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Paiste Sound Development Reforms for the Future
“Sound Development” is the age old designation for Paiste’s research & development team. Its formation dates back to the 1960s as Robert Paiste began to formalize the process of cymbal development together with Pierre Favre, the doyen of Swiss drumming who has just celebrated his 80th birthday.
In the 1970s Fredy Studer, another Swiss drummer to achieve international prominence, succeeded Pierre Favre, and joined Robert Paiste in a collaboration that would last for almost four decades, and which produced an abundance of innovations and new sounds, highlighted by such major developments as the Sound Creation, Signature, Traditionals and Dark Energy series.
To ensure the continuous membership of active drummers, a paramount element of Sound Development’s philosophy, in 1999 Kaspar Rast joined Sound Development. Coming from a family of luthiers, he is a trained violin maker, apart from being educated as a drummer at JMS in Zürich and the NY Drummer’s Collective. Kaspar went on to become a sought after and diversified performer both in live and studio settings, including Nik Bärtsch’s bands Mobile and Ronin. Arno Troxler is the latest drummer to join in 2015. Arno’s credentials include a degree at Lucerne University and the directorship of the Willisau Jazz Festival, and when he’s not active in various other projects around Switzerland, he collects, restores and resells vintage drums at the Vintage Drum Station in Willisau.
In 2016, Fredy Studer’s active membership in Sound Development ended, concluding a 46 year tenure that started Fredy out as a quality tester, took him through several years of running the artist relations department Drummer Service and the signing of significant and legendary Paiste drummers, culminating in the majority of his work at Paiste in Sound Development. He is thus deserving of the utmost gratitude of the Paiste Company and Family for his exceptional and life-long contribution and service. Fredy will continue his association with Paiste as an endorser of international status and as an advisor and mentor to the current Sound Development team.
From 2017, the Sound Development creative team will consist of the aforementioned drummers Kaspar Rast and Arno Troxler, along with Erik Paiste, the current CEO of the Paiste companies, and Stefan Odermatt, a drummer who originally joined Paiste as a production craftsman. Stefan implements the Sound Development / Production interface since more than a decade, executing the specifications for Prototypes together with senior craftsmen. His primary function today is Supervisor of Production Quality.
Sound Development reviews and interprets world-wide feedback and input from drummers and percussionists for new sound needs. The resulting sound ideas are translated into production parameters and Prototypes, which are repeatedly refined until the final creation of the master cymbal designated as “Klangmuster” is accomplished. Sound Development also originates innovations through their own creative efforts. Through ongoing experimentation and pure research, new alloys, new instrument shapes and new methods are continually discovered and invented. Since well over half a century, Paiste Sound Development has thus had a tremendous impact on the development of modern cymbals.
Paiste Sound Development Team - left to right: Erik Paiste, Kaspar Rast, Stefan Odermatt, Arno Troxler
Fredy Studer is a prize and award winning autodidact with a highly diverse spectrum of music styles. His music performances since the early seventies have been as eclectic as his freelance activities with musicians ranging from "A", as in John Abercrombie, to "Z", as in John Zorn. His current groups and projects include Koch-Schütz-Studer and Phall Fatale.