Neil Young and Janis Joplin producer, Elliot Mazer, has died at 79

Not only an incredible