Resolution V22.2 March-April 2022

Page 40

Meet Your Maker

Rich Williams NIGEL JOPSON discovers it’s music that matters to the Burl Audio founder


ounded in 2006, Burl Audio is a hardware manufacturer based in Santa Cruz, California, that’s carved a niche in pro‑audio with a deep dedication to analogue class-A circuitry. Eddie Kramer sung the praises of Burl’s first product, the B2 Bomber A-D, in his Resolution V8.4 interview. Over the years Burl has added mic preamps, summing amps, and monitor controllers — all with a no-nonsense rackmount design and decked-out in striking green. Burl founder and designer, Rich Williams, 40 / March/April 2022

has a first-principle design approach that eschews oversampled tech-obsession to focus on componentry whose professional quality has been proven to be self-evident through exhaustive listening tests. What’s your back story? I was an electrical engineer in Silicon Valley, doing basic audio designs for an audio and video compression company. My passion was in music, I didn’t like Silicon Valley, and so I became a

recording engineer. It was the ‘90s — we were recording to tape and had a really nice, old Neve console. When you recorded and did a quick mix for the band the same day — it sounded like a record right then — it was a very efficient process. If the band played well, you recorded the tracks, you mixed it, you’re done. It seems inconceivable now! So I developed an ear for recording… How did you go from studio-owner to audio designer? The property my studio was housed in was sold early in 2001, and I needed to find some work. Universal Audio were looking for a designer and I was lucky enough to just get hired on the spot. I worked on an all-digital project, and then I had the opportunity to create my own product at UAD, the 2192 [2-channel A-D converter]. So when I did that, I was turned on to a lot of older analogue electronic designs [for the input side], and they were all based on discrete transistors.