Product Spotlight :: HazeX Controller

Product Spotlight :: HazeX Controller

Barista Parlor - Indianapolis

The HazeX Controller is an idea whose time has come.  I originally developed it for a specific project during the worst of the supply chain shortage, when the amps and controllers I had spec’d  were no longer available.  I wan’t excited about that old standard solution by any means, but at the very least it was stable--I could rely on it to work.  The amp was a tried-and-true brand, and the controllers—although a little clunky to operate and cheap-feeling, with their plastic buttons and knobs—could be configured within the amp’s software, albeit a frustratingly closed platform.  There were alternatives out there to this too, but all of it seemed to be stuck in 2004.

Southall Farms - Franklin, TN

Hindsight is 20/20 but it’s now pretty laughable that I was having a panic reaction to not being able to purchase these products!  It would turn out to be just the nudge I needed to push forward with LEA Professional and their new innovative approach to commercial amp design.  I already had a fascination with analog controllers, and had already implemented a few.  Meanwhile, I had already been hearing about these amps as well, but it wasn’t until I learned about their open development ecosystem that I fully realized that this was just the product I was looking for.  I made the switch and have never looked back!

I often joke about how I have "reinvented the knob".  It's really like that!  I feel like technology is eating itself to the point that it's innovative to create something SIMPLE--a knob that you walk up to and turn up or down--physical buttons that change the audio source you want to listen to.  It’s hilariously absurd!  The market is drowning in solutions that are clever above all else--CLEVER before they are either utilitarian or intuitive, and certainly before they are inspiring.  But wait, can a wall controller really be inspiring??  Yes!

Frothy Monkey - Birmingham

This is where I could go on a philosophical diatribe, but I will spare you, dear reader.  What can I say—I have control issues.  That’s to say, I’m endlessly passionate about elegant, tactile control—especially the concept of relegating complex functions to a simple, satisfying hardware interface!  Pressing a nice heavy pushbutton with the *perfect amount of spring, or turning a finely-machined knob and feeling the dainty clicks of a rotary encoder is a micro-dose of joy, particularly when this comes in place of an experience that’s akin to using the self checkout in a box store.  I knew when I created the HazeX controller that if done right, it would inspire the end-user to listen to music more!  

Bearded Iris - Nashville

I now have a dozen or so of these in the field.  Af first there were some bugs that had to be worked out, naturally, but I’m proud to say that they now operate and feel just as I’d hoped!  I’ve had a solid year to get a sense of how they’ll behave, and to gather feedback from my clients, and I know exactly where I need to go from here.  Certain hardware and firmware updates are on the horizon that will not only stabilize them, but make them applicable to a greater range of use cases, more easily (and enjoyably) configurable by an installer, and available to other integrators and their clients who are ready to reach beyond the low-hanging fruit of audio system control.

Thanks for following along and rooting us on!  This is a big undertaking for a small company like mine that has to make small investments when they are available and take baby-steps toward the goal at a time when AI is killing technologies like it’s knocking over dominoes.  That’s the real beauty of this approach though!  Not only can AI not kill it—it will only make it more and more appealing!  We’re still ahead of the curve, but again this is an idea whose time has come.  SO, I welcome any investment conversations, mentorships, or other kinds of assistance to fully-realize the possibilities of the HazeX Controller.

Joseph Hazelwood ⚡️👤


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