The founder of Modulation Sciences was killed last Thursday when he was struck by an out-of-control car in West Delray, Fla. He was 71. Small was known for his work on stereo TV sound and for his work with Bob Orban in developing the Optimod, the audio processor that became a fixture in many FM stations.
Eric Small, founder of Modulation Sciences and co-developer of the Orban Optimod, was killed March 15 in a car accident in West Delray, Fla., near his home. He was 71.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, Small was walking out of a supermarket when he was struck by an out-of-control car. The driver of that car, an 80-year-old woman, also died.
Small entered the broadcasting industry in 1964 at classical music WNCN-FM in his native New York. In 1969, Small joined the technical department at A&R Recording under Phil Ramone, one of the most prolific producers/engineers in the music industry. He went on to become chief engineer at WXLO-FM New York.
In the early 1970s, Small helped develop the Orban Optimod FM audio processor, which soon became standard equipment in virtually every major FM station in the U.S.
He left broadcasting to help design the visual portion of the F/A-18 combat flight simulator. But he returned to the medium in 1981, founding Modulation Sciences, which developed and manufactured products for radio and TV.
After the broadcast transmission facilities of most New York broadcasters were destroyed on 9/11, Small helped them get back on the air by contributing equipment.
During his long career, Small served the TV and radio broadcasting industry on numerous committees, panels and as and as an inexhaustible writer, authoring white papers, opinion letters and editorials. He was a voting member of the BTSC, the group that wrote the standard for multichannel TV sound.
“Eric was a brilliant, yet humble man whose dedication to both television and radio, was undeniable,” said Hallie Swerdlin, one-time president of the now defunct Modulation Sciences. “He treasured his work family at Modulation Sciences, many of whom worked with him for many years. He was a very special man who I was proud to call my boss and my friend.”
Small is survived by his wife Roberta; children Gary Moskoff and Eric (Shannon) Moskoff; grandchildren Avi, Tessa and Aiden; sister Linda (Don) Sussman.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Chabad Jewish Center of Monroe, 261 Gravel Hill Road, Monroe Township, N.J. 08831 or Chabad of Boca Raton, 7950 North Military Trail, Boca Raton, Fla. 33496.