s a lot of emphasis on vintage equipment, heritage, and nostalgia. And all of this is very prominent still to this day. Lewitt was founded on the principle of being a technology company that builds new products from the ground up to improve upon existing solutions and, ideally, address unsolved problems with our products. We have a diverse team of technical specialists in the company, including scientific researchers, electronic engineers, firmware engineers, acoustic engineers, designers, mechanical engineers, and various other functions based here in Vienna. Our product design typically begins with an exploration process, aiming to tackle problems that are worth solving—preferably something that has never been done before, and also something that people find useful and beneficial.

You have just released a new RAY microphone. Could you tell me a little bit about what’s inside the box and what makes RAY special?

In the last 10 years, we built a lot of studio microphones, and we were reaching a point where most of the ‘problems’ were solved. However, we have noticed a large group of people creating content like podcasts, live streaming, or YouTube videos. These people are very often not trained in using microphones or in audio engineering, so we thought we could create a technology to help them. At the core of RAY was the idea of creating a microphone that delivers great sound in a simple way, just like taking a picture with your phone. We built the AURA technology into an XLR studio microphone that works like autofocus for your voice.

Typically, with a traditional microphone, when you move close to it, it gets very boomy and loud due to the proximity effect. As you move further away, the sound gets thin. With the AURA technology, we compensate for this. So, as you move closer or further away from the microphone, the sound remains consistent.

You don’t need to worry about the technical aspects of your microphone. If you have guests on a podcast who are not accustomed to using microphones, some may move far away from the mic, while others stay very close. With RAY, you don’t need to concern yourself with this anymore.

Thanks to the built-in sensors, we can determine the distance of the user from the microphone. Another important feature of RAY is Mute by Distance. You can set the specific distance at which the microphone will automatically mute. As you approach it, it opens up and goes live. It’s very practical for live streaming or even recording activities.

It all sounds amazing! Can you give us a closer glance at the technical side of AURA technology?

Sure! Our AURA technology uses sensors to read the distance to the user. This information is then processed in the internal microcontroller, it calculates the required level and sound changes needed to make the sound consistent. The signal path is still 100% analog, but the circuit is controlled by the digital signal processing.

It’s a perfect solution for someone who doesn’t want to get into the technology of sound, doesn’t want to do all the editing, but wants to have quick and good results from their recording or live streaming.

Live streaming is quite a stressful situation. With AURA, you don’t need to think about audio. You set it up, and you know it sounds good. And you can focus on other aspects while creating content.

Most of your microphones have ‘Record-Ready sound’. What does it mean for the end user?

Our gear aims to reduce the technical barriers and make the creative process as easy as possible. And for us, the Record-Ready sound is the foundation for it. So what we mean by Record-Ready is a specific frequency response and the other characteristics of the microphones that bring very finished sound. Thanks to it, while you’re recording, you can already imagine how it will sound when the post-production is done. We bring a balanced sound that still cuts through in the mix, live stream, or different situations. Our microphones have very low self-noise and high Max SPL, so noise is really minimal. You don’t need to worry about clipping either, and we also have very tight and consistent polar patterns. The microphone focuses on the things it should record and not on things it should not. All of that helps get fast results.

In the music production world, engineers or producers often apply a lot of compression or heavy processing. And that is where the super low self-noise really pays off; it doesn’t become a problem afterwards when you didn’t expect it in post-production.

What are the applications of the RAY microphone and AURA?

It’s intended for any sort of vocal or voice recording. It can be a podcast, live stream, or music production, and all of that works perfectly well with AURA turned on.

As RAY is a studio microphone, you can obviously use it for a variety of different sources. And actually, it will be very interesting to see what people come up with. We have already sent out a few models, and the response has been very interesting. The users are interested in the AURA and Mute By Distance functions, depending on their particular needs.

In installed sound, like houses of worship and venues where they may not be engineers, you can just activate Mute By Distance and AURA and leave the microphone open. It will activate while you speak and mute as you move away. That’s a very interesting use case we didn’t even plan while designing RAY.

The other use case is for acoustic instruments. So it’s frequent that even guitar players want to move around a bit, and then the sound shifts. With RAY and AURA turned on, you compensate for that. Another thing that’s cool: the sound stays consistent and the proximity effect is compensated, so when you’re recording an amp, for example, and you play with the different positions, it stays very accurate, and you can actually caption the position way better than in the case of traditional solutions.

One more use case we already heard of was a looping artist. She’s recording her voice and then looping on top of it, for which the Mute By Distance option is great. She just goes into the recording field, opens up the microphone, makes one loop, and then goes out. This way, there is time to prepare. So I’m very curious to see where RAY will be used and how it will go beyond what we thought of.

I also wanted to ask you about your other products. You have a lot of microphones and an audio interface in your offer. What will be your scope regarding product development in the upcoming months?

Lewitt currently best known for microphones, and that’s one direction we’ll continue to pursue. We also want to build a great ecosystem of products for people to express themselves with great sound. We have released an audio interface, and we will add additional categories. We’ll definitely expand, and when we expand to a new category of products, we think carefully about it, and we are very committed to building unique and value-adding products.
We aim to develop a whole series of tools that a person or a company can use. In Lewitt we are a future-facing company, and we want to make the whole recording process as easy and intuitive as it can be.

Very inspiring! Thank you for the talk.

Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *