Reaching a 25- or 30-year anniversary is certainly a milestone for any company, but for Harman Pro North America (HPNA), the 2003 AES Convention in New York City was doubly significant.
Soundcraft crossed the 30-year mark for console production in September, while the slightly more youthful BSS Audio clocked up 25 years in signal processing. Both are part of the Soundcraft Group, based in Hertfordshire in the UK, and distributed by HPNA here in the US.
Phil Dudderidge and Graham Blyth formed Soundcraft in 1973, and the duo’s first console release was the Series 1. Since then, Soundcraft has produced designs that cover the entire professional audio market from entry-level mixers with the Spirit family, through large-format recording and live desks, and on to broadcast on-air and production desks like the digital RM1d. Even today, Blyth is still a very active participant in the company’s design process, closely involved with the creation of the highly successful MH3 and MH4 touring consoles.
BSS Audio, formed in 1978, has consistently designed innovative products in the field of signal processing, including the VARICURVE programmable equalizer and OMNIDRIVE digital loudspeaker management system. Furthermore, the hugely successful SOUNDWEB programmable networked digital audio system is a model for many other producers of this relatively new genre of processing.
Soundcraft Group President Andy Trott is very enthused about the future of the two brands. “We have exceptional people working on some equally exceptional product ideas, and the blend of technologies across our brands acts as a great catalyst to inspire new concepts in both console and signal processing areas. We are also working very closely with the other Harman Pro brands to develop more fully integrated systems for the install and touring markets. It’s a very exciting time for us, to say the least.”