The Purple Audio Story
Purple Audio was started by Andrew Roberts in 1997 to manufacture new product.
Andrew came to New York 1994 to attend the NYU music technology program. Soon after coming to New York Andrew became involved in buying and selling recording equipment and began doing repairs and wiring work in his dorm room. In the fall of 1996, Andrew met John Klett and was invited to join a new repair shop in midtown Manhattan. This shop, dubbed Tech Mecca, was the new location for Manhattan Audio, a large repair facility and wiring company and Klett's new midtown home. Andrew began to repair high end gear there and became an apprentice to Klett. By the fall of 1997 Purple had introduced the MC76. Soon after Purple Audio's inaugural AES show Purple needed more space, so Andrew moved to a loft in Long Island City, Queens. This large space provided overflow space for Tech Mecca's large projects.
Paretti Hall, AKA Exile in the 1940s
Purple Audio spent the late 90s and early 00s shipping the MC76 and getting involved in console and tape machine rebuild projects. Andrew studied analog circuit and logic design, seeing it in practice during field service calls to major studios in the area. He attempted to launch a new product, the Eyeball, but got tripped up trying to make it MIDI compatible. None were ever shipped. During this time sales of the MC76 started to drop off as a result of a new competitor. This eventually turned around as the competitors ad campaign increased awareness of the product and users' experience showed that the Purple Audio product was clearly superior.
During this period Purple went though a few distrubution methods and finally began selling direct and through a very select list of dealers.
Then began a long process in console design. Andrew designed a couple of large master sections which were retrofitted into existing consoles. The master sections went through several design revisions before the Super 8 modules were designed. The process resulted in opamps and a mic preamp design that later became the Biz. Eventually Purple delivered 16 channel portable rigs and a 32 channel full blown console.
In 2006 Andrew started a year long transition to move to Pennsylvania, starting with buying and rebuiding a 1860s house in historic Jim Thorpe, PA. Then finding and building a shop. In February 2007 Purple Audio moved to its new home in Weissport, PA. Renting 1000 sq ft in a 50K sq ft industrial complex. The shop in New York still exists and is the home of Coral Sound, Exile Studios, Technical Audio, & Eisen Audio.
The shop in Weissport, PA
After the move to Weissport, PA, Andrew was freed from the distractions of New York, Exile, and repair work. This allowed him to focus on the design work that he had been looking forward to.
Late 2007 saw Andrew finishing the design for the Action, Cans, Pants, Sweet Ten for the AES show and getting production of these going in the first few months of 2008. Purple Audio product is now built by a contract manufacturing company in the Allentown area, and tested, burned in, and shipped out of the Weissport shop.
Over the years Andrew has received much input from colleagues and former employees.
Continued design consulting from: