Radio World caught up with Jim Huste, co-founder of audio level control manufacturer TransLanTech.
RW: David Reaves said he’s parted ways with TransLanTech. We’re used to thinking of you and him together there. How did the company come about, and why the parting?
Huste: TransLanTech was formed in 1997. Both David and I had been CEs at large stations for a number of years, and together we decided to go out on our own. We had a number of consulting assignments with European radio stations, as well as a few stations we worked with here in the states. Over time, we realized the need for a piece of equipment that would make our clients more competitive. We went to work, and the Ariane was born.
After 10 years, TransLanTech and the Ariane line had established a strong reputation for quality and reliability throughout North America and the Eurozone. Like many small companies, though, our progress was slowed by the economic crash of 2008 and 2009. David felt he needed more financial resources to secure his future and to design and complete new products. David’s interest had shifted somewhat over the years, and by the end of 2010 we had begun discussing his moving on to new challenges.
RW: What does the change mean for the company?
Huste: There is still a strong demand for the Ariane product line, and we are looking forward to opening new markets in South America and Asia. On another front, we are actively looking for new niche products and invite proposals. I’m certain that there is a hands-on CE out there mulling over an idea that could become the next Product of the Year. We’d like to use our expertise and reputation to bring it to market.
RW: What is the ownership structure going forward?
Huste: TransLanTech is a limited liability company, and at the present time, I am the sole owner.
RW: What is the business environment like for audio equipment manufacturing, and how is TransLanTech responding to it?
Huste: Audio processing for broadcast has become much more competitive — not only for the users but the manufacturers as well. New players have come into the market previously dominated by two or three big players. And software-based audio processing is a growing business — which will take some business from the hardware manufacturers. As I said earlier, TransLanTech is ready to sponsor younger designers and new ideas.
RW: Any pending news we should know about?
Huste: I cannot reveal any new developments at TransLanTech at this time — stay tuned. We will be at the NAB this April with our existing products — which work incredibly well at dynamic range control. I can’t say it’s been easy to have David leave TransLanTech but that’s behind us now and we wish him well. The decks are clear now, and we’re ready to move forward.