[interview] Source Audio: Roger Smith

Here's FXDB's interview with Roger Smith of Source Audio:

How did Source Audio start?

Roger and Jesse worked at Analog Devices, Inc., where the audio chips they created inspired the formation of an effects company based on those products. Analog Devices remains our key technology partner.

As noted, Analog Devices is a key technology supplier. We also used industrial design firm IDEO to create the housing of our first products.

Where do the name and logo come from?

The name came to us from VP of Engineering, Jesse Remignanti.

The logo came from our awesome graphic artist, Tony Leone. Tony has created all of the look and feel of the company. The logo has an embedded "S" for "Source".

What sets Source Audio apart from other builders?

  1. We focus on outstanding customer service which we call: "White Glove" 
  2. We focus on using modern circuit design techniques to deliver sounds and a user experience which are new and forward looking. We call this "Effects Innovation".

How do you start on a new pedal?

Bob and Jesse are always full of new ideas! We also get lots of feedback and input from customers and our artists.

It takes 9 months to 1 year to develop a new product.

How do you name your pedals?

We try to have names which accurately describe what the pedal does.

Hot Hand is probably the only name we have which is not a technical name. This came to us from IDEO, our first industrial design partner. We all thought it was cool!

Can you tell us something about the production process?

We are working with a third party manufacturing partner who focuses on the music industry and we do some assembly at our Woburn, MA location.

The enclosures include both cast aluminum and high impact plastic.

The graphics are custom printed on a scratch resistant film material. We use a variety of different housing coloring technologies.

How important is the look of your pedals?

It is very important. They are innovative pedals, and we want them to look that way. Simple, clean, and powerful.

How important is parts selection?

The use of Analog Devices cutting edge high quality audio chips is vital to the quality of our sounds!

Which of your pedals was your toughest build?

The most difficult product was the wireless Hot Hand ring. It needed to be small, lightweight, have along range, and work all around the world. Jesse created an amazing product. It is an engineering marvel!

Which of your pedals is the most popular?

The Bass Envelope Filter and our Multiwave Distortion are our most popular products. They are so because they are really innovative, unique, and they sound wonderful. Bob did a great job creating these amazing and unique sounds in these pedals.

Who uses your pedals and for which genres?

We target those who want more than a simple clone of an existing pedal.

We do not do create pedals specifically for one artist. However, Adrian Belew gave us the best quote about the Pro Multiwave Distortion and the Pro Classic Distortion:

"My plan all along was to carry a very few select 'stomp boxes' I cannot live without.
The Pro Classic Distortion and Pro Multiwave Distortion may have just upset my apple cart! They are the best distortion boxes ever made."

What does the future of Source Audio look like?

The first few years of the company were dedicated to the Hot Hand product. While all of our products are compatible with Hot Hand, our focus more recently has been on building a complete library of our award winning and innovative effects. Our bass effects products have been very successful.

Are you working on any new products?

Yes. We have a very small 7 band EQ pedal with 4 presets. It can be set up for either bass or guitar. This will ship in late September.

We are working on a reverb pedal and a delay pedal which should be out by Winter NAMM.

We have a VERY exciting new series of pedals to announce at NAMM. Can't say more yet!

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