Berlin, July 2013: In July 2013, Stage Tec Entwicklungsgesellschaft (research and development company) from Berlin celebrated their 20th anniversary. Supported by the Salzbrenner family as a strong partner, 13 graduate engineers founded the business as a form of employee-owned company. All of them are still active partners in the company today, responsible for the continuing innovation and performance of the company. The Salzbrenner family acted as a partner and distributor and with good contacts in the industry, especially in the theatre market, opened many doors.
When, after only four months, Stage Tec introduced the first prototype of the NEXUS audio router, it created a minor sensation. Shortly after, the very first NEXUS installation went into operation. It consisted of a small fibre-optic audio network including two NEXUS Base Devices and is still in use today!
The audio router was not the sole product for long. The Stage Tec development team came up with the revolutionary idea of using the audio network with its inputs, outputs and complex routing abilities as the basis for a digital mixing console. After developing digital signal processing and an ergonomic user interface, CANTUS was born! At the 1994 Tonmeistertagung (German exhibition), it received an enthusiastic welcome from the audience. The CANTUS consolidated Stage Tec’s reputation as an innovator in professional digital audio technology.
High Level of Acceptance
A few years later, the NEXUS and CANTUS systems had become accepted internationally – with installations at the Kourou Space Station, the United Nations, the Kremlin, a number of Hollywood studios and countless theatres. Broadcasting is another important field. For example, more than 30 CANTUS consoles have been shipped to Italy.
Great Product Family
Several thousand inputs and outputs are no longer a rarity, so in 2000, Stage Tec introduced the NEXUS STAR, a routing node for large audio networks. The NEXUS STAR made huge waves in the audio-network market thanks to its sheer size combined with legendary reliability. This also made it a door-opener to the US market.
The equation of audio router plus DSP plus user interface equal a very efficient audio console – remains true today. All CANTUS successors – from the CINETRA (1997) to the AURUS (2002), the AURATUS (2006), the CRESCENDO (2009) and the ON AIR 24 (2010) – are based on this design. Today, these systems are often part of a flexible mixer pool on a large network.
In the meantime, the developers worked continuously on innovative detail improvements: From the then-standard 18-bit converter they developed the most powerful audio converter in the world: the patented TrueMatch 32-bit converter (since 1996). New functions were added – for example, the user-programmable Logic Control (2004) for even tighter systems integration; the SDI embedder/de-embedder featuring sample-rate converters for processing audio from asynchronous video streams (2004); and the Dolby-E® encoder and Decoder® to ensure seamless Dolby-E® multichannel-audio workflows (2008/09). Thoughout this time, software and hardware have evolved continuously. Latest developments include the implementation of Loudness Metering (2011) on each NEXUS and the close cooperation with Audinate which resulted in the integration of the Dante system (2012).
All Around the World
Stage Tec has become a world-leading vendor of professional digital audio systems. “Today, we serve markets on every continent and in all areas where pro-audio technology is used. This global activity has stimulated our growth continuously,” says Dr Klaus-Peter Scholz in retrospect. Stage Tec is a member of the well-established SALZBRENNER STAGETEC MEDIAGROUP and benefits from a sales network with around 15 offices and 20 sales partners worldwide. In addition to the key markets – broadcasting, theatres, operas, and concert halls – you will find Stage Tec products working in musical venues, live-sound environments, convention centres, stadiums, and government buildings.
Scholz adds: “We are particularly grateful to the Salzbrenner family not only for enabling us to have a great start but also for their continuous support and for helping us consolidate our position in the market. We look forward all the more to the continuing success of the MEDIAGROUP; after all, it’s not only our 20th anniversary – DELEC has turned 25 this year, and our parent company, Salzbrenner at Buttenheim, was established 50 years ago! Congratulations!” Incidentally, the prelude to all these anniversaries was provided by Friedrich Salzbrenner himself who celebrated his eightieth birthday last December.