October Meeting: Peter Freedman of RØDE Microphones

October Meeting Notice

The next meeting of the AES Melbourne Section will be on Monday 10th October at 7:30pm at:
The SAE Institute Lecture Theatre, 235 Normanby Rd, South Melbourne.

Peter Freedman, founder of RØDE Microphones, will present on the topic

 Microphone Manufacturing in Australia.

RØDE Microphones, an Australian Pro Audio icon, is now also its most famous and commercially successful pro audio export brand selling into over 111 countries through 5000 dealers.

With sales of over 1 million units annually and steadily growing, RØDE is also an outright category leader across the world in many of the microphone segments it addresses.

Now considered as a shining example of how Australian manufacturing is far from dead, RØDE is proving that practically anything can be designed and manufactured here, if the investment is made. The core of the company’s international competitiveness is based on delivering world-class microphones and accessories at a price affordable to consumers,. This is achieved by designing and manufacturing the componentry, metal and plastics in Australia. On this basis, RØDE has become the world leader in the on-camera microphone category, and most budding musician and producers first studio microphone will be the NT1-A.

It’s a far cry from 1990, when Freedman Electronics was laden with debt and crippling interest rates. The sound system installation work was sparse and unprofitable. A chance purchase and subsequent ‘right place at the right time’ moment came with a reasonable quality, Chinese-made microphone which was modified and sold by Freedman and could deliver decent results in the studio for a tenth of the price of the industry standard. On the back of other democratising technology – the ADAT Recorder – RØDE contributed to bring the tools of creativity into the hands of the masses. In 2008, when the Canon EOS 5D Mk II turned DLSR cameras into filmmaking tools, RØDE was there with the VideoMic.

Peter’s abiding passion for technology meant that as the company grew through these fortuitous events, he invested – and continues to invest – heavily in the tools for manufacture: CNC metal mills, Surface-Mount Technology production machines, complex plastic injection mould tool-making machines and moulding machines, to name just a few.

Peter Freedman takes an active role in the company as Managing Director and head of product technology and also oversees industrial design of every RØDE product, be it the 2015 Good Design Australia award-winning RØDE NTR Ribbon microphone, or the game-changing RØDELink Wireless system delivering reliable wireless technology to filmmakers, presenters and news reporters around the world. Again: advanced, Australian-made technology, afforded by the world.

Peter will take us inside the tech that made it possible.


About Peter Freedman
Founder and Managing Director, RØDE Microphones 

Shortly after inheriting Freedman Electronics, the pro-audio business he’d grown up in, Peter Freedman nearly ran it into the ground. He lost his home and family cars, and was over a million dollars in debt. Now, almost 30 years later, Peter has rebuilt the company into an Australian manufacturing-exporting powerhouse that delivers peerless studio, broadcast, performance and filmmaking microphones to 111 countries, including – yes – China. How he and the team at RØDE Microphones accomplished this is a story of determined success through innovations in design, process and marketing, and of bucking then resetting the received wisdom of the day.

Now, RØDE employs over 150 people in many disciplines, is the envy of the industry and has just recorded its most lucrative year.

Peter Freedman


Peter is a natural communicator and speaks with wit and authority on manufacturing, technology, leadership, embracing opportunity and carving a successful enterprise, lesson by lesson. Among many awards, he was E&Y’s Entrepreneur Of The Year: National Industry category in 2014 and was awarded the Order of Australia in 2016, for services to export and philanthropy in the arts. RØDE celebrates its 50th year in 2017.





Mon 10th  October 2016 at 7:30pm
The SAE Institute – Lecture Theatre
235 Normanby Road
South Melbourne


Visitors and guests welcome.

Directions:  Entry to SAE is via the Students’ Entry, now located in Woodgate St (at rear of building).
Please report to the Supervisor’s Desk at this entry, and you will be directed to the Lecture Theatre (upstairs).