History of Focusrite
The Focusrite brand was established in 1985 to serve high-end professional recording studios. Initially, its products were focused on high-quality recording and production equipment for professionals. Phil Dudderidge acquired the assets of Focusrite Limited in 1989 and began to broaden the range of products to serve a wider customer base of professional, commercial, and hobbyist musicians.
In 2004, Focusrite Audio Engineering Limited acquired the Novation Electronic Music Systems Limited business, a market-leading British producer of keyboards, synthesisers and controllers with products used by musicians globally. The addition of the Novation brand has further expanded the range of products and customers of Focusrite into the electronic dance music segment of the market, the fastest growing music making segment according to 2014 International Music Summit Business Report.
Since 2004, Focusrite has continued to develop its range of innovative products with the introduction of Launchpad in 2009, spawning a range of YouTube videos generating millions of views, and the Scarlett USB in 2010, one of the top selling product lines for home studio recording.
2019 saw the acquisition of both ADAM Audio GmbH, precision innovators in the field of professional monitoring and loudspeaker technology, and Martin Audio Ltd. the British, Buckinghamshire-based designer of high-performance loudspeaker systems for the touring and installation markets.
In 2021, Focusrite launched Optimal Audio, an initiative from Martin Audio, which aims to make the world of commercial audio installation less complex. Optimal Audio manufacture high-quality loudspeakers, amplifiers, and controllers for commercial audio applications.
In 2021, Focusrite plc acquired Sequential, the respected American synthesiser manufacturer led by legendary electronic instrument designer and Grammy winner Dave Smith.
2022 saw the acquisition of Linea Research - manufacturer of high-power amplifiers, Digital Signal Processors, audio networking and software products. Headquartered in Letchworth Garden City, UK, Linea Research was formed in 2003 by a team of experienced professional audio specialists, and they design, develop, manufacture and market innovative professional audio equipment globally.
Also in 2022, Focusrite acquired San Francisco-based Oberheim, the 21st century return of the legendary synthesiser manufacturer and the creator of the world’s first commercially available poly synthesiser.
Lastly for 2022, Focusrite acquired Sonnox – creator of innovative, high-quality, award-winning processing software. Based in Oxford, UK, the company’s wide range of audio applications including mixing for music production, live sound, broadcast, TV and film, and even scientific and forensics projects. The acquisition brings the total number of Focusrite Group brands to ten.
Focusrite has won many awards in recognition of its achievements to date:
- AIM Awards Company of the Year 2021
- The Sunday Times, International Track 200, 2013
- The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in Innovation: 2008, 2018, 2021
- The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in International Trade: 2012, 2016, 2022
- The Sunday Times, 100 Best Small Companies to Work For – 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
- The Sunday Times, Profit Track 100 2013, Fast Track 2013
- Investec, Hot 100 2013