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Top 50 Innovations Of 2018

Articles Januray-February 2019

11 QUESTIONS WITH Amnon Harman

PT got in touch with Amnon Harman, the man behind the rise and rise of d&b audiotechnik in the last half a decade. In this interview, Harman discusses d&b’s fundamental philosophy behind cutting-edge R&D, product design and growth strategy.... read more


Kenneth ‘Pooch’ Van Druten is the magician who makes Justin Bieber sound the way he does in a live concert. Popularly known as Pooch, he has been touring as FOH engineer with some of the biggest artists like Linkin Park, Whitney Houston, Jay-Z, Eminem, Beastie Boys, Guns N’ Roses, Smashing Pumpkins, and many more. PT caught up with the man, who is today considered as one of the top FOH Engineers in the world to understand more about his craft, the gear he uses to get the perfect mix and insider info on the India leg of the Purpose World Tour.... read more


Harman Vi series soar Indian skies

Over the years Soundcraft Vi Series, has gained popularity globally for its user-friendliness. HARMAN Professional Solutions, India recently announced that Soundcraft Vi series digital mixing consoles had successfully established 150+ impressions in India and the footprints continue to grow organically. As the digital mixing console continues to find constant success and wide acceptance in India, PT takes a look back..... read more

Mixing Indian Classical Music

A Front of House mix varies substantially depending on various factors including genre of music. Since, India is a land rich in the tradition of classical music, PT urged FOH engineer Ajay Vijendra who has been mixing FOH for Indian Classical acts since several years to give our readers a brief insight into classical music live mixing. In this article, Vijendra discusses the Workflow for mixing Indian Classical Concerts. read more

Articles November-December 2018

Organising Big Stage Extravaganzas

It’s that time of the year again when event orgaisers and rental companies are busy prepping up stages across India for three days of heart pumping and feet stomping music. While the market for live music in India has grown exponentially in this last decade, there is yet much to be achieved... read more

Filling a Massive Space at our Lady of Lourdes Church

Built in 1974, Our Lady of Lourdes Church with a motive to ensure the parishioners could hear + the message clearly pulled AVL Install India Pvt. Ltd. to get a complete audio system upgrade with AUDIOFOCUS Line Array... read more

Conceptualising and creating Visuals for Big Stages EDM Acts

The visuals on stage are obviously the most visible aspect of any live stage. In this article VJ KayCee, Founder of Pixadoo studios in Bangalore and the mastermind whose high-octane visuals have ignited EDMs like VH1 Supersonic, Cirkus Indigo and many more, took out time from his busy schedule to enlighten PT readers about the art of Conceptualising and Creating Visuals for Big Stage EDM Acts... read more


Jash Reen and Joshua Dmello of Wolves Visuals, are the guys who are delivering some of the most electrifying and eclectic Big DJ stages on the circuit. From Sunburn to EDC, Beyond Wonderland, Nucleya, Flux Pavillion, the duo works on an extraordinary schedule of high profile EDM festivals. In this interview with PT they talk about the origins of Wolves Visuals, their work and where they are headed to. ... read more


Live sound mixers to lighting consoles, PA speakers to microphones, each piece of equipment plays a vital role in the production of a big scale live concert performance. It is, therefore, absolutely essential to set up your show using the appropriate gear. PT selects and brings a collection of seven noteworthy pro audio and lighting gear launched for live stages in 2018... read more

AV Summit redefining horizon in India’s Audio Visual Industry

Among other highlight features, the expo’s main fringe programme includes a three day AV Integrated Systems Summit running synchronously with the Exhibition... read more

Articles September-October 2018

Modern Stage Service (Projects) brings WATER TO LIFE

MSS Projects has transformed Jaquar’s 1000 sqft Experience Centre in the capital’s NCR region into an immersive & interactive multi-sensorial adventure. PT documents the project....... read more

Gujarat Music Industry Advances with STUDIO FIFTY-THREE

A new post-production facility, Studio Fifty-Three in Surat is providing the city with a much-needed setup with state-of-the-art acoustics and technology to handle all aspects of audio postproduction........... read more


A leading lighting designer, Harold Fernandes has been offering creative and technical solutions for live stages for almost two decades and has comprehensive knowledge and experience on some of the most famous stages............ read more

Integrated Entertainment Solutions lights up the Warehouse

The Thane area of Mumbai has a new upscale lounge - The Warehouse Lounge, that has already become Thane’s happening night spot. Lighting up the dance floor is Mumbai’s premerier lighting company - IES. PT takes a look.......... read more

The Lighting Trail

Lighting, lasers and lighting console sales and distribution has grown robustly across the Indian market. Lighting engineer and founder of artist and event management agency, Mixtape - Naveen Deshpande, talks to PT about the current trends in lighting and growth and future of the Indian lighting industry......... read more

PR Lighting flexing its muscles globally

Starting operations from a 1,000, workshop in Downtown Guangzhou with a staff of 20-30, Pearl River Lighting (as it was known then) has come a long way........ read more

Articles July-August 2018


With the longest island bar in all of Asia, Lord of the Drinks, Lower Parel is the latest offering from First Fiddle Restaurants to finds a spot among Mumbai’s elite party zones. PALM technology explores the audio system integration for the venue...... read more

NMIMS Mumbai transcends sonic excellence with Bose Professional’s RoomMatch system

