Professional Sound - December 2017 - Page 18

PROFILE Donny Chow By Andrew King G rowing up, Donny Chow had a curious fascination with electronics – specifically, electronic musical instruments and sound systems. It was that ever- growing interest that eventually led him to leave his longtime home of Hong Kong, where he was born and raised, and travel to Canada to continue his secondary and then post-secondary studies. After high school, Chow enrolled in the electronic engineering program at the University of Western Ontario in London, ON. During and following the completion of his studies, he witnessed first-hand the analog-to-digital domain revolution of the late ‘80s and ‘90s and kept pace with the non-stop technological innovations it spawned. Having earned his degree at Western, Chow stayed in Canada and landed his first full-time job with Adamson Systems Engineering in Port Perry, ON. “That was my first taste of the pro audio industry,” recalls Chow. “I was a member of Adamson’s engineering team, pio- neering the development of the company’s first DSP loudspeaker controller system.” In 1993, Chow founded Arctic Design (the name being something of a tribute to his very seasonal new country of residence) and went into business for himself. Over the next decade, he and the company completed several performance-critical custom design projects for major award-winning Broadway productions like Show Boat and Sunset Boulevard in addition to a host of other theatrical and live event applications. Then, drawing on his years of experience designing and develop- ing new technologies, Chow founded Xilica Audio Design in 2002. He and his team have since been producing high-end networked audio DSP systems and control solutions for the pro audio and integration markets. Earlier this year, the company celebrated its 15 th anniversary of operations and also partnered with Contact Distribution to boost the brand’s presence and profile in the Canadian market. Currently, the team at Xilica is building on the success of its existing XP, XD, and Neutrino series of DSP products with the next-generation Solaro series. “We’ve bumped up the channel counts, improved the Dante capabilities, and redesigned the modular cards methodology,” explains the company’s director and chief engineer. Another product currently in the works is the Universal Media Controller, which enables users to easily configure and control AV systems – audio, lighting, projection, and more – via an IP/serial/IR interface. He excitedly adds that both new innovations feature com- pletely redesigned touchscreens for user control. Like many in the professional audio industry, Chow says his most significant ongoing challenge is keeping up with the ever-changing market and the technological innovations it spawns; however, com- ing up with new solutions to help Xilica’s expanding customer base makes it all worthwhile. “It’s