It all began in 1973.
Don and Carolyn Davis, SynAudCon founders
We cannot begin to number their accomplishments.
Well over 10,000 audio professionals attended their seminars.
Their training inspired many new products and companies to form.
SynAudCon was founded on this philosophy and it remains today.
They packed their motor home full of gear and traveled throughout the US giving hundreds of seminars.
Don was a gifted teacher. He knew how to keep his students intrigued.
Note the equipment on the table. Don understood the importance of demonstrating the principles.
The students left challenged and inspired.
A fun picture of the students participating in the demos.
The curious looks on their faces says that they were there to learn.
Note the equipment in the background staged for demos.
Don had a passion to teach.
Scenes like this were a common occurrence.
Don has authored several books:
Sound System Engineering 1st edition
Sound System Engineering, 2nd edition
Sound System Engineering, 3rd edition co-authored with Dr Gene Patronis
Sound System Engineering, 4th edition co-authored with Dr. Gene Patronis and Pat Brown
If Bad Sound was Fatal, Audio Would be the Leading Cause of Death
Handbook of Sound Engineers – contributing author.
The class materials included
Sound System Engineering, written by Don Davis, known by many as the audio bible.
The large thick manual, slide-rules, HP calculator and member newsletters.
Don and Carolyn taught at many prestigious events and traveled worldwide giving their seminars.
This picture was taken at the World’s Fair in Moscow (1959).
They hosted many workshops that brought industry experts together to teach on important topics.
This event was the Concert Sound Reinforcement Workshop – Orange, CA.
Don understood the importance of learning from other great minds.
Dick Heyser and Don Davis – April 1979
Ken Wahrenbrock and Don Davis
Don Davis and Dr. Gene Patronis
You may recognize some well-known faces in these graduating classes.
Taken in 1984. Help me name these gentleman. Here are a few:
Left to Right:?, ?, JT King, Al Grundy, Don Davis, ?, ?, ?, Russ Berger, Don Eger, Dave Andrews, Jim Brown, ?,?,Phil Clark, Howard King,?, Ray Rayburn,
In 1992, Pat Brown and Fred Frederick installed five sound systems in a gymnasium.
Pat said it was 100 degree weather with no AC. The goal of the workshop was to compared the systems in similar acoustical conditions.
Speech intelligibility was especially of interest at the time.
Help me name these gentleman. Here are a few:
Top Row Left to Right: ?, Larry Walburg, ?, Akira Mochimaru, Ron Bennett, John Murray, Don Eger, Don Davis.
Middle Row Left to Right: Jay Mitchell, Tony Faranda, Don Van Oort, Peter Mapp, ?, Dave Andrews, Ernie Pence, Frank Ostrander, Harro Heinz.
Bottom Row Left to Right: Don Heavener, ?, Bruce Olson, Jim Bumgarder, ?, Deward Timothy, Wolfgang Ahnert.
Unfortunately Pat and Fred are not in the photo.
After about 15 years of traveling in their motor home giving seminars, they moved back to their Indiana farm. They gave smaller size seminars at this farmhouse.
One of Don’s famous quotes.
Don and Carolyn today.
Our dear Carolyn is no longer with us.
Don is still full of life.
Don and Carolyn in front of their Indiana home. They were surrounded by nature and animals in their retirement years.
Don, at age 90, just purchased a new Porsche.
Don Davis and Pat and Brenda Brown. The photo was taken on Don’s 94th birthday – Sept. 3, 2022
Don Davis was reunited with Carolyn on March 6, 2023. What a celebration that must have been.
Upon Don and Carolyn’s retirement, Pat and Brenda Brown took over SynAudCon in 1996.
Pat Brown being mentored under Don Davis
From 1992-1995, Pat was a guest instructor for the seminars held at the Indiana farm house.
They too hosted hundreds of public in-person seminars.
Pat, also a gifted teacher, had a way of keeping their interest.
