Its products are sold in 50 countries and are used in
That's why the company, founded in 1998 by
Sturdy, lightweight molded metallized carbon fiber housings protect the complex electronics from the elements and rigors of field use by news crews, documentary filmmakers, sports production companies and reality television shows.
Video production industry changes are also helping to spur growth for Sound Devices, which employs about 100 people. Producers are using multiple cameras and multiple microphones to shoot a scene instead of one camera and one microphone. That means more need for Sound Devices' multichannel and multitrack audio recorders to simultaneously capture the interactions of multiple actors, athletes or reality stars. Sound Devices also makes video recorders that are attached to the side of cameras and provide superior images over those built into the camera.
"We're an inch-wide, mile-deep kind of company," said Tatooles, chief business development officer. "When you look at our products and you see all of the features and the depth of them, it's very specific for the applications that they're used. These are very deep, multitrack recorders for the most challenging
Sound Devices products are nowhere to be found at
Instead, the customers include
"For the people buying our gear, this is their job," Tatooles said. "If it fails, and they don't have a backup, they don't work."
The electronics are all designed and assembled on
In January, the
The company's employee roster includes assemblers, technicians who use stereo microscopes to repair battered equipment, software designers, and electrical and mechanical engineers.
"It did not surprise me they were nominated. We look for businesses that are multidimensional," Koenecke said. "I just think they're a business that will be here for a long time. They're stable, and they're part of the community."
Anderson, 45, a
After about eight years with the company, the
"It fit us well because that market is characterized by very high-quality stuff, which we know how to do," said Anderson, whose office is also a design studio and workshop complete with soldering guns, pliers, screwdrivers and cables hanging on the wall. "It's something I wanted to do my whole life."
Anderson and Tatooles began by leasing space and using employees under contract at Hankscraft, a company founded in
Today, the company makes tap handles, point-of-purchase displays and home water treatment systems.
In 1999, Sound Devices had four employees and
When the company made the decision to buy its own facility and spend
In the last two years alone, sales have increased 40 percent and some of its products can record 32 tracks at a time.
"Everything now is being shot multicamera, multitrack," Tatooles said. "In some of these competition reality shows, they may have five or six crews going at the same time. There's so much audio and so many cameras. It's just remarkable."
Products are designed in
"It's still an awful lot of work that we do right here," Anderson said. "We could go totally vertically integrated and own milling machines and stuff like that, but we just think that doesn't make sense in order to remain really nimble and stay ahead of new technologies."
When Anderson and Tatooles first attended the
When they return to
"I never really looked out to see what Sound Devices would look like in 10 years," Tatooles said. "It was always: What's the next step? The next six months? What's on our plate right now? We had numerous failures, but we've never really looked back, either. We took those lessons and simply moved forward."
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