Stephan Schmitt was a pioneer in software instruments. In 1996 he founded Native Instruments. Today he works on hardware for performing musicians.
Stephan’s passion for synthesizers began in his youth, when he started playing keyboards in bands and building and modifying musical equipment. After studying electrical engineering, he worked as an electronic developer, moving to Berlin just before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Stephan founded Berlin-based Native Instruments in 1996, which has become an uncontestable leader in the audio software and hardware industry. In the first years the company's core product was Reaktor, a fully modular software-based signal processing and sound design environment. Reaktor has formed the technological basis of many other Native Instruments products and serves as a platform for software instruments using cutting-edge synthesis technologies. Stephan has also created a number of innovative instruments in Reaktor including Spark, Prism, Skanner, and Kontour. In 2012 he started his new company - Nonlinear Labs. It is dedicated to building advanced electronic instruments for performing musicians, focusing on playability and expressiveness. The first product under development is a digital keyboard instrument.