Dave Kerzner

Last updated

Dave Kerzner
Dave Kerzner portrait.jpg
Dave Kerzner, 2011
Background information
Birth nameDavid Nathaniel Kerzner
Genres Classic rock, progressive rock, alternative rock, ambient, film score
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, producer, sound designer
InstrumentsKeyboard, piano, guitar, drums, vocals
Years active1989–present
Associated acts Sound of Contact, Mantra Vega, In Continuum
Website davekerzner.com

David Nathaniel Kerzner is an American musician, songwriter, producer, and sound designer as well as founder of the sound sampling development company Sonic Reality Inc. Along with Simon Collins, Kerzner is the co-founder of the band Sound of Contact. [1] He is also the co-founder of the band Mantra Vega. [2] His debut solo album, New World , was released in December 2014. [3]


During his music career, Kerzner has worked with artists and bands such as Alan Parsons, Genesis, Francis Dunnery, Neil Peart, Keith Emerson, Tom Waits, and Smashing Pumpkins. [4]

Early years

Kerzner and Ken Scott in the studio Kerzner and Ken Scott in studio.jpg
Kerzner and Ken Scott in the studio

Dave Kerzner's interest in progressive music was born upon his exposure to early Genesis, as introduced to him by his good friend and band collaborator Jamie Rickel (drums). The early years were spent tirelessly working/developing original recordings, along with Dave Silverman (bass and vocals).

In the early 1990s, Kerzner began collecting rare musical instruments. [5] When 16-bit stereo digital sampling technology became available, Kerzner sampled these instruments to license to such major digital musical instrument manufacturers as Alesis, Roland and Yamaha. Following this endeavor into the music software industry, Kerzner worked with such recording artists as Madonna, Ringo Starr, and Moog Cookbook as both a musician and as a sound engineer. [5]

In 1994, Kerzner contributed to Kevin Gilbert's solo album, Thud and appeared as a band member on Gilbert's live album Live at the Troubadour . Kerzner joined the band Giraffe as keyboardist for a one-off tribute performance of Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway album at Progfest '94 in Los Angeles. [6]


In 2005 Kerzner performed with Jon Anderson of Yes along with Nick D'Virgilio, Stan Cotey, and Mark Hornsby under the band name Sonik Elementz for a one-off performance of "Long Distance Runaround" during the Winter NAMM convention in Anaheim, California. Between 2007 and 2010, Kerzner collaborated musically with Simon Collins. [7]

In 2010 Kerzner contributed sound design and assistance with music software for Steven Wilson's album Grace For Drowning . [8]

Sonic Reality and Sonic Elements

Kerzner sitting at an Emblem Steinway Kerzner at Emblem Steinway.jpg
Kerzner sitting at an Emblem Steinway

In 1996 Kerzner founded the sound development company Sonic Reality Inc, which focuses on the sampling of every type of musical instrument from vintage keyboards to drums to orchestral and world instruments. [9] While developing music technology and creative tools for musicians, Kerzner collaborated with professional artists to sample and digitally reproduce the sounds of many types of musical instruments. The sounds are played from music software such as samplers and other music recording tools. Sonic Reality also produces "play along" DrummerTracks and other backing tracks for guitarists, bass players, keyboardists, and singers to work with via various audio devices, mobile devices, and recording software. Kerzner's sounds have been used by artists worldwide. [10]

In 2001 Kerzner teamed up with IK Multimedia to offer the sounds he created for keyboard workstations via computer software. [4] Producing a majority of the sound range for the first comprehensive software rompler virtual instrument called "SampleTank", Kerzner developed a plug-in for popular recording software that offers every type of sampled music instrument with built-in effects to be played via MIDI. [4] [11]

While serving as CEO of Sonic Reality Inc, Kerzner has remained active as a musician as well as providing custom sound programming for touring and recording artists such as the Rolling Stones and Beyoncé. [4] [12]

In 2011, Kerzner founded Sonic Elements, a progressive rock project and electronic tribute band. Sonic Elements uses Sonic Reality samples to create unique virtual supergroups by combining different musicians with Sonic Reality-sampled drummers and other instrumentation. [13]

In November 2014, Sonic Elements announced the development of a tribute album remake of Genesis' 1974 record, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway , to commemorate the 40th anniversary of its release. [14] The tribute album has been titled IT, and is scheduled for release in early 2015. [14] The album is slated to feature several of Kerzner's collaborators including Francis Dunnery, Nick D'Virgilio, Steve Rothery and Billy Sherwood. [14] The album also aims to combine vintage classic rock elements with an orchestra to produce a cinematic rock sound. [14]

Sound of Contact

Kerzner with Genesis and Simon Collins Kerzner with Genesis and Simon Collins.jpg
Kerzner with Genesis and Simon Collins

After Kerzner's initial 2006 meeting with Simon Collins in New York City, the two musicians co-produced a remake of the Genesis song "Keep It Dark". [15] [16] Kerzner collaborated with Collins and played keyboards on his album U-Catastrophe , appearing on the song "The Big Bang". [7]

