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Electric Lady Datamix Story

The following history is provided courtesy of Andrew Roberts of Purple Audio

Datamix LTD was started in February of 1966 as a result of a desire on the part of two engineers, Bill Stoddard and a friend, to have a lab in which to try out some of their ideas in electronics for the audio industry.  The company was called J.B.C. Automation Systems.  The original lab was located on Amsterdam Avenue in a store formerly used as a showroom.  Nine feet wide and fifty feet long, it contained facilities for cabinet work, a small machine shop and two electronic test benches.  The project was financed by a third party, who put up $5,000.00; and the business was split three ways.

By November of 1966, the $5,000.00 was exhausted, the major part having been used to purchase tools and test equipment.  Stoddard at this point wanted to work full-time for the company, continuing a partially completed project for the motion picture industry.  However, the other two partners were disenchanted, especially the one who had financed the project.  After accepting a series of notes signed by Stoddard to repay the original $5,000.00, they agreed to leave the company and let Stoddard continue on his own.

Stoddard then finished the design and built by hand six "click track generators", which he proceeded to peddle around town.  "Never in all my life had I received such total disinterest on any project that I had ever worked on."

At this point, considerably in debt and totally without funds, it was ironic that, upon attending a Halloween Party, a contact was made for the construction of an audio control console.  The console was designed, constructed and delivered in six weeks!  By the time the installation had been completed, another studio owner had seen Stoddard's handiwork and had placed an order.  The company then hired its first full-time employee, a wireman.

By July of 1967, the company had built several complete systems for various recording studios, churches and schools.  Although the systems were comparatively simple, they exhibited a great deal of careful workmanship and obvious value.

The need for physical expansion was apparent if the business was to continue to grow; and since the profit from the first year's operations had been used simply to sustain the company, additional outside financing was needed.  This occurred when once of Stoddard's friends bought a small interest in the business for $10,000.00.  The name of the company was changed to DATAMIX LIMITED.  Two stores on 78th Street were rented and equipped for production facilities "far in excess of anything we ever thought we would need."  This was true for about two months!

By the fall of 1967, Datamix had signed a contract with a brand new studio for the construction of the largest console ever built in the New York area.  Many radical ideas were designed into this console, a number of which were designed by Mr. Gordon Clark, one of New York City's top audio mixing engineers, destined to become a part of the growing Datamix family.  The console was an instant success, and in no small way contributed to the astounding financial growth of the "Record Plant."

In July of 1968, the "Record Plant" placed an order for a second, even more elaborate console.  Within three weeks, orders were placed by Mercury Record Productions for the construction of two consoles for their New York Studios and two additional consoles to be constructed in the spring of 1969 for their West Coast Studios.

The engineering staff at Datamix is comprised entirely of active mixing engineers and circuit people borrowed from computer companies and other allied concerns.  Datamix presently boasts a staff of nine full-time employees and occupies approximately 3,000 square feet of manufacturing space on 78th Street as well as the original Amsterdam Avenue store, which is used as a cabinet shop.

Our gross sales have quadrupled each year - a record we hope to continue.

The professional audio field has always been the neglected stepchild of the electronics industry; however, with the advent of solid state electronics and more recently, integrated circuitry, professional audio has come of age and will provide a most rewarding market for Datamix.

Our products will be "studio tested" for a greater engineer appeal; and, naturally, we will avail ourselves of the latest techniques in circuitry as well as exciting controls and modern design.  Datamix is not encumbered with a lot of expensive and obsolete designs, as is our competition.


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