Audio pioneer Don Davis, founder of the Norman, Ind.-based audio training firm SynAudCon, has died at the age of 94. Davis and his wife Carolyn founded Synergetic Audio Concepts or Syn-Aud-Con, later referred to as SynAudCon, in 1973. For 23 years Davis and Carolyn created the synergetic foundation that educated and trained more than 10,000 sound contractors, designers and consultants from around the world.
They literally changed lives, according to a statement from the company. SynAudCon was acquired by Pat and Brenda Brown in 1995, and it’s still training contractors, designers and consultants from around the world. Davis and Alexis Badmaieff authored, “How to Build Loudspeaker Enclosures.” Davis and Carolyn produced quarterly the 25-plus page SynAudCon newsletter and four-plus-page Tech Topics, as well as authored If Bad Sound Were Fatal, Audio Would Be the Leading Cause of Death.
They authored the first and second edition of Sound System Engineering, and Davis co-authored the third and fourth editions with Dr. Eugene Patronis and Pat Brown. The first edition of “Sound System Engineering” was often referred to as the “‘audio bible'” among his followers. He was a contributing author to all five editions of the Handbook for Sound Engineers.
Davis worked with Dr. C.P. Boner equalizing sound-reinforcement systems, and he was instrumental in the design of the Altec Lansing Acoustavoice system and the design and use of real-time analyzers to equalize rooms. Davis and Carolyn were AES Fellows, received the Sagamore of the Wabash award, and the Adele De Berri Pioneer Award.
The love of Davis’ life was Carolyn. Together, they enjoyed SynAudCon, their many pets, traveling, fast cars, target shooting and their Indiana farm. Davis will be remembered as a learner, teacher, listener, trend-setter, audio sage and a great storyteller. He was highly respected among his friends and colleagues.
Pat Brown, president of SynAudCon, says, “A highlight of my audio life was attending my first SynAudCon seminar at ‘the farm’ in Southern Indiana. It was the late 1980’s and I was just getting started in audio. I followed the Davis’s through their Newsletters and Tech Topics for years until meeting them in-person. The encounter changed my life in many ways. Don and Carolyn demonstrated the best in humanity by their lifestyle, example, and friendship. What a privilege it has been for Brenda and me to carry on their work.”
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