Recently I came across this video on Youtube. It is from Jason Donnelly (a.k.a. DJ Puzzle) who worked at Sonic Foundry in the early days. Sonic Foundry are the developers of the Acid Pro DAW software. Eventually, around 2000, the company was sold to Sony. Jason tells us his story how he worked there in the early days, untill he had to leave because of the market crash winter of 2000. This story appeals to me because Acid Pro (2.0) was the first real DAW software that I used, after playing around with some simple looptrackers and stuff. Allthough over the years I have switched to Steinberg’s Cubase I still have it installed on my computer. I seem unable to get rid of it. And I even use it from time to time as I still think when you work with samples and loops this software is one of the best.
Jason’s Side Of The Story:
“Ray sent me to Nashville in 1998 for the Summer NAMM convention and that is where the story really unfolds. I stopped by a demonstration at the Sonic Foundry booth and listened to their sales rep demonstrate the latest version of Sonic Foundry’s ACID Pro. We had already sold ACID version 1.0 at zZounds and I of course was amazed at what this program could do simply because there was absolutely nothing else like it and it certainly was a total dream come true. After the demonstration they announced that they were hiring and if interested they were to speak with a representative back stage. I was the first and only person to respond which almost made it seem as though it was meant to be.
I could hardly wait to return home because the meeting went well and my hopes were high. I followed through with every step immediately upon my arrival in Chicago and to no avail received a phone call from Mike Scheibinger at zZounds of all places, how nerve racking. Mike was interested and eager to meet and interview me at the Madison Wisconsin home base.
My experience in Madison was almost dream like. Mike let me stay at his house the night before the interview, not even knowing who I was. He had a wife, daughter, and a dog all living in a humble home in Cottage Grove Wisconsin. Everyone was so friendly and generous. I awoke to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and the wet nose of a dog sniffing my face. Mike drove us to Sonic Foundry and we hung out all day interviewing.
My bus ride back to Chicago was not easy to tolerate as I was completely excited about the possibility of working for such a cool company. One hour into my ride home and my mobile rings. I answer it and it’s Sonic Foundry’s Human Resources telling me I got the job.
I worked at Sonic Foundry for about two years editing and ACIDizing loops, making demo songs, preparing remix contests for ACIDplanet.com, and scoring advertisements. Some of my most adored accomplishments were helping to develop ACIDplanet.com, scoring and producing the Acid MTV commercial, writing the script and music for the Chicago B96 Acid radio commercial, editing the content and preparing samples for the Beck and Beastie Boys remix contests for ACIDplanet.com, and and demoing products at Peter Gabriel’s WOMAD tour in Seattle. Working at Sonic Foundry was such a great experience and I learned so much but it was too good to be true. The company went public and became a huge success until the market crash winter of 2000. This is when 200 hundred employees including myself lost our jobs on Christmas weekend do to company downsizing.
Luckily Mike kept me busy with freelance work. I produced all of the loops for ACID Dj 3.0 which was developed specifically to sell at Best Buy and Computer Discount Warehouse nation wide.
Sonic Foundry sold it’s software and media to Sony. I then continued to produce 6 more loop CDs for Sony Media Software but this didn’t pay the bills so I decided to start my own business producing royalty free loops for ACID and Soundtrack.
The company is called Peace Love Productions. The name was inspired by the conflicts in Iraq. I’ve been running PLP for nine years from today and it has been a very fruitful experience. I feel blessed every day when I think about how it has helped me to grow as a person both creatively , mentally, and spiritually.”