McDSP is celebrating 25 years in pro audio. Founded in 1998 by Colin McDowell, McDSP technology can be found in software and hardware products for popular digital audio workstations including Pro Tools, Logic, and Cubase, as well as the Avid VENUE live sound system. To recap some of the milestones, we bring to you a short documentary about the company, its origins, and some of the ideas that make us who we are.


Long before the founding of McDSP in 1998, there were synths. Big, phat, wooden side-panel back-breaking synths. At the young age of 10, Colin somehow managed to borrow a Micromoog and proceeded to blow up his dad’s stereo. The fascination with sound and technology was born. Colin pursued a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering, along with minors in mathematics and economics. After working at the company that pretty much invented the DAW (digidesign - now Avid), and one of the most recognized brands in audio (Dolby), Colin set out on his own by starting McDSP.


McDSP hit the ground running with its first plug-in - FilterBank - which was only the THIRD equalizer/filter plug-in on the Pro Tools platform at the time! FilterBank quickly got the attention of mixing legends like Dave Pensado, Tony Maserati, and Andrew Scheps for its great sound and flexibility. Features like Peak-Slope-Dip control of shelving EQ are still unique to the FilterBank plug-in.


McDSP had a lot of hit products over the years like the MC2000, FutzBox, and ML4000 to name a few. But the SA-2 Dialog Processor, created for re-recording mixer Mike Minkler, put McDSP in the spotlight with a Cinema Audio Society award in 2016, followed up by an Engineering Emmy in 2017. It was a great honor for McDSP, but it would not have happened without the support from many post production clients, including Frank Morrone, Tom Marks, Scott Weber, Onnalee Blank, Keith Rodgers, Karol Urban, Mathew Waters, Bob Bronow and many more.


After two decades of creating software engines to model analog signal processing, McDSP engineering thought, why not create the same models with real analog circuitry, but under total software control? And so the world’s first programmable analog processing, the Analog Processing Box (APB) was created. Available in 16 and 8 channel configurations, the APB hardware line can be found in top studios all over the world.

And with an eye towards the future, Colin is always cranking out more ideas every day.