Dr. David B. Smith
» Voorhees Hall 205 (V-205)
Dr. David B. Smith is a Professor specializing in sound and music technology. He was instrumental in the department's award of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant of $780,000 for the acquisition of new equipment. He has taught at the college since 1997.
As a composer, sound designer, inventor, and musician, Dr. Smith has been active in the professional world since the early eighties. He has performed as a violinist in ensembles ranging from symphony orchestras to rock bands, both live and in the studio. His compositions, written in an equally eclectic variety of genres, have been heard across the country.
As a sound designer, Dr Smith has designed for over one-hundred and fifty productions in venues of all sizes. He was resident Composer/Sound Designer at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park for eight years.
Dr. Smith is recognized as one of the world leaders in the development of live performance computer instrument systems. Partnering with Dr. Frederick Bianchi (currently at Worcester Polytechnic Institute), Dr. Smith created the first virtual orchestra system in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the late eighties. This was quickly followed by several professional productions, including a critically acclaimed Wizard of Oz at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and the world's first virtual orchestra presentation in professional opera: Hansel und Gretel, at Kentucky Opera, in 1990. Further research in this area lead to a collaborative experiment in live gestural control of virtual orchestra systems with Lucent Technologies. The results of this were showcased at Telecom'99 in Geneva Switzerland, with a 320-speaker immersive environment used in conjunction with a performance of Natalie Cole, Sir John Barry, and the l'Orchestre du Suisse Romande.
Recognizing a need in contemporary performance venues, Dr's Smith and Bianchi teamed with Mr. Jeffrey Lazarus to found Realtime Music Solutions (RMS). This company is devoted to the development of new musical instruments that increase the efficiency of musical pit orchestra performance without sacrifice of musicality and expression. As Director of Research and Development at RMS, he has been instrumental in the creation of the Sinfonia orchestral enhancement instrument. He has overseen its implementation in over thirty-five productions, including fourteen national tours, London's West End, and Cirque du Soleile. He holds both US and British patents in music performance systems.
Working in collaboration with Opera Company of Brooklyn, Dr. Smith created two highly controversial productions of Mozart operas. The first, die ZauberflÖt, used Sinfonia in conjunction with an immersive array of loudspeakers to simulate an orchestra. This production also demonstrated proof of concept with metric control of external visual elements. This has led to current research in tighter metric integration along with co-researcher Professor John Huntington.