Richmond Sound Design

Richmond Sound Design

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Richmond Sound Design Ltd. is a theatre sound design and show control systems and software developer and manufacturer. It was founded in 1972 by Charlie Richmond. The company began as a manufacturer of specialty mixers and theatre sound design consoles. It is a leader in digital audio and show control software and hardware for live entertainment.


* 1972 Founded as a manufacturer of theatrical sound consoles. Its first product was the single prototype Model 1224 with a 12 x 24 matrix, custom made for the Stratford Festival of Canada and rented by the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego continuously for the next 28 years. Since then, they originated many sound and theatre industry advancements.

* 1973 The Model 816 became the first production unit, made through 1985. It was equipped with an 8x16 matrix, at the time a revolutionary feature. Many still perform daily in theatres around the world, a testament to their reliability and functionality.

* 1974 The M82 range of portable stereo mixing consoles was eventually expanded to a full line of multitrack, broadcast and live mixers. Units from this era in pristine condition regularly appear on eBay.

* 1977 Introduced the VCA-4 mixer module for dedicated audio control in complex routing applications. Thousands of VCA-4's are still at work in paging systems at convention centres, hotels, hospitals, and industrial installations worldwide.

* 1986 Created COMMAND/CUE(TM), the computerised audio control system, with the patented AUTO-PAN(TM) programmable fader. At the same time a router/switcher, automated virtual console, and panoramic sound controller, COMMAND/CUE CONCURRENT, in the opinion of top sound designers, was for many years the world's most capable surround sound tool and many systems are still operating reliably.

* 1991 Unveiled Stage Manager(TM) show control software for a whole new level of presentation ability. Stage Manager pioneered the use of MIDI Show Control to manage a variety of intelligent media controllers: lighting, sound, lasers, staging and more.

* 1994 Released MIDIShowCD(TM), the world's first software for synchronizing multiple CD drives. MIDIShowCD provided multichannel audio and multi source effects at a fraction of the cost of alternative systems, using common and reliable CD's.

* 1997 The AudioBox(TM), developed by Tim Bartoo of Harmonic Functions Inc. (HFI), combined an onboard eight-channel digital sound source with a flexible 16x16 DSP matrix. After years of research, almost any form of sound manipulation could finally be done in real time, completely in the digital domain, with one box.

* 1998 The AudioBox was presented TCI Magazine's Sound Product of the Year Award. Software support on all platforms allowed multichannel audio to be equalized, delayed, manipulated and distributed in ways previously only dreamed of.

* Introduced ShowMan(TM) software for Windows by Loren Wilton, providing the power and capability of both Stage Manager and MIDIShowCD on an industry standard platform. ShowMan signifies real compatibility and true live show interaction.

* 1999 Presented E-Show(TM) Network Tools by Joanne Dow. E-Show is simply the most significant show control concept yet, composed of industry standard computing hardware and industrial standard interface cards all networked using world standard TCP/IP network protocols. Now any IT department can effectively assemble and support the world's most powerful show control system.

* 2000 E-Show was presented Entertainment Design Magazine's 1999 EDDY Award in the Show Control category. The Award states: "Charlie's done it again. The E-Show Network is based on industry-standard Windows NT computers interconnected via a TCP/IP-based network; normally Ethernet, but essentially any TCP/IP-compatible network, even the Internet, can be used. The system features RSD's Virtual PLC Hardware, composed of industry-standard industrial PCI/ISA computer cards, and is driven by ShowMan(TM) software. E-Show also supports direct Ethernet connection with Ethernet-capable industrial control devices, thereby eliminating the need for host computers at remote terminals. 'This is a great step in the right direction, putting show control on a standard Ethernet network,' says one of the judges. 'No more serial lines, MIDI lines, etc.'"

* Introduced the AudioBox AB1616 including 16 digital audio playback channels on board with automatic input switching between live and playback on the first eight channels. On September 16 in Los Angeles, the Ride Vehicle version of the AudioBox (used in every ride vehicle on the Spider-Man ride at the Universal Studios Florida Islands of Adventure theme park) was awarded the THEA Award 2000 for Outstanding Achievement in the area of 'Breakthrough Technology' by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). The Award states "Having been judged to represent the highest standards of excellence and creative achievement in the arts and sciences of the Themed Entertainment Industry."

* 2005 Introduced the AudioBox AB64 with up to 64 digital audio playback and recording channels, 64x64 DSP audio matrix, 64 analog and/or CobraNet audio inputs and outputs and, of course, a full function Show Controller on board - all in a compact, modular format.

* 2007 Introduced SoundMan-Server, a virtual sound system (VSS) API with up to 1000 playback, live input and output channels and a million crosspoints with vectored gain, EQ and delay at each crosspoint. Also SoundMan-Designer, a theatrical playback, sound and show control application that fully emulates the older model AudioBox. The Universal Studios Hollywood Waterworld live stunt show based on the film was the first to be upgraded to this software, along with the latest version of ShowMan in September.

External links

* [ Richmond Sound Design Ltd. home page]

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