Pat and Brenda’s very first seminar.
Fall River, MA – September 1995
In our beginnings, the seminars were often held at a local farm in southern Indiana.
The event center provided “over the top home-cook food”, three acre sundaes, basketball, horseshoes, beautiful lakes, ducks everywhere and pumpkins galore.
The demos that made SynAudCon seminars so popular continue today.
One of his many demos that he did during the class.
The attendees always loved his drive-the-point-home demos!
Pat constantly upgraded the equipment as the technology changed.
We chose to take a trailer (not a motor home) to house all the equipment needed for the demos.
A field trip was frequently taken during the seminar.
This class held at Messiah college visited two theaters with variable acoustics.
They had the opportunity to listen to a speech track as the acoustics changed.
The importance of good acoustics became real to this group.
Pat also demonstrated how to collect room impulse responses (RIR).
Hot, sit-down meals were a very important part of every seminar.
Friends were made and ideas were exchanged. Good Times!
SynAudCon’s Workshops continued under Pat and Brenda.
SynAudCon would bring in the industry experts to teach on topics of interest.
They almost always brought in a sold-out crowd with the the industry’s finest in attendance.
This event hosted 2 workshops – Making Wireless Work and Speech Intelligibility.
It was held at the American Airlines Training and Conference Center – Dallas, TX.
We too had the privilege to present our training worldwide.
Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, England, Germany, Hong Kong, Jordan, India, Ireland, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Switzerland, and the UAE.
The three pictures shown are from Brazil, Thailand and China.
SynAudCon gave private seminars to many prestigious companies.
Disneyland, Disneyworld, Kennedy Space Center, Opryland Entertainment, Busch Gardens, Sea World Orlando, House of Commons – Ottawa, US Air Force, US Army, University of British Columbia, many audio manufacturers and more. This photo was taken at SeaWorld.
Pat passion for teaching was similar to Don’s.
This is how Pat spent his breaks.
Pat occasionally got the “wife look” from Brenda.
In 2010, SynAudCon released their first online training course.
Ten online training courses are now available.
Because of our multi-media approach of finding that “right” picture, animation, analogy, demonstration, interactive exercise, or scenario to make “the lights” come on, our online training is extremely popular worldwide.
SynAudCon’s last in-person training seminar before the Covid lock down.
Oklahoma City, OK – November 2019
The lock down has made our online training more popular than ever.
We continue to be the leader in audio training.
So many great memories.
Because of YOU, we are on our 49th anniversary and counting.
A special thank you to all of our grads.
A personal VM from Don Davis.
“Thank you for posting this. You made this old gentleman have a happy day. Love you both.”
Congratulations to Pat and Brenda for taking Syn-Aud-Con to 48 years of exceptional, unparalleled training in our industry. Being old enough to have seen Don and Carolyn in action, (and they were great!), I must say, Pat Brenda took it to new and technologically amazing heights. From a monochrome CRT on a cart to an unbelievable, interactive audio-visual experience! But more importantly, the human nature of both in making a student feel engaged, desired, and gaining knowledge with every interaction. Your contribution has been invaluable. Thank you! Unfortunately, you will never be allowed to retire, if we have our way… jk.
I was at one of the Farm Classes in Indiana. Pat assisted Don as an instructor.
When I heard that Pat and Brenda were taking over for Don and Carolyn, I knew the right choice had been made.
To say Syn-Aud-Con has likely changed the trajectory of my career would be an understatement. SAC connected me with my first audio manufacturing boss who hired an aspiring loudspeaker designer after meeting me at one of the design seminars. And it has connected me with some of the sharpest folks in the audio industry.
And like others have pointed out, Pat and Brenda have continued the knowledge and teaching of Syn-Aud-Con, but as importantly the spirit and heart of it as well. We are all smarter if we meet with others, exchange ideas, and work together.
Amazing job Pat and Brenda!
