After studying at Cornell University, taking classes in electronic music from Robert Moog, Dennis Drake started on the road doing Sound Reinforcement with the Beach Boys, James Taylor, The Yes Group and others. He then worked at A & R Recording Studios in NYC, assisting engineers and producers like Phil Ramone and Elliot Scheiner on albums for Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and others.
Drake then moved to Los Angeles as a staff recording engineer at United-Western Studios, working on albums and TV show soundtracks with Mike Post, Ringo Starr, Steve Binder and Jimmy Webb.
In 1982, he moved to Polygram Records and started his career in mastering. As head of studio and technical operations, Dennis was responsible for creating the Polygram Tape Facility in Edison, New Jersey, consolidating the label's masters from many locations into a single facility. He also supervised the design and construction of three mastering studios.
In the 1980s, as the CD format took off, Polygram had a huge catalogue to mine, having been one of the developers of the format, along with SONY. Drake remastered for artists like Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers, and the Verve records catalogue, including recordings by Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie and others.
In the late 1980's Drake gained critical acclaim for developing a custom analog-to-digital transfer process and mastered the first 26 CD reissues from the Mercury Living Presence classical recordings, working with the original producer, Wilma Cozart Fine.
Dennis' company The Music Lab was founded in 1991, specializing in audio mastering, restoration, and archiving of music catalogues.