Dave Whitehead was the guitarist for Requiem and Cygnet Committee between 1987 and 1990. He, and bandmates from these projects (most notably Dave Lowndes), were instrumental in setting up the collective Terror Couple, who released what has been touted as "the first compilation of Hamilton music" in 1989 (also called Terror Couple).
He played with Clambone and GIMBIMLYB between 1990 and 1992, and around this time became increasingly well respected in Hamilton as a producer of local bands from myriad genres. In 1992 he coordinated the release of the now much sought-after compilation cassette (and later CD) Juice Extractor, featuring Hamilton bands recorded by Whitehead on 8-track reel-to-reel. This in turn led to the formation of Theta Productions, with junior partner Dave Lowndes, and between 1993 and 1994 Whitehead and Theta also had a close working relationship with the notorious Swamp Goblin.
Whitehead and Theta Productions also became involved in film in the early 1990s. The 1994 independent New Zealand short film A Little Death (written and directed by Simon Perkins) featured Whitehead in the role of composer of the original score and sound designer for the film's highly innovative sound-effects.
In 1995 Whitehead formed the band Gas, which also featured Dave Lowndes, and recorded several tracks with Whitehead/Theta. Between 1995 and 1997, however, Whitehead was becoming increasingly in demand in the film industry, and he eventually left the Hamilton music scene behind.
Whitehead's movie credits have included Delf (1997, sound designer), The Ugly (1997, sound designer) Blinder (1998, composer, sound designer), Like An Angel (1999, composer, supervising sound editor), the TV series Greenstone and the high profile New Zealand feature films Chanelling Baby, I'll Make You Happy and Scarfies (all in 1999 as sound designer and editor). Since 2000 his work includes TV series (Cleopatra 2525 and Dark Knight in 2000), documentaries (Colin McCahon: I Am; composer 2001), independent New Zealand cult films like Snakeskin (2001, sound designer) and The Locals (2003, sound designer), through to hugely successful blockbuster features including the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy (sound effects editor, 2001 - 2003), along with Boogeyman, The Ring Two, The World's Fastest Indian, King Kong and Out of the Blue (all between 2005 and 2006 as supervising sound effects designer and sound effects editor). He also appears in the documentary The Making of Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World, released as a bonus disc accompanying the DVD release of Peter Jackson's King Kong.