In 2010, Kerzner and Collins decided to form a band. In 2012, they announced the band as Sound of Contact, with Collins on lead vocals and drums, Kerzner on keyboard, and colleagues Matt Dorsey and Kelly Nordstrom on bass and guitar. The band's debut album, Dimensionaut , was released worldwide in late May 2013. [1] [17]

On January 6, 2014, Kerzner left the band. The official press release from Sound of Contact cited the loss of Kerzner as an "amicable split". Kerzner stated he planned to pursue his own solo projects and continue his work with his company, Sonic Reality. [18] In May 2014, Kerzner announced he and Mostly Autumn's Heather Findlay had co-founded a new band together, Mantra Vega. [2]

Kerzner rejoined Sound of Contact in April 2015, and alongside Nordstrom, Collins, and Dorsey, began work in Oxfordshire on the band's second album. [19]

Solo career

In December 2014, Kerzner released his first solo album, New World . The album features numerous artists such as Fernando Perdomo, Nick D'Virgilio, Francis Dunnery, and Durga McBroom. [3] Produced and mixed by Kerzner, New World was funded in part from a kickstarter campaign. [3] [20]

The album's vocals and keyboards were provided by Kerzner. Using technology from Sonic Reality, mock-up tracks were created with Kerzner playing all of the instrumentation. After tracks were re-recorded live by other musicians, Kerzner then mixed the results. [21] Veteran recording engineer Tom Lord-Alge mixed the album's first single release, "Stranded".[ citation needed ]


Studio albums

Remix albums

Live albums

EP albums


With Sonic Elements

With Sound of Contact

With In Continuum

With Arc of Life

With other artists

Related Research Articles

Genesis (band) English rock band

Genesis are an English rock band formed at Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey, in 1967. The band's most commercially successful line-up consists of keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford and drummer/singer Phil Collins. The 1970s line-up featuring singer Peter Gabriel and guitarist Steve Hackett was among the pioneers of progressive rock.

Bootsy Collins American musician and singer-songwriter

William Earl "Bootsy" Collins is an American musician, singer and songwriter.

Tony Banks (musician) British musician and multi-instrumentalist

Anthony George Banks is an English musician, songwriter and film composer primarily known as the keyboardist and founding member of the rock band Genesis. Banks is also a prolific solo artist, releasing six solo albums that range through progressive rock, pop, and classical music.

Kevin Gilbert (musician) American musician

Kevin Matthew Gilbert was an American singer, songwriter, musician, composer, producer and collaborator. Gilbert was best known for his solo progressive rock projects, Toy Matinee and his contributions to Tuesday Night Music Club, the debut album by Sheryl Crow.

<i>Genesis</i> (Genesis album) 1983 studio album by Genesis

Genesis is the twelfth studio album by the English rock band Genesis, released on 3 October 1983 by Charisma and Virgin Records in the UK and by Atlantic Records in the US and Canada. Following the band's tour in support of their 1982 live album Three Sides Live, Genesis took an eight-month break before they regrouped in the spring of 1983 to record a new studio album, their first since Abacab (1981). It marks their first written, recorded, and mixed in its entirety at their own recording facility named The Farm. Its title derives from the fact that the album was written collectively. According to AllMusic, the album established that Genesis were "now primarily a pop band", although "art rock functions as coloring".

Nick DVirgilio

Nicholas D'Virgilio often referred to as NDV, is an American drummer and multi-instrumentalist musician, best known as a member of the progressive rock band Spock's Beard. He was also one of two drummers chosen to replace Phil Collins in Genesis on the Calling All Stations album. He has also done session work with many artists including Tears for Fears and Mystery, and is an official member of Big Big Train.

It Bites

It Bites are an English progressive rock and pop fusion band, formed in Egremont, Cumbria, England, in 1982 and best known for their 1986 single "Calling All the Heroes", which gained them a Top 10 UK Singles Chart hit. Initially fronted by Francis Dunnery, the band split in 1990, eventually returning in 2006 with new frontman John Mitchell.

Erik Norlander American musician (born 1967)

Erik Norlander is an American musician known for his work in the progressive rock genre. From 2007 to 2014 he was the touring and recording keyboardist for Asia Featuring John Payne. He is also the managing director of the sound production company Sonic Reality.

Tom Brislin is an American keyboardist, songwriter, singer, producer, and author. On December 19th, 2018, American rock band Kansas announced Brislin as the group’s current keyboardist; his playing, vocals, and prominent songwriting contributions are featured on the band’s most recently released studio album, The Absence of Presence (2020).

Francis Dunnery

Francis "Frank" Dunnery is an English musician, singer-songwriter, record producer and record label owner.

Simon Collins British-Canadian musician

Simon Philip Nando Collins is a British-Canadian drummer and former lead vocalist of the progressive rock band Sound of Contact. Collins is the son of English drummer and singer Phil Collins and Collins's first wife, Andrea Bertorelli. He is the brother of actress Joely Collins and paternal half-brother of actress Lily Collins. Reviewers have compared his vocals to those of his father.

