WICHITA — Fisch Haus gallery and art cooperative co-founder Eric Schmidt undoubtedly is artistic, but he’s not the musician he wants to be even though he’s practiced guitar for 10 years.
“I’d almost consider it playing, but not quite.”
His playing ability hasn’t kept the entrepreneurial Schmidt from developing a tool to help other musicians, though.
Schmidt has created the O-Port, a piece of equipment that goes inside a guitar or violin to produce a richer, more well-rounded tone.
“It’s just a big funnel,” Schmidt says. “You know, like the one you drop those coins in. That’s kind of what this thing does with air.”
Some surprises have come out of the invention, he says.
“It just happens to greatly reduce feedback when you play an acoustic guitar through a PA.”
Schmidt already has been selling the O-Port internationally through 11 distributors.
Now, he’s struck a deal with D’Addario, one of the best-known manufacturers of acoustic strings, among other things.
“They’re going to be our worldwide distributor,” Schmidt says.
He’ll also now start a push for U.S. sales through D’Addario.
Schmidt isn’t the only entrepreneurial member of his family.
His wife, Jamie Tabor, is the Chicken Poop lip balm lady.
“It just runs in the family,” Schmidt says.