|Hebden Sound originally evolved from the foundations of Calrec Audio, a name once synonymous with high-end microphone production and a long-standing tradition for producing high quality microphones aimed at the professional audio market.
Hebden Sound was formed by ex-Calrec employee Keith Ming in 1994 when, after 30 years and a solid reputation in microphone production, Calrec made the decision to concentrate on the development of its mixing console business. This left a gap in the market, which Keith Ming sought to fill. Under a licensing agreement with Calrec he continued to build the microphones under the auspices of the new company.
This was continued by Keith Ming until sadly he passed away in 2000 and Hebden Sound became available to interested parties. The company was taken over by the former head of microphones at Calrec Audio, David Anderson, an acoustic consultant with a wealth of experience and a long standing reputation for his meticulous approach, who decided to further develop Hebden Sound by re-working the package significantly.
David Anderson had left Calrec in the mid 80s to pursue a career as an acoustic consultant. With a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Chartered Engineer David Anderson has previously carried out post-graduate acoustic research into microphone manufacturing at Salford University.
He takes up the story; "In 1982, I was Calrec Audio's Head of Microphones and Standard Products department and Keith Ming worked for me at that time as a test engineer. Whilst at Calrec Audio, I worked on the Mk IV Soundfield Mic, industrialising the design. I designed several special project microphones and wrote many of the test procedures for the SoundField and other microphones".
David was with Calrec for 2 years before starting his company Bridge Microphones. Bridge Microphones manufactures specialist microphones and installs speech reinforcement systems. The company expanded into acoustic consultancy which also continues today.
David Anderson was in occasional contact with Keith Ming until his death, when he learned that the company was for sale. The name Hebden Sound already had a reputation and a solid history handed down from Calrec Audio. Not wanting to market the microphones under a completely new name, David continued with Hebden Sound.
It was apparent to David that, from the time he left Calrec until he took over Hebden Sound, there had been little or no development of the microphone range, which had begun in the 1960's. The goal for Hebden Sound is to become a successful UK microphone company. One that is always small enough to care for the individual customer but large enough to make developments in the industry and produce microphones that are state-of-the-art. It has, and will continue to have, an emphasis on high quality, hand built and individually tested products.
The traditional Calrec microphones and those of Ming's Hebden Sound were no different. The new HS3000 builds on the tradition, keeping the highly acclaimed sound, but bringing the manufacturing processes up to date. The entire production process of every Hebden Sound microphone, from R&D through to the construction and testing, is carried out at the company's Sheffield base under David's direct control.
In the first 7 years or so of Hebden Sound, very little development was made. Anderson now sees the company moving more quickly, already shown by the development of the HS3000 range. He adds "I hope to see further major development happening before too long".
The care and attention that goes into the making of all Hebden Sound products is mirrored by the company's pledge to provide an unsurpassed level of both pre and post sales service. This is supported by their sales policy as all their products can only be purchased directly from Hebden Sound themselves.