JoeCo - PersonnelJoeCo - Who's Who

Joe Bull - Managing Director

Joe Bull started life in the audio industry as a trainee engineer (aka Tea Boy) at a small independent recording studio called Spaceward in Cambridge, England. His mentors were Mike Kemp and Gary Lucas who had founded Spaceward during their studies at Cambridge University. The work was very varied; typical days in the studio were 14 hours long and would usually result in a good quality master tape being produced for a range of small independent bands who wanted to put out their music as a 7" single (remember them!), or just make demo tapes to take around the record companies.

Studio work was supplemented by live gigs, with the Spaceward crew either providing the PA and mixing expertise, or occasionally recording the gig as well. Spaceward became particularly popular for providing Folk Festival sound at many UK venues. The discipline of having to create good quality sound for dozens of acts every day with no time for a sound check was invaluable. The most important discipline Joe learned from being an audio engineer was that "the show must go on" – an education in technical problem solving that was to become the cornerstone of his future work.

The studio grew into new premises (see and prospered for many years. However, the studio side of the music industry was changing and in the mid 1980's Spaceward began to develop a video production side of the company. As there was no affordable solution to providing computer graphics, Spaceward (and more specifically, Mike Kemp) began designing a cost effective solution. Customers soon clamoured to buy this bespoke computer graphics system and Spaceward Microsystems was born as a manufacturer.

The new company grew rapidly, employing nearly 100 people and turning over about £7M, before being acquired by Avesco PLC in 1990, leaving the innovators free to move on to new things.

Joe, Mike and a few friends decided to put their hardware and software design experience back into the audio industry where their roots were and in 1991 founded Studio Audio & Video Limited. Their first product was the XS digital audio processing card, which after only a year formed the basis of what was to become the SADiE Classic. SADiE grew over many years to become one of the most popular and well respected brands in the Digital Audio Workstation market, always concentrating on the requirements of its professional and broadcast customers. After 17 years of trading, the company was sold in 2008 to Prism Sound who continue to promote the brand and products.

Joe formed JoeCo Limited to continue this pedigree of audio design, solving problems and providing solutions for music and audio people the world over. Mike Kemp and Simon Widdowson, now of, have played an important part in the design and implementation of the BLACKBOX RECORDER and their contribution is greatly valued.

Joe Bull can be contacted on Email:

Francis Duggan – Production

Keeping the wheels of JoeCo's production department well oiled is the responsibility of Francis Duggan, who joined the team in 2012. The Leeds Metropolitan University Politics graduate is also an experienced musician with a keen interest in music technology and production.

As lead singer and guitarist of the band Black Box Lost (interesting coincidence), Francis gigs locally and writes all the band's material. He also works with a number of unsigned artists, mixing and mastering songs using a range of production tools. In addition, Francis is an experienced DJ playing at numerous parties, pub and clubs.

At JoeCo, Francis takes care of quality control, pre testing and stock demands to make sure that production schedules can always be met and BlackBoxes shipped to distributors and customers as required. He also assists with product modifications, servicing and fault repairs. As part of the trade show team, he travels to events in the UK and Europe demoing the BlackBox.

In his "spare time", Francis is studying for chartered accountancy and management qualifications.

Francis can be contacted on Email:


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