Peter Lawo, founder of the German company for broadcast and media technologies named after him, passed away on November 24, 2022, at the age of 85. The engineer and entrepreneur founded today’s Lawo AG in 1970 and laid the foundation for the company’s reputation and economic success with innovative audio products and high quality standards
In the 1970s, Lawo developed an electronic sound processor for the music of contemporary composer Karl-Heinz Stockhausen, which strongly influenced the compositions of “New Music.” His contacts with musicians led to projects with regional public broadcaster Suedwestfunk (SWF) and installations at the station’s “Experimental Studio.” This was followed by developing the first audio mixing system for SWF, which was used for music mixes with artists such as Pierre Boulez, Luigi Nono, Brian Ferneyhough, Christobal Halffter and Dieter Schnebel.
Lawo next established contacts with system integrators as well as broadcasters. His maxim from the beginning was, “Listen to your customers and users, find out what they really need, and find solutions that go beyond those needs.” His first mixing consoles for broadcasting, analog at the time, were characterized by high standards of build and sound quality along user-oriented operability and functionality.
In the early 1980s, Lawo began incorporating computer technology in its mixing consoles and built the “Programmable Audio Control” (Programmierbare Ton-Regie, PTR) with analog signal processing and digital control of all mixer settings, for which Lawo developed motorized faders in-house. With this system, the company established itself as a manufacturer of larger quality broadcast mixing consoles.
In the meantime, Lawo was also focused on audio technology for broadcasting and spun off all other, equally successful business areas – medical lasers, public transport destination displays and radio helmets for rescue helicopters. The PTR was followed in 1994 by the first fully digital mc mixing console series, which has achieved great success in the German and European markets.
In 1999, Peter Lawo handed over the reins of the company to his son Philipp Lawo, under whose leadership the company has developed into a pioneer of IP technology in broadcasting and a leading supplier of network, control, audio and video systems. The products are developed in Germany and manufactured to exacting quality standards at the company’s headquarters in Rastatt.
A company statement says, “With Peter Lawo, the company has lost a passionate engineer, ingenious inventor and dedicated entrepreneur, who put his heart and soul into the well-being of his company even after his retirement from management. Our deepest sympathies go out to his wife, family and friends in these mournful days.”