Hi! We're Chaos Audio, and we're a
Guitar Tech Company
We’re passionate about helping guitarists have more fun. We believe that when products are designed to enable creativity, engineered to work well, and are an insane amount of fun, that’s when magic happens. We all know the search for tone is never over, so we build tech enabled gear that makes playing easier, more exciting, and more expressive. That way musicians can eliminate noise and focus on what they do best — creating.
Hi. I’m Landon McCoy, CEO of Chaos Audio.
Several years ago, back in 2018, my younger brother and I loved noodling around on the guitar, but we didn’t know anything about guitar pedals. That was until my brother (who is a much better guitar player than me) decided to buy his first pedal: a Boss DS-1. I thought it was the coolest thing ever.
In 2019, I was majoring in electrical engineering. I immediately started researching how guitar pedals worked, so I could tinker around with making my own on a breadboard for fun.
“Analog, single-effect pedals are cool, but how fun would it be to make a multi-effect pedal that could be entirely controlled from something as simple as a mobile app?” I got together with a few friends of mine, and for fun we started working on this project. Chaos Audio LLC was officially registered on August 31st, 2019.
After winning 1st Place and Dean’s Choice at a college entrepreneurship competition with our first prototype, we took the prize money, bought a 10 year old iMac for iOS development, and got to work.
Shortly into our first year of operation, COVID struck. During lockdown, we basically lived out of the startup incubator we were operating out of. It was that month that we made the most progress on our electronics, and finally found the perfect hardware platform to use. I designed the first ever circuit board for Stratus, placed surface-mount components using tweezers for 5 hours, and frustratingly threw it into a toaster oven after it wouldn’t work the first time. Then, magically, our first design booted, and we could run code on it! What a cool experience.
In November 2020, we decided to launch our first Kickstarter campaign. We did a lot of things right, but not enough to see the success that we wanted to see. At $6k short of our goal, we decided to cancel the Kickstarter campaign and go back to the drawing board. Over the next 6 months, we continued to improve Stratus, update our mobile app, and learn from others who launched successful Kickstarter campaigns.
In June 2021, our strategy worked. In just 30 days, over 545 backers helped us reach and well surpass our Kickstarter goal, raising over $130,000. Thanks to the support of our incredible backers, we learned that Stratus had true potential in the pedal industry. The next step was to figure out manufacturing.
We were about a year late delivering to our backers, and we quickly learned just how difficult it is to mass produce an electronics product. We had to go through iteration after iteration to get it just right, creating repeatable processes along the way and getting our tooling and software ready to use to create a reliable and sturdy product that we could be proud of.
We made so many mistakes throughout the prototyping process, but every mistake was a valuable lesson, and thorough testing helped us ensure none of these mistakes would slip through and land in the final product.
We totally revamped our mobile app design, packaging, effects, website, and everything pertaining to our brand in the 18 months after our Kickstarter campaign.
In November 2022, we excitedly began shipping to all of our North American Kickstarter backers. That following December, we received the next batch of Stratus pedals off the manufacturing line, and finally began shipping to the rest of our international Kickstarter backers. We officially launched Stratus on our website about a week before Christmas.
Fast forward to today, and our team, Robert, Armis, Eric, Kyla, and I, are rapidly improving Stratus, rolling out new features, shipping out orders, and supporting existing Stratus users.
This is only the beginning.