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November 2014
Issue: July 1, 2005

CONSOLE MONITORING

By: Marc Loftus
While our summer issues are often animation heavy, with much of the coverage relating to this month's SIGGRAPH show, there has also been a lot of activity in the audio field recently. Both Solid State Logic and AMS Neve, makers of high-end mixing consoles for post applications, have gone through acquisitions.

Tom Misner, president/founder of the SAE Group, announced the acquisition of Lancashire, UK's AMS Neve. SAE Institute will be providing - through its presence in over 45 colleges in 20 countries - AMS Neve broadcast, music, film and post seminars for past and new AMS Neve console clients. Misner says feedback obtained over the years from its international student network holds great value and is being applied to a soon-to-be-released range of products.

In other console news, the assets of Solid State Logic, based in Oxford, UK, have been acquired by a joint venture established by long-time SSL users Peter Gabriel and David Engelke. Gabriel's background as an artist is well known, but he's also had a long involvement with technology, having co-founded Syco Systems, which developed the Tablet, one of the first purpose-built DAWs. Engelke has been involved with several production and broadcast companies, including Pinnacle Systems, Montage Group and Digital Editing Services. He's also invented several widely-adopted broadcast technologies.

Long-time senior VP Phil Wagner takes over as president of SSL in the US. He is joined by a verteran theam that includes managing director Antony David, group commercial director Piers Plaskitt, and group finance director Chris Smith. Having been president for only a week when "Post" connected with Wagner, it was premature to discuss future products. Still, he stated SSL is firmly committed to TV and film post. He points to the company's C Series, which has been adopted by Fox and CBS, and while trends lean toward software-based releases, Wagner says discussions with high-end clients show a strong desire for the operational attributes of a tactile console architecture.

In 2003, Australia's Fairlight revamped its business, and CEO John Lancken says the company's focus is now on price/performance. "I believe that is why we've seen these two companies almost become dinosaurs," says Lancken. "When that happens, change is inevitable. The large format console market has evolved and those who have evolved with it by offering the best value proposition will win."