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At Richmond Sound Design . . .
Mission Statement
A Short History

About Richmond Sound Design Ltd.

Show Control, Virtual Sound System Core Audio Engine & Theatre Sound Design Software

At Richmond Sound Design we're committed to providing you with the finest and most capable performance tools. RSD products interface with all control philosophies and propel the world's most prestigious show events. RSD designers are at the forefront of new ideas in audio, lighting, and show control, and take a leading role in developing industry standards.

Forged by the demands of live performance, you'll find solutions from Richmond Sound Design equal to the toughest presentation tasks, whether in theatre, exhibits, theme parks, education, retail, industrial, commercial, corporate staging, or concerts.

In this age of products designed primarily for appearance, Richmond Sound Design still cares about flexibility, function, and power - to give you solutions to your tough performance problems.

Mission Statement

We provide the most efficient and cost effective programmable sound and show control solutions in the world.

We are respected and innovative industry leaders.

We care about our customers.

We are committed to integrity, social responsibility and the environment.

We fulfill dreams and aspirations by creating exceptionally capable software and programming environments.

We enjoy knowing our customers personally and including them on our team.

A Short History

Richmond Sound Design Ltd. was founded in 1972 by Charlie Richmond as a manufacturer of theatrical sound consoles. Since then, we've originated many sound and theatre industry advancements. For example, the first Model 816 consoles were matrix-equipped and included our patented AUTO-PAN™ programmable crossfaders - revolutionary features at the time. Our early mixers can often be found on eBay - a testament to their reliability and functionality.

In 1977 the company introduced the VCA-4 mixer module for dedicated audio control in complex routing applications. Thousands of VCA-4's are still at work in paging systems at convention centres, hotels, hospitals, airports, and industrial installations worldwide.

In 1986 we created COMMAND/CUE™ , the first computerised audio control system. At the same time a router/switcher, automated virtual console, and panoramic sound controller, COMMAND/CUE CONCURRENT, in the opinion of top sound designers, was for many years the world's most capable surround sound tool. This was first used in 'Into the Woods' for its pre-broadway premiere at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, and subsequently on Lily Tomlin's 'Into the Woods' tour and became the industry standard for live theme park stunt shows around the world and Las Vegas.

In 1991 the company unveiled Stage Manager™ show control software for a whole new level of presentation ability. Stage Manager pioneered the use of MIDI Show Control (MSC) to manage a variety of intelligent media controllers: lighting, sound, lasers, staging and more. This became the show control standard for Broadway, cruise ships and themed installations everywhere.

1994 saw the release of MIDIShowCD™ , the world's first software for synchronizing multiple CD drives. MlDlShowCD provided multichannel audio and multi source effects at a fraction of the cost of alternative systems, using common and reliable CD's.

In 1997, the new AudioBox™ Theatre Sound Design & Show Control System from HFI combined an onboard eight channel digital sound source with a flexible 16 X 16 DSP matrix. After years of research, almost any form of sound manipulation could finally be done in real time, completely in the digital domain, with one box. The AudioBox was presented TCI Magazine's prestigious Sound Product of the Year Award for 1998. Software support on all platforms allowed multichannel audio to be equalized, delayed, manipulated and distributed in ways previously only dreamed of.

In 1998 we introduced Loren Wilton's ShowMan™ software for Windows NT [and 2K/XP], providing the power and capability of both Stage Manager and MIDIShowCD on an industry standard platform. ShowMan signifies real compatibility and true live show interaction.

In 1999 we presented Joanne Dow's E-Show™ Control Network. E-Show was the most significant show control concept yet, comprised of industry standard computing hardware and industrial standard interface cards all networked using world standard TCP/IP network protocols. Now any IT department can effectively assemble and support the world's most powerful show control systems.

E-Show was presented Entertainment Design Magazine's prestigious 1999 EDDY Award in the Show Control category. The Award states: "Charlie's done it again. The E-Show Network is based on industry-standard Windows NT computers interconnected via a TCP/IP-based network; normally ethernet, but essentially any TCP/IP-compatible network, even the Internet, can be used. The system features RSD's Virtual PLC Hardware, comprised of industry-standard industrial PCI/ISA computer cards, and is driven by ShowMan(TM) software. E-Show also supports direct ethernet connection with ethernet-capable industrial control devices, thereby eliminating the need for host computers at remote terminals. 'This is a great step in the right direction, putting show control on a standard ethernet network,' says one of the judges. 'No more serial lines, MIDI lines, etc.'"

In 2000, we introduced HFI's AudioBox Model AB1616 including 16 digital audio playback channels onboard with automatic input switching between live and playback on the first eight channels. On September 16 in Los Angeles, the Ride Vehicle version of the AudioBox was awarded the prestigious THEA Award 2000 for Outstanding Achievement in the area of 'Breakthrough Technology' by the Themed Entertainment Association. The Award states "Having been judged to represent the highest standards of excellence and creative achievement in the arts and sciences of the Themed Entertainment Industry."

In 2005, we started shipping HFI's AudioBox Model AB64 with up to 64 digital audio playback and recording channels, 64x64 DSP audio matrix, 64 analog and/or CobraNet audio inputs and outputs and, of course, a full function Show Controller onboard - all in a compact, modular format.

In 2007, we introduced Loren Wilton's amazing new SoundMan™-Server Virtual Sound System (VSS) Audio Engine API software for ISVs which essentially makes every conventional commercial and professional sound system obsolete. SoundMan-Server is the greenest audio solution because it reduces your sound system carbon footprint by up to 95%. In August, RSD became an IBM Business Partner and SoundMan-Server a certified IBM Store Integration Framework (SIF) Application Solution

In 2007, we were proud to release the first commercial product incorporating SoundMan-Server, SoundMan-Designer , software which fully emulates and runs all AudioBox shows and audio files at a fraction of the cost. Also in 2007, The Universal Studios Hollywood WaterWorld show was the first to be upgraded to SoundMan-Server, along with the latest versions of ShowMan and E-Show.

Since then, SoundMan-Server, often in combination with ShowMan and E-Show, has won many contracts and has been incorporated into a vast number of significant end user software applications created by almost 40 third party developers who use its powerful audio engine for a vast number of capabilities and processes, replacing and augmenting dedicated audio hardware in hundreds of new network based audio applications.

In 2009, SoundMan-Assistant was introduced which replicates the functionality of the AudioBox AB64 for a fraction of the price and works perfectly with ABShowMaker and SoundMan-Designer software.

In 2012, many SoundMan-Server computers are available with a wide variety of I/O options allowing up to 512 live audio inputs and outputs within a single rack mount computer form factor.

In 2013 SoundMan-Server became the audio engine of choice for Show Cue Systems for its live and playback theatrical matrix and playback cueing system.

In 2017, we started working with commercial manufacturers of themed ride systems to develop industry standard software based media controllers.

In 2019, we passed the milestone of delivering more than 2.2 million fully licensed virtual sound control channels and an untold number of free versions being used all over the world. Please see our News page for more details.

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