Established in 1981 by the Shri Vile Parle Kelavani Mandal with the help of a donation from the Narsee Monjee Educational Trust,...... read more

Harman Professional Solutions Elevates the experience of devotees at Sai Teerth with JBL and Crown Audio Solutions

Technosales Multimedia Technologies P.L installed JBL by Harman Cinema sound solution in two theatres – the Giant screen and the 5D screen at Sai Teerth – India’s first devotional Theme Park that opened to devotees on 30th March 2018 in Shirdi.,...... read more

QSC in 1131 Bar & Kitchen, Bangalore

Located in Indira Nagar, Bangalore, the 1131 Bar & Kitchen, which is now an ideal place in the vicinity for patrons to dine and unwind, is the brainchild of Mr. Mohan....... read more

Comprehensive Bose Professional System reinforces an unmatched aural experience at the Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation (BMC) auditorium

Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation (BMC) is a local government body in the state of Gujarat that is committed to provide basic infrastructure facilities to the people of the city........ read more

HARMAN Professional Solutions brings Exceptional Sound to the new FLEA BAZAAR CAFE in Mumbai

Munro Acoustics deploys a complete HARMAN Professional Solutions audio solution at this first-of-its-kind dining and entertainment concept........ read more

Articles May-June 2018

The ART of Touring

A.R. RAHMAN - the name says it all! 2017-2018 witnessed one of the most imposing live stage tours, when Rahman, set sail on a multi-city tour in India, reliving his musical renditions over the years...... read more on Page 26


Manish Mavani, the man of few words, talks about the SNL journey to becoming one of India’s biggest sound & light rental companies...... read more on Page 38


Meet Overtone Audio - a one-stop-shop offering end-to-end recording solutions for Film, TV and the Live events industries. It is not every day that you come across an audio products dealer who has extensive experience of using the products that they distribute....... read more on Page 56


Building stage business requires top level music song writers, big sound, big lighting and good musicians. A lot of musicians are required on stage performing live....... read more on Page 62

Audio & Acoustics for Video

PT invited industry leading Acoustics Designer Kapil Thirwani of Munro Acoustics, a leading acoustic consultancy, specialising in the design of high-end music, film and broadcast studio facilities to write a technical article for the magazine. In this feature article, Thirwani elucidates on Audio & Acoustics for Video...... read more on Page 68

High on OPIUM

PT met Cyrus Gorimar, the man behind milestone events like Dream Theatre and One Republic. Brahma to One Republic, Gorimar has come a long way. In this interview he talks about his love for music and his long-term vision of augmenting rock and heavy metal live concerts in India through O Live OPIUM’s new music IP...... read more on Page 78

The Bose Team full of Gung-Ho

PT interviewed Vibhor Khanna, Country Manager – SAARC at Bose Professional. Khanna is an experienced business leader with over 18 years of experience in sales and business development of Audio-Video products. Since 2012, he is instrumental in setting up new Dealer Channels for Bose Professional products...... read more on Page 90

Articles Mar-April 2018

Opera House Acoustics Nirvana for Munro

Recording music in the black box tape era meant sci-fi acoustics and studios which reminded you of Stanley Kubrick, imagination of space where every sound recorded was primeval, spiritual, pure, so acoustics meant curves and waves and slanted triangular ceilings, sound absorption, double glass partitions, heavy doors and curtains and other ideas..... read more on Page 28


Shadab Rayeen is Bollywood’s current in-demand mix engineer, with a resume boasting of numerous A-list mix credits spanning 17 years in the music industry. Apart from mixing Bollywood songs, Rayeen has worked extensively in multiple regional languages.PT met up with him at his studio in suburban Andheri in Mumbai to talk about audio, plugins, mix, music and more...... read more on Page 40

Madame Tussauds - Sight & Sound to behold

Best described as one of the most popular tourist attractions across the globe, Madame Tussauds is home to wax figures of some of the most famous and historic international personalities in every field of life, from sports to politics, movies and film characters...... read more on Page 58

Entertainment Technology Convergence at PALM 2018

Pro Audio and lighting will take center stage, as PALM expo - India’s largest gathering of the entertainment technology and music production industry heads towards its 18th consecutive edition. Here’s a prevue of what will be on show in the Mumbai expo...... read more on Page 68

IRAA 2018 gears up for a grand 12th edition as nominations continue to pour in

Honouring excellence in the domain of music recording and production is the 12th Edition of the glorious Indian Recording Arts Academy Awards (IRAA)....... read more on Page 80

Recordings to Record

In this feature PALM technology has put down a list of good studio work done in Bollywood in 2017. In trying to define the paradigm in studio recording, mixing and mastering, we chose what was popular. We have enlisted as many popular tracks as possible from Bollywood selected from a variety of studios, that made it to the top of music charts........ read more on Page 91

Articles Jan-Feb 2018

FOH - What’s in my House

Rahul Samuel is an award-winning live sound engineer and founder of LiveEnd. With over 13 years of global experience in the professional audio industry as FOH, Monitor and System Engineer, he has the privilege of working with the best. He blogs about professional audio at read more on Page 54

Ed Sheeran "The Shape of the Divide World Tour" in India

Trussing and rigging are more often than not, relegated to an unassuming corner position when it comes to live stage acts, while sound, light and visuals hog the limelight. However, on some occasions they have the power to take Centre stage as was witnessed during Ed Sheeran’s Divide World Tour in Mumbai last November..... read more on Page 56

ON TOUR with Pramod Chandorkar

Being an FOH special issue, and as is the custom to feature a live sound engineer in this issue, PT caught up with yet another of the country’s top live sound engineers this year. Our readers can be forgiven for considering FOH engineers and Studio engineers as two different species, but there are some engineers who simply do not want to be limited to either discipline; one such engineer being Pramod Chandorkar, a man who is equally at home behind an FOH console as he is in a recording studio, proving how varied a career as a sound engineer can be. PT caught up with the man who has been mixing live for one of the most versatile and celebrated playback singers in the country – Sonu Nigam, since the past 14 years...... read more on Page 59


This being the FOH issue, PT approached and tapped the experience of some of India’s top live sound engineers to find out key challenges faced by them while working on the new age live sound consoles and features they would like to see on future consoles...... read more on Page 72


Investment into quality sound equipment and a fresh business outlook is broadening NJSM’s horizon on the festival circuit in India. In a tête-à-tête with Nixon Johnny, Sachit Subramanian and Sancheth Suvarna, PT finds out what’s new and what’s next for the rental company..... read more on Page 76

Articles Nov-Dec 2017

BELIEVING IN THE MARKET - Bose Distribution Strategy

What is your perception of the Indian Market? MJ: I was in India in 94 and didn’t quite know what to expect, but it’s been really wonderful to be here. We have a global strategy we are trying to implement across all regions, so that we have a consistent way of building distribution and growing vertical markets.... read more on Page 32

Bose Interview

The FINCH - Live Music and More

Plutusone Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. unlocked a new side to Mumbai’s entertainment scene on June 29th when they launched a chic, elegant restaurant and bar - The Finch..... read more on Page 38

Sennheiser Chronicles: Interview with Vipin Pungalia

In an interview with PALM technology, VIPIN PUNGALIA, Director Professional Segment, Sennheiser India talks about the global launch of the wired XS 1 dynamic in India, his perception of the market for Sennheiser products in India and the growth achieved by Sennheiser in the country..... read more on Page 54


With millions of DJs in the running, reaching the top can be a daunting task. The PALM DJ Championship has been instrumental in building, promoting and nurturing this bank of upcoming DJ Talent since 2011..... read more on Page 68

A journey to discover rebirth of Linear Topology

Part 2 of the article Will The Linear Make A Real Comeback? wherein LT COL JASBIR SINGH KABERWAL, (Retd) SC hints at a futuristic emerging trend which may see a comeback of linear audio with advancements in technology offering sonic quality and advancement in size and energy efficiency to the next level..... read more on Page 36

Articles Sep-Oct 2017


In the last couple of years, jaw-dropping visual experiences at live entertainment events and venues, courtesy 3D projection mapping, motion graphics and augmented reality have made their presence felt in India. Tailor-made three-dimensional projection mappings have altered sound stages, building facades and architecture and even human figures in real time, creating interplay between real and virtual space with the help of cutting-edge technology. The PALM Conference and Seminar 2017 witnessed Technical Evangelist – VIJAY SABHLOK, touch upon the topic of Multi-Imaging using different technologies. Conference delegates got an opportunity to learn about the tools and techniques of creating Multi-Sensational Events and Installations, while also getting insight into new interactive technologies like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. PALM technology presents highlights of this session. The PALM Conference & Seminar session can be viewed on the PALM expo YouTube channel.... read more on Page 42

Top end LASERS missing from Rental Portfolios

India has been witness to some astonishing laser light extravaganzas at EDM events in the recent past, however a survey done by PALM technology indicates that as a general rule, lasers are missing in action and top quality brands are not afforded by event and rental companies. Though lasers are missing in action in show business, there is a huge opportunity and potential for renting lasers given that laser use is still in its nascent stage. Smita Rai reports on the ground reality... read more on Page 40

Bringing Life through Lights

Highly experienced lighting designer Roosevelt D’Souza is rarely restricted in his art. Best known for his work on Music Concerts and festivals, Roosevelt is actually a full service special event lighting professional, also specializing in designing & executing light effects for theatre production, brand launches, music concerts & festivals, fashion shows, film shoots, award ceremonies & ambience lighting. In this interview, he talks to PALM technology about his journey to becoming the “Master of Special Event Lighting.”.... read more on Page 66


First proposed in 1958, Class D amplifiers started gaining increased popularity and acceptance in the early 21st century, with this technology ruling since over a decade, overriding the demand for bulky & energy inefficient linear amps. In this article LT COL JASBIR SINGH KABERWAL, (Retd) SC hints at a futuristic emerging trend which may see a comeback of linear audio with advancements in technology offering sonic quality and advancement in size and energy efficiency to the next level... read more on Page 24

Articles Jul-Aug 2017

AV Today’s Trend in Hospitality

As AV sets new standards beyond traditional applications, ICT-AV-Security-Consultant - Mr. A.R. Chandrashekhar, touches on the topic of the latest trends in AV installations for the Hospitality segment with LED screens, displays and interactive video now contributing to the overall interior design of the hotel... read more on Page 84

