It was the heady days of 2003...
Boy bands contained mostly men in their 30’s and 40’s. Coincidentally, Billboard charts contained no boy bands. We still had no idea that John Mayer owned an electric guitar, much less played one. Michelle Branch was still ending every phrase with “uhh” because it just felt right. The iTunes Music Store was brand new, but the first iPhone was only a tiny glint in Steve Jobs’ eye. And yes, take that, rewind it back. Lil' Jon had the beat that made your booty go <clap>—which is astounding when you think about it. With just a beat?… (To be fair, apparently Ursher and Ludacris achieved similar results, so maybe it's not as complicated as it appears to be.)
Yep, in the middle of all that, Creation Audio Labs was born. It was fifteen years ago on the 4th of July. Tom Cruise, eat your heart out.
As the new guy around here, I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish ol’ Uncle CAL a happy fifteenth birthday!
And while we’re here, I’ve got to let you in on a little secret. Since I joined the team last year, I’ve noticed some real problems around here, especially when it comes to modesty. No, don’t worry. Skip isn’t flouncing around the shop in mesh tank-tops and Daisy-Dukes. It’s a different kind of modesty problem.
You see, when a product or idea is so revolutionary that it deserves to be shouted from the mountaintops, what do we typically do here at CAL? We forget to mention it, of course.
So here are a few things we forgot to mention over the years:
1. CAL is a Pro Audio company, not a pedal company that dabbles in recording gear. CAL is a pro audio company that enjoys building guitar and bass gear with the same level of engineering that SSL, Neve and API applied to their classic consoles. We use that same level of precision along with cutting edge tools when we design pro audio gear and console mods. We trace our pedigree through Westlake Audio, Soundcraft, BSS, Harman, and studios & stages all across North America. We think about audio tools like pro audio circuit engineers do… because we is them… er, we are they… ugh, nevermind.
2. The world’s first truly Pro Audio Grade analog guitar pedals were designed and built by CAL. Why? ‘Cause that’s how we roll. How? Trade secret. Ha! But seriously, it’s a trade secret. We created the category but then, of course, forgot to mention it. Picard-level facepalm, right?
- The world’s first pedals to operate cheerfully at line-level and above? That’s us.
- The first to maintain 100%* fidelity from 20Hz to 20kHz from -60dBu to +6dBu? Us again. (*Ok, 99.999953%—I rounded up. Sue me.)
- The first guitar pedal to boast a noise floor of -115dB? Still us.
Others have joined the pro-fidelity category since then, but we haven’t been able to find anyone who was using pro audio standards in the pedal world before CAL did. And it’s still hard to find anyone else who meets our standards today.
3. We built the world’s first hyper-precision onboard instrument buffer back when today’s True-Bypass Trolls were still in diapers and the mere word “buffer” made respectable ladies blush. Now with dozens of competitors, how does the Redeemer stack up? Still pro audio grade. Still the best in the field.
4. We still need your help. We’re nerds, not Madison Avenue marketing types. If a CAL product works for you, tell your friends. Maybe even tell us. We love to hear those stories. If something doesn’t work the way you want it to, please tell us. We know we can’t please everyone, but we also can’t help if we don’t know you have a need.
5. We appreciate your loyalty. All bravado aside, we’re really just here to help. And we want to thank you for letting us serve you over the past 15 years. We wouldn’t be here without you. Thank you.
All the best,
Marketing Director/Designated JFET Advocate
P.S. Happy Independence Day!
Ben Reynolds is a producer, writer, performer, circuit geek, guitarist, singer, pianist, audio nerd, recording engineer, songwriter, lecturer, and live audio system consultant. More importantly he's a hubby and a daddy. Ben studied Theology at Briercrest College in Canada, then quit after 3 years to study human nature as the frontman for a successful independent Canadian power trio. He's won some national awards. He's written some successful songs. But none of it matters in comparison to his family.