In our continuing series profiling the companies on our Audio Market page we are going to turn the spotlight on Acon Digital. On the Audio Market page we offer smaller developers the opportunity to reach the Pro Tools community at a much lower price. Stian Aagedal is the developer and CEO of Acon Digital who started by developing shareware.
PTE: How did you start? Tell us about your journey to setting up your company.
Stian: Personally, I've always had an interest for technology and music. My first attempts with audio on PCs were actually with an AD/DA converter intended for industrial measurements. Needless to say, the quality wasn't impressive with it's 16 kHz sampling rate and 8 bits resolution, but this was way before consumer sound cards were available. Out of this interest, I eventually developed the shareware audio editor Acoustica which formed the basis for Acon Digital. What started as a part time job while studying computer science turned into a full-time job a few years later.
PTE: Tell us a bit about your company and the products you produce?
Stian: Today, Acon Digital has shifted focus from consumer oriented to professional products. Audio restoration is a major field for us, and we offer traditional restoration tools like denoising, declipping, decrackling and dehum in our Restoration Suite, as well more novel tools to reduce unwanted reverberation (DeVerberate) or automatically detect and filter out unwanted resonances (DeFilter). Another successful product for us is the algorithmic reverb "Verberate" which has been very well received for its unique and natural sound. Equalize was also received well due to its flexible filter curves with continuously adjustable filter slopes and the unique mixed phase mode which optimizes phase linearity while keeping pre-ringing within a user adjustable time period.
PTE: What challenges are you facing at the moment?
Stian: The past year has been very successful for us and we hope to continue the success in 2016. Like all small manufacturers in the audio business, we still have challenges getting our brand name more widely known. Keeping up with the new developments and maintaining compatibility with all the major host applications on the PC and Mac platforms is a time consuming task which can also be challenging.
PTE: What plans do you have for the future that you can share with the community?
Stian: We'll continue the development of new plug-ins as well as improving our existing products. A major project for 2016 is cross-platform support for our audio editor Acoustica.
PTE: What is your favourite audio tool (excluding any of your own products)?
Stian: There are so many great tools and developers in the audio business today, but I still remember how my jaws dropped when I first heard Melodyne's DNA technology -- I think it was back in 2008. It was a great demonstration of how to achieve something that was previously thought of as impossible.
PTE: What one thing gets you annoyed about the audio business?
Stian: It probably sounds strange coming from a manufacturer, but I get annoyed with "black magic" and over-hyped product announcements, although I realise that it's a fine line between placing our own products in the best possible light and hype. We try to at least keep our announcements technically founded, even though we make mistakes just like everybody else.
PTE: Anything else you would like to share with the Pro Tools Expert community?
Stian: I'd only like to say many thanks to all the support in the past year! We look forward to the new year and will strive to continue delivering high quality products at a reasonable cost.
Acon Digital are a perfect example of the sort of brand we set up The Audio Market for. Remember to visit the Audio Market page and support all the small developers, all trying to punch above their weight.