Active Audio / APG has hired Mathieu Pobeda (pictured) as its new R&D director. He will oversee the development and introduction of new products for both arms of the company,

with particular attention being paid to acoustics and transducers.

Pobeda brings with him a strong knowledge base – gained both academically and practically – of the market, as well as a great deal of expertise in electro-acoustic research.

“Active Audio / APG’s vision – which was explained by CEO Régis Cazin – was very appealing to me,” said Pobeda.

“In addition, I know there to be a lot of clever and talented people at the company; some of whom I have been in contact with for the last decade.

From a personal point of view, the prospect of being able to use both my technical and my recently sanctioned management skills was key factor in accepting a new challenge. I think all the ingredients were there and – when that happens – you must take your chance.”

Hitting the Ground Running
Pobeda’s interest in audio began at the age of 10, when he developed his skills by fixing vintage radios and dismantling old speakers in his parents’ basement.

He said: “At the same period, I also had the chance to get my hands on a Commodore 64 and started to play around with the first sequencers, like Drum Studio.

It was all very rough, but I did spend hours on the thing. Also, there was no French version of software at the time, so I learnt English the hard way as well!

“After university and my military service at the Cinematographic and Photographic department of the French Armed Forces, I got my first job in a well-renowned Hi-Fi manufacturer in Saint Etienne. I learnt a lot there as they had both systems and drive unit manufacturing facilities, so we could do anything from scratch including playing with cone or diaphragm materials. I also carried on my study as a part time student to get a Msc in Signal Processing from the CNAM in Saint Etienne.”

Pobeda then moved to England with his family to work for a Pro and MI drive unit manufacturer for five years.

This allowed him to deepen his knowledge of compression drivers, horns and other types of direct radiation loudspeakers than Hi-Fis.

For the last eight years, Pobeda has been designing complete systems for a renowned French professional audio company and has just completed a Master’s in Business Unit Management at ESSEC Business School in Paris.

Although he is keen to hit the ground running at Active Audio / APG, Pobeda also emphasises the need to listen and learn when it comes to the company’s philosophy and methodology.

“There are a lot of on-going projects and some very creative people in both companies,” he said. “Nobody wants to drop straight into a company and start changing everything overnight, especially when the structure has been established for some time. You need to make sure that the changes you want to implement are valid and will stand the test of time.

I’m very confident that I’ll be backed up by the top management in that mission.”

Pobeda identifies the Step Array as a game changer in the Active Audio portfolio. He said: “It’s been built on Xavier Meynial’s rigorous scientific knowledge and really address the customer’s priorities. This is a great example of the well-defined, well-thought-out, and well-made products that the company can offer. This same compliment can be applied to the UniLine and UniLine Compact products from APG.”

He concludes: “The market has undergone some changes in recent years, particularly with deep-pockets coming from other industries to grab historical audio activities and knowledge, so anything can happen in the next five.

In any case, I trust that the Active Audio / APG group will substantially grow over that period.

We have the knowledge, interesting existing products and a lot more to come, though the main priority is to ensure we continue to move forward organically in every aspect of the business.”