Petersen grew up in Italy playing in bands, doing live sound and learning electronics. Coming to America, he earned degrees in chemistry, technical theatre and life sciences, while repairing AV gear, mixing bands and as an IATSE Journeyman operating/installing 35/70mm theater systems. Petersen then did postgraduate work in film at San Francisco State. After a 30-year stint with MIX magazine, he became editor of FRONT of HOUSE, authoring hundreds of product reviews, 2,000+ technical articles and lecturing at industry events worldwide. Petersen also founded the NAMM TECnology Hall of Fame, spotlighting products that have changed the world of professional audio.