On the Circuit

Last month, QSC invited a small group of journalists to the company facility and factories in Costa Mesa, Calif. 5/13/2013 1:05 PM Eastern

On the Circuit

May 13, 2013 5:05 PM, By Cynthia Wisehart

Last month, QSC invited a small group of journalists to the company facility and factories in Costa Mesa, Calif. I like these types of events. That’s partly because I like factories. (And rack rooms and job sites.) As a journalist—especially since the dawn of the Internet—it feels like I spend most of my time in the virtual world having second-hand experiences and then turning them into third-hand experiences.

That’s not a bad thing. It has the advantage of giving you a wide-ranging view of a lot of stuff. It lends perspective, but that perspective can be a little superficial.

Tradeshows are a bit better, but they are still presentations about things. They are not where the things are made and used. (There was actually one big exception at NAB: Red set up a working clean room on the show floor where techs did firmware updates—or something—for four days. Gimmick or not, I appreciated the impulse to bring factory-style reality to tradeshow land.)

There is nothing like watching people make things. Usually there is a lot of amazing concentration and technology involved. There is also the experience of looking at a line of newly minted power amplifiers, or speaker components, and wondering where each of them will go, and who will use them and for what. We also got to see the wood shop where the new QSC speakers are being fabricated—and we did go out in the field (at an unnamed Anaheim location) where we got to see Q-Sys at work in unique ways that attest to its power as a platform.

Going out to where people work can really make you appreciate them. Although we were at a press junket where the entire goal is to impress (otherwise known as “inform”), it worked for me that the CEO Joe Pham took time to share his part of the story. The R&D people, product managers, and QSC customers all took their projects so seriously and advocated for them so vigorously. In the course of two long days, I was not bored for one minute, because everybody who talked to us really understood and cared about what they were doing.

It’s easy to forget in the swirl of Internet drama that many people work quite passionately at their jobs. People grow to love solving technical puzzles, or figuring out how to add three minutes of efficiency to a process or how to catch a fault before it leaves the factory and affects a customer somewhere down the line. All that was in evidence as we learned more about the world that Patrick Quilter and the Andrews brothers built.

And with due caution about what I’m allowed to say about the things we saw—the collaboration between Greg Mackie and QSC is about to come to fruition and it looks like fun.

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