Active Audio/APG has appointed Mathieu Pobeda as R&D Director, to oversee the development and introduction of new products for both arms of the company with particular attention to acoustics and transducers.

Mathieu PobedaPobeda brings with him a knowledge base gained both academically and practically, as well as expertise in electro-acoustic research. ‘Active Audio/APG’s vision was very appealing to me, and I know there to be a lot of clever and talented people at the company some of whom I have been in contact with for the past decade,’ he says. ‘The prospect of being able to use both my technical and my recently sanctioned management skills was key factor in accepting a new challenge. I think all the ingredients were there and, when that happens, you must take your chance.’

Pobeda’s interest in audio began aged ten, when he fixing vintage radios and dismantled speakers in his parents’ basement: ‘I also had the chance to get my hands on a Commodore 64 and started to play around with the first music sequencers, like Drum Studio,’ he recalls. ‘It was all very rough, but I did spend hours on the thing. Also, there was no French version of software at the time, so I learnt English the hard way as well.

‘After university and my military service at the Cinematographic and Photographic department of the French Armed Forces, I got my first job with a hi-fi manufacturer in Saint Etienne. I learnt a lot there as they had both systems and drive unit manufacturing facilities, so we could do anything from scratch including playing with cone or diaphragm materials. I also carried on my study as a part time student to get a Msc in Signal Processing from the CNAM in Saint Etienne.’

Pobeda moved to England with his family to work for a Pro and MI drive unit manufacturer for five years. For the past eight years, he has been designing complete systems for a French professional audio company and recently completed a Master’s in Business Unit Management at ESSEC Business School in Paris.

Keen to hit the ground running at Active Audio/APG, Pobeda also emphasises the need to listen and learn when it comes to the company’s philosophy and methodology. ‘There are a lot of on-going projects and some very creative people in both companies,’ he says. ‘Nobody wants to drop straight into a company and start changing everything overnight, especially when the structure has been established for some time. You need to make sure that the changes you want to implement are valid and will stand the test of time. I’m very confident that I’ll be backed up by the top management in that mission.’

Pobeda identifies the Step Array as a game changer in the Active Audio portfolio: ‘It’s been built on Xavier Meynial’s rigorous scientific knowledge and really address the customer’s priorities. This is a great example of the well-defined, well-thought-out, and well-made products that the company can offer. This same compliment can be applied to the UniLine and UniLine Compact products from APG.

‘The market has undergone some changes in recent years, particularly with deep-pockets coming from other industries to grab historical audio activities and knowledge, so anything can happen in the next five. In any case, I trust that the Active Audio/APG group will substantially grow over that period. We have the knowledge, interesting existing products and a lot more to come, though the main priority is to ensure we continue to move forward organically in every aspect of the business.’


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