Rest in Peace Owsley

Rest in Peace Owsley “Bear” Stanley; the world is now a little less colorful place. Perhaps best know as the sound engineer who helped inspire the Grateful Dead‘s infamous Wall of Sound public address system that helped define the sound of live rock shows. Amazing for the early 1970’s the P.A. was powered by over 26,000 watts of amplification and pioneered the use of what is now referred to as the line array. It formed a Wall of speakers behind the band and acted as the band’s monitor so they heard what the audience did requiring custom feedback prevention. The band members sang into one of a pair of out of phase microphones fed to a differential amp. This arrangement canceled the sound of the wall which was common to both mics and passing the vocals.

Owsley also recorded many of the Dead’s live albums,  co-design the Skull and Dancing Bears logos and was also an active proponent of psychedelics.

Check out Owsley’s website which contains many interesting if (because they are) unconventional essays.

Checkout theoryphotos and details of the Grateful Dead’s Wall of Sound.

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