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60 Seconds: Ash Levitt, Heil Sound

Ash Levitt speaks to Pro Sound News about his role as head of research and business development at Heil Sound. One of his primary goals is increasing the growth of Heil Sound’s user base.

What is your new position, and what does it entail?

My position is head of research and business development. This includes leading and developing all company research endeavors, such as user experience research, product and sales analytics, and A/B testing of sales and marketing initiatives. I use this information to improve business development for both our end users and our dealers.

How has your background prepared you for your new role?

My work for Heil Sound is a blend of two distinct background areas. On the one hand, my background is in academic research and statistical analysis in the field of social psychology. I studied why people are motivated to do what they do, which translates perfectly to understanding user expectations, motivations and behavior, and to predicting product and sales trends over time. On the other hand, I also have a background in music and the music industry. I actually went to college on a jazz scholarship for guitar, and have since played in a range of groups from jazz to metal.

I’ve also worked for Heil Sound behind the scenes for over a decade, consulting on various projects and helping with artist relations. Knowing all of the employees for years, as well as all of the FOH, studio and artist contacts I’ve made over the years, has made the transition to Heil Sound full-time easy and effortless. The work I’m doing now for Heil Sound is just a natural extension and blend of my two background areas. It’s very similar to the work and research I’ve done before, just with a different set of variables, and in a field that I know and love.

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What new marketing initiatives are we likely to see from the company?

Heil Sound has always had a very loyal user base, and its growth has always been very organic. Our research shows that one of the most important factors in gaining new users is just getting our mics in their hands to try. Once they A/B our mics with whatever they had been using previously, nine times out of ten they make the switch to Heil Sound. We are currently working on multiple marketing initiatives to help extend this organic growth, particularly for live music venues in our home area of St. Louis, our touring artists, FOH and studio engineers, as well as in the burgeoning areas of podcasting and streaming.

Related: Heil Sound Marks Five Years in Rock Hall, Pro Sound News, Jan. 8, 2012

What are your short- and long-term goals?

Related to what I mentioned previously, for both short- and long-term, our goals are to increase the growth of our user base and to reach the people who were either previously unaware of Heil Sound, or who were aware but didn’t have the opportunity to hear the mics for themselves. Longer-term goals also include the development of new products in response to user requests that will further extend our great line of mics and help the company grow.

What is the greatest challenge you face?

The greatest challenge I face right now is to manage my expectations and keep them based in reality. I tend to think big, and I expect great things for Heil Sound and from the people I work with. I’m excited by the potential of Heil Sound, and sometimes I get carried away with my vision for how Heil Sound can grow and what it can be. But Rome wasn’t built in a day. I have to remind myself to focus on the task at hand and take things one step at a time.

Heil Sound •