Laurence H. Estrin

Rest in Peace

Larry in the booth at the entrance of the POPE

Larry in the booth at the entrance of the POPE

Steve Sevanyu created this video from a montage of Larry's photos and a recording of his funeral.

My best friend and business partner, Larry Estrin, passed away September 19, 2015 at 11am. Larry had been suffering some health issues lately and succumbed to kidney and liver failure.

Larry was a long time leader and innovator in the pro sound industry, starting in the '60s as Do Ho's road manager. Larry went on to run Hollywood Sound, Filmways Audio Services which included Wally Heider Recording, and founded Best Audio in the early '80s.

Working with the NFL to innovate the game for TV, Larry created the wireless mic on the referee.  As he said, "I don't always know what the hand signals mean.  Let's let the referee explain it." 

Larry was the person who conceived of the method of using carts to get the sideline PA on the field for Super Bowl. Prior to that we set up truss towers and flew a PA on the sideline in the 7 minute commercial break.

He was the Audio Director for many Super Bowls, political conventions and all the televised political debates prior to his illness this year. He was the Audio Director for the last 2 papal visits to the US, overseeing locations at every appearance by the Pope, and the Audio Director for the opening ceremonies of most of the Olympics since LA.  You can read about the vast number of superb audio events he has worked on in this website.

Larry was a loyal friend, and he will be greatly missed. Go in peace old friend.  I have thanked him profusely over the years for the help he has given me.  We spoke almost daily and even though were bi-coastal in LA and NY, we had a very close relationship.  I am so sad and will miss him a lot.

I imagine he still has a radio wherever he is now...Larry, Larry, Pete.....

Here is Larry's Resume
truly a giant of the audio industry's life work

download resume as PDF

Mr. Estrin’ Philosophy:

Work with the client to determine their needs and desires then develop the solution,
always thinking outside of the box without reinventing the wheel!

Global Live Event Production Experience:

Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Berlin, Canada, China, Denmark, Diego Garcia, England, France, Germany, Greenland, Guam, Guantanamo, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Moscow, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Panama, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Tahiti, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Vatican City

Unique Production Industry Solutions and Highlights developed and/or conceived by Mr. Estrin

 First live multi satellite Global Broadcast of a major concert

  • 1973 Elvis Aloha to the World from Hawaii

First live event broadcast of an Olympics Opening Ceremonies in Stereo

  •  (1984 Los Angeles Olympics)

National Football League

  • Conceived and Designed The Referees wireless microphone system – 1974

Conceived and Implemented the Multidimensional sound environment concept for the Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade

First stereo broadcast of the Academy Awards and Grammy’s (simulcast)

Developed the first multi venue citywide production communications system

  • 1981 President Ronald Reagan’s multi venue Inaugural Ball Television Event

Created the audio speaker cart solution, in 1976 for the pre game Rose Bowl Ceremony with Kate Smith Singing God Bless America and the National Anthem.

  • This solution, still in use in 2011, has enabled super star talent half time productions for events like the Superbowl, World Cup Soccer and many other Global sporting events.

Develop the standards for the dual / redundant / diverse path physical backbone wired and wireless communications and audio systems in support of World Class Special Events, such as Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies, the Academy Awards, the Superbowl, and the quadrennial Presidential Candidate Debates.

Formal Education:

BSEE Cal State Los Angeles, 1964
MBA Executive Program, Anderson School at UCLA, 1975

Honors, Awards and Credits:

This picture of the Bob Hope stage was taken on December 25th 1972 at the Diego Garcia military base (highly classified at the time)

Numerous Certificates of Esteem from the Department of Defense for patriotic services in regards to his professional volunteer work on twelve Bob Hope Overseas Tours, from 1972 through 1993

In 1992, President Bush awarded the Civilian Service Medal to Laurence for his work with the USO during Operation Desert Storm

1994 Industrial Show Sound Designer of the Year “Introduction of The first Boeing 777

Laurence was awarded a Platinum Record by NARAS, for his creative audio production involvement on the Whitney Houston Star Spangled Banner, single record, audiocassette, Compact Disc and video created for Superbowl XXV

Laurence has received screen credits for more than a thousand television productions and special event

Entrepreneurial, Corporate and Production management Experience:

