Austin inventor for Cirrus Logic reaches 500-patent

John Melanson, a senior technical fellow at Austin-based Cirrus Logic, has had a passion for tinkering and solving complex problems for as long as he can remember.

“I’ve always loved technology. I’ve always loved making things,” he said. “When I was a little kid, my father was an engineering professor and my after-school babysitter was hanging out with his grad students and hanging out with his colleagues. So it was always around us and I was always trying to get cool parts, always trying to make something.”

Despite his passion for tech, Melanson was originally drawn to music, not engineering. But he quickly realized by watching friends who were exceptional musicians that he couldn’t compete.

“I could be a hack musician. But I was a pretty decent technologist, and technology and music and sound go together really well, so I started building synthesizers and recording equipment and public address systems — everything having to do with sound and audio,” Melanson said. “It was a way to make my technical abilities play together with the fact that I really liked sound and really liked to use it.”