Walter Sear

Walter Sear, renaissance man, founder and owner of Sear Sound on 48th Street, passes away at 80. Obit from the Times:

At various times Mr. Sear was a professional tuba player; a designer, importer and dealer of specialty tubas; a composer of film soundtracks; and an electronic music enthusiast who advised Robert Moog on the design of his Moog synthesizer, the instrument that revolutionized popular music beginning in the 1960s.

But to more recent generations of musicians, Mr. Sear was best known as the owner of Sear Sound, a studio on West 48th Street in Manhattan that, guided by Mr. Sear’s intransigent ear, has for decades resisted the conversion to digital recording equipment.

Walter had the best collection of microphones I have seen in New York, and the best collection of Horror Movie posters as well. Turns out he wrote the scores for most of those films, and thus, his instrument collecting began with theremins (aside from all the tubas, of course). My first two recordings, Parallel Worlds and The Tiny Bell Trio, were made (in analog) at Sear Sound. Walter always had odd and funny stories to tell. He will be missed.