Keep It Dark 1981 single by Genesis

"Keep It Dark" is a song by British band Genesis, released on 23 October 1981 in the UK as the second single from Abacab. It reached number 33 in the UK Singles Chart.

<i>U-Catastrophe</i> 2008 studio album by Simon Collins

U-Catastrophe is the third album by British-Canadian musician and singer-songwriter Simon Collins, son of Phil Collins. Phil plays on the track "The Big Bang", while another former Genesis member, Steve Hackett, plays on the track "Fast Forward the Future". It was first digitally available in August 2008 on iTunes.

Sonic Reality

Sonic Reality Incorporated is an American sound development and music software company founded in 1996 by keyboardist and music producer Dave Kerzner. The company is headquartered in Miami, Florida.

Sonic Elements is a unique American Progressive rock project formed in Los Angeles, California, in 2011. Led by musician and sound producer Dave Kerzner, Sonic Elements is a new type of "fantasy rock tribute band" where some of the elements are authentic parts of the original music, whether it is one of the original musicians from the band or vintage instrument sounds recorded by the original recording engineer/producers. Sonic Elements takes samples produced by the sound design company Sonic Reality Inc and puts them into musical context, creating a virtual "super group" per song that combines different musicians with Sonic Reality sampled drummers and more.

<i>Genesis Revisited II</i>

Genesis Revisited II is the 22nd studio album by musician Steve Hackett, released on 22 October 2012 by Inside Out Music label. It is a sequel to his 1996 album Genesis Revisited and largely consists of reworked versions of songs originally by Genesis with a variety of guest vocalists.

Sound of Contact

Sound of Contact is a British-based progressive rock band currently consisting of Tom Atkinson, Matt Dorsey and Dave Kerzner, with Simon Collins and Kelly Nordstrom previously being members. Formed in 2009, the band released their debut album in May 2013.

<i>Dimensionaut</i> 2013 studio album by Sound of Contact

Dimensionaut is the debut album by British-based band Sound of Contact, and was released worldwide May 2013. Production of the album was a collaborative effort between Simon Collins and Dave Kerzner, two of the band's founding members. As of March 2014, two singles off the album have been released.

<i>New World</i> (Dave Kerzner album) 2014 studio album by Dave Kerzner

New World is the debut solo album by American musician, songwriter, producer and sound designer Dave Kerzner. This is Kerzner's first album since his departure from the band Sound of Contact, and was developed in 2014. The album features numerous collaborations with established artists such as Fernando Perdomo, Steve Hackett, Nick D'Virgilio, Durga McBroom and Keith Emerson. Two versions of the album were developed: a standard edition and a two-disc double album deluxe edition. The former was released in December 2014, and the latter was released in January 2015.

The Last Domino? Tour

The Last Domino? Tour is an upcoming concert tour by English rock band Genesis, staged following the announcement of their reunion after a 14-year hiatus. It will feature the core trio of keyboardist Tony Banks, drummer/singer Phil Collins, and bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford, the most successful and longest-lasting line-up in the band's history, with Daryl Stuermer on guitars and bass, and Collins' son Nic on drums.


  1. 1 2 Sound of Contact Signs With InsideOut Prog Rock Magazine. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  2. 1 2 Findlay and Kerzner form Mantra Vega – Prog. Prog Magazine. Retrieved May 16, 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 Dave Kerzner Expands His New World. Prog Magazine. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Company – Sonic Reality Inc. Sonic Reality. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  5. 1 2 Interview with Dave Kerzner – MacMusic. MacMusic. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  6. Two Thuds and a Lamb – An Introspective by Dave Kerzner. Archived April 15, 2012, at the Wayback Machine KevinGilbert.com. Retrieved May 26, 2013.[ self-published source? ]
  7. 1 2 U-Catastrophe album credits. AllMusic. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  8. Steven Wilson Grace for Drowning album credits. Prog Archives. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  9. Sonic Reality in the UK. Audio Pro International. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
  10. Genesis "turns it on again" with IK and Sonic Reality. IK Multimedia. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  11. IK Multimedia | SampleTron. IK Multimedia. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  12. Steven Wilson Uses SampleMoog, SampleTron and iKlip On Tour. IK Multimedia. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
  13. Sound of Contact progressive rock Band Interview | Audioholics. Audioholics. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  14. 1 2 3 4 Dave Kerzner leads studio tribute to Genesis's Lamb. Prog Magazine. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  15. The Brooks Bulletin. Brown, Rob. "Canadian Simon Collins releases first US album". n.d. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  16. Simon Collins Tribute to Genesis Using IK Multimedia Software and Sonic Reality Sounds. Digital Media Network. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  17. SOUND OF CONTACT Release Debut Concept Album "Dimensionaut" And Reveal Live Video. Prog Sphere. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  18. Important Sound of Contact News. Archived January 7, 2014, at the Wayback Machine Sound of Contact. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
  19. Dave Kerzner and Kelly Nordstrom Back In Sound Of Contact. Prog Magazine. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  20. Kerzner launches Kickstarter please. Prog Magazine. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  21. Dave Kerzner Breaks All Boundaries With New World. SmokeWind Music. Retrieved March 1, 2015.