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Ackermann was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He spent his childhood in St. Peter, Minnesota and Fredericksburg, Virginia attending Falmouth Elementary School, Drew Middle School, and Stafford High School.
Ackermann studied Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design. He returned to Fredericksburg, Virginia and worked at Zolo Designs.

Musical career

In 1995, Ackermann formed Skywave with Paul Baker and John Fedowitz. The band put out recordings and toured during 1998 through 2004.
Ackermann moved to Brooklyn in 2004. He then established Death By Audio, and formed the band A Place to Bury Strangers with Tim Gregorio on bass and Justin Avery on drums, where he plays self-modified Japanese and American Jaguars and Jazzmasters.

Death by Audio

At Death by Audio, Ackermann designs and manufactures hand-wired guitar-effects pedals, and has provided custom effects equipment to other bands such as U2, Wilco, and Nine Inch Nails.
The Death By Audio location also operates as a live/work environment for artists and musicians, recording studio, and art/music venue.

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