Dick Swettenham was working as technical director at Olympic Sound Studios in London when he was "head-hunted" to equip the new studios of Chris Blackwell's Island Records. To do the work, Helios Electronics Ltd was established in Teddington, Middlesex in 1969.
When leading pop record people saw what was being built for Island, orders flooded in:
* the Beatles' Apple Studios in Savile Row
* complete design and equipment of the first big mobile recording unit for the Rolling Stones
* consoles for The Manor and the Town House for Richard Branson's Virgin Records
* and many more…
The company growed up and reached Germany, Scandinavia, the USA and Canada and became respected by large broadcasters.
The essence of the Helios approach to mixing consoles was custom building in every detail at prices within reason, face to face consultation with clients who had a clear picture of what they really wanted and had not found their ideal in a catalogue.
In 1979, as the number of music studios and record labels increased dramatically, into the market came manufacturers with standardised products… and it became a game of 'knobs per dollar'. From the manufacturers point of view quantity sales were perceived as the only way to maintain any profit.
So Dick Swettenham decided to close Helios Electronics Ltd and turned to the other half of his activities : studio design and acoustics, installation planning, consultancy to manufacturers, and updating of well-built older equipment too good to scrap. e.g using the power and flexibility of small computers not to run red-hot processing the audio itself, but to manage, control and memorise all the functions of analogue circuitry whose design was already proven and optimised.
Today, the first action of the new company is to meet demand for its original products and the first of these products are two equalisers.
This reawakened Helios must not be regarded as a vintage company - except in its attitude to clients! New things are on their way based on the distillation of the experience of over 45 years in professional audio into the most up to date circuitry, component choice and manufacturing techniques.
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