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Laptop showing Mendola website
Laptop showing Mendola website
Case Study

A 23-year partnership across platforms, product lines, and technologies

Client: ECHO Corp.
Project: Audio / Test + Measurement Software, Website update

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Working with ECHO Corp is a delight and a challenge; they’re brilliant and prolific visionaries and they set a very high bar.

overview

Overview

ECHO Corporation was founded in 1978 as Street Electronics, and has reinvented themselves many times. Their current focus is on audio test and measurement hardware and software, but they have also developed a large line of high-performance professional audio recording interfaces, bespoke solutions for AV Bridging applications, guitar electronics, and much more.

 

Working with ECHO has required us to be nimble, as well as sensitive. As a relatively small business, their priorities can change quickly. In some cases they need us to pivot quickly along with them, but sometimes it’s better for us to see the previous project through to completion, while they focus on something new. Talking with us gives them a chance to move back to the strategic perspective, re-assess their priorities, and ensure none of the balls they’re juggling lack attention for too long. Our strength as software engineering generalists seems a good fit for ECHO’s own brilliant and flexible engineering talent. We’ve had the chance to learn elements of audio filter design, technologies like Audio Video Bridging (AVB), and countless libraries and frameworks (cryptographic, platform-specific performance primitives, etc.), thanks to them sharing our belief that smart people can learn and use new tools efficiently.

Working with ECHO has required us to be nimble, as well as sensitive.
journey

Through the years…

The Driver Era

ECHO initially contacted us in 1999 for help with the low-level driver code that supported their extensive range of audio interfaces. They’d written a well-organized library of code for Windows, but needed a port to Mac OS 8 and 9 to reduce time to market and save them from needing to learn that platform. We already had a significant depth of experience doing this sort of work; creating Mac OS drivers that allowed musicians to record into applications like Digital Performer, Logic, Cubase, and others.
We were able to work closely and iteratively with ECHO, showing steady progress as we went in bringing up features like software control of real-time monitoring, hardware-based mixing and routing, and other hardware settings. Over the years ECHO continued to expand their product line, and we would quickly spin up the project again to add support for each new offering.

The challenge here was that the code needed to move large amounts of audio data extremely quickly and accurately, to avoid delays that would impact the musicians’ performance, as well as data errors that would ruin a musical “take.”

The "How can we help you?" Era

We next completed a series of projects with ECHO that used the JUCE cross-platform audio library that they and we had come to appreciate. These projects usually consisted of desktop applications, on Mac OS and Windows, that communicated with custom hardware ECHO was creating for a corporate client, and which ran the gamut of transport technologies (USB, FireWire, Bluetooth, etc.). Our role varied, but the mandate was basically, “how can we help?” That sometimes took the form of creating the buttons, knobs, and sliders of the user interface, at other times creating backend firmware loader code, or anything else that sped their time to market.

These projects usually consisted of desktop applications, on Mac OS and Windows, that communicated with custom hardware ECHO was creating for a corporate client

The Now Era

As ECHO transitioned to a new primary service area, creating audio test hardware and the software to support it, we were able to continue providing assistance.

Here our responsibilities included various efforts related to their flagship cross-platform desktop application; collaborating on architecture for an internal job queueing system, porting DSP code, adding UI elements

refresh

New Website and Branding

In mid-2020 we began working together on a corporate rebranding effort, accompanied by a new website. This effort began with a brainstorming phase involving mood boards, color palettes, and extensive requirements gathering, and eventually stretched to a complete site redesign and implementation, ADA compliance and testing services, and copywriting services.