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LOUD Audio

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LOUD Audio, LLC is a professional audio company based in the United States, operating in the U.S., Canada, and China. Originally known as Mackie Designs, Inc., the name was changed to Loud Technologies in 2003 to differentiate the larger company from their founding subsidiary, mixing console manufacturer Mackie.[1] Between 2003 and 2018, LOUD Technologies owned or distributed several music instrument and pro audio product brands. Transom Capital acquired the company in October 2017, renaming it LOUD Audio, LLC and divesting most brands to focus more exclusively on their core Mackie business.[2]

LOUD Audio, LLC
Private company
IndustryAudio technology
Founded1988 (as Mackie Designs, Inc.)
Headquarters,
United States
Key people
Brian McClain(Chairman & CFO)
Number of employees
533
SubsidiariesMackie
Websiteloudaudio.com

HistoryEdit

 
Logo before rebranding

Company originEdit

Greg Mackie founded Mackie Designs, Inc. in 1988, following the success of his first two professional audio equipment companies, TAPCO and AudioControl. Focused on the goal of producing a reasonably-priced high-quality mixer, he produced the company's first product, the LM-1602, in his three bedroom condominium in Edmonds, Washington.

Early growthEdit

Mackie Designs, Inc. experienced tremendous growth over the next four years, with sales growing from $3.8 million to over $64 million. This success began with moving production to a proper factory for their second product, the CR-1604 mixer. The CR-1604's feature set, performance, and competitive price was an ideal fit for a wide range of applications, resulting in hundreds of thousands of units sold over the course of the next five years, and accounting for over 48% of Mackie's overall revenues at that time.[3][4]

The company's ongoing growth of more than 100 percent annually necessitated relocating and expanding manufacturing every year. By 1994, the company had grown into a 30,000 square-foot factory. The following year, as they celebrated the sale of the 100,000th Mackie mixer, the company moved into an even larger 90,000 square-foot factory and invested in automated assembly machines to achieve high productivity and quality with lower overall production costs.[5] With just 8 products (all mixers), Mackie Designs, Inc. completed an initial public stock offering[6]

Diversification and acquisitionsEdit

At the July 1996 NAMM Show, Mackie Designs product introductions marked its first entry into power amps, and active studio monitors,[7][8] while also expanding into higher-end, large-format mixing consoles. The following year marked the introduction of the Digital 8-Bus Recording Console - the company's first digital product, and the Human User Interface (HUI) control surface, co-developed with Digidesign for Pro Tools.

From 1998-2000 the company began expanding beyond the Mackie brand, acquiring Radio Cine Forniture S.p.A. (RCF) in 1998 and leveraging RCF technologies to develop Mackie's first powered loudspeaker, the SRM450, the following year. In 2000 the company acquired well-established commercial sound reinforcement system manufacturer Eastern Acoustic Works (EAW).[9] By 2001, speakers accounted for 55% of the company's total revenues.

In 2001, the company entered the professional audio production market with the purchase of Sydec, and created the Mackie Broadcast Professional line of products.[10]

2003 Equity investment and rebrandingEdit

In February 2003 after declining sales and 7 consecutive quarters of per-share losses, Sun Capital Partners acquired 65% of the company, which was subsequently delisted from NASDAQ. Greg Mackie left the board, remaining in a consulting role.[11] Six months later, in July 2003, the company issued layoff warnings to 200 manufacturing employees and plans to outsource manufacturing of key products.[12]

In September 2003 the parent company was rebranded as LOUD Technologies, Inc. (now known as LOUD Audio) to avoid confusion between the parent company and the Mackie brand.[13]

More acquisitions and divestmentsEdit

In December, 2003, LOUD divested itself from its Italian operations, including RCF.

In March 2005, LOUD acquired St. Louis Music, including Ampeg, Crate Amplifiers, Alvarez Guitars, and Knilling orchestral string instruments, and continued St Louis Music operations as an indirect wholly owned subsidiary.[14] In March 2007, LOUD acquired Martin Audio.[15]

In November 2008, U.S. Band and Orchestra Supplies Inc. acquired St. Louis Music (SLM) and Knilling from LOUD, with LOUD retained ownership of Alvarez, Ampeg, and Crate. The following year, SLM entered into an agreement with LOUD to exclusively sell and market Alvarez Guitars.[16]

2017 ownership change and renewed focusEdit

In October 2017, Transom Capital Group acquired all LOUD Technologies brands and rebranded the company as LOUD Audio, LLC.[17] The following year, LOUD completed three divestments to focus exclusively on its core Mackie business, selling Ampeg to Yamaha Guitar Group, Inc. in May, Martin Audio to Lloyds Development Capital in July, and EAW to the RCF Group in September of that year.[18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "LOUD TECHNOLOGIES INC (LTEC:OTC US)". Bloomberg L.P.
  2. ^ "EAW Sale Marks Loud Audio's Last Divestiture". Pro Sound News. Future plc. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  3. ^ "1990 Mackie CR-1604 Mixer". Mix Online. Future plc. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  4. ^ "Genius!: Mackie and the CR-1604". PSNEurope. Future plc. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  5. ^ "The Making Of Mackie Mixers", Sound On Sound, Oct 1994
  6. ^ "Mackie Designs Inc. History". Funding Universe. International Directory of Company Histories. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Greg Mackie & Cal Perkins: Mackie Designs", Sound On Sound, Nov 1996
  8. ^ "Mackie - the first 20 years". Electronic Musician. Future plc. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Mackie Buying Fussion Audio". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Mackie to buy Sydec". Radio World. Future plc. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  11. ^ Benzuly, Sarah. "Sun Capital Infuses Mackie". MIX. Future plc. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  12. ^ Virgin, Bill. "Mackie Designs plans cuts at Woodinville plant". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Mackie Designs, Inc. Now Loud Technologies", Mix Magazine, Sep 2003
  14. ^ "LOUD Technologies Acquires St Louis Music". Pro Sound News. Future plc. Retrieved 8 March 2005.
  15. ^ "Loud Technologies Acquires Martin Audio". TVTechnology. Future plc. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  16. ^ "St. Louis Makes Two New Deals". Music Inc. Music Inc. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  17. ^ "Transom Capital Acquires LOUD Audio & Brands EAW, Martin Audio". Commercial Integrator. Emerald Expositions, LLC. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Transom Capital-Backed Loud Audio Sells EAW Brand to RCF Group". LA Business Journal. Los Angeles Business Journal. Retrieved 4 January 2019.

External linksEdit