ProToolerBlog → Post » Dave Lebolt and Peter Gorges has left Avid

June 28, 2009

ProToolerBlog → Post » Dave Lebolt and Peter Gorges has left Avid.

You can check out the link above to read about the details but there is clearly a brain drain at Avid’s audio group that can only be the result of Avid’s decision to virtually eliminate the Digi brand and consolidate around Avid (professional products) and M-Audio (Retail Products).

David Lebolt is one of the brightest people I have meet in this industry, his understanding of how  business / channel / technology intersect is truly unique. His departure from Avid will create a void that will be hard if not impossible to replace.

I can see how this makes sense from a purely B-School financial perspective but I don’t think they realize how hard a transition this could be and their ability to execute this plan without serious damage to their portion in the audio industry is something I would not bet on.

Interestingly is you look at their first quarter numbers:

Three Months Ended March 31,

2009       2008

Revenues:

Video                                             $  87,502  $ 125,027

Audio                                                    64,127     73,239

Total revenues  (a)                       $ 151,629  $ 198,266

Contribution Margin:

Video                                             $  21,280  $  28,470

Audio                                                22,730     26,325

Segment contribution margin      44,010     54,795

It would look to me like the video group is in free fall and the Audio group is fairing much better. Why you would consolidate under a legacy brand like Avid instead of a segment leader like Digi does not make sense so me.

To keep this in perspective Avid has a new management team including some very successful smart people from Autodesk and  HP at the helm and their ultimate plan (which I obviously don’t know) may be a winner. Only time will tell.


Pro Sound News Europe – A further flourish of Frankfurt highlights

June 28, 2009

Pro Sound News Europe – A further flourish of Frankfurt highlights.

he attendance figures issued by show organisers at the conclusion of the event reinforced the impression of an overwhelmingly upbeat show. Collectively, the (MI-oriented and simultaneous) 30th Musikmesse and the 15th Prolight + Sound attracted 111,000 visitors from 125 countries – an increase of approximately 1,300 over last year. Specifically, PL + S received 33,631 visitors – 7.5% more than in 2008 – with Germany leading the way in visitor numbers, followed by The Netherlands, Austria, Italy and Belgium.

From my perspective, as a quick visitor to the Frankfurt show (in for less than 24 hours for meetings) – it was busy but a much smaller show.

They did a good job of making smaller so it seemed to be busy and happening despite the reduced visitors (official visitor numbers are always over stated – they are badges bought many of which are bought before the show and do not reflect if they deiced not to come).

Unlike the recent NAB show where many parts just seemed like dead space and the bars at the Hilton were empty – not only did it seem like 50% less people, but the people at NAB all seemed to be told don’t spend any money – felt sorry for Vegas if that is possible.

M-Audio introduced the new Studiophile CX8 and CX5 studio monitors
NEXO – celebrating its 30th anniversary throughout the show.
Optocore presented its new converter devices, X6R and V3R.
Trantec showed its new S6 wireless system
Yamaha announced a Version 2 update for its M7CL digital mixing console.
JBL announced that the new LSR2300 Series Studio Monitor System.
HME publicised its WS200 Wireless Speaker station and CL200 Call Light Actuator.
HK AUDIO announced special limited edition versions of its ConTour Array systems.


Wallmart: Mass Merchant Enthusiasm For Music Products Wanes

June 28, 2009

From http://www.musictrades.com

…the toy department to display musical instruments and accessories. The selection will include a child-sized acoustic guitar, a full-sized electric and acoustic guitar, and a small selection of accessories. At the trend’s peak in 2006, musical instrument displays in Wal-Mart occupied 16 feet of shelf space with more than 35 discrete items. Arch competitor Target has similarly reduced its musical instrument display to six linear feet from a peak of 16 feet last year. Some of the reductions can be attributed to the current recession. However, one rep who sells to Wal-Mart noted, “They are driven by numerical analysis. The reduction in display space reflects the fact that musical instruments didn’t generate the turn they were looking for.”

The era of MI products moving to the mass market may be weaning and is this good or bad?  The Walmarkts, Targets, and Best Buys of the world may have taken the low end / entry section of the market away from the tradtaionl MI dealers but it also brought millions of new players intot he market many of whom eventualy will graduate to better instruments and products that will drive more traffic to the speciality channel.


Day in the Cloud Presented by Google Apps & Virgin America – June 24, 2009

June 26, 2009

Here is one of the best cross-promotions done using social and web 2.0 media:

Day in the Cloud Presented by Google Apps & Virgin America – June 24, 2009.

On Wednesday, June 24th, Google Apps and Virgin America invite the brave and the willing, the airborne and the earthbound to embark on the “Day in the Cloud Challenge,” the first online scavenger hunt played simultaneously in the air and, well, everywhere else.

Wherever you are on the 24th, simply sign up, arm yourself with a powerful array of Google Apps, and you can point and click your way towards glory—and an enticingprize pack. And if you do happen to be a Virgin America passenger, we’ll even throw in complimentary WiFi.

Day in the Cloud Challenge – With Virgin America and Google

I made the sacrifice this morning to get up at 3:30am (after blogging until 12:30am) to attend a 6am Virgin America/Google event called ” Day in the Cloud” challenge. There are very few things that will get me out of bed at 3:30am. Before this it was only for night breastfeedings when my boys were infants. This time I had to chance to be on a Virgin America flight from SFO to LAX with other media – that were playing an online challenge game against the Virgin America flight from LAX to SFO. The Virgin America flights have GoGo Inflight Wi-Fi so we could all go online after the flight was above 10,000 feet.

