Valley People History

Valley People started out as Allison Research. It's founder, Paul Buff, achieved notoriety in the Pro Audio business based on his early involvement with Frank Zappa and his Pal Recording Studios / Studio Z). Paul designed and built the original console used by Frank to record all of his early recordings. The unique sound that Frank was getting as a result of Paul Buff's technical skills soon brought many famous recording artists to insist on recording in Frank Zappa's studio.

One of Paul's early designs was a Discrete Mic Pre Amp called the Transamp, which Paul developed and it was later made available as an OEM product to other companies. it was Valley Audio's first commercial product offering, and was being used by companies like MCI, who used them in their earlier recording consoles.

Paul continued to strive to develop cutting edge technology, and soon after starting Allison Research, he
moved to Nashville. There, Paul became involved with a smaller company called Valley Audio, who catered to clients including The Beatles & The Beach Boys. The two companies merged, and the birth of Valley People began. Paul started working on updating his original designs used in Frank Zappa;s customized gear, which led to Paul's infamous 1980 Patent #4,341,962. The Electronic Gain Control Device…The Vally People TA-101 VCA. It was this VCA that went on to give the unique sound Valley People is famous for today.

Paul's early commercial products were the Gain Brain and Kepex. After developing the 800 Series rack format, Paul began to to port those early designs across to the new 800 series format, which led to the development of the Gain Brain II and Kepex II as well as the MaxiQ Parametric EQ. The early designs were all FET based gain control with discrete amps while the new KepexII and Gain BrainII were monolithic op amp controls with Paul's patented Class A VCA(TA-101) as the gain control element. It was then that Valley People became a household name with the elite all looking to get their hands on the gear.

 

 

As the company stared to grow and gain recognition as one of the best sounding sought after products in the 1970's and 80's, Paul hired product designer Michael 'Doc' Morgan in late 1980. Doc designed the analog products using Paul's VCA and other innovative designs which Doc incorporated into the 400-series and remaining 800-series products.  The exceptions are the Dynamite, which was Paul Buff's last design, and the Model 610, which was designed by Gary Carrelli and Doc Morgan using Paul's input.

Doc continued to design new products and developed the Leveler, DSP, Commander, QLZ and QHZ, and the two-position 800 1U 800 rack, which mounted any two 800 series modules side-by-side (The PR2 10 space rack later replaced with the PR-2A which featured XLR I/O's in place of terminal strips). Of the rack mounted units, Doc translated Paul's Dynamite into the 410. The 400, 415, 430, 440 and Gatex were designed by Doc, as were the MicroFX ("micro-effects") series. There was a one-way noise reduction system in there, somewhere-as well, according to Doc.

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