A brief history:
Zaxcom was founded in 1986 by Glenn Sanders. He started Zaxcom after working in post-production and seeing the need for a piece of equipment to create a more efficient workflow, so he created the first TBC System (Time Base Control System) used for video editing. The TBC System became an industry staple and won the Emmy for outstanding achievement in Engineering Development in 1989-90.
The company then took a different course and began making gear for the professional audio industry. In 1992, Zaxcom introduced their first full feature digital audio mixer for post-production, the DMX1000. In 1995, the 6-channel digital mixer, Arria, was introduced. Arria was expanded in 1998, becoming the Arria HD, an 8-channel expandable digital audio mixer specifically for high definition edit suites and live applications.
In 1996, Zaxcom began work in the field they are in today, Location Audio. Glenn Sanders, President, and Howard Stark, Chief Engineer, designed, developed and manufactured the Deva, the first 4-channel portable hard disk recorder. Deva has since changed the way professional location recording is done.
In 1997 Zaxcom invented two game changing features and incorporated them into the Deva II – Pre-Record and MARF (Mobile Audio Recording Format). Both of which gave us a leading edge in innovation and reliability. Pre-record has since been adopted into almost every recorder in the professional market today.
In 1999, two digital mixers were released, the Cameo LRC and Cameo SV.
2002 was the year Zaxcom introduced Digital Wireless to the market. It was the first time digital modulation was used on a professional bodypack wireless system. It seems like eons ago, but at the time the industry thought it was an impossible feat to transmit and receive nothing but 1’s and 0’s. We were so proud our years or work paid off and it came out sounding just like a hard-wired microphone with no distortion from commanders or FM transmission artifacts.
In 2003 we invented acoustic control of a wireless transmitter, this was initially via tones you would feed the transmitter via the connected microphone.
At the 75th Annual Academy Awards in March 2003, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented a Scientific and Engineering Award Academy Plaque to Glenn Sanders and Howard Stark of Zaxcom for the concept, design and engineering of the portable Deva Digital Audio Disk Recorder. The plaque reads “This innovative design employs advanced hard disk recording technology and digital audio techniques for use in both production and post-production recording applications.”
That summer, Zaxcom moved from Midland Park, NJ to their current facility in Pompton Plains, NJ. The space grew to accommodate their growing staff and production line.
In 2004, the next generation of Deva was released – the Deva IV & Deva V. They boast an intuitive color touch screen, an optional internal DVD-RAM drive and can record up to 10 tracks of audio. Stereo ENG wireless was also released. For the first time you could transmit two channels of audio using one transmitter and one receiver, making the perfect bag to camera link.
2005 was a huge year for Zaxcom, we invented our patented Digital Recording Wireless system and ZaxNet with the TRX900. The TRX900 was the first of its kind, transmitting crystal clear audio while recording a timecode stamped full resolution audio file on the pack itself. It could be remote controlled via RF with ZaxNet where you can remote control the frequency, preamp gain adjustment, transmitter RF power, and the replaying of audio remotely so dropouts could be re-transmitted and re-recorded on the productions multi-track recorder without talent even know it was happening.
In 2006, Zaxcom released the Deva Mix-12, a mixing panel for the Deva IV or V and their second generation of digital recording wireless.
2010 brought the invention of our patented NeverClip system in both our recorder and transmitters. NeverClip is a dual A to D converter on the host units input so the audio never clips. NeverClip provide an extended dynamic range without the use of distorting limiters and compressors.
In 2016 Zaxcom was honored by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with an Emmy Award for Digital Recording Wireless, confirming our inventions impact on our industry. We are so proud to be the only company ever awarded an Emmy for a wireless microphone product.
In 2017 the Academy of Motion Picture awarded us with a Science and Technology award for Digital Recording Wireless.
2019 brought Nova. Nova is the first mixer / recorder of it’s kind – it replaces an entire back breaking sound bag with a single unit that weighs less than a laptop. 16 recording tracks, 8 built-in receive channels when you outfit it with 2 x MRX414’s, the Nova sets a new standard for size, weight and functionality.