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Behind the scenes of the new Fast Track C-series interfaces (Part 1)

Only published comments... Oct 04 2011, 12:00 AM by Leo Der Stepanians


My name is Leo and I am a gear junkie.


If you ever find yourself speaking with a Product Manager, chances are they’ll tell you that their job is extremely challenging, very complicated, often filled with headaches, and yet, absolutely the most satisfying work in the world. Despite the difficulties, they love the job and wouldn’t trade it for something less demanding. That’s what I’d say, anyway. I’ve been lucky enough to lead the development of several successful audio products, and I still get the occasional headache and tinge of anxiety when I think about an upcoming product launch. That said, I get a huge kick out of this job.


My name is Leo Der Stepanians and I am a composer, recording enthusiast, and massive gear junkie. I got bitten by the recording bug in high school and many years later, I find myself designing recording products that people all over the world (including today’s high school students) use to capture something that is sacred to them—their music. This is not a responsibility I take lightly and it’s an honor for me to design tools that artists use to record their work.


Product Managers are always fretting over whether or not customers will like a new product. They wonder if users will notice all of the little details that the development team agonized over for the last 18-24 months. They wonder if dealers and salespeople will be excited by the new product, or if music magazines will say good things about it. I’ve heard more than one Product Manager describe a new product’s launch day as being like sending a child to school for the first time.


With the launch of the new Fast Track C-Series interfaces, I thought it would be cool to “pull back the curtain” and give you an insider’s view of how we went about designing these new products. Over the next several blog posts, I’ll cover things like the customer research we conducted and how that influenced everything about these products (like the form-factor, key features, etc.). I’ll also go into detail about specific features of the C-Series interfaces, what makes them interesting, and why you should care. I hope you’ll find my blog to be interesting and will learn something new about the C-Series products and development that went into building them.


In the next entry, we’ll start with the customer research that we conducted before setting out to make the Fast Track C-Series products. You’ll see how literally everything about these products was driven directly from feedback that we got from our end users.


If you haven’t already, please check out the new Fast Track C-Series overview video below and C-Series product pages for further details about these products.




PS: Continue on to Part 2 of this series.




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About Leo Der Stepanians

As a Senior Product Manager at Avid, I’m responsible for designing and managing M-Audio branded interfaces including the Fast Track and ProFire lines. I’m a composer at heart and I’m proud to say that I began my career many years ago at the very bottom: as an runner at various studios around Southern California! Later on, I was later hired as a Technical Writer (I’ve written documentation for Alesis, Numark, Akai, M-Audio and Avid) before finally becoming a product manager.

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