Years ago, I was hired as a systems designer specifically because they saw that I had taken a Syn-Aud-Con class. That’s the level of respect that Syn-Aud-Con’s education has earned.
The best part of being older is the one thing you have to offer, knowledge and it is the most valuable commodity, especially in todays world! Thank you for giving me a huge library of wonderful thoughts, ideas and amazing knowledge which would not be available anywhere else, I will be forever grateful!! Much love from Nashville
I just spent way too long looking through the timeline/history photo collection. That was great, thanks!
Love that mug!
Thank you Brenda for that email. Loved it and offer my whole hearted congratlulations for the anniversary. However, I am most grateful that you two have carried on the mantle for a very important role in this industry! All the best as you carry forward!
Thanks for sharing this. Great stuff.
I once attended and operated a Don Davis installed system in Bellflower. When I was the audio lead at Chapman I helped and hosted about four of the Concert Sound classes. The memorable ones were the year we had the big earthquake. And another year Soundcraft sent a console with no power supply. HAHA
Very cool to see, thank you for taking the time to put this together and sharing it! 😊
Loved the pictures and the funky hair styles! You and Pat have touched many people. Pat has shared his knowledge to many.
We are the benefactors. Thanks for sharing.
I would not be where I am today were it not for the patient leading of Don and Carolyn, and now, you and Pat Brown!
I truly enjoyed reading this and seeing all the photos! Congratulations on 48 years and many more to come!
Loved looking at this! Great job! What a wonderful trip it has been for you two! Congratulations!
Congrat”s Brenda and Pat, good job…
Nice trip down memory lane.
What a fun trip down memory lane with your Company Timeline this morning!
Thank you for sharing! Wishing you and Pat the best.
I first heard about SAC in the early ’90s and was so happy(and still am!) when
I signed up for the forum, and later classes.
So much learned, so much more to learn, from a remarkably wide and deep
number of perspectives on a broad variety of questions.
And that’s just the forum!
Add the concise clarity of the classes and, well, a great learning platform!
I did find one of the classes on the farm I
attended in the newsletter Vol 17, Number 1 Oct 1989. We got to hear the EV
deltamax and listen to Helmuth Kolbe.
One of the best learning experience of my life.
Keep up the good work Pat & Brenda.
Brenda, what a fantastic walk down memory lane! Looks great and nicely done.
I remember meeting Don and Carolyn for the first time at an NSCA just after graduating. Don said that I had chosen excellent majors (physics and mathematics) for this industry, which at the time I’d never intended to enter. While in my teens I’d been sent to Altec seminars by my father and worked with some of the earliest system design software (running on a HP handheld with the sliding magnetic strip reader).
By 1989 I was already in the business and my father knew we needed an extra edge and bought me a seat in class with Carolyn and Don (no disrespect, but in that order). SYN-AUD-CON was for me, and in the best possible sense, an indoctrination to always getting it right and understanding why!
To this day I’ve never encountered competitors (larger or smaller) who can match overall, what we deliver. I’m more than honored to have the history that I have in our industry and you are more a part of it than you know.
Congratulations on keeping this amazing group of worldwide intelligence together. I am always learning something new, you can’t beat the people here and the knowledge they are willing to share.
May the Lord continue to bless you.
It’s so amusing the see the young faces and styles of many people that I only know met in person years later.
Thanks for compiling that, Brenda. It was fun to find myself flanked by Carolyn and Dave Andrews.
If I remember correctly, that was at “The Twenty” workshop and might have been at Las Vegas Studios owned by Chips Davis. We were probably trying to take in the effects of his LEDE studio.
Anyway, I’ve probably browsed through the photos 5 or 6 times now, seeing many friends and many I wish I knew better from the SynAudCon “Heard”.
It was very enjoyable to see all of these photos.
It’s a hard won battle these days but so worth it! You both are truly great people and credit to this industry. So many more……………
Congratulations you two!
You make a great team and it’s so nice to have a good source for unbiased information.