David is an advanced guitarist, songwriter, and performer, with highly developed critical listening skills and a passion for audio recording and music production.
David has earned a Bachelors degree in Music, after studying Classical and Jazz Guitar technique under Don Better at CIM. He has also completed a Professional Certificate in Music Production from Berklee. Every day he uses advanced critical listening skills to tune and equalize systems (with a focus on dynamics processors, in particular) at his job for Bose Corporation.
David is motivated to create emotionally impactful, interesting music- and he believes the way to do this is to combine traditional tonal structures with innovation in form, timbre, dynamics, and harmony. David is also passionate about sound reproduction/spatialization and music distribution. He looks forward to building a world where high quality, impactful aural experiences are ubiquitous and seamless.
As part of his music curiculum, David also studied classical theory, harmony-writing and voice-leading, music history, rhythm, and arrangement. He was an engaged member of the musical community at Case Western during his studies, performing with two guitar ensembles (Jazz and Classical), as well as by himself for campus events or as an accompaniest for the choir. Below are samples from two of his performances as part of a classical guitar trio, recorded in the on-campus Chapel in front of live audiences:
David was also challenged to write and arrange music during his time at Case. This culiminated in his final year, when was given the opportunity to arrange Greg Abate‘s work, ‘The Bride of Frankenstein,’ for the Case Western Jazz Band. Greg Abate himself was then invited to Cleveland at the end of the year, and performed David’s arrangement of his piece with the Case jazz band. Below is a recording of Greg Abate performing his piece live with Case’s big band, as arranged by David:
As an undergraduate, David worked as a DJ and audio engineer for two college radio shows. He left undergrad with a variety of skills that have served him well, and a broad appreciation for music of all types. David’s gone on to further his education as a recording engineer, critical listener, performer, and songwriter.
This is a composition David wrote for Piano and Guitar which modulates using an Augmented 6th chord as the pivot.
Courage and the Bear is a folk music project fronted by David Ramsay and his friend Mike LaChance, in collaboration with violinist Meg Dagon and percussionist Rob McCarthy. Started in early 2013, the group is currently gigging around the Worcester area. David and Mike share songwriting and lead vocal responsibilities in the group, while exploring new sounds and new instruments such as accordion, harmonica, melodica, piano, and clarinet.
Courage and the Bear currently performs every second Thursday night at the Nu Cafe.
The Audio Motives is a Boston area, three-piece rock n’roll cover band. Started in late 2012, the group is currently gigging around the Boston area. David provides lead and rhythm guitar work, along with backing vocals, for the project.
David started recording and mixing at a basic level in high school on a Fostex 8-track recorder. It wasn’t until college, however, that he bought his first pair of high quality studio monitors, and his listening experience with them changed everything.
As his musicianship and listening improved, David gravitated more and more towards the recording world. He audited an audio recording class at CIM, recorded his friends, and began investing in audio gear. He joined WRUW, the college radio station, so he could mix for their ‘Live from Cleveland’ show, and ultimately found an engineering job where critical listening was crucially important.
Today, David works tuning limiters and compressors, and evaluating spectral, temporal, and spatial qualities in early prototype Bose systems. In his free time, he’s taken five classes through Berklee’s online school to earn his Professional Certificate in Music Production. He spends his money and time on audio gear for his personal studio, which he keeps in a rehearsal space near work.
David has strong opinions about audio quality, spatialization, and reproduction. He’s poured time and energy into measuring and EQing his monitoring set-up for the most accurate response (after doing the best he could with the acoustics), and creating a useful and fast workflow for tracking and mixing. David custom built and overclocks his main computer for recording. Though he has primarily mixed in software, David prefers the ‘all-analog’ experience, and has setup his studio so that no computers are required (though they can be interjected easily).
Here are a couple of tracks performed, recorded, and mixed completely by David in his project studio:
David’s Personal Studio Gear List
6 guitars (Acoustic, Stratocaster, 12-String, Baritone electric, Handmade Classical), Bass, Clarinet, Accordion, Conn Electric Organ (w/Leslie), Saxophone, Electric Violin, Cajon, Xylophone, Melodica, Hi-Hat/Tamborine, Toy Organ, Harmonica, Recorders, Whistles
Great River ME-1NV Preamp, Empirical Labs Distressor, FMR Audio RNP Preamp, FMR Audio RNC Compressor, Alesis 33 band EQ, Stereo Bus Limiter, T.C. Helicon Voiceprism, Alesis MidiVerb II, Full pedalboard (tube screamer, carbon copy delay, etc), Mesa Boogie F-50, Roland Microcube, Fender Practice Amp
David first established a relationship with the Berklee School of Music in 2006, when he spent a week in residence over the summer as part of the Berklee Blues Guitar Summer Workshop Series. He learned blues guitar technique during that time, and took what he gained back to Case Western and CIM to complement his undergraduate music education.
David busking in Temple Bar with DIT Guitar Society Founder Mick O’Monachain.
David was an active musician while on his Fulbright Scholarship in Ireland. He frequently went to live performances at the International Bar, Doyle’s, and Whelan’s, and was profoundly influenced by Dublin’s live music scene.
David was a leader of the Dublin Institute of Technology’s Guitar Society, for which he played and performed regularly. Below is a promo video for the club that David helped create. He also helped lead the group busking in Temple Bar and on Grafton Street for charity.
Through guitar society, David formed a musical relationship with John Jereza, a fellow guitarist and music major. They wrote several songs together and performed in local pubs under the moniker ‘Windmill Road’. Some low quality demos of their work can be found on John’s soundcloud site.
WRUW studios, along with a Live from Cleveland session.
While an undergraduate, David had the opportunity to work on two radio shows at Cleveland’s WRUW 91.1 FM college station.
David was an intern on his first show, ‘When the Roses Bloom Again,’ which is an iconic show for the network (running continuously for forty years). He worked with the legendary Cuzin’ Dave and Mr. J.E.G., spinning country, roots, and western albums, and interviewing live country guests. It can still be heard from 8-10 on Thursdays, with Mr. J.E.G. as the primary host. David was affectionately nicknamed ‘the Durango Kid’ by Cuzin’ Dave throughout his tenure on the show.
David also worked on the ‘Live from Cleveland’ show with a rotating cast of sound engineers and bands. Every week, he gained exposure mixing ecclectic live bands on the air. The Live from Cleveland show is still a staple for the network on Thursday nights. His work mixing live bands led to an intense interest in music production.