Since 1983 Rane Corporation has been manufacturing well-engineered, well-respected audio gear that, unlike other audio gear manufacturers, is made exclusively in the United States. The Seattle-area company began in the inexpensive band and studio gear space, but soon found that it’s products were better suited to the sound contractor niche, and later, innovative DJ gear, where it has thrived ever since.
That’s a nice story but it looks like at least some of that will end as it’s just been announced that Rane will be acquired by inMusic, which already owns 13 audio companies like Alesis, Akai, Numark, Marantz, M-Audio and Denon. It seems like a good fit in terms of products (at least on the DJ side), but the downside is that Rane’s 60+ employees will be let go and the company’s manufacturing will shifted to inMusic’s Far East subcontractors.
While inMusic has been one of the better audio company conglomerates in that it’s taken companies that were faltering and brought them back to life, it’s still a shame to have another skilled American workforce on the streets. If you recall, a similar situation recently occurred when the Tannoy workforce was downsized as manufacturing was moved to China after 60 years in Scotland when its parent company TC Applied Technologies was acquired by Behringer.
A bright spot in this story is the fact that Rane is being acquired because the owners want to retire. They’ve have had a good long run, so it’s nice to see their hard work rewarded. Their workers have had a long run as well. Too bad it won’t turn out as well for them.