Who's Tom Dowd? Even if you're a music nut, you're unlikely to have heard of the man, though he had an indelible effect on music in a dozen genres, all working behind the scenes.

Dowd (who died in 2002 after this documentary was completed) was a pioneering sound engineer who directly or indirectly influenced artists, bands, specific songs, and the technology underlying it all. Much of Tim Dowd & the Language of Music focuses on Dowd's pursuit of better mixing technologies. Getting started in the 1940s and 1950s, the state of the art was pathetic. Dowd's urging and Radio Shack handiness led directly to the invention of the eight-track mixer and mixing boards with sliders that could be operated by a single finger instead of dials that took a full hand to operate.

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