|Known for||founding M-Audio|
Tim Ryan is an American engineer, inventor and entrepreneur who is best known for founding Midiman (later renamed M-Audio). As of 2004 he works with Avid Technology.
Ryan grew up the son of a concert pianist and developed a love of music from an early age, but he did not become a musician himself. While working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree at the California Institute of Technology, he excelled at science, math, and engineering, and decided to apply those skills to his love of music. According to Ryan, in 1977 he and two fellow Caltech students Alan Danziger and Don Lieberman were looking at some of E-mu Systems products selling for about $400, and thought that, considering the wholesale cost of the electronic parts involved was about $15, they could produce a similar product and sell it for half the price.
What the students ended up designing instead was one of the first digital synthesizers, the 800-chip Con Brio, Inc. Advanced Digital Synthesizer (ADS), which utilized three 6502 processors, the same processor used in the Apple II computer and Commodore 64. The ADS offered an advanced feature set for its time: 64 oscillators which could be both amplitude- and frequency-modulated, split keyboard capability, 16-stage envelopes, layering and modulation, and multiple digital-to-analog converters. The resulting unit cost $30,000, but there was very little market for this kind of synthesizer.Con Brio produced three different examples of the ADS, but only sold one, which was used on some major studio film scores and then owned by Chick Corea. They ceased operations in 1982.
Ryan then co-founded Third Street Software, a Commodore and Apple software development company that did contract software development for Sequential Circuits, Syntech, and Sonus, including the first multitimbral sequencing software for Sequential's 600-series synthesizer. Ryan then helped design two of the best-selling US sequencers of the time, the Studio One (for the Commodore) and Studio Two (for the Apple II).
Having decided that he wanted to own his own company, he founded Midi Soft in 1988 and shortly thereafter renamed it Midiman, due to Yamaha already having rights to the Midi Soft name. Offering a variety of small, affordable MIDI problem solvers, sync devices, and interfaces, Midiman quickly established itself and later branched out into soundcards and audio interfaces, studio monitor speakers and MIDI keyboards, with the company's mission being "to increase virtualization, musical malleability, performance control and portability to an unprecedented level."
In 2002, Ryan was named the 2002 Los Angeles Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Media/Entertainment category. He was recognized for "founding and guiding a company that is currently one of the dominant suppliers in the computer-centric digital audio arena and one of the key players in the desktop recording revolution."
In 2004, Avid Technology acquired Midiman, Inc. (at that time doing business as M-Audio) and kept Ryan on board with the company as general manager.
MIDI is a technical standard that describes a communications protocol, digital interface, and electrical connectors that connect a wide variety of electronic musical instruments, computers, and related audio devices for playing, editing, and recording music. The specification originates in the paper Universal Synthesizer Interface published by Dave Smith and Chet Wood of Sequential Circuits at the 1981 Audio Engineering Society conference in New York City. A MIDI recording is not an audio signal, as with a sound recording made with a microphone. It is more like a piano roll, indicating the pitch, start time, stop time and other properties of each individual note, rather than the resulting sound.
Digital music technology encompasses digital instruments, computers, electronic effects units, software, or digital audio equipment by a performer, composer, sound engineer, DJ, or record producer to produce, perform or record music. The term refers to electronic devices, instruments, computer hardware, and software used in performance, playback, recording, composition, mixing, analysis, and editing of music.
A music sequencer is a device or application software that can record, edit, or play back music, by handling note and performance information in several forms, typically CV/Gate, MIDI, or Open Sound Control (OSC), and possibly audio and automation data for DAWs and plug-ins.
A music workstation is an electronic musical instrument providing the facilities of:
Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH is a German musical software and hardware company based in Hamburg. It develops music writing, recording, arranging, and editing software, most notably Cubase, Nuendo, and Dorico. It also designs audio and MIDI hardware interfaces, controllers, and iOS/Android music apps including Cubasis. Steinberg created several industry standard music technologies including the Virtual Studio Technology (VST) format for plug-ins and the ASIO protocol. Steinberg has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Yamaha since 2005.
