Iâ€™VE LOST FAR TOO MANY FRIENDS IN THE PAST YEAR. Drew Daniels passed away on December 1, 2010 after a bout with prostate cancer. He devoted his entire life to the pursuit of quality audio and if there was a job in audio that Drew hadnâ€™t tackled, well, we havenâ€™t heard of it. During his career, he worked as an electroacoustic consultant, systems designer, studio musician, vocalist, recording/mastering engineer, producer, studio designer, live sound mixer, inventor, author and audio technology educator.
Drew began building hi-fi audio kits at age six and worked his way through college building amps for Gene Czwerinski at Vega (later Cerwin-Vega). In 1969, he mixed Procol Harum and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band at the Palm Springs Pop Festival. An in-demand performer himself, Daniels was the musical director, singer and bass player in The New Christy Minstrels from 1971 to 1974. In 1974, Drew was hired at the renowned Sound Factory Recording studios, building electronics, maintaining equipment, designing acoustic echo chambers and engineering for recording artists such as Donovan, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor.
His long association with JBL began in 1976, with three years in the transducer laboratory doing laser holographic interferometry, acoustical modeling, prototyping and pattern making. From 1979 to 1983 Drew was applications engineer/technical specialist for TASCAM, and later wrote audio manuals for Gary Davis Associates, which led to being technical training manager for Fenderâ€™s pro sound division.
In 1985, he returned to JBL, serving five years as an applications engineer for JBL Professional. While at JBL, he consulted on sound system designs and designed audio systems for clients including television networks, performing arts auditoriums, municipal stadiums, amusement parks, and hundreds of large and small churches across the U.S. In 1989, he was recruited to do R&D at Walt Disney Imagineering and later became principal electroacoustic engineer in the Imagineering A/V department and designed park-wide audio systems for (and worked at) EuroDisney outside Paris.
Drew was twice elected chairman of the Audio Engineering Societyâ€™s Los Angeles section (1983 and 1991), presented numerous AES Convention technical papers/workshops and produced and served as convention chair of technical tours and loudspeaker workshops. He taught performance sound system design and audio engineering at the Aspen Recording Institute, was a staff instructor of loudspeaker and acoustics technologies at USC, and taught physics, electronics, audio engineering and recording engineering at UCLA Extension for 15 years.
In 1992, Drew formed a consulting firm, Sound Path Labs, that specializing in electroacoustical component and system design, test and measurement, having three patents to his credit including a stereo-in-a-box technology he licensed to Fender Musical Instruments, and a super-woofer loudspeaker designed to replace three of conventional units, the subject of patents for Aura Systems. Sound Path Labs developed into a commercial recording/mastering studio and post facility having released or mastered hundreds of CDs.
Drew Daniels “was truly a “one of a kind” and will long be remembered by his many friends and associates in the audio industry and surely be missed by all.