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How We Got Loud, Episode 10: Joel Silverman, Silverfish Audio

Founder of the predecessor of Sound Image in the mid-1970s who's gone on to four-plus successful decades of audio product design and production.

Joel Silverman, who has spent the past four-plus decades on the manufacturing side of the business with companies like MXR, dbx, Lexicon, and Millennia, joins host Chris Leonard for Episode 10. Prior to his long and successful career in designing and producing audio products, Silverman founded Silverfish Audio in Rochester, NY in 1974.

In addition, while previously at Brighton Sound, Silverman had been working with noted blues artist Bonnie Raitt, and in the summer of 1974, Ross Ritto joined up with him build a new touring loudspeaker system for Raitt, which is really where it all started to come together for Silverfish Audio.

In the meantime, Bill Thompson was co-owner of Brighton Sound before moving on to found Ashly Audio, building custom consoles, of which Silverfish had the most. The consoles were ahead of their time with parametric EQ on the outputs, built-in loudspeaker crossovers, compressors, and more.

By 1976, Silverfish was taking on more clients and tours, including landing Jimmy Buffet as a client. It led the company open an office in Burbank, CA in 1978 before moving to the San Diego area a couple of years later. By that point, Silverman decided to transition to the manufacturing side of the industry, with Dave Shadoan joining Silverfish as half owner with Ritto. The company name was changed to “Southern California Sound Image” in 1984, now celebrating 50 years in business, with Buffet still a client to this day.

Presented by veteran audio professional Chris Leonard (also a co-host of the Signal To Noise podcast on PSW), How We Got Loud features stories about the people, technology and passion that built the history of live sound. Go here to access all episodes.

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