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Doug Fowler:
Tom Young wrote in another thread:


So far there is no definitive "history of live performance sound" (book, website, whatever) and clearly this needs to be remedied.

I have registered (and .org, .net, etc) and have chosen to undertake this project.

There is nothing there yet, merely a parked domain.  Over the next few weeks I will get a skeleton web site up and begin a 'call for papers', or photos, or whatever anyone can contribute in an attempt to document this.

Yes, Donnie is sorely missed and would be on this like a junkyard dog IMO.

So, there it is.  I will be soliciting companies, manufacturers, and individuals in order to get this done.  I don't expect it to mature immediately so don't hold your breath.  Hopefully, some manufacturer will take it over at some point with a permanent place to live.  I have the domain(s) currently registered for five years.

John Roberts {JR}:
I don't know if you want to cut this off at only musical performance, but large scale speech sound reinforcement goes back much earlier for large public events, etc.

My father worked in the early sound-for-film industry and I have a old book from his papers that was published to celebrate the 50th anniversary of moving pictures and 20th anniversary of pictures with sound.  This book was printed 2 years before I was born, so it's been a while. This book dates sound reinforcement in theaters back to the late 1920's.

In case folks don't know, the movie industry and need to outfit theaters with sound playback equipment was the engine that powered the modern sound reinforcement industry. Movie theaters needed relatively wide bandwidth and higher SPL sound reproduction that speech reinforcement.  Surely folks recall the  "Voice of the theater" loudspeaker design popular a few decades ago for early R&R SR.

Large arena musical sound reinforcement is a more recent phenomenon, but old enough that some of those pioneers are dying off, so timely now to start accumulating first person accounts whenever possible.

I recall my disappointment when the magazine editor I was lobbying to interview the older Rudy Bozak dragged his feet and Rudy died without a documented first person account. RIP.  In hindsight I should have interviewed him myself.

If you are friendly with any one connected with the early days, consider collecting some of their personal stories. It could be as simple as carrying a voice recorder to dinner the next time you see them.  


Bob Lee (QSC):
Excellent, Doug! I'll try to get in touch with Ted Leamy, Ken Lopez, Jim Gamble, and others for material.

Doug Fowler:
Thanks, Bob.  We will need all the cooperation we can muster.

I hope to be able to archive photos and other material, with credits, rather than put up a 'linkopolis' (thanks RA folks :-)

J.R. - that's a good point about speech reinforcement.  I will take anything relevant that comes my way.

Tom Young:
Great, Doug !

Let me know if I can help out.

We need this.


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