Visual Sound—Real Tone for Real People
- 2007 14 Aug
The roots of Visual Sound date back to November 1988 when company founder, inventor and president Bob Weil needed a volume pedal. He went shopping for one and bought a particular brand, but he was dissatisfied with his purchase. Rather than writing a complaint or shopping elsewhere to find just the right specifics, he created a new product from scratch. The rest—as the old adage goes—is history.
Throughout the next two decades, the company has evolved into one of the industry’s leaders that has branched out into several services. After starting with the Visual Volume pedal, Visual Sound expanded into several effects pedals (Jekyll & Hyde Ultimate Overdrive, Route 66 American Overdrive, H2O Liquid Chorus & Echo) with an expansion to nine styles later this year. Add in amplifiers like the Workhorse Pony 30W 112 and Workhorse 60W 212 (both of which are clean-tube amps with a revolutionary Hubcap-design sound dispersion), along with a nearly endless list of power supplies, and Visual Sound has serviced just about every artist under the sun.
In mainstream rock contexts, Visual Sound has helped U2 and Metallica conquer stadiums. In Christian circles, it has teamed with Steven Curtis Chapman, Relient K, Phil Keaggy, Audio Adrenaline, Jars of Clay, Day of Fire, MercyMe, Pillar, Sonicflood and Salvador. The teen pop trio Everlife even featured the company’s Workhorse amps in one of its music videos.
“Our current line of pedals are flying off the shelves of distributors, major music retail chains as well as individual music retail outlets,” says spokesperson Michael Weil (who also happens to be Bob’s brother). “But as far as new products go, our Workhorse amps are beginning to get a lot of positive attention and buzz; and our new line of ‘V-2’ pedals will be coming out later this year—by the middle to end of summer. This will include improved versions of the three dual-effects pedal, as well as a new dual-effect pedal and four single-effect pedals. When we exhibited them at NAMM and the Frankfurt Musikmesse, the reaction to them all was off the charts!”
Even so, the Visual Sound staff remains humble, never campaigning for awards and recognition. Instead, the team sticks closely to its motto of providing “real tone for real people” and working with artists on a case-by-case basis, as Michael so aptly concludes: “Our greatest honor is hearing from individual players—famous headliners and ‘weekend warriors’ alike—telling us how much they love our products, how they’ve improved and inspired their playing and that they appreciate what Visual Sound stands for.”