Co-founder of Hollywood Sound Systems, CEO 1960-1969 / 1972-1976

Road Manager “The Don Ho Show” 1969 - 1972

Director & CEO, The Filmways Audio Group, Filmways Inc. 1976-1980

  • Wally Heider Recording (16 studios in Los Angeles and San Francisco)
  • Heider Remote Recording (3 mobile units)
  • Filmways Audio Services
  • Filmways Scoring Service
  • Filmways Radio
  • TBS / Tamco [Japanese joint venture]

 Principal and founder of BEST AUDIO 1980 present

  • General Manager Maryland Sound Industries Broadcast & Special Events
  • Director Vice President Technology Pac Rim Entertainment Hong Kong

Major Domestic Projects:

Radio City Music Hall:

  • Member of the team that saved Radio City from the wrecking ball in 1978 (audio and communications)


  • Member of the creative design team that developed the Main Street Electrical Parade, specifically responsible for conceiving the synchronized sound system design

National Football League:

  • Conceived and implemented the first use of the wireless microphone for the Referee


  • Production Management, Broadcast, media and stadium audio and production communications  19 consecutive years

Academy Awards

  • Engineered and implemented the first stereo recording and broadcast of the Academy Awards
  • Broadcast, media and in house audio and production communications vendor / designer – 18 consecutive years

Grammy Awards 

  • Engineered and implemented the first stereo simulcast of the Grammy Awards

Remote Audio

  • Developed and implemented the first remote audio mobile unit designed exclusively for Television

Saturday Night Live

  • Audio design consultant for the first two years -1975-1976

Washington DC

Inaugural Ball Presidential dance

  • TECHNICAL DIRECTOR – The Inauguration of President Barack Obama – 2009

 Presidential Debates

  • Technical Direction, audio, communications and timer systems
  • 1988 – 1992 – 1996 – 2000 – 2004 - 2008 - 2012

 White House Events

  • Presidential Inaugural technical management for Inaugural Balls, Concerts & Special Events
  • 1981 – 1985 – 1989 – 1993 – 1997 – 2009 -2013
  • Technical Production Coordination and Management the State Funeral of President Nixon
  • Developed and implemented training with industry program for White House Communications Audio Visual technicians and officers
  • Numerous Special Events at the White House and throughout the United States

Liberty Weekend

  • Director of Technology , Audio, Production Communications and Telephone Systems
  • Olympics
  • Technical Producer, Salt Lake City Paralympics and Athens Summer Olympics Opening and Closing Ceremonies
  • Audio and Communications Director, Los Angeles, Seoul, Calgary, Barcelona, Sydney,
  • Broadcast audio facilities design for CBS, Nagano
  • Audio consultant, Lake Placid

Papal Events

  • Designed / managed the audio and communications & media support for all the Papal appearances in Los Angeles, (1987) New York (1995) and Washington DC and New York (2008)
  • Designed and managed all the audio and communications for the Papal Mass in Central Park (1995)
  • Designed the audio for the first interactive Papal video conference

Pan Am Games

  • Technical Direction Opening Ceremony and co-producer Closing Ceremony, Indianapolis – 1988

FIFA World Cup – USA

  • Audio and production communication, design and management - all venue (men’s (1994) & women’s 1999)

EPCOT / Disney World

  • Opening Ceremonies of Walt Disney World and EPCOT
  • Millennium Village Pavilion, audio systems design and installation management

Pasadena Symphony and Pops Orchestra

  • Production Design and Technical Management – 2000 – 2010 summer seasons

Global event and major production / construction experience:


  • Stadium Australia – theatrical facilities consultant
  • Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2000 Summer Olympics Sydney


  • Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 1988 Winter Olympics – Calgary
  • Skydome broadcast / production communications and Opening Ceremony Toronto


  • Euro Disney - Marnee La Valle


  • Movie World - Bottrop


  • Theatrical and Construction Planning 2004 Summer Olympics – Athens

Hong Kong

  • Ocean Park Amusement Park


  • Maccabiah Games – Haifa


  • CBS broadcast facility (audio) Winter Olympics – Nagano
  • Disneyland – Tokyo
  • TBS remote recording and broadcast facility – Tokyo


  • Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 1988 Summer Olympics
  • Lotte World Amusement Indoor Park (original opening and remodel) – Seoul

  • 1993 World Expo Tejon

  • Samsung's Everland Amusement Park - Kyonggi-Do


  • Bicentennial Celebration


  • 15th Anniversary of the reign of Sultan Qaboos , Gulf Coast Conference – Muscat

Saudi Arabia

  • Centennial Celebration of the Northern Region – Medinah


  • Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 1992 Summer Olympics – Barcelona


  • Discovery World Amusement Park – Taichung
  • Nan Shan Insurance Training Center – Taichung


  • Radio Caracas Recording and Broadcast Studios – Caracas


In 1988, while consulting for the White House Communications Agency and working with Audio Technica USA, reduced the physical number of microphones used for most Presidential events and at the US Congress, from 3 relatively large, cumbersome and obtrusive microphones to one clean looking microphone which actually contains three independent microphone capsules. This design solution provides for redundancy and satisfies direct feed requirements of the broadcasters, sound reinforcement and archival recording engineers.

Laurence is a member of the Audio Engineering Society, and has chaired several audio workshops, as well as being a Co-Chairman of the Audio Engineering Society Convention in Los Angeles

Laurence is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - Oscars®, Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers, the National Association of Broadcasters, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and a past president of the Hollywood & Vine Toastmasters International Club

Laurence has presented many technical papers on technical management, sound reinforcement and production communications for television and World Class Special Events

Laurence has been a keynote speaker at several industry conventions and technical expositions

In 2001 Mr. Estrin conceived and co-founded an Internet based streaming text and audio data base service, Speche Communications Inc., based in Madison Wisconsin. Mr.Estrin was granted patent number 6,820,055 B2, an integral element of the software product. In 2002 the company was merged into The Stenograph Corporation, where it continues to operate as a value added service for their core businesses of court reporting, broadcast instant transcripts in video format and translations services

Laurence has continuously provided his professional consulting services and product development and marketing concepts to many major manufacturers and rental facilities in the World, including, BOSE Corporation, Eastern Acoustic Works - EAW, BEXEL Corporation, Vega Electronics, Audio Technica, Shure Brothers, JBL Professional, Yamaha of America, RIEDEL Communications, HME and Clear-Com

Mr. Estrin’ Philosophy: Work with the client to determine their needs and desires then develop the solution, always thinking outside of the box without reinventing the wheel!

Some of the hobbies of Laurence include world travel, cooking (Russian food), Broadway Theater, Audio for 3D production and collecting unique souvenirs from events he has participated in.

Addendum: Complete Listing of Opening and Closing Ceremonies

  1. 1972 – Special Olympics World Summer Games, Los Angeles
  2. 1980 – Lake Placid Winter Olympics – Opening & Closing
  3. 1984 – Los Angeles Olympics – Opening & Closing
  4. 1988 – Seoul Olympics – Opening & Closing
  5. 1990 – Goodwill Games, Seattle – Opening & Closing
  6. 1991 – Special Olympics World Summer Games, Minneapolis/St. Paul – Opening & Closing
  7. 1992 – Barcelona Olympics – Opening & Closing
  8. 1992 – Barcelona Paralympics – Opening & Closing
  9. 1998 – Goodwill Games – New York – Opening & Closing
  10. 2000 – Sydney Olympics – Opening & Closing
  11. 2000 – Sydney Paralympics – Opening & Closing
  12. 2004 – Athens Olympics – Opening & Closing
  13. 1988 – Calgary Winter Olympics – Opening & Closing
  14. 1999 – Special Olympics World Summer Games, North Carolina – Opening & Closing
  15. 2000 – Sydney Paralympics – Opening & Closing
  16. 2002 – Salt Lake City Olympics – Opening & Closing
  17. 2002 – Salt Lake City Paralympics – Opening & Closing
  18. 2006 – Torino Winter Olympics – Opening & Closing
  19. 2006 – Torino Winter Paralympics – Opening & Closing
  20. 2010 – Commonwealth Games, Delhi – Opening & Closing
  21. 2012 – London Olympic Games – Communications Coordination all Sports Venues
  22. 2012 – London Paralympic Games – Communications Coordination all Sports Venues