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AV Interview: Mark Graham, Symetrix

CEO, Mark Graham, and his wife Rachelle, purchased Symetrix five years ago and has spent that time investing in product and the platform.

By

5 March 2024

It’s been a busy (and capital-intensive) five years for Mark Graham and his team at Symetrix, creating a genuine AV platform alternative and not just another specialised purveyor of audio DSP. I started by asking Mark to catch us up on the story so far:

Mark Graham: We’ve built out our ecosystem. That was our goal from the beginning: we’ve invested heavily in technology for all the platforms needed to completely build out a modern AV ecosystem. Big strides have been made on that. And, we’re here at the ISE show launching even more of it – everything from control to endpoints to signal processing is now fully in place.

AV: Much of your R&D must have been in the background to provide the right foundations?

MG: The evolution of the network has seen increased data capacity, and it allows us to do a lot more with the AV system in terms of control, streaming and more. So our investment in the under-the-hood stuff is allowing us to develop modern AV technologies in the most modern sense. There’s a lot of exciting stuff coming down the pipe. We’ve reinvented Symetrix, and we’re inventing brand-new product, including filing for our first patent applications.

AV: You’ve got rusted on Symetrix fans. How do you retain them in this reinvention phase? What’s non-negotiable in the Symetrix DNA?

MG: That’s a conversation near and dear to our hearts. Symetrix is known for its high-performance audio – this is the key element in our DNA. We hold tightly to that history, in fact we’re working to build on it. For example, if you take a look at our new Dante endpoints, there’s nothing like them on the market – it’s like they’re right out of a high performance mixing console sitting on the end of a network.

AV: You’re operating in a competitive space. What other aspects about your new product can you point to that make them a compelling alternative?

MG: It is a highly competitive space but we’re going to resonate with those who care about performance. Often we see audio being treated as an afterthought. Ours is pristine and for that reason projects such as broadcast, performing arts centres and the like will be drawn to our ecosystem. We think audio is the hard part. Other peripherals such as video streaming is interesting and important but not so hard. And so we build the ecosystem that allows a designer or an integrator to bring the entire AV system together – control, communication, and connection is now all part of a Symetrix high-performance ecosystem but we position ourselves as ‘audio first’.

AV: What’s the new product pipeline looking like?

MG: We’ve been investing for five years and investing substantially beyond what you’d expect for a business of our size. I’m an engineer, and part of the reason why my wife and I bought Symetrix is to not conform to the strictures of a public company with their objectives, but build new and interesting product. Which is all to say: there’s a lot coming in the future and it’ll be leading edge. Whether it’s networking or its application based or cloud based, you can expect plenty as we build out our platforms.

AV: Finally, no regrets buying out Symetrix? You and your wife still talking?!

MG: Excellent question! We’re complementary characters, we enjoy working together and Rachelle’s presence in the business makes a huge difference. I feel like one of our greatest accomplishments in the five years is the team. Symetrix has a beefy, muscular team in place, and Rachelle has a lot to do with that. In fact, the business has been operating for the last six months without my direct control, I’m present, don’t get me wrong, but there is a full operating team in place. So we’re strong and still having fun – that was one of the big priorities, and I think we’ve achieved that.

PAVT (Symetrix): pavt.com.au

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Whether it’s networking or it’s application based or cloud based, you can expect plenty as we build out our platforms

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