It began in a basement in Alhambra in 1969. There, electronics whiz-kid and audio fiend Joe Martinson recorded his first song – a solo guitar and singer on a 2 track tape recorder.

In 1975, just a year out of high school, he took out a loan and opened Martinsound a few short blocks away from his childhood home, where it stands to this day.

It was the late 70s and the record business was booming. Joe quickly expanded his facility to include a second smaller studio and a third multimedia studio where he created incredible audio visual presentations with over twenty slide projectors running simultaneously. One of these programs was even featured at the World’s fair in New Orleans in 1985.

As the studio grew, Joe turned his focus to his second love: electronics. With the help of excellent designers and managers Joe formed a team that would go on to create world renowned pro audio products.

Golden-ears Shawn Michael  joined the company in the late 70s as Studio Manager. After years on the road doing sound for Kenny Loggins and Manhattan Transfer, Shawn quickly rose through the ranks and eventually became VP of Product Development.

As our resident sonic and usability expert for 40 years, Shawn’s genius is imprinted on all of the most beloved Martinsound products.  

In 1989 the Martinsound team launched Flying Faders, a first in its class Fader Automation system that was licensed by Neve and ended up in studios around the world.

In 1991, Martinsound added film extensions to Flying Faders and sold systems at Fox, Universal, Sony, Lucasfilm, Paramount and Todd A0 just to name a few.

The team followed this success up with the MSS10. Launched in 1997 the MSS10 would play as the key mic preamp for artists such as James Taylor, Paul Simon, Blink 182, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and many more.

Later additions the Martinsound line up included the Multimax series, EMT Upgrades, Flying Faders 2,  and the MSS 01.

As digital software began to replace analog hardware, Joe began to pivot his business once again.

In 2014 he partnered with his son, producer/director AJ Martinson and together they transformed several locations inside Martinsound into stunning film sets for the use in his feature film “Blackmark” released by Sony pictures.

These sets and spaces inside Martinsound went on to become some of the most sought after locations in Los Angeles for film production. Since opening for public rental, Martinsound has played host to Lana Del Rey, Italian Vogue, DMX and countless student film projects.

Today Joe’s latest endeavor is Filmmaker Institute (link) a partnership with Stew Harty, La Sierra University Film department professor and longtime producer/director, to create digital textbooks and other distance learning products bundled with the latest film gear that promises to revolutionize film education.

From pro-audio to film-making, Martinsound’s legacy of high quality excellence continues.

   Joe tinkers with his homebrew mic-pre patchbay