The challenge is an online game that is a combination of brain teasers and questions. The term “cloud” relates to cloud computing: “Cloud computing is a new way of using your computer that lets you store, access and share your information through the web, instead of on your hard drive.”

Gaming on the airplane – my 10 year old son would be so proud.

**All of today those on other Virgin America flights and even those on ground can play the challenge (on June 24 until midnight) by logging onto the Day in the Cloud website**


SEO and Tech Daily: Google and Virgin America take Cloud Computing to new heights.

Like to fly?

The Google App Team and Virgin Atlantic have a little contest for you.

They’re literally taking Cloud Computing to …ugh …. the clouds!

As airlines continue to roll-out Wi-Fi in the US and abroad, a challenge in the air is taking place on June 24th.

All you need is a (free) Google account and one hour (only!)

‘Day in the Cloud’ is a scavenger hunt using Google Docs (and free Wi-Fi if you happen to be on Virgin Atlantic at the time).

Become one of the top scorers and you might win a brand-new HP netbook, 1 terabyte of Google Account storage for your photos and mail … plus, you’ll fly free for a year on Virgin America.

For those who absolutely must have their feet on the ground that day … it’s OK …. you can play too.

Details on ‘Day in the Cloud’ can be found on the recently launched website here.

You can also follow the ‘challenge’ on Twitter or participate with the hashtag #dayinthecloud.

The official eligibility rules will be posted here soon.

As of this post, flights were still available to select destinations on Virgin America if you want ‘the full experience’ …..

…. and you thought Spymaster was cool.

Techmamas: Day in the Cloud Challenge – With Virgin America and Google

Day in the Cloud Challenge – With Virgin America and Google

I made the sacrifice this morning to get up at 3:30am (after blogging until 12:30am) to attend a 6am Virgin America/Google event called ” Day in the Cloud” challenge. There are very few things that will get me out of bed at 3:30am. Before this it was only for night breastfeedings when my boys were infants. This time I had to chance to be on a Virgin America flight from SFO to LAX with other media – that were playing an online challenge game against the Virgin America flight from LAX to SFO. The Virgin America flights have GoGo Inflight Wi-Fi so we could all go online after the flight was above 10,000 feet.

The challenge is an online game that is a combination of brain teasers and questions. The term “cloud” relates to cloud computing: “Cloud computing is a new way of using your computer that lets you store, access and share your information through the web, instead of on your hard drive.”

Gaming on the airplane – my 10 year old son would be so proud.

**All of today those on other Virgin America flights and even those on ground can play the challenge (on June 24 until midnight) by logging onto the Day in the Cloud website**

Luckily, I answered questions on cloud computing and Google Apps right – but could not handle the brain teasers on 2 hours of sleep.. I tried… One of the questions was about Google Talk emoticons. I was sitting with a group of fellow gamers and we just “Googled” Google Talk emoticons to find the answer. One brain teaser was “What is second largest cave chamber in the United states“, which we also found in Wikipedia using Google search.  Part of the challenge is demonstrating the ability to find the answers online. One of the gamers is an official “puzzle” expert, so I decided to site next to him to learn some puzzle strategy. He was helping me with strategies to find answers, and I was excited to at least help him on one question (it required language translation so I said he should just enter the phrase into Google Translate).

As always, meeting the other participants is part of the fun. I sat next to myGadgetSpin buddy Eliane from Ubergizmo. Behind us on the plane was one of the Virgin America social media guys that we had met originally on the Orange County Virgin America launch party (Bowen).  Two bloggers from sites that I read every day on my RSS feeds were sitting in front of me ( Ben Parr fromMashable and Anthony Ha from Venture Beat). There were also Google and Virgin America representatives to talk with.

The most fun Google representative for me to talk with was Google Digital Mom Jenn Mazzon. We not only shared thoughts about our busy lives as moms of multiples, but also strategies for working mom family management. Jenn shared her use of Google Calender and Google Apps as family management tools in a video interview that I will load this weekend.

I will have another chance on my flight back to SFO to play the challenge. I need to have more caffeine before I can attempt playing again. Or just sit next to the Puzzle expert…

Later tonight I will load some pictures.


New loudspeaker plugin for DAWs

June 2, 2009

Real Sound Lab launches Coneq P2 plugin for loudspeaker equalisation

Real Sound Lab, creators of the Coneq technology for loudspeaker equalisation, has released a new plug-in family, Coneq P2 plug-in VST for Windows, in order to drive the product in the home and project studio market.

via New loudspeaker plugin for DAWs | Pro Audio | News by Audio Pro.

These guys have some interesting technlogy – note I have not acutally used it yet – that works by mesuring the power response of the loudspaker (and room) and generates corrective filters.  The KRK ERGO system based Lyngdorf tehcnology seems to use a similar technique.

There are a number of issues to resolved before this type of technology can become common place in the pro SR world. Beyond proving the technique the who user interface needs to be resolved.  Should this be a separate product or built into mixers or speaker processors? The plug-in concept works inside of a console on the output – but only Digi Venue is a good platform today for that and it only runs TDM’s so the current offering is not applicable.

The concept will also need to integrate with current tools (like Smaart) and the user community (house and system engineers) will need to be educated on how it works and the best practices for use.  Also the whole issue of engineers being comfortable with something that does what they did will have to be addressed before there can be mass adoption.

I look forward to seeing some real world tests, if anyone know of someone useing these systems please let me know.