There’s something you’ve probably never realized The Police, Pink Floyd, Van Halen, John Mayer, U2, Eric Clapton, Phish, and many other grammy-award-winning musicians have in common... and it’s a tie to Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Bob Bradshaw started CAE Inc. (Custom Audio Electronics) in 1980, when he began developing multi-component rigs for musicians. Bob defied the traditional pedalboard by creating one that utilized a mounted audio switcher with discrete loops to 100% bypass each effect as well as function as a channel switching amp, and optimize additional effects if wanted. Preset capabilities and MIDI were later added, and the approach is still the basis of our systems today. “Maximum flexibility, sonic transparency and bulletproof reliability have always been our goal,” Bob says.
Over the past 30+ years, Bob has been able to work with musicians in all phases of their careers. In fact, play some of the greatest hits over the past few decades, and you’d be listening to music that was created through his own handiwork.
Despite the magnitude of his success, Bob says that he’ll work for anyone. “I’m not elitist in any way… I am as committed to one client as I am anyone else.” That’s impressive considering the breadth of his clientele, but speaks to why he was so successful. Bob shares that his business grew entirely from word-of-mouth. “Yelp didn’t exist back then,” he said, “So it was just one musician telling another, and then telling another.”
Though he feels fortunate to have began his career in Los Angeles, where there were a lot of musicians and talent, “especially back in the early 80s,” Bob is now based back at home, in Lancaster. “It is a nice recognition of my abilities,” he says of winning the Innovator Award. “It is nice to be thought of that way.”
By: Brianna Wiest