Out Take: David Barbee


Known for his work on CSI: NY, Mad Men, Angel and The Number 23, Los Angeles-based sound designer and sound effects editor David Barbee’s latest project is the NBC TV drama series Blindspot, which is set to premiere this fall. Barbee got his start in the field out of college, spending his off hours learning to edit. Working on a television series, Barbee says sound effects libraries are essential in his line of work for a quick turnaround.

“With feature work, you do a lot of your own recording. Television doesn’t have the budget or timeframe; you turn out one episode a week. When you do that, you have to answer quickly, and it’s a lot of making a square peg fit in a round hole. Having a diverse library and having sounds at my disposal is the name of the game. Pro Sound Effects is a way to get started if you’re freelancing,” Barbee says.

After working with heavy hitting companies like Sony and Warner Bros. in the past, Barbee launched on his own almost four years ago. As a freelancer, Barbee says knowing a lot of people in different places and always looking for the next project are key to getting consistent work. And not delivering is not an option. “When something is on a short timeframe, you have to make a decision––do I just not sleep? Do we bring in someone else to assist? It’s about time and organization. I found I have to get my head focused on one thing and know how far I can go.”

Blindspot is set to premiere Sept. 21 on NBC.

David Barbee, Sound Designer, Editor
Web: LinkedIn.com/Pub/David-Barbee/b/147/973
Most Recent: NBC’s Blindspot

By Jessica Pace