In 2001, Jared founded TL Labs, one of a handful of pioneering Pro Tools plugin companies. While running Trillium Lane Studios, Jared used his music and software background to build plugins for basic workflow tasks. Some might remember TL Lab's first plugin, Fauxlder, which cleverly allowed users to apply a hierarchy to a massive list of plugins. It was a clever hack, given away and download by everyone. From there, he asked, "Why isn't there a metronome?", which resulted in Metro (long before a built-in click track existed). Another question, "Why isn't there a tuner?", led to InTune, a strobe tuner modeled after the Peterson (which Avid still offers for free). These plugins showcased TL Labs' (and Jared's) focus on simplifying studio workflows. Their tagline was "easier, faster, more useful."
The team collaborated with Paul Neyrinck on Space, a groundbreaking DSP-powered convolution reverb. Digidesign saw the value in TL Labs plugins and acquired the company. Jared wryly notes, "We speculated that Digidesign loved Space because it was the first plugin where a single instance could span multiple chips, and therefore use up a whole DSP card... there was no plugin that helped them more in selling cards." Even now, two decades later, Avid maintains and ships Space, a testament to its lasting impact. TL Labs' legacy remains one of cleverness and innovation.
After a 15-year stint solving taxation problems in e-commerce as a founder of Avalara, Jared returned to his first love: the music and audio space. He now leads DCA, a company focused on building zero compromise analog tools for automated workflows, controlled with desktop and mobile apps and plugins inside of DAWs.
Jim is been a studio engineer, mixer, and an all-around audio guru. At one point, he became a globe-trotting studio debugger, jet-setting across the world to solve audio problems. If there was a hum or buzz that needed taming, Jim was your guy. Jim's first phone conversation with Paul Wolff dates back to the 1990s when he modified an API console for a client. He does recall that Paul was somewhat skeptical of his modifications.
In 2017, Jim founded Audio Simplified to create "products that I wanted that didn't exist," and share them. His product, the PedalPusher, seamlessly integrated guitar pedals into the mixing process, using Dante as the transport in and out of the DAW – a stroke of genius. His product line expanded to include headphone amps, mic pres, re-amp long line guitar extenders, Dante interfaces, and unique expansion cards for classic analog consoles.
Jim and Jared eventually teamed up under the banner of DCA, merging the software expertise with the analog audio wizardry. They share a passion for analog, software, Dante, POE, and a desire and vision to elevate the RJ45 connector to the same level as the XLR, 1/4, TT and DB25.
Jim's somewhat ignominious claim to fame is mixing the sound for Housewives of New Jersey.
Paul Wolff has four decades doing just about everything one could do in the music business: musician, live sound engineer, recording engineer, producer, analog circuit and product designer, and entrepreneur. While starting out as a musician, he “paid the bills/dues” as the house sound man at a DC nightclub, The Bayou, managing sound for emerging acts like Foreigner, Pat Benatar, and Dire Straits. Wolff moved into the studio side of music, engineering/producing many Washington DC records, from some of the very first Hip Hop bands, to Reggae, Metal, pop, new wave.
Wolff left the studio business and started working at Datatronix a general technology company. In a strange twist he ended back up in audio when he bought API. In its original incarnation, API was a multimillion dollar company at the forefront of recording and broadcasting. It went out of business in 1978 and ended up with Datatronix. In 1985, while at Datatronix, Paul offered to buy API and found himself in the audio console business. Over the next 14 years, Wolff ran API and introduced the first of many new products; the 5502 rack mount EQ, the 550B, the 3124, the 512b mic pre, etc. After taking over the portable box that Aphex made for their modules, Wolff revamped it as the “Lunchbox” (credit for the name goes to Art Kelm, who would fill it up with API modules and sell them to artists such as Steve Perry of Journey). This kicked off an entire pro audio segment with over 4000 different “500 series” modules currently available. If there is anyone that deserves the title “Mr 500 Series,” it would be Paul. He also oversaw the development of the Legacy Console, the Legacy Plus, the 200 series and the 8200 series summing mixer. In 1999, The ATI Group bought API and Paul stayed on to design several new products, including the classic and indispensable 2500 bus compressor, the 7800 master section (for the 8200), and with Jeff Bork, the new Vision discrete, resettable console.
In 2004, Paul founded Tonelux Designs Limited. The Tonelux vision was to integrate classic analog circuits in gear optimized for the “new studio model”, where much of the production work was being done in the DAW. Over 5 years, Tonelux sold more than 50 consoles, from summing racks to full size consoles. It was sold to PMI Audio Group. With Tonelux, Paul moved away from the API sound to created something new, but equally sought after. A sound that lives on in the hardware and in the “Tonelux Tilt” Softube plugin which captures Paul's famous Tilt EQ.
Subsequently, Wolff spent time providing custom designs for select audio companies. He designed a monitor controller for Slate Pro Audio, The Slate Control. He also helped with the Raven control surface, and VMS mic modeling products. He continues to contribute design to Slate products, including the Slate Audio VSX headphone system.
Wolff developed the Sunset Sound “Tutti” mic pre, named after the owner/founder of Sunset Sound, Tutti Camarata. Tutti’s son Paul, and Paul successfully replicated the famous original Sunset “floater” mic preamps in a 500 series format. Soon after, he was asked to design the A-Designs signature model summing mixer the “Tony Shepperd Mix Factory”.
In 2016, Paul received a phone call from a German engineer named Gregor Schweiger, who badgered Wolff to design him a 64 channel surround mixing desk, with the ability to house more than 130 500 series modules. This lead to the birth of his third console company, FIX Audio Designs. FIX Consoles are installed in a handful of studios worldwide, including Flyte Tyme Productions, home of Terry Lewis, of the Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis team.
Wolff’s audio designs have made their mark on thousands of records, live recordings, from TV, film and broadcast, and ADR. The tones from these iconic consoles and hardware have formed the sound of Janis Joplin, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson, Van Halen, Prince, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc.
To learn more about Paul, watch Audio Engineer Paul Wolff "The Greatest Audio Podcast Ever" on YouTube.
The Wolff Audio Team
We have a fantastic team with depth in software and hardware production and decades of accumulated experience (we recently added a couple of ex-Moog-ers!). Wolff products are designed and built in Santa Barbara, CA.