Playboy Delhi gets a taste of TW Audio

After a high magnitude success with its first superclub in Mumbai, the city of glamour, the Playboy club is now rocking the country’s capital, New Delhi. The city’s party animals got a major reason to rejoice with the opening.... read more on Page 88

Sumi Baptist Church integration scales heights

Painted in blue and white, the Sumi Baptist Church - Zuneheboto is situated in Nagaland, bordering onto China, and is 212km from Dimapur Airport. Situated on the highest point more on Page 30

The Big Stage by AKhil Varma – Project Head, PALM Expo

More than 50% of India’s population is below the age of 25 and more than 65% below the age of 35. It is more on Page 84

Articles May-Jun 2017

Justin Bieber Sound Reinforcement

The Justin Bieber Concert motivated our editorial team to learn, how it is going to be done. The sheer capacity of deployment and state of the art delivery would mean the audio system engineering would have been ingenious and display of the classic Indian Jugaad, which in this instance would need to be disapproved. PALM technology met Warren D’Souza who presented with complete confidence planning, design, technique and expertise in setting up a world-class professional turnkey audio system. This issue being a LIVE Issue and stage sound being all about alignments and calibration, Warren’s role as a Systems Engineer, for the show has been highlighted. His acumen together with Co-Systems Engineer Sunil Karanjikar’s expertise has ensured smooth execution of the massive project. Somya Kedia more on Page 36


The Event Management industry has grown exponentially over the last decade with a host of varied events encompassing festivals, concerts, conference, corporate events and even marathons. This issue being the “Live” issue, we highlight the top 10 Event companies conceptualizing and executing the biggest live entertainment shows in the country. We have left out some of the bigger event companies whose focus is more into corporate or sports events and have highliighted only the ones organising the live entertainment and music more on Page 50

The Fountainhead of superlative experiences

In a career spanning nearly 22 years, the quality of Neale’s wins have been exceptional. With the vision of building brands he creates delightful experiences with events. In an exclusive with PALM technology, Neale talks about his journey and work and truly believes that the core essence lies in valuing the right talent! Smita Rai and Somya Kedia report. read more on Page 60

Top 35 Rental Companies

PALM Technology has done a crucial exercise of surveying the market for identifying these top 35 audio/video/lighting rental companies who are investing into product and inventory and offering the latest technology thereby driving the market and rental business with sizable inventory. This is not an audited list and is intended as a guide. read more on Page 76

People at PALM

PALM 2017 engages expertise of eminent personalities who have accomplished knowledge in their field of activity. Their valuable involvement in PALM, act as a driving force towards PALM’s intellect and dynamism which leads Indian entertainment professional landscape to a higher paradigm. read more on Page 88

Articles Jan-Feb 2017

Top FOH Engineers in India

There are the mixing masters behind the audio console who strengthen the core essence of live performances. Showcasing aptitude to blend instruments with vocals and attain a flawlessly balance sound, Front of House engineers are effective and confident technical experts who know every inch of the gear. read more on Page 46...

Going Live with Sunil Karanjikar

Sunil Karanjikar has worn many a hats in his career as a Live Sound FOH engineer. He reveals his aces and talks about the secrets and tricks to his success, his journey, along with the key challenges he faces during the course. “Live sound does not have an ‘Undo’ Button” he shares in his insights with PALM Technology more on Page 54...

Live Bands - Musical Escape

Commercial music in India has been mostly synonymous with film soundtracks. The fact however is that the music scene in India is constantly evolving and is only going to get bigger with more and more stage acts from independent music bands energizing the business, and by Indian music we also mean languages other than Hindi. In this feature we catch the action on stage from 10 Top live bands who have managed to post a huge-win. The bands have gained a lot of stage attention giving impetus to the entire business in India. read more on Page 64

Articles Nov-Dec 2016


The Playboy Club founded by media baron Hugh Hefner, first opened its doors in the 1960s in downtown Chicago and instantly became successful as a read more on Page 22

DJs Scratching on Favourites

2017 is set to be another fun-filled action-packed year in clubland! Somya Kedia tracks the trend and highlights the toolkit of some of the top DJs in the more on Page 32

Global Citizen Festival India

Looked up to as a beacon of hope, Global Citizen Festival India held in Mumbai on 19 November, 2016 proved to be a monumental day as India asserted its solidarity with the world in fighting extreme poverty. read more on Page 44

Electric Daisy Carnival debuts in India

Originating in Las Vegas Nevada, the Electric Daisy Carnival over the years has asserted itself as a hub for EDM fans across the globe, as a result of its fantastic on-stage music programming, enchanting stage designs, read more on Page 46

Product Specialists Driven by Passion

A professionally qualified sound engineer from SAE in Chennai, Tuhin is also a sought after DJ who has immense experience of playing at various clubs. A sharp understanding of the technical aspects behind sound production and immense knowledge of equipment, gained him the position of a product specialist for Pioneer DJ India and his areas of expertise lies in club equipment, samplers and remix stations. read more on Page 48

“Indian DJs are tech savvy” - Reji, Director, PALM DJ Championship

Growing DJ Industry

DJ industry is expanding exponentially and the growth rate has been phenomenal. Talking about the industry expansion, Reji observes that as the industry continues to evolve, the demands for technology, equipments, expertise and specific services have also witnessed a

read more on Page 60

Articles Jul-Aug 2016

I-Kandy gets K-Rigged

I-Kandy nightclub at Le Meridian hotel in Gurgaon was recently in need of an upgrade for its indoor sound system. Located at the Sector 26, Le Meridian Gurgaon, I-Kandy oozes sophistication. The luxurious pool club and European styled designed lounge boasts 2 bars across a sparkling 85 feet swimming pool...

read more on Page 32

Sound Design for Night Clubs and RestoBars

The focus of Milind’s presentation was ‘Sound Design for Nightclubs and Restobars: A field view’, wherein he spoke about the technicalities of sound engineering to formulate a great night club or a restaurant bar. Milind who is an Electronics Engineer from the CCSRR-Mumbai University, has invested years into sound engineering, setting up different clubs and bars. He has to his credit venues such as Triology - Mumbai, F Bar Mumbai & Chennai, Privy @ Le Meridian Delhi, Club Nyex, Goa, The Good Wife – Mumbai and many more...

read more on Page 58

AG Acoustics strikes the right chord with KV2 Audio’s ES Series

Conveniently located in the Outer Circle, near KG Marg, New Delhi is a new café in town - FLYP@MTV. Viacom18 Consumer Products - the consumer products arm of Viacom18 has extended Viacom’s flagship property “MTV”, to an on-ground experience by introducing this unique ‘MTV-style’ hangout in association with Funbars Hospitality Pvt. Ltd.

read more on Page 62

11 Questions with Uli Behringer | MUSIC Group

MIDAS, Klark Teknik, Lab.Gruppen, Lake, Turbosound, Tannoy, TC Helicon, Behringer and Bugera - a formidable stable of known winners now all owned by a single company - MUSIC Group. Uli Behringer, MUSIC Group Founder & CEO, the man who achieved this envious ownership, and the force behind the group’s relentless focus on innovation, business transformation and overall IP creation fields 11 questions on the group’s philosophy, vision, R&D focus and plans going forward

MUSIC Group Founder & CEO, Uli Behringer

1. In just 25 years you have built one of the largest and fastest growing Pro Audio Companies in the world. Any specific philosophy that helped you achieve this growth?

First of all, thank you for the opportunity to comment on our company, MUSIC, and address your readers.

Two years ago we celebrated our 25th anniversary and I’m very proud of our achievements as a company, and most of all our amazing employees, many of whom have been with us for 20 years and more.

Actually, my fascination for music evolved at a very young age. I was born into quite an unusual family - my father was a nuclear physicist and church organ player, my mother a pianist and linguist, my uncle a professor of composition at the Richard Strauss Conservatory in Munich, and my aunt a classical singer and pianist. What chance did I have to do anything else in my life other than music!?

At the age of four, my mother sat me down at the piano and began rewarding me with a grape for each correctly-played scale – a method of motivation for which I hold her in highest regard even today. My father was mad enough to build a real church organ with over 1000 pipes, which he integrated into the loft of our house! He acquired the organ and pipes in 1965 from a demolished church, and later went on to build the world’s first electronically controlled pipe organ, for which he earned multiple patents.

Bear in mind, in those days all organs were controlled mechanically or pneumatically and the connections to the keyboards were all of mechanical nature. So when a greater number of registers or keyboards were combined, the key action became much heavier. This made for true “finger body building”, so my father developed a system using electric contacts under the keys,

In 1982, I relocated from Switzerland to Germany to study sound engineering and classical piano. While I was studying to become a sound engineer, apart from a couple of old Telefunken mixing desks and reel-to-reel recorders, we only had a couple of microphones for approximately 200 students. When we wanted to borrow equipment, we had to sign up on a list and then wait approximately four months for the “big moment”.

It soon became clear to me that what I really needed – was my own studio. But 40 years ago, the cost of professional audio equipment was way out of reach for mere mortals like us, and recordings were only made in professional studios – and they were charging up to 2,000 dollars a day!

Being just a student, the only cash I had, came from my earnings as a pianist. There was no way I could afford expensive studio gear in those days.

One day, a friend brought me a mixing desk for repair, and when I opened the desk I realized that the cost of all the components was only about $200, but the console sold for $2,000. This really irritated me, as I felt it was greatly unfair to ask for so much money from a musician.

So I started to make a few pieces of equi-pment. At first, it was just for my own use and then for a few friends. I charged only a very small amount for the units. The word began to spread that my devices sounded really good, and were very reasonably priced. Suddenly all of my colleagues wanted them, and to my astonishment, I had already sold ten units before I’d even started building them. As a result, I quickly converted my apartment into a “factory”. What really struck me was the obvious fact that all of my friends and I had the same problem – none of us could afford really decent equipment.

I knew right then it would be my personal mission to stand up for musicians and create excellent and reasonably priced audio equipment, so any musician could afford to pursue a musical career. And to this day nothing has changed, except that my personal mission has become our company philosophy.

2. Your philosophy has been to offer products at the best possible price. Today, when your company is one of the largest pro audio companies, is it still possible to maintain a low cost perspective?

At the beginning I didn’t have a lot of capital to fund production. So to save money, I was always on the lookout for surplus components. There was a local business in our area, which went around buying up surplus stock from Siemens, Philips and other companies, and offered these components at bargain prices.

