Today, L-Acoustics announces that Johannesburg-based DWR Distribution has been officially appointed as L‑Acoustics Certified Provider Distributor for South Africa and that local audio specialist and L-Acoustics expert, Richard Smith, has joined the DWR team. DWR has a long history in South Africa, starting by offering lighting products and more recently branching into sound reinforcement. DWR’s local market expertise, coupled with Richard Smith’s knowledge and experience with L-Acoustics products will provide quality representation and support for the brand in a dynamic and growing market.
“L-Acoustics is happy to finally be able to welcome DWR to the ‘Brown Box Family’,” says Tim McCall, L‑Acoustics Sales Manager for the region. “There has been a long gestation period to this plan but now, with the introduction DWR’s customer-oriented dynamism combined with the experience and knowledge of Richard Smith, the Southern African market gets the best of both worlds. The new and the old, the fresh approach and the real-world experience. Looking forward, I expect great things for L-Acoustics in the region with this team.”
“The process took time,” said Robert Izzett, Sales Director at DWR. “We had to ensure that we had the right infrastructure to best represent this leading brand. With Richard on board, we look forward to a great relationship with both the team at L‑Acoustics and the end-users. We hope that he will be very happy with us.”
Smith, whose background includes music studies and musical theatre performance, is a respected professional in the South African audio industry. Regularly working on theatre design, television and selective rock concerts, Smith has enjoyed a good collaborative work ethic, doing what he describes as ‘lovely things with diverse companies’ both as a designer, operator, consultant and project manager for shows and many prestigious installations.
“Theatre is my first love, that’s where I started out, performing and being the musical director,” he says. “Sound was a natural follow-on. It’s almost like being the conductor of the show. I’m controlling what the people are hearing. I’ve built up good relationships with a lot of the directors and producers over the years. I’ve done many sound designs including Boys in the Photograph which is a particular highlight as it was very challenging, and I’ve just finished The Color Purple which was my most rewarding show to date. There is a massive amount of fulfilment. Very subtly, you are the ultimate translator between artistic and technical.”
Smith is excited to continue in this slightly different role and will use his design and show expertise to help others realise their dreams, whether they are a rental company, a church or a theatre.
“I have a vast amount of experience to be able to guide people and that’s what I enjoy doing. I love working with young rental companies who come to me for advice. I’m passionate about teaching and part of my work ethos is to impart knowledge through both writing and hands-on experience. Duncan Riley and the team at DWR have the same ethic as I do, putting customers first. DWR is passionate about its brands, whole company gets behind something and give it their all. I believe that L‑Acoustics deserves that.”
DWR started off in 2006 as a professional lighting distributor, and more recently have introduced audio to their inventory.
“More and more customers tell us they’d like to deal with one supplier and get the same service and support they get on lighting for audio,” said Riley. “We were appointed as distributor for DiGiCo two years ago and the brand is growing and doing really well in the market. This opened many doors for us with different PA manufacturers and it was our choice to wait for the jewel in the crown: L‑Acoustics.
“We have collaborated with Richard on numerous projects in the past where DWR did the lighting and he did the audio,” continues Riley. “We believe the combination of DWR’s local market knowledge, the quality of the L‑Acoustics brand, Richard’s vast knowledge and reputation in the industry will make a powerful combination.”