The purpose of Birdland Audio is to approach perfection (as natural as live) as much as possible and provide the best quality at moderate prices. Why should an amplifier cost $90000, when its cost in parts is nowhere near that amount ? By best sound quality, we mean music the way it sounds in real life, not the colorated sound that could please some nor the processed sound that could please others, but simply to deliver the music and emotion as truely as it was recorded. Interestingly enough, the closer one gets to that perfection and the better a system sounds. Thus our mission statement The Way Music Should Sound.
Our goals are to keep perfecting and we will not be fooled into thinking that perfection has been reached. Don't get us wrong, our systems already cast shadows on most acclaimed names but there is always a next step. Today manufacturers are side-tracked with home theater as this seems to be the current wave and although we are commited to support entertainment formats sometime in the future, we will not sacrifice development speed in whatever component we may provide in the future for our true quest is sound quality. We think it is more important to slip a date rather than be on time at the detriment of quality. Sure we do not have a home-theater system YET but if you remember, we were a pioneer in delivering our Odéon 24bit DAC back in June 1996 when the format was barely born. Must we say that the Odéon DAC is still a reference today.
Birdland Audio is currently working on several projects including a multi-channel audio DSP for our new Platinum Series, new add firmware for over the network play and a new revolutionary amplifier code named hammer guaranteed to revolutionize the way you see and use your audio(/video) equipment by providing a high quality 1 channel digital/analog building block that can accomodate the highest-end 2 channel system while it can easily be extended into a complete multi-channel and/or home theater system, be it 5.1, 6, 7.1 or the 10.2 not so far ahead. There is more we canot yet reveal here so please make sure to bookmark our home page or follow us on twitter.
As a musician, Gilles has quite an uncommon gift indeed, which is called "an absolute ear": in other words, he can listen to any tune and write it down on paper or play it immediately, in the same way most of us are able to write down a sentence we have just heard. No wonder Gilles parents had him attend the conservatory of music, where he graduated with a "Fin d'études de solfège" in only 4 years.. while 9 years are usually required in order to graduate.
Gilles has not only artistic mind, he also has a scientific mind. This accounts for his early passion for electronics (and later on for computer science). That's why he studied electronic engineering in Paris XIème, where he graduated with honors. At the time, formal programs in computer science did not really exist in classical electronics studies: therefore Gilles studied programming on his own, beginning with Z80 assembly language. While many teenagers were/are interested only in playing games, Gilles was interested in creating them: by the time he was 17, he had published and sold two successful games on the ZX81 and Sega platforms.
But Gilles was also very interested in electronics applied to sound reproduction, because listening to his parents old fashion stereo just didn't produce the same emotion and realism as going to listen to the symphonic orchestra itself at the salle Pleyel in Paris. He managed to create his first amplifier at the beginning of an long-time quest for the perfect device for listening to music the way it should sound. He agrees with a funny smile though that even his parents stereo sounded better at the time.
Meanwhile, Gilles understood that the market for software engineering was growing at a much more impressive rate than the market for electronics engineering. He therefore decided to focus his career upon software without forgetting hardware... and music.
Working as a Senior Software Engineer for Digital Research lead him to move to the United-States. When the networking giant Novell acquired Digital Research, the team he worked for became Novell's Embedded Systems Technology (NEST). Applying his knowledge of both hardware and software he designed and implemented a networked espresso maker making him a star member of the group, employee of the year while the espresso maker was featured in USA Today and Dr.Dobbs journal.
As Gilles never neglected his musical gift, he has devoted long portions of his spare time designing and building amplifiers as well as studying other manufacturers' models and accoustic theory. Finally, the Pleyel was born, burning the midnight oil, because the audiophile was still seeking the sound which he at last achieved. In is own words, he recalls, "I knew that was it when I heard it. I could close my eyes and feel the majesty of Chopin, the Drama of Mozart, the swing of Oscar Peterson.. that was music the way it was supposed to sound".
And in case you'd ask, Gilles' first name is best pronounced "jeel", not "djeelless"