The February edition of German Studio Magazine features an interview with SPL Managing Director Hermann Gier. Hermann and Studio Magazin chief editor and publisher Fritz Fey are long-time companions and so it was time for an extensive conversation. In this interview, Hermann and Fritz talk about the past, present and future of SPL. Absolutely recommended reading! Here we have compiled a few highlights for you.
“It’s a good feeling to have so many friends, colleagues and loyal companions in the industry. They are all a piece of home for me. I’ve had the idea of doing this interview for some time, because Hermann Gier is not only a good friend to me, but also an extremely creative mind and expert in this industry, who helps shape the fortunes of a company with heart and mind that can look back on an extraordinary success story.”
Hermann on how it all began
“When I was 16 or 17, I worked as a stage hand in Aachen. My favorite place was the FOH. Whenever the work was done, I ran to the console. Lots of knobs, outboard racks, that totally excited me. It was clear to me that that’s what I wanted to do in my life.”
“I had started studying business administration in the meantime, precisely for the reason of having my own company later on. That was the time when I first met Wolfgang Neumann, who was working on his own pro audio devices.”
“And then there was that really important evening, February 18, 1988 at about two o’clock in the morning… that was the birth of the Vitalizer and SPL.”
“The pyramid of music creators has actually become extremely wide at the bottom. The bottom line is that non-musicians are coming to make music, joined by podcasters and Youtubers. There’s a lot of people spending money on microphones, PreAmps and audio interfaces there, too . But our hardware devices are also available as software, which we sell very, very well. So it’s rather the technology platform that has shifted, not the need. At first you think you’re cannibalizing your valuable hardware product, but in fact the opposite is true. When such a plug-in is released, you naturally reach a much larger audience. But at the same time the curiosity for the original increases. This leads to an important question that must be asked, namely that of innovation on the digital level. By this I don’t mean faster calculation or an algorithm that removes noise, but creative functionality, new effects. Something comparable on the analog level ‘happened’ to us with the BiG.”
“There was no reason to think about it at all. It was inevitable, in the sense that we released the Phonitor 2 in 2012, which sold surprisingly well. Audiophiles bought a headphone amplifier from a pro audio manufacturer? The name for this series of devices was also quickly found with Professional Fidelity, because that clearly brought together the origin of the technology and the expectations of the users.”
You can find the complete interview in Studio Magazine – edition 2/23 or on our website in digital form as a PDF (in German).