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Ken Berger Bio

Ken Berger – CEO

High School & Collage Years Pre 1978

1973 – 1975 High School – Cheltenham PA

  • By the 5th grade Ken was already fascinated by sound technology since (and Sony 5-inch reel to reel tape deck).
    Brother Rob was very techno Geeky building DynaKits amplifiers and working light shows.
  • During high School started small local sound clammy providing sound and recording friends bands and spending his spare time hanging out with Philadelphia area sound companies: Sound Specialties (David Hughs – Fairport Convention & Bruce Springsteen), Natural Sound (Chaz Gerber), Activated Air and Mom’s Wholesome Audio.
  • Hung out early at the Spectrum in Philadelphia on days with concerts and offered to unload sound company truck to be backstage at the show.
    Learned earned about gear and skills of the trade. Wanted to do Sound but didn’t want to unload truck. . . .
  • September moves to Boston to attend Emerson Collage with a Radio, TV and Film Mass Communications major.

1974 – While attending Emerson Collage, starts working at K&L Sound

  • At K&L Sound started their Pro Audio Sales department with some used gear in a hallway between HiFi demo rooms and built it up to a multi million dollar ales operation with one of the largest Pro Audio inventory and demo facilities. Directly imported new brands including Soundcraft Consoles.
  • Brought in and sold “west coast” cool new brands like Gauss Loudspeakers, BGW Amplifiers, Community Light & Sound and Ashely Audio.  Meets lots of interesting people (Tom Carlisle, Wayne Freeman, etc.) working for these companies who become Ken’s mentors.
  • Meets Kenton Forsythe and starts selling his dual 15-inch bass horns at K&L Pro.

1975  – K&L Pro Audio & Forsythe Audio

  • With an other partner starts Forsythe Audio with Kenton at just 18 as National Sales Manager. While still running K&L Pro Audio retail store.

In High School used the company Name Syntha Sound for local PA and recording gigs.

As Forsythe Audio’s National Sales Manger Ken traveled around the country setting up dealers

 

EAW Years 1979 – 2000

1978 – At 21 Berger starts Easter Acoustic Works – feed up with the lack of effort and capital at Forsythe Audio.

  • Kenton Forsyth joins shortly after, sparking a collaboration that would last for 20 years and eventually grow EAW to $50M in revenue.
  • Initial products were wood Bass and mid bass horns without drivers.  Shortly starts importing ATC and RCF drivers from Europe to put in EAW’s “boxes”.

1982 – EAW introduces the KF850

  • The KF850 is recognized as one of the first, widely-accepted “off the shelf” yet top-quality touring PA system.
  • KF850 drives an industry-wide paradigm shift away from custom-only solutions.

1994 – EAW.com launches,

  • Always ready to embrace new technologies, EAW launches one of Pro Audio’s earliest branded website.
  • The rare three-letter URL is still used today and proof of its early origins.
  • Ken’s Links section of eaw.com become the primary place to find Pro Audio resources on the new world wide web (before Google and yahoo).

1997 – EAW acquires SIA Software & KF-900 Large Scale Beam Forming

  • Berger begins collaborating with Sam Berkow to establish Smaart as the world’s dominant software-based acoustic measurement system.
  • Build the foundation fo Smaart for integrated interface for Live Audio software applications with 16 manufactures providing Plug-in control software into he Smaart environment (Mackie stops investment into platform after purchase eventually Rational Acoustics is formed to take over Smaart development).
  • EAW under Ken’s leadership invests in development of advanced technology to enable future generations of large scale array systems to integrate DSP and horn design to permit the creation of idealized coherent coverage.  The KF-900 was an early massive real world test system and proof of concept. Eventually deployed in a number of high profile installations (including the Vatican) the primitive nature of DSP platforms and network audio distribution make attempts to tour with the KF-9000 not practical.

Eric Clapton, Royal Albert Hall, Concert Sound, EAW KF-850

Shot for cover story about EAW in the Worcester Business Journal 1998

Working with Sam Berkow, Calvert Dayton and Jamie Anderson works to build our Smarrt as platform for control interface along with measurement.

Onkyou Tokki Japan, Sandy Macdonald, Ken Berger

EAW KF-900 Early Beam Forming (steering) Loudspeaker Dave Gunness, Ken Berger

Mackie Designs Year 2000

2000: Berger sells EAW to Mackie Designs

  • Ken is made Mackie Vice President, with a board seat of a Nasdaq traded public company
  • Plans included Mackie building dip, amplifiers and networking to grow EAW, but integration of the companies was much more difficult than anyone expected
  • After a short stint Ken quickly tires of internal political battles plaguing Mackie at that time, and leaves

ProSoundWeb.Com Years 2000 – 2002

2000: Berger starts ProSoundWeb.com Pro Audio Web Portal

  • After Mackie Ken becomes founder and CEO of Universal Concepts Inc. parent of Pro Sound Web.
  • ProSoundWeb is built on the foundation of Dave Stevens Live Audio Board forum.
  • Built a team support the requirements of early web publishing including: custom software, Sun servers at Worldcom internet backbone peairing co-location site, design and sales.
  • Prosoundweb.com is the first Professional Audio Industry internet portal and largest and most active online Pro Audio user community.
  • In late 2002 Ken mergers

Mackie / Loud Technologies Years 2003 – 2007

2003 – Returns to Mackie as part of a turn-around management team.

  • Meanwhile Mackie had some very bad years (internal management battles & some bad bets against musical’s using computers to record audio) Mackie sales of HDR’s, d8B’s and larger Analogue console were falling off rapidly.  In 2003 Ken return to Mackie as EVP in 2003 as part of a team formed to turn around the company.
  • Ken becomes part of the leadership team that transforms Mackie Designs into Loud Technologies
  • Led turnaround effort that resulted a four times increase in shareholder value.
  • Pro Audio becomes the corporate parent for an expanding portfolio of pro audio and MI brands, including: Ampeg, EAW, Mackie, and Alvarez Guitars.

KB Consulting 2007 – 2011

2007: Leaves LOUD and forms KB Consulting

  • Berger launches a successful consulting business, which leads to notable collaborations with companies such as Avid, Nexo and PreSonus.

 

The VUE Years 2012 –

2012: VUE Audiotechnik launches

  • Ken Berger partners with industry veterans Sara Elliot and noted designer Mike Adams.
  • InfoComm 2012 sees introduction of a-class, h-class, and i-class families.

2015: VUE launches al-Class Line Array Systems.

  •  The world is introduced to Acoustic Linearity technology.
  • Small format al-4 and larger al-8 line arrays roll out and make back-to-back impact on the industry.

2017: VUE ships the large-format al-12

  • Acoustic Linearity hits the professional touring market with flagship al-12 Line Array system
  • VUE quickly earns broad worldwide rider acceptance with notable deployments with Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams, Third Eye Blind and many more.