442: It’s all about outputs – 2002

“The vaunted 442 mixer was our entry into ‘the big leagues’ at the time and really put us on the map. We knew that there was a hole in the market for a full-featured, high-end 4-channel portable mixer for around $3000. Jim Koomar (Sales) and I took a trip to Minneapolis to pick [famed product designer] Peter Engh’s brain about what the product needed, and he correctly said ‘it’s all about outputs,’ meaning have many types of outputs along with the input side of things. This is where the 4 direct outs came from. This all-analog circuit is still one of my very favorite designs and near and dear to my heart. The preamps were again copied from the MP-1, complete with their Lundahl transformers and opto-isolator trim limiters. The bus limiters and mixing were done with THAT VCAs. The VCAs were trimmed on the assembly line to null the distortion using DACs and a microcontroller. Libby Koomar (Mechanical Engineer) did a superb job on the elegant mechanical design. She came up with the now-distinctive posts flanking the unit, giving it such style, which we still call ‘golf tees’ internally. We had a hard time coming up with a name, but I remember when Jon Tatooles (Marketing) came in and suggested ‘442,’ after the famous Oldsmobile muscle car. We all loved it. 4 inputs, 4 direct outs, 2 main outs.”