When a company known for its roadworthy amplifiers comes out with a self-powered speaker line, the industry takes notice. While QSC’s K Series was not its first venture into the powered speaker market, the line has gone on to become its most successful speaker offerings and a decade later, is well into its second generation, the K.2.
Even in the pro audio world, Crane Song founder Dave Hill is hardly a household name. But starting back in the 1980s, his designs were the driving force behind many of Summit Audio’s most successful studio products, including the EQP-200 Dual Program Equalizer and the DCL-200 Dual Tube Compressor. Later setting out on his own, he founded Crane Song to create pristine-quality electronics for recording, mastering, and live sound engineers.
One would hardly expect that the design of an audio connector would have a profound impact on the audio and music production industry, but the Neutrik Combo is exactly that.
Long before the term “project studio” was coined, Tom Scholz (founder of the band Boston) built a basement studio to record his own music, including his band’s debut album. An engineer with a master’s degree from MIT, he created much of his own gear, including what was to become the Scholz Rockman, a pocket-sized box that offered compression, distortion, stereo chorus and delay effects for guitar — effectively becoming a complete studio or pedalboard in a miniature package.
It’s hard to believe that a 40-year-old drum machine continues to have a profound impact on the sound of modern music, but the 1980’s Roland TR-808 is such a device. One of the first drum boxes that allowed users to create and store beats and patterns, the TR-808 found a receptive audience, especially with its intuitive, easy to use onboard sequencer. Unfortunately, as drum samples became affordable and more “realistic,” the TR-808, with its analog-synthesized percussion sounds was discontinued.
In the days before digital, achieving delay effects either required “bucket brigade” analog circuits, tape delay or simply sending audio down a long pathway (hallway, stairwell, etc.) and capturing the result with a microphone at the other end.
Seeking an alternative, in 1971 Bill Putman of Universal Audio/UREI and Duane Cooper collaborated to create the first mechanical delay device which routed audio down a garden hose housed in an enclosure with microphones placed at different points, yielding a choice of 14, 16 or 30 milliseconds of delay time.
Today, some 80 years later, Walt Disney’s Fantasia (1940) is still regarded as a cinematic masterpiece for its breathtaking animation. But the film was historic in other ways, as well, being the first film to be released with a four-channel soundtrack.