New York, NY (July 21, 2006)–David Smith, vice president of audio engineering and R&D at Sony Music Studios in New York City, died suddenly on Saturday, June 17, while at his mother’s Long Island home. Smith was 55, and is survived by his mother, two sisters, and a brother.
David Smith. Photo by Mel Lambert.Smith’s funeral was held just a few days after his death, in Roslyn, NY. According to an e-mail notice sent out to AES NY Chapter members by Jerry Bruck, Advisor, AES New York Section Executive Committee, “One of those present at the funeral commented that he ‘doubted that any recording was being done in the New York area that day,’ since he estimated the attendance at the service and reception that followed at well over a hundred of David’s friends and colleagues in the recording industry. Given that there was less than a day for the news to circulate, the turnout was a remarkable testament to one of the best-liked and most-respected members of the engineering community.”
Smith had a long association with the AES New York Section, having served on its Executive Committee and been its Chairman in years past. Bruck also commented, “He was a participant and/or presenter at a number of our monthly meetings. He was always most generous in sharing his expertise in audio matters, especially regarding the many issues that arose with the development of digital sound.” In conclusion, Bruck added, “He will be sorely missed by all.”
Smith’s passing is a devastating loss to Sony Music Studios, his employer for 15 years. Andy Kadison, Sony Music Studios executive vice president/GM, calls Smith “a true ambassador in the audio field,” commenting, “He was friend, mentor and colleague to so many, it’s amazing how many wonderful and well-known people David Smith touched in his lifetime. His commitment to excellence was evidenced at Sony Studios and helped the studio attain distinction as the world’s unparalleled leading recording/mixing and television studio complex. David was unlike any other engineer and the world has lost a true giant.”
Kadison also notes that, “Smith was a bridge to a time when vacuum tubes, analog tape machines and large diaphragm condenser microphones were state of the art, yet he was more familiar with the digital realm then anyone else on the globe. His ability to span generations of audio tech was unsurpassed and will never be seen again. He was an invaluable asset.”
Brian McKenna, Sony Music Studios vice president, audio operations & marketing, adds, “David had a unique ability of relating to everyone from an entry level engineer to a CEO. He respected and understood each integral part of a music studio and label similar to each piece of a microphone. He not only helped build the technical infrastructure of Sony Studios, but also was largely responsible for the type of people who worked (this) technology. He was a dear friend and mentor who will be missed but never forgotten.”
In lieu of flowers, a fund in David’s name is being established and a memorial is being planned by Sony Music Studios, to be held sometime this month.