Well known for its broadcast TV and radio mixing consoles, Lawo has in recent years expanded into audio routing and video networking, primarily through the application of IP-based technologies.
The company was founded by engineer Peter Lawo, who, in 1970, set out to develop electronic equipment. He soon began working with German modern classical composer and electronic music pioneer Karlheinz Stockhausen, developing components that would eventually lead to the formation of the Experimentalstudio of the Heinrich Strobel Foundation of public regional broadcaster SWF. Working with the founding director of the studio, Hans-Peter Haller, Lawo developed the Halaphon, a sound projection system used by avante garde composers including Pierre Boulez and Luigi Nono. Lawo also worked on the Vocoder voice synthesiser and a series of analogue modules and modular mixing consoles.
In the 1980s the Lawo company produced the PTR hybrid programmable audio mixing desk, which featured analogue signal processing and digital control. The 1990s brought a fully digital and modular console range in the form of the mc series and culminated in the appearance of the product that now forms the basis of Lawo's offering for TV studios and OB trucks. The mc² series was conceived as a digital console with linear audio networking over ATM (asynchronous transfer mode). It comprises the high end, large format mc² 90, the mid-range mc² 66 and the compact mc² 56. All feature an integrated routing matrix as well as multi-channel signal processing and the more recently added function of loudness metering.
The company is now run by Peter Lawo's son Philipp, who has pushed it in new directions, particularly with the development of the RAVENNA open technology standard for real-time distribution of audio and other media over standard networks. RAVENNA has moved Lawo into the field of commentary, with a system that uses IP to allow the control unit to be located some distance from the commentator units. IP also forms the basis of Lawo's recently introduced range of video products, which currently consists of the V_pro8 eight-channel processor and V_link4 video over IP contribution system.
With the full integration of L-S-B, German developer and manufacturer of worldwide leading broadcast control and monitoring solutions Virtual Studio Manager (VSM) and theWALL, into the Lawo group in 2016, the company is complementing its portfolio of IP-based live production infrastructure for audio and video to provide complete IP infrastructure solutions including control – all from a single source. Lawo's additional R&D resources and the extensive expertise in user interface design complement the existing capacity of the VSM R&D team. The common goal is to advance VSM as the leading manufacturer-independent control system which is open for all remote protocols even further, and to establish the new multiviewer control software theWALL for monitor walls to the worldwide market.
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