Zenon Schoepe died last month. In a year where we seem to be losing all the greats, all the smart people, all the wise ones with all the knowledge: we lost another. And to the professional audio industry, it’s a shock, it’s a tragedy; but, more than that, it’s the departure of a vanguard of sanity.
Back in my early days on Pro Sound News Europe, Zenon was the obstinate, almost belligerent editor of Studio Sound magazine, dealing with the serious world of studio land: with the Neves and the SSLs and the APIs and the Plus Trentes and the MG Sounds. He was the man who gave short shrift to the yappy-dog PR types who would phone him up, only to be dismissed by a “Yes... yes... OK... goodbye!”, and a fatalistic putting-down of the receiver. Brusque? Perhaps. Dealing with issues with the right perspective? Definitely.
There’s an obvious reason why Resolution – the magazine born of the closing of Studio Sound in late 2001 – didn’t wholly adopt Twitter or Facebook or other social media tools as they emerged, because Zenon realised the value of serious, face-to-face discussion; of sitting down with the relevant parties, and hammering out the topics of the day. The clue’s in the title, you see: Resolution was not just about bits and frequencies and sample rates, it was about the answer.
So, the other thing about Mr Schoepe (and I’m whispering this now): the other thing was – and anyone who knew him knows this too – he was always bloody right. He was always BLOODY right! He seemed to know how everything worked. About the deals, and the deals behind the deals, and even the wheels that turned the deals behind the deals. And despite going to press conferences or one-on-one meetings without any visible means of recording the conversation, there would always be a full report on the technology or of the event. How did he do it? Experience, skill, wisdom and a propensity for warding off bullshit, I reckon.
Zen, we had some great times, at trade shows, in Japan, in Denmark, at press visits and events... and I shall miss your counsel and your friendship. RIP sir.
Zenon Schoepe the founder and editorial director of international pro-audio magazine Resolution, passed away on 10 April 2016. He is survived by his wife, Susan Schoepe, daughter Olympia, son Florian, father Bogdan and sister Bozena.
Dave Robinson, 25 April 2016
Top picture: Zenon, right, with (l-r) Dave Robinson, Paul Mac (ex-Audio Media) and Amanda Chester (ex-Harman PR), Vienna 2006. Lower pic: same group with writer Phil Ward, before the AKG factory visit, 2006