After listening to the guys at the audionowcast discuss the people most influential to them, I figured I wanted to start a thread here and discuss this with the rest of you guys. here's a list of the people and things that were and are the most influential on me and my audio career.

The process of making this list has filled me with gratitude both for my lot in life and for the people I have around me. This gig sure beats washing dishes.

real people

  • my parents - who supported my decision to pass on what could have been a scholarship to anywhere out of high school and head to a little community college in West Texas to pursue audio, supported my decision to move to Dallas to pursue audio, supported my decision to intern at DAPG ("you're going to work for free?") and continue to support me to this day.

  • my wife - who tolerates my constant need to "pull over for a few minutes and record the wind over there" while we're on road trips, my need to spend our hard earned $ on mics and recorders, the hours I spend at the office, and the fact that I love my company enough to not really ever want to move away from Dallas.

  • my boss - Roy, who gave me a shot when I was 21 and trained me from the ground up. who continues to put faith and trust in my abilities, and who listens openly to any suggestions I may have about any facet of audio or the business of audio.

  • my coworkers - especially Brad who is both cooler than me and more naturally talented than me. He's constantly challenging my perceptions and pushing me to be better at what I do.

  • my professors at school - especially Jerry Stoddard and Stuart Moody who were consummate professionals and would not rest until we bunch of long haired wannabees understood mic theory, signal flow, electronics, troubleshooting, eq, compression, et all. they also let us record our music in the awesome studios there.

internet people (in no specific order)

  • Miguel Isaza - tireless curator of all things audio at desigingsound.org and sonic-terrain.com

  • Tim Prebble - author of one of the strongest sound design blogs out there. Tim is eternally giving with his knowledge and techniques both on his blog and in this forum and others. I've learned immensely just by standing back and watching.

  • Michael Raphael - Michael and I tweet and IM back and forth a fair amount, and he's become a very trusted extra set of ears to help evaluate my stuff as I help listen to his. He also runs rabbitearsaudio.com

  • Michael Maroussas - Created and maintains The Sound Collector's Club, which both stocks my library and forces me to get out into the world one extra time a month to record something entirely unrelated to any projects I have running, and do it at a high enough level to be proud of.

  • the people at gearslutz

  • the people here

  • the people on twitter

films (in no specific order)

  • no country for old men - tour de force in the art of using negative space to pull forward tiny details. As a West Texas guy who's spent plenty of time in El Paso, the authenticity and execution of this film is stunning.

  • transformers - yeah I said it. The first transformers film is paced excellently and is filled with so much top shelf modern sound design it boggles the mind. I find it impossible to watch that film and not learn something.

  • house of flying daggers - I use this film to show interns what good foley sounds like, as well as how to captivate emotions with open space and tiny moves followed by big ones. The cloth, swords, breaths, mix, and footsteps are the peak of the art.

  • the matrix - revolutionary sound design throughout. the punches, digital manipulations, white rooms, slow downs, and everything else are without peer.

  • district 9 - the best creature and scifi weapon sounds IMO, and a masterful documentary style mix. I could watch this 10 times in a row and never be bored with it.

  • symbol - i saw this film at the asian film festival here in Dallas last year. It takes place half in a white room in Chinese and half in old mexico in spanish. It kind of blew my mind, and I wish I could see it again.

  • kill bill volume 1 - the battle between lucy liu and the bride at the end has a water fountain in it that inspires me to do specific grounding details in quiet scenes to this day. also the gory sounds and the animation sound designs are awesome. that music soundtrack is also some pretty damn inspired work.

of course there are countless others that can be added to each list, but these are the top people/films in each in my world. what about you?

  • @Rene What is pho?
    – Utopia
    Commented Jun 30, 2011 at 23:40
  • pho is Vietnamese noodles. love that stuff.
    – Rene
    Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 3:18
  • Totally agree with your District 9 mention. That film's sound design and mix was sick. I couldn't love those alien vocalizations more or the fabulous use of processing to simulate news footage, documentary footage, and in film action. AWESOME! Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 15:55

7 Answers 7



  • film: Kim Ki Duk, Joon-ho Bong, Bella Tarr, Jim Jarmusch, Jean Pierre Jeunet, David Lynch and many others I have forgotten... or haven't found yet...

  • sound: Alan Splet, Randy Thom, Skip Leivsay

  • music: Arvo Part, Ryuichi Sakamoto, African Head Charge, Scientist

  • writing: Aldous Huxley, Haruki Murikami, William Gibson

  • locals: Len Lye, Philip Clairmont, Colin McCahon, Kit Rollings, Phil Dadson


  • 482 feeds coming into my RSS reader from sound/music/art/architecture/literature/photography/design/etc etc

  • every person who contributes positively online, FWIW theres a statistic known as the 1/9/90 rule: 90% are passive lurkers, 9% contribute little, 1% contribute 99% If you are actively in the 1% then thank you! Action is always rewarded, sometimes not immediately but eventually... its like karma, it accumulates... So thanks to every person who writes, post sounds, field recordings, videos, photos etc...


friends, family, travel & the natural environment

"My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of church going." Aldous Huxley

Amen, brother!


Rather than re-list a whole bunch of names that will undoubtedly come up and a few that won't, I'll simply condense my answer down to:

  • Those whose work we are all familiar with. Without their creativity, their compulsion, or their determination I would not know how powerful sound can be.

  • All of you who share your insights, knowledge, and experience freely. Every day that I read a blog, watch a BTS video, or answer a post I become better at my craft.

  • My past, current and potential co-workers who constantly challenge my thinking, critique my work and inspire me to grow on a day-by-day basis.

But, by far, my single greatest personal influence in my career has been

  • My wife, @MixingManiac. She is my editing/mixing partner, my sounding board, my tech support, my business guru, my advocate and my competition. Her passion for sound is infectious. Her drive is relentless. She motivates me to become greater than I ever thought I could be. I certainly wouldn't have gotten this far without her.
  • @Steve Urban I think I just teared up. Thank you, Love. Commented Jul 1, 2011 at 15:46

Ben Burtt as a practitioner.

F. Alton Everest as a theorist.


Good question!

In no particular order...

Frank Serafine - An interview with Frank about his sounds for Tron was the spark that made me realize that PEOPLE actually made the sounds for these cool worlds we saw in the movies.

Ben Burt - 'nuff said

Walter Murch - This actually came much later in life, I was well into my career before I read "In the Blink of an Eye", but I relate highly to his philosophies and theories.

Larry Blake - Stephen Soderberg's sound guy, but more importantly to me, the Film Sound Editor for Mix Magazine in the 90's. I picked up a TON reading his articles.

David Yewdall - One of my bosses offered me a chance to go to NAB many moons ago, and while I was there I bought a copy of "The Practical Art of Motion Picture Sound". Yewdall's thoughts on passion and work changed much about the way I did things.

Phillipe Espanoza and Pierre Paquette - The two mixers on my first Theatrical feature. They were kind enough to help a "babe in the woods" without making me feel like an idiot. The lessons they taught me on the dubstage remain to this day.

Serge Cote - My Boss, Friend and Mentor. He gave me a shot, and taught me more about things then I can ever realize.

DaVinci - a personal hero - scientist, artist, etc.etc. etc...

My Kids - They were good enough to teach me that what we experience OUTSIDE the studio, can have a huge impact INSIDE it.


Tom Lopez aka "Meatball Fulton" in the audio drama world, Angelo Badalamenti in the film sound design world, Geir Jenssen aka "Biosphere" in the music world.


Real People: My mom and dad Eric Reimers Ivo Ivanov - twisted tools designer/teacher David Sonnenscheine

Internet People: Everyone else from the social sound design forum Ryan Tim Prebble Noise Jockey VCProd Morten Green Andrew Spitz Shaun Farley C3 Sound G.A. Harry

other: Designing sound.org tim prebble's site this forum (!!!:) vimeo for having such interesting videos of higher quality!

Even further, I want to give a whole hearted Thank You to everybody on this forum, it has been incredible. Thanks.


My husband and partner in audio crime, Steve, is also my greatest personal influence and has brought me closer to my dreams than I would have come alone. He challenges me everyday to listen a little a differently and consider a different approach. Besides, he is the only person in the world to whom I would ever dare utter my dumbest questions... Our audio journeys together remain some of my life's best adventures.

My grandfather, Jerome Nickerson. He always told me to find what it is that is my purpose and function as a person and to simply do it. His example of a life of passion gives me hope for everyone of my dreams.

Professionally, Lora Hirschberg and Gwen Whittle, who make me not feel like a unicorn for being a gal who geeks hard on audio. Their talent and the path they forge for women in this industry literally leaves me starstruck and unable to speak clearly when I see them at award events. (It's embarrassing...)

Also, I must give props to my boys Richard Humphries, who is a rare combination of physics egghead and creative genius, and Mark Edmondson, who displays unrelenting motivation and dedication to his goals.

Also, I too need to thank every one of those amazing talents (Charles Deenen, Tim Prebble, Scott Gershin, Randy Thom, many of the SSD users here, etc.) who have humbly spoken to a silly awkward gal like me at an award show reception/industry event and/or returned an email to me allowing me to learn a bit more about our world. Your work inspires me, your success impresses me, but your openness to share your time and knowledge with me leaves truly stunned by your personal character and genius. What a blessing to have the opportunity to communicate with you!

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