I became one of their regular customers, and that vendor’s “Surplus List” became my daily newspaper. It soon became clear that these components actually came from the Far East, so I decided to find out how to go straight to the source. Around that time I heard about a magazine called “Asian Sources”, which contained advertisements from manufacturers in China and Hong Kong. Soon, we were importing components from Asia, and the next logical step was to transfer production to where the components were made.

Nearly 30 years ago, we moved production to China. We were pioneers, because I think we were the first company in this industry to do so. There were plenty of people telling me that it would never work, but their comments only served to fuel my ambition. At times, the going got tough. We had lots of challenges, beginning with communication, the physical proximity, and the reality of a completely different culture. But I really wanted to prove that I would succeed, and I did succeed!

When we first moved production to China, the country was considered a low-cost place. Behringer was the first company in the industry to move production to China, and we enjoyed a huge competitive advantage. Nowadays, everyone is in China and our initial advantage is long lost. With wages increasing 20% per year, China has become an expensive manufacturing place. So what is next? North Korea?

You have to understand that the cost of doing business depends on many factors – and labor is just one small part. For example, access to skilled people and the important vendor base is paramount, and in that respect we continue to believe in China. The world has become an extremely dynamic place and what is right today is often wrong tomorrow. We have always focused on building a highly efficient, scalable enterprise, and China has been a central location for our business for the last 30 years.

Nearly 15 years ago, we invested huge sums of money in the creation of “BEHRINGER City”, our wholly owned manufacturing plant, which includes dormitories and facilities such as basketball courts – and even a medical facility. The main reason for building our own plant was to maintain control of product quality, which can be a challenge when working with a subcontractor. That is why we manufacture virtually everything in-house including electronics, cabinetry, cables and faders – all the way to making the pulp for the speaker cones. Although it is not always cheaper to produce everything in-house, it ultimately leads to greater quality and a much more consistent product.

3. How do you continue to improve quality while also driving down costs?

Nothing is left to chance when it comes to quality. Today, we are very proud of our state-of-the-art manufacturing plant, but we had to go through a steep learning process, which you can only experience if you have your own factory.

We’re now planning the next growth phase, and with it our brand new MUSIC City manufacturing plant which is about to open. It will be about four times the size of our current facility and the most sophisticated and automated factory by any standard. This is necessary to accommodate the strong sales growth we’re enjoying, plus the additional space will be needed for future MUSIC acquisitions.

Let me begin by saying that at MUSIC, all of our profits are reinvested into the Vision and future of the Company. Over the past three years alone, we have invested over US $20 million in the most sophisticated manufacturing equipment - from high-speed SMT (Surface Mount Technology) machines to optical inspection scanners, X-ray and in-circuit testers, which includes a massive inventory of Audio Precision test devices.

Unlike most competitors in our industry, MUSIC owns its manufacturing facility and does not have to make it a profit center, which gives us a massive competitive advantage. We control every commercial and quality aspect - what we buy and what we use. That way, we have full control over purchasing, the quality of our manufacturing processes and the quality control at the back end.

In line with our philosophy, any cost benefit is reinvested in the business, and ultimately delivers enhanced products at even more affordable prices. Vertical integration down to component levels and total control of quality, vendors and purchase prices is critical.

There is also a big advantage with integrated R&D and manufacturing. Design engineers love to have a functioning factory next to them, and the 140 new TURBOSOUND products launched within a year have fully benefitted from having many of our experienced UK engineers in an office no more than 50 meters from the wood shop next door.

This is further supported by a huge invest-ment in quality control and reliability test procedures, all of which is in-house and overseen by a large contingent of British engineers that are based in MUSIC City. It is this powerful symbiosis of high-level European engineering and extremely - automated Asian manufacturing process that makes it all possible; it is simply the best of both worlds!

4. What is your vision for MUSIC for the next five years?

Next year will see the opening of our new MUSIC City, a US $100 million fully automated manufacturing and Innovation compound in Zhongshan Province, the second such community created by the company – and the projected workplace of up to 10,000 people.

In fact, MUSIC’s Asian operation encompasses both manufacturing and innovation centers that seamlessly integrates with our European “Centers of Excellence”.

We believe this is important to our customers, since they are our most valuable assets. Our goal and vision for the future is to provide them with the ultimate accessibility and visibility into our organization – right down to the shop floor, where a customer anywhere in the world can follow through a web cam how we assemble “his/her” product. We want our customers to become an intrinsic part of our Company so they can fully enjoy an amazing customer experience.

5. Tell us about the R&D process at MUSIC

R&D or Innovation (as we call it today), is the jewel of our Company and I lead it personally. With over 400 engineers worldwide and another 100 currently being hired, I believe I can safely say we have the largest research team in the pro audio industry.

With 7 massive Innovation hubs based in the UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, China and the Philippines, we have created true Centers of Excellence run by world-class engineers. As the birthplace of many famous audio brands, Europe has a great heritage and an amazing talent pool. We see our Centers of Excellence as being at the cutting edge of innovation and IP creation, and to be honest – a trailblazer for the rest of the industry.

MUSIC has spent over US $5 million purchasing the Manchester Innovation building and we have increased our workforce from the original 8 employees to close to 100 in less than five years (with 30 more positions to fill). With MUSIC’s global engineering power of some 500 engineers, this again demonstrates our massive capabilities and investment in the future.

