In 1972, Duco de Rijk and Ronnie Goene, who were members of the popular band Zen at the time, with one golden Number 1 hit 'Hair', built their first tube mixing console. It was a revolutionary product for the time. Many well-known pop groups such as Kayak, The Cats and Alquin opted for D&R mixers because of their affordability, the warm sound they produced and their virtually unlimited headroom.
Their total 'part time' annual production was just five mixing consoles.
D&R was officially founded on February 1st 1972. The previously famous duo used a private address that year to work on some 20 mixing consoles for customers including radio station such as London City, Radio Veronica, Radio Luxembourg and many other more or less well known pop groups, In the same year, D&R moved to a canal side property on the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam. With the design and production of the first studio-mixer, for the pop group Cats' own recording studio, they were in a strong position, resulting in their turnover and personal standing growing quickly.
In the mid-1970s, Ronnie Goené left the company to concentrate full-time on dentistry, while Duco de Rijk continued with the business. At the same time, D&R produced the very first quadraphonic mixer for the Cats' recording studio. It was a first i its time. The big feature on this mixer was the use of ICs instead of radio tubes. This made it possible to build more complex products. In the middle of 1975, D&R developed the first compressor/limiter. This product is still very much a collector's item.
In the meantime, D&R's turnover grew by a factor of 9. The growth of the business attracted the international market. In 1976, D&R took the plunge into this exciting market by taking a stand at the 'Frankfurter Messe'. In 1977, D&R designed and produced many signal processors, which they added to their range of mixer consoles. One year later, D&R launched the first affordable large-format studio mixer, the ST1 600 series. This mixer was a major success because it used an 'in-line format' that was totally unknown in Europe at the time. By the end of the 1970s, turnover had doubled, as had the number of employees. Exports were also growing steadily.
In 1979, D&R and its 15 staff moved to a new location in the west of Amsterdam. They now had a floor space of 450 sq.m. The company further developed the 'inline format' of the ST1600 and 1000 series mixers into a range of successful designs, In 1981, they also introduced the 400 series. A year later, in 1982, D&R rented a number of nearby areas to cope with the expansion of production area requirements and to accommodate more product development. In 1983, D&R launched the 300 and 700 series on the market as the small, affordable mixing consoles for recording studios just starting out and for location recording. In 1985 D&R moved to a large building located in Weesp, about 4 km from Amsterdam. This building was large enough to handle the continuous growth of the D&R.
In 1984, D&R launched the larger in-line mixing consoles, such as the 2000 and 4000 series. They were very successful. In the meantime, the electronics company was exporting to 30 countries around the world. Staff grew to 35 and required premises that were larger, newer and more modern. So D&R moved in 1985 to the North industrial estate in Weesp, where there was a unit available of 1,400 sq.m. The signal processor program, which included compressors, noise gates, filters and a variety of other handy studio item, was added to an ever-growing turnover. In the years between 1987 and 1991 inclusive, D&R expanded its range with products such as the successful Dayner mixer, the new Stylyx live recording mixer, the Disteq mixer, the professional broadcast mixers Aided and Aircom, as well as the Avalon multitrack recording mixer.
In 1992, D&R founded the import company, AudioMate. This operation rounded out the D&R package, and in so doing provided product for the 'underside' of the market while creating the possibility of catering for total projects. The first imported product was a Taiwanese product which met D&R's high quality requirements. In 1993, the Weesp-based company brought out the Vision PA recording mixer on to the market. This was a timeless product that is still part of todays company range. The years that followed saw the design and production of various sorts of mixer of a very high quality. A few examples are the Axion live sound mixer, the Clubmix and the Portamix.
1996 was an important year for D&R. Many of its smaller products were encountering stiff competition from cheap mass-produced products. D&R's answer to this was to change direction. This resulted in the introduction of the Cinemix and Airmix. From that time onwards, D&R has concentrated on the profitable, but not price-cutting, niche market of audio postproduction for videos and films.
From 1997, D&R decided to start approaching different, new markets. The strategy worked, because the market responded very positively to the arrival of the hi-tech Cinemix. Also the move towards broadcast with the Airmate, a small, low-cost broadcast mixer, has also been received very well by the market. This extremely successful product is still part of the port folio of the company.
This 1998, D&R's 25 years jubilee sees the beginning of deliveries of the ultimate film post-production mixer, the 'Octagon'. This mixer is the result of outstanding response of users to the successful Cinemix mixer. All of D&R's knowledge and experience in audio postproduction has been packed into this large-scale audio mixer. Response from the market and interest from the media has been overwhelming and D&R expects a significant proportion of its turnover to come from this new top-of-the-range product. In brief: a 25-year history characterized by growth, quality, innovation and a dash of daring. All this had made D&R stronger than ever. The electronics firm from Weesp in northern Holland is more than ready for the hi-tech challenge of the 21st century.
The last 20 years D&R has put much effort into broadcast related products. Due to the success of the Airmate broadcast console in 1998, a range of other broadcast consoles as the Aircom, Airteq and Airmix established the D&R name in the broadcast world nationally and internationally. New broadcast products with more and more digital technology built in saw the daylight.
We could see the arrival of the extremely successful digitally controlled analog Airlab console of which over 1000 units are in world wide use. An even further digitally controlled analog console the AirMax saw the daylight recently. We see this modular mixer as the ultimate combination of analog and digital technology. D&R's digital involvement in broadcast came to reality by building the modular SIRIUS digital broadcast production/On-Air mixing console in 2001. Directly followed by the digital Scorpius console and Web based Lyra digital console. The next step in digital consoles is the AXUM console which will be launched in autumn 2007. This is the ultimate digital modular platform in which all collected design experience and field response is brought together. This extremely versatile concept will be the concept on which all future designs will be based upon. Investment in the AXUM will never result in loss of money due to loss of features or older technology. The modular concept goes way back to the heart of the system, the DSP that is also modular, as are all the various control surfaces that are available for this system. We at D&R are very enthusiastic about all the design parameters that has been determined way in advance of the AXUM launch on the IBC show in 2007. We are working around the clock in high speed mode to design and manufacture the ultimate digital broadcast console that can meet any today's and tomorrow's tender.
D&R Electronica, based in Weesp, is a leading hi-tech company worldwide specializing in the design and production of quality, made-to-measure audio mixing consoles for a variety of applications. D&R's package of products ranges from small discotheque mixers for high-end installations to large-scale film post-production mixers, with over a hundred inputs. Ninety five per cent of the company's products find their way to other countries. D&R is striking for its flat organization structure. This makes the company able to respond directly, efficiently and decisively to customer wishes. Finally, D&R's open and informal working atmosphere make the distance between management and staff very small, which in turn helps maintain a high level of involvement and enthusiasm. The huge knowledge on mixing console design is adequatly filed for today's and future references both for end users and our design department.
D&R uses CAD systems for its designs, operated by an experienced staff of 4 research and development specialists. Their aim is to introduce a minimum of 2 substantial new products per year. Because all of D&R's product development is carried out in-house, all of the necessary know-how is available to produce made-to-measure products. Using a checklist of options in terms of functionality, product specifications and pricing levels, a concept design is presented to the key users and key dealers. D&R assesses response to this preliminary concept and then makes its decision regarding the final product concept.
Extensive testing is performed on all hardware and software designs before products are allowed to go into production.
Outstanding in hi-tech audio mixing console Design