Virtual Studio Technology (VST) is an audio plug-in software interface that integrates software synthesizers and effects units into digital audio workstations. VST and similar technologies use digital signal processing to simulate traditional recording studio hardware in software. Thousands of plugins exist, both commercial and freeware, and many audio applications support VST under license from its creator, Steinberg.
Pro Tools is a digital audio workstation (DAW) developed and released by Avid Technology for Microsoft Windows and macOS. It is used for music creation and production, sound for picture and, more generally, sound recording, editing, and mastering processes.
A digital audio workstation (DAW) is an electronic device or application software used for recording, editing and producing audio files. DAWs come in a wide variety of configurations from a single software program on a laptop, to an integrated stand-alone unit, all the way to a highly complex configuration of numerous components controlled by a central computer. Regardless of configuration, modern DAWs have a central interface that allows the user to alter and mix multiple recordings and tracks into a final produced piece.
Emagic was a music software and hardware company based in Rellingen, Germany and a satellite office in Grass Valley, California. On July 1, 2002 Emagic was bought by Apple Computer. Emagic's Windows-based product offerings were discontinued on September 30, 2002.
Ensoniq Corp. was an American electronics manufacturer, best known throughout the mid-1980s and 1990s for its musical instruments, principally samplers and synthesizers.
Sequential is an American synthesizer company founded in 1974 as Sequential Circuits by Dave Smith. In 1978, Sequential released the Prophet-5, the first programmable polyphonic synthesizer; it became a market leader and industry standard, used by artists including Michael Jackson, Madonna, and John Carpenter. In the 1980s, Sequential was pivotal in the development of MIDI, a technical standard for synchronizing electronic instruments.
Avid Audio is an American digital audio technology company. It was founded in 1984 by Peter Gotcher and Evan Brooks. The company began as a project to raise money for the founders' band, selling EPROM chips for drum machines. It is a subsidiary of Avid Technology, and during 2010 the Digidesign brand was phased out. Avid Audio products will continue to be produced and will now carry the Avid brand name.
David Joseph Smith was an American engineer and founder of the synthesizer company Sequential. Smith created the first polyphonic synthesizer with fully programmable memory, the Prophet-5, which had a major impact on the music industry. He also led the development of MIDI, a standard interface protocol for synchronizing electronic instruments and audio equipment.
M-Audio is a business unit of inMusic Brands that designs and markets audio and MIDI interfaces, keyboards and MIDI controllers, synthesizers, loudspeakers, studio monitors, digital DJ systems, microphones, and music software. The company has independent offices in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France and Japan.
Con Brio, Inc. was a short-lived but influential synthesizer manufacturing company which, from 1978 to 1982, produced its most famous product, the ADS.
The Korg Wavestation is a vector synthesis synthesizer first produced in the early 1990s and later re-released as a software synthesizer in 2004. Its primary innovation was Wave Sequencing, a method of multi-timbral sound generation in which different PCM waveform data are played successively, resulting in continuously evolving sounds. The Wavestation's "Advanced Vector Synthesis" sound architecture resembled early vector synths such as the Sequential Circuits Prophet VS.
Passport Designs Inc. was a software company that created early music production software, such as the pre-MIDI SoundChaser in 1982. Other programs included Master Tracks Pro and Encore.
LMMS is a digital audio workstation application program. It allows music to be produced by arranging samples, synthesizing sounds, playing on a MIDI keyboard, and combining the features of trackers and sequencers. It supports the Linux Audio Developer's Simple Plugin API (LADSPA), LV2 and Virtual Studio Technology (VST) plug-ins. It is free and open source software, written in Qt and released under GPL-2.0-or-later.
E-mu Systems was a software synthesizer, audio interface, MIDI interface, and MIDI keyboard manufacturer. Founded in 1971 as a synthesizer maker, E-mu was a pioneer in samplers, sample-based drum machines and low-cost digital sampling music workstations.