Meeting Jesús Valencia Novelle [Sr. Mechanical Design Engineer]


In a recent series of posts introducing new and old team members at ADAM Audio, we conducted an interview with our Senior Mechanical Design Engineer, Jesús Valencia Novelle.

Hi Jesús, can you please give us a brief outline of your background and career?

“Driven by my interest in physics, design, and machines, I studied Mechanical Engineering in Universidade de Vigo in Spain, because I felt that it blended those three areas quite well.

After finishing my master thesis at the Vienna Technical University, I discovered the wide range of applications that engineering has. I first worked in proper industrial fields such as combustion engine design and combined cycle power plants. Then I moved on to hardware development and discovered the beauty of designing and manufacturing audio devices that individuals would use.

Given my lifelong passion for music, this change felt like a perfect match. I’ve worked for different companies in this industry since and at some point, ADAM Audio offered me the opportunity to bring my experience and ideas in hardware development to a renowned company, which in exchange allows me to continue my learnings in the complex field of acoustics.”

Could you please briefly describe what your job as Senior Mechanical Design Engineer at ADAM Audio looks like?

“I work very closely with Product Designers and Product Owners to make their initial ideas a reality. My responsibilities include bringing the first sketches to the drawing table and understanding what the message and main concepts are. I then create a mechanical design that is feasible in terms of development, time, and cost. Of course, that is not a one-person job, it’s a very collaborative task. Engineers from different areas give their input, inform the team about requirements, and make their own suggestions.

As soon as we enter the sampling stage, there’s a lot of back and forth happening with our suppliers to get the results that we want for our products. The process involves a ton of fun but brings many technical challenges and requires lots of communication. It never gets boring and provides endless opportunities for learning for everyone involved.”

How much of your work has a creative element to it and how much is purely technical?

“I would say the ratio is about 50/50. Yes, you need to be able to apply state-of-the-art technologies, but to solve problems and to be innovative, you need to be creative and come up with fresh ideas. To me, that’s one of the most exciting challenges that comes with the job!”

A wooden box, a few drivers, and some bits of electronics – one might think studio monitors have not changed much in terms of mechanical design during the last decades. What would you say to that?

“That is basically true, and breakthroughs happen only every few decades. Which is exactly why it’s so challenging to be innovative and at the same time create something that attracts customers. Like many things in the music realm, innovation is a double-edged sword: on the one hand you want to stick to what has reliably proven to work. On the other hand, new designs and ideas are needed to keep things developing and evolving. While we improve existing products, we also explore new ways through extensive research to develop products that will be seen as the next breakthrough point.”

What is it that fascinates you about products that are used in a musical context, such as studio monitors?

“The fact that those things, be it studio monitors, synths, guitars, etc., allow you to do ANYTHING you can imagine. The capabilities and limitations of the equipment of beginners and mega stars are basically the same. The key is to know how those products can inspire you and unlock your creativity! There is a real two-way relationship between creatives and their tools. It’s a great pleasure to contribute to that creative process by developing some of these tools.”

How have environmental considerations changed the challenges in your job?

“I’m happy to say that the impact has been massive. Generally speaking, production has a negative impact on the environment, so I’m glad to see the introduction of more and more restrictions on the use of certain materials and processes.

This means that we need to re-think many established methods or pay the true cost for them, covering the ramifications of their negative aspects, e.g. through more complex production processes. Like ADAM Audio, several manufacturers in our industry have started to increase the use of recycled and recyclable materials. In parallel, we amongst others minimize the use of materials that are neither of these things.”


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Do you have a favorite product in the ADAM Audio portfolio?

“That would be the now discontinued A7X. Its imperfections somehow provided the perfect solution to 90 % of its use cases, which is just amazing! Now, our learnings have been put into its successor, the A7V, which should bring us much closer to 100 %.”

What do you like best about living in Berlin? What is the worst?

“Berlin is a vibrant city full of creativity, diverse people and with a huge sense of community, where music of all genres is at home. You do not find that in other capitals around the world, and it makes Berlin quite unique. Unfortunately, the winters are long and dark – but then again, summers in Berlin are the best!”

What kind of music would you put on during a Friday afternoon just before closing time?

“I will definitely play some good 70s and 80s rock and electronic classics – the likes of Led Zeppelin, Guns’n’Roses, and Depeche Mode will pump me up to then hit the Berlin streets and enjoy the multiverse of activities that this city bursts with every weekend.”

To delve deeper into the music industry, visit the ADAM Audio Blog. If you’re considering becoming a part of our team, explore our Career section to find information about the current job openings.