Matt Rowe - Optimal Audio - Engineering Manager

Matt Rowe – Optimal Audio – Engineering Manager

“Matt’s been here since the start of the journey, and it’s his insight, experience and expertise that’s helped develop our DSP Controller strategy…” 

Dom Harter, MD Optimal Audio.

After graduating in Electronics from Kingston University, Matt Rowe began his career as a technician at BSS Audio. Having worked his way quickly through the ranks, he took his first major step in the industry working on the development of Soundweb London. Matt recalls his time there with affection, referencing the ‘small company’ dynamic that allowed team members to become involved in any aspect of product development. Being able to address the wider fields of software, industrial design and even artwork, suited his inclination for getting under the skin of every aspect of a project. This multi-disciplinary approach has informed an impressive career…

After ten successful and highly productive years at BSS, Matt’s next challenge was at Soundcraft where as a Project Leader working across all departments he was hired to recover the completion and delivery of the Si series of consoles, Soundcraft’s first major development of a medium scale digital console. Once again, the cross-functional approach favoured by Matt overcame a number of issues to deliver a series of successful product releases including Si Compact, Expression and Performer. The theme continued…

During Matt’s time at Soundcraft, his interest in cost-engineering continued to grow. Taking on the challenge of developing and producing high-end products without any compromise on quality, but where cost was always kept in perspective, became another area for careful attention. A move into analogue followed, working for HARMAN International on the offshore development of Soundcraft’s Signature and Notepad Series compact mixers, a task that again demanded the application of Matt’s expertise and wide-ranging insight. Justifiably proud of his achievements, and by now considering the possibility of a new direction, Matt had a productive conversation with former colleague Dom Harter. The now Martin Audio MD outlined his idea for a new commercial audio brand that could challenge what he believed to be the prevailing over-complexity that characterised the sector, and invited Matt aboard.

The idea of being involved from the very beginning in creating a whole new end-to-end ecosystem of products, including DSP controllers, amplifiers and loudspeakers, proved irresistible. Here was the perfect opportunity to bring to the table all the areas of Matt’s experience and skillset, and apply them to an innovative, cost-effective, uncluttered, high-quality system for which there was a clear and present need in the market. Far from being a deterrent, Dom Harter’s long list of what this new brand should set out to achieve proved to be a roll-call of shared principles. Matt grabbed the opportunity with both hands and over the last two years has been instrumental in the creation of Optimal Audio.

Consistent with an outlook that was shaped during his earliest days in the industry, Matt’s role draws on precisely that desire to cross the demarcation lines and bring into play the widest possible knowledge-base necessary to support the ground up development of a new brand. In so many ways, Matt has come full circle from those BSS Audio days  – the small team, the sharing and overlapping of responsibilities, and the desire to create versatile and adaptable audio solutions is his perfect habitat – his Optimal environment, you might say…

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