Chuck Surack was tired of being a touring musician and founded the company in 1979 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The company originally offered recording services via a remote recording studio in Surack’s VW bus and another recording studio based out of his home.
In 1985, to increase the services the recording studio could offer, Surack bought a Kurzweil K250 and became known for his custom sound library and programming skills as well as his upgrade kits.
By 1990, with six employees, the company expanded Sweetwater to become a retailer of musical instruments and pro audio equipment, with the recording studio continuing as an integral part of the business.
In October 2018, Sweetwater announced another expansion to construct a new warehousing facility.
In August 2022, Sweetwater opened its first distribution center outside of Indiana. The Phoenix, Arizona, Distribution center is 350,000 square feet of musical instruments and audio gear, including microphones, amplifiers, drums, and guitars.
Sweetwater Sound maintains a corporate office in Fort Wayne, Indiana.