Indeed recruitment is heavily underway, building upon a successful five-fold increase in the digital console market share by MIDAS since the acquisition. With strong investments in TURBOSOUND, revenue has equally increased alongside MIDAS, and we are now in the process to build a new US $10 million Center of Excellence facility in Aarhus, Denmark, four times the size of the current building.

MUSIC employs over 3,500 people and we have 17 offices all over the world. This requires excellent systems and a tight management infrastructure. What you are ultimately looking for are synergies in order to scale your business. For many years, we have heavily focused on efficiencies, which include building repeatable, scalable and automated processes. Today, we are so advanced that we have become a co-innovation partner of SAP, the German leader in business automation systems.

A few years ago when our organization matured, we built an umbrella organization on top called “MUSIC”, which serves as the host of the MIDAS, KLARK TEKNIK, TURBOSOUND, BEHRINGER and BUGERA brands. With the recent acquisition of the TC Group, it now also includes the LAB GRUPPEN, LAKE, TANNOY as well as TC ELECTRONIC and TC HELICON.

It is based on two very separate operational structures. On one side, we have what could be called “common operational assets” or “shared services”, such as sourcing, manufacturing, logistics, information technology, finance, etc. Those are functions that benefit from “scale and critical mass”, and by design are provided through separate divisions that employ best industry practice and technology.

On the other side, we have three customer facing Divisions or market verticals. The Enterprise & Entertainment brands encompass brands such as MIDAS, KLARK TEKNIK, LAB GRUPPEN, LAKE, TURBOSOUND and TANNOY, and the Creation Division with TC ELECTRONIC, TC HELICON, BEHRINGER and BUGERA brands. Lastly the Home & Entertainment Division is focused on TANNOY with its beautiful 90 years of history.

These distinct and separate Divisions have their own identities and intrinsic critical infrastructure such as product management, sales, marketing and channel distribution. This all combines to make them who they are and to retain brand value.

This separation is critical, as the brand values are different and the intended use of the products fits into very different market segments. We believe that this kind of operational framework provides all our brands with a competitive advantage and tremendous operational efficiencies, which would otherwise be unattainable economically within each entity.”

6. What are you doing to ensure the quality and reputation of the brands you have acquired?

That’s a very good question, and one that I would particularly love to answer.

We were the first to move production to China back in 1990, and in 2001 we were the first to open a factory entirely our own. Nowadays just about every manufacturer uses Chinese production, and while this has escalated the price war considerably, you have to keep it in perspective.

MUSIC produces about 5 million units a year and this is a huge responsibility, because the associated risks are far greater than for someone who just knocks out a few units in his own backyard. There’s an old adage that goes like “the greater the production volume, the more important it is to have the best quality as any error can simply wipe you out”.

Imagine that if one single component turns out to be bad, and if it is used in all products, then it can easily ruin the entire company. As an instance, just look at the magnitude and financial impact of the massive car recalls.

That’s why we go to such extreme lengths to ensure the highest commitment to quality. We have hundreds of employees whose task it is, to take each component to its very limits and beyond. We’ve developed special machines to turn potentiometers, or move faders and switches, through hundreds of thousands of cycles, right up to the point of destruction. We do this to establish the maximum operational life expectancy of any given component, long before it is approved for use in production.

We designed and built “torture chambers”, where we can punish components and finished units with corrosive salt-water, searing heat and sweltering humidity. We’ve got tables that shake and vibrate, and a drop-test fixture to execute the ultimate stress test. All of this costs time and money, but it’s worth it; after all, it’s our name printed on each and every product. This dedication to the highest possible quality has resulted in one of the lowest failure rates in the industry, according to statistics provided by our dealers and distributors.

Now honestly, how many other manufacturers can offer such a value for the money?”

Also, about ten years ago, I made a conscious decision to change the direction of MUSIC by focusing on innovation, cutting-edge quality products and brand management. As a result, the first step of our strategy was to establish the Enterprise & Entertainment Division – apart from the existing Prosumer or Creation Division how we call it today.

The acquisition of the most prestigious MIDAS and KLARK TEKNIK, TURBOSOUND companies, plus now the TC Group, laid the foundation for the Enterprise & Entertainment Division and the execution of our global strategy. Developing this division is a major focus and we drive this with relentless determination.

MIDAS, KLARK TEKNIK, LAB GRUPPEN, LAKE, TURBOSOUND and TANNOY are our crown jewels, and these - up to 100-year old iconic brands - are absolutely critical to the success of MUSIC. We will continue to put tremendous resources into our Enterprise & Entertainment Division with the ultimate goal of making these brands the industry leaders.

We are heavily investing in innovation and intellectual property; for us, innovation not only relates to Research and Development, but competitive advantages in every step of the business: technology, manufacturing, quality control, supply chain and after sales support (Care) – and especially education, training and development of our sales channels.

With the launch of the M32 digital mixing console, it has immediately become the single biggest success in the entire 40-year history of MIDAS.

We will continue to invest in amazing products, cutting-edge quality and our industry-leading customer experience. We have great people in place and are thrilled that many more want to join us from the competition. It’s very rewarding to see that the industry is noticing our bright future and how many people want to be part of a winning team!

7. Let’s talk about the individual Uli Behringer. We know you love the music industry, but have your aspirations changed over the years, and is there an endgame?

There is always an endgame, and it’s usually defined by nature (smiles). But what amazes me is that I love my job now more than ever, and the people close to me know that I only sleep about 4 hours a day. I always look up to my mother who is 86-years old; she swims half a mile a day and still works as a simultaneous interpreter. Age is just a number as long as you keep yourself busy, healthy and you pursue happiness in life. Deep inside I am just a simple musician and an engineer – and that will never change.

I love the music industry and will never do anything else. But while I was mainly product driven in the early years, I have become obsessed with innovation, efficiency systems and processes, and I find that immensely mentally stimulating. Books have become great friends and my desire to learn has intensified, as I get older.

As a minimalist, I am not at all driven by money or luxury – and all I care is being surrounded by the most phenomenal and passionate people so we can make a difference and serve our customer. I am so proud of our employees who have helped me build this business – and some of them stayed with me for over 20 years!

8. Do you have a guitar propped up against the sofa at home (OK, maybe a piano in the living room)?

Unfortunately, I never learned to play the guitar, and also have not managed to make my grand piano lean against the sofa. I am a classically trained pianist who has developed a passion for jazz. Since my childhood I’ve always loved romantic music such as Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, etc.

I’ll never forget one evening during my degree studies, when by chance I stumbled across a Piano Bar in Dusseldorf. Not only did the owner look like Frank Sinatra, he sang his entire repertoire. I was totally fascinated by this music, and that’s how I got into jazz. The harmonic structure of Jazz is closely related to that of romantic music, so it’s no real surprise that I fell for jazz music. For me, the greatest jazz pianist of all times was, and still is, Oscar Peterson – and I’ve spent many years transcribing his improvisations and learning to play them.

To this end, I modified a cassette recorder to play at exactly half speed, thus one octave lower. This made it easier for me to pick out the harmonic scales. Unfortunately I didn’t have pitch and speed shifters back then.

9. Any other musicians who you follow?

Other musicians who I respect alongside Oscar Peterson are Al Jarreau, George Shearing, Monty Alexander, Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, Take Six, Manhattan Transfer, George Benson, Earth, Wind & Fire, etc. Many people won’t know these names, which is one sure sign that I’m getting older (laughs). I am also a great fan of Latin pianists Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Tania Maria, who are absolutely mind-blowing.

One of the absolute highlights in my life was getting to play with Lee Ritenour at the 2010 NAMM show; the video can be seen on YouTube. I heard Lee 30 years ago at the Montreux Jazz Festival and I have adored him ever since. Playing piano is something that makes me completely forget about business. One day, I may start my retirement as a pianist in a jazz bar.”

10. Where is ‘home’?

That’s a really good question – but a rather complex one!

When we began shifting production from Europe to China, it soon became clear this was not going to work by visiting China twice a year and doing the rest by phone and fax. So in 1997, I decided to move to Hong Kong, in order to be present “on site” and oversee production. This was a key factor to our success – and the start of an odyssey that fundamentally changed my life.

Moving to Hong Kong was indeed one of the best decisions in my life. I’ve learned a tremendous amount and gained a great deal of experience. Hong Kong is one of the most exciting and restless cities in the world. It isn’t called the “24/7 city” for nothing; it just never sleeps. It’s not unusual for a vendor to call at 3 o’clock on a Sunday morning to clinch a deal. Twice a week I crossed over into China to visit the factory, which required complying with lots of VISA and travel restrictions. On many occasions, I had to stand for two hours or more in the blazing sun, or the pouring rain before being allowed to enter China.

My time in Hong Kong was totally crazy. I would regularly leave the office at seven in the evening to meet friends at the bar, partying until four in the morning. Then back to the apartment, four hours sleep and at eight o’clock, I was back in the office. This lifestyle has inevitably left its scars, the time came when I was really burned out. I learned two things – burning the candle at both ends has its consequences, and never try to out drink a Dutchman, because no regular human can compete!

I had lots of friends who were musicians from the Philippines and we would meet every Sunday at the Mandarin Hotel’s Captain’s Bar for a jam session. One day, one of the guys came up to me and asked if I’d been hit by a truck. I knew then it was time to slow down, and my friends suggested I take a short holiday in Manila.

If you’ve never been to the Philippines, let me tell you that because of their Spanish heritage, Filipinos are actually Latinos and some of the friendliest, most hospitable people you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. Not to mention that the climate is warm, the sea is only 20 minutes from my house, and music and art runs in the blood of every Filipino.

It came as no surprise to find out that the engineers are incredibly gifted. I immediately opened an office and staffed it. Five years down the line and we’ve got 130 employees in Manila, and my planned 3-month break never happened (laughs)! I’ve been living in Asia for nearly 20 years now, and really don’t think of ever moving back to Europe.

So if you ask me – yes the Philippines are my declared home.

11. Any message for your customers?

I’d like to take the opportunity to say a big Thank You to all our customers; they have been instrumental in making this company what it is today. Every day we receive friendly letters of appreciation from musicians who have been able to realize and extend their musical possibilities with the help of our equipment.

These humbling letters always remind me how I started as a struggling musician. There’s no better motivation than to read these letters and emails, and this is the reason why our employees and I are still so passionately committed to what we do.

Aren’t we all in a beautiful industry that allows us to make and use products that enrich people’s lives?”

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