Avid To Acquire Euphonix

Taking advantage of what Chairman/CEO Gary Greenfield described as a “customer opportunity,” Avid has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Euphonix, a manufacturer of large-format digital audio consoles and recording equipment.

“What we really like is their focus on interoperability and openness,” Greenfield said at the company’s NAB press conference on Sunday. “Bringing Euphonix and Avid together, we’re going to be able to offer our customers a workflow that complements the integrated media enterprise.”

The acquisition will allow Avid to deliver a broader range of audio- and video-control surfaces and consoles to meet the needs of its wide range of customers, from independent professionals to high-end broadcasters, across both audio and video applications.

“This gives us a vision of having a single control surface, whether you’re a sound mixer, audio engineer, colorist, or professional craft editor,” Greenfield said. “This helps cement in the vision that we’ve been sharing with our customers about interoperable workflows and Avid standing for openness.”

The deal is expected to close on April 20, at which time Avid will be able to comment on the financials and business-model issues. In the meantime, the company has made a commitment to continue to support both Avid and Euphonix solutions, once it begins to sell products from both lines.

“We are very excited about the possibility of being a future member of Avid’s family,” said Euphonix CEO Martin Kloiber. “I do believe that Avid and Euphonix together will lead the way and be the first ones to promote this open architecture of the future, which is really a milestone and the first major step in the democratization of technology.”

Avid also announced plans to further develop an open-standard protocol that expands the compatibility between the Euphonix control surfaces and Avid and third-party audio and video applications.

Openness Across New Products, Too
Further emphasizing Avid’s push toward openness are three major product announcements at the NAB show. First, the company is unveiling Interplay Media Asset Manager to support the Integrated Media Enterprise system.

“This is the culmination of work done over the last year,” explained Avid SVP of Products Chris Gahagan. “The open modular architecture allows us to take creative and business tools and plug them into metadata and media assets in a consistent and repeatable way.”

Second, Avid announced the availability of Media Composer 5, which has native support for RED and Canon XF.

“Now you don’t have to transcode; you can start editing as soon as the content comes in,” Gahagan said. “And for the first time ever, Avid is supporting a third-party monitoring solution. That’s part of our open message. We support real-time audio effects using the same mechanisms that are in Pro Tools, so workflow round-tripping between an editor and a sound designer is now preserved.”

Third, Avid announced support for AVC-Intra 50- and 100-bit resolution, to speed up the end-to-end workflow no matter what format a customer is using.

“You can now ingest media, edit, archive, search, and play it to air with no transcoding,” Gahagan said. “This adds to the existing support we have for workflows for XDCAM HD and DNX HD. You can now have end-to-end native format from ingest to playout to archive.”