Dan Dugan

Sound Designer, Film crewmember

1943 –

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Who is Dan Dugan?

Dan Dugan is an American audio engineer, inventor, and nature sounds recordist. He was the first person in regional theatre to be called a sound designer, and he developed the first effective automatic microphone mixer: the automixer. Dugan's sound design work was acknowledged in 2003 with a Distinguished Career Award by the United States Institute for Theatre Technology.

In his youth, Dugan was fascinated by the technical aspects of theatre. He worked as a lighting designer then transitioned to sound design in 1967. Dugan became interested in achieving the automatic adjustment of sound controls after a frustrating experience staging the musical Hair. His first automixer design was not fully practical but his second design was successful; it used a reference derived from a total of all of its microphone signals. Dugan devised a third improvement which helped prevent audio feedback in the presence of sound reinforcement loudspeakers. Dugan next produced an automixer design that could be inserted into an existing mixing console. This proved popular for broadcast and live sound applications. Each of Dugan's subsequent automixer models has been of the insertable type.

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Mar 20, 1943
Los Angeles
  • University of San Francisco

on July 23, 2013


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