Meet Your Maker: Source Audio

MEET YOUR MAKER With Roger Smith from Source Audio LLC

Roger Smith (Source Audio President)

Roger Smith (Source Audio President)

Jesse (Remignanti) and I worked together creating audio chips at Analog Devices, a semiconductor maker based here in Woburn, MA. ADI’s Sigma DSP is an exceptional audio processing chip that I always knew would work beautifully as the brains of a guitar effects pedal. Jesse – who was one of the brighter young ADI engineers at the time – had also been thinking about using accelerometer technology to create a wireless, motion sensing expression controller. The two of us had struck a friendship based on our mutual love of music (and an encyclopedic knowledge of the movie This is Spinal Tap – ha, ha).

We eventually started talking about how we might combine those two ideas to start an effects pedal company and voila, Source Audio was born about 12 years ago. The only missing piece was somebody to write the algorithms and create the actual sounds that come out of the boxes – this is how Bob Chidlaw came into the picture. Bob is an MIT grad and was the Chief Scientist at Kurtzweil Music back in the ’80s and ’90s. Bob was working as a consultant at ADI in the early 2000s and that’s where we approached him. Bob has an unbelievable ear for tone, a vast knowledge of music gear (particularly effects pedals), and is extremely skilled at writing audio algorithms for DSP. Together we created the first Source Audio pedal, the Hot Hand Motion Controlled Wah Filters. This pedal was essentially a filter pedal whose filter modulation was controlled by the Hot Hand motion-sensing ring – kind of like a Crybaby Wah that you control with hand gestures.

Jesse Remignanti (Chief Technical Officer)

Jesse Remignanti (Chief Technical Officer)

Most Popular Models

Our most popular pedal is without a doubt the Nemesis Delay. We invested years in the research and development of that pedal. A substantial portion of that time was spent acquiring a deep understanding of iconic analog and tape delays like the Echoplex, the Roland Space Echo, and the Deluxe Memory Man. I really think we nailed those tones. On top of the vintage sounds the Nemesis offers highly advanced effects like the pitch shifting and reverse delays, plus deep customization possibilities via the Neuro Mobile App and Neuro Desktop Editor. I love how the Nemesis turned out.

▼ Article continues below ▼

And of course, we have high hopes for our upcoming Ventris Reverb. It’s a dual processor reverb pedal that sounds amazing – basically it’s like two high-powered reverb pedals in a single box. That should be released later this summer.

Bob Chidlaw (Chief Scientist)

Bob Chidlaw (Chief Scientist)

What Sets Your Gear Apart From Other Builders?

We start with a deep library of award-winning effects. We put those effects into classically elegant space-saving housings and enhance the experience with full connectivity to other pedals, editing software, and more.

What Are Some Cool Features of Your Products?

The big idea behind the One Series line of pedals (the Nemesis Delay, Kingmaker Fuzz, Aftershock Bass Distortion, Lunar Phaser, and more) was to provide excellent tone with a dead-simple control interface. Out of the box, each pedal sounds great and has the feel of a vintage stompbox, but there is far more than meets the eye. Using the deep editing functionality of the Neuro Mobile App or our Neuro Desktop Editor, users can create highly customized presets. They can then take those customized effects and burn them directly into their pedal or publish them to be downloaded by other One Series owners. The Neuro preset library is growing every day as musicians create and publish more and more presets.

Source Audio Nemesis Delay Pedal

Source Audio Nemesis Delay Pedal

Lessons Learned From Working at Source Audio?

It’s much harder than it looks. It took a long time to fully understand what musicians want and need from their pedals and what it takes to fulfill those wants and needs. It also takes a long time to establish a brand that resonates with both players and retailers.

Average Price per Model?

About $180





For more, visit and follow on Twitter @SourceAudioFX

Like this? Share this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.