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Dave Smith

Getting Inside the Mix  - At eight years old I had my first experience of “getting inside the mix”. While listening to music on an old Blaupunkt tube radio, I realized that if I focused, I could mentally isolate and hear the individual instruments. Suddenly, I could hear the layers.

I Was Hooked - Technology radically changed Audio Production in the 1980’s and I was fortunate enough to be on the frontlines. I was selling synthesizers, samplers, and digital recording equipment on 48th St. in New York. Audio Post Production was still unknown to me but Berklee College of Music, where I had studied jazz piano, had sharpened my ears and introduced me to the basics of audio — and having a programmer for a dad taught me computers. In 1987 Fostex came out with one of the first affordable synchronizers. In order to demonstrate audio-for-video to customers I created a score and sound effects for a scene from Back to the Future. After that I was hooked.

No More Razor Blade and Starter’s Pistol - Starting in 1988 I had a front-row seat in the studios at ABC TV. I would watch as a Foley artist would open up a microphone to knock on a door, break a piece of glass or fire a starter’s pistol — music was still being edited with a razor blade. I’d been hired as a consultant to train the sound effects and audio post production staff in the use of new technology like the E-mu sampler and later Sound Tools. These radically changed the workflow and ultimately replaced the razor blade and starter’s pistol.

Cool Under Pressure - From 1992 to 2006 I was a fulltime re-recording mixer at ABC TV. Audio and video machines, computers and a massive recording console surrounded me — marathon sessions and insane deadlines were commonplace. It required tremendous focus and an in-depth knowledge of all the tools to manage what could easily devolve into chaos. I soon earned the confidence of production staff and earned a reputation for keeping my cool under pressure, being easy to work with and delivering quality audio sweetening.

Great Sound Without The Big Room - In 2003 and again in 2006 I worked the Super Bowl onsite with ABC Sports. I worked out of a trailer in the stadium parking lot where I had setup an audio post-production studio based on Pro Tools. When they broadcast the first High-Definition Super Bowl in 2006 I provided the audio in surround sound. I realized it was no longer necessary to have the big room with the big machines to get a great sound.

In 2006, with two decades of experience, knowledge and insight under my belt, I founded Audio Alchemy.