How It All Started

The two brothers Kim and John Rishøj founded TC Electronic in 1976. For several years they made guitar effects pedals before moving into the rack-mounted product area. From the outset, TC Electronic pioneered new technologies and product concepts, and through a development into digital effects processing, the company is today a world market leader in this area. It is estimated that up to 90% of the professional recordings worldwide some way or another have been through TC processing.

From the beginning TC was very much influenced by the two Rishøj brothers’ experience as musicians. Back in the seventies, guitar effects pedals were very noisy and would crackle if you fiddled with the jack. Using battery-powered pedals, the sound would change during a gig as the power was depleted, and the risk of running out of power in the middle of a gig was present.

No one will dispute that there was plenty of room for improvement and enhanced stability.

Doing things better was exactly what the Rishøj brothers set out to do.

Becoming an expert on noise was a logical step for Kim Rishøj: “I read every book I could find about noise. I became an expert in white noise, transistor noise – everything noise-related in electronics, and particularly in signal processing. It was pure design. I made all the calculations and designed it so it would make the noise figure as low, theoretically, as you can get – given the things you want to achieve”. Being an expert at what you do is the key element to the success of TC – whether speaking of the staff at TC or the products they create.

During the complicated process of designing and testing a new piece of equipment you will often encounter problems, which derive from seemingly arbitrary circumstances. When the 2290 Digital Delay was in the making a prototype was presented at the MusikMesse in Frankfurt. Obviously extensive tests are made before presenting a new product at a show. Kim Rishøj explains: “But the problem we had at this show was that the unit had a kind of a bug, where, if it wasn’t switched on for about 10 hours or so, it wouldn’t start up reliably. During development, of course, it was switched on all of the time. It was never switched off, so we didn’t notice this problem. It was the one test procedure you might overlook – turn it off for a while!” Since then the test procedures have been expanded extensively and refined in correspondence with the new products and the increasing product range. Currently every TC product leaving the factory is tested very thoroughly – it’s even turned off and back on a couple of times!