LDI 2018 Speaker Spotlight: Daniel Keller

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As we gear up for the LDI Show, we’re profiling speakers in our Sound Tracks series of panels aimed at live sound engineers. This week we’re pleased to introduce you to Daniel Keller, who will be hosting our “Immersive Audio: From Production to Playback” panel.

Writer, musician, artist, and technology über-geek Daniel Keller founded Get It In Writing in 2002 to merge his creative background in music and the arts with his insatiable passion for technology. His diverse career has included many years in audio production and engineering, as well as executive positions in artist relations, music publishing, product design and management, promotion, marketing, and media relations. Keller is hard-wired to the world of pro audio, musical instruments, video, multimedia, sustainability, and high-tech: If it blinks, whirs, manipulates sound or picture, moves, makes a cool noise, or is interactive, it’s probably on his radar.

Sarah Jones: What was your first sound gig?

Daniel Keller: Unless you count live gigs starting at age 16, my first “official” jobs were as a tech and an engineer at Cherokee and Paramount studios in the mid-1980s. I had already been running an informal 4-track studio and working with other players and songwriters, but those were the first places that actually paid me.

SJ: Who or what has most influenced the way you think about sound?

DK: I studied under Dr. John Barsotti at San Francisco State in the early ’80s; aside from technical aspects, he had a big influence on how I learned to listen and to understand the creative process in the studio. I’ve also been fortunate to have watched over the shoulders of some incredibly talented producers—people like Peter Asher, Phil Ramone, Don Was, Roger Bechirian, and other greats. 

SJ: What kind of technology is having the biggest impact on entertainment?

DK: Immersive audio and VR show an immense amount of promise. Even though the tech has been around for some time now, we’re still in the nascent days of what’s possible.

SJ: What can attendees expect to learn about in your panel? 

DK: The VR experience is becoming increasingly refined from a visual perspective, but without the proper audio cues, the experience is incomplete. We’ll be examining the state of immersive audio in current VR technology.

SJ: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

DK: Practice gratitude and be good to yourself.

SJ: And the worst?

DK: Here, hold this. 

SJ: What are you most excited to check out at LDI?

DK: Every show is a chance to catch up with old friends, meet new folks, and maybe learn a thing or two. 

The 30th annual LDI Show takes place October 15-21 in Las Vegas.

Sarah Jones is a writer, editor, and content producer with more than 20 years' experience in pro audio, including as editor-in-chief of three leading audio magazines: MixEQ, and Electronic Musician. She is a lifelong musician and committed to arts advocacy and learning, including acting as education chair of the San Francisco chapter of the Recording Academy, where she helps develop event programming that cultivates the careers of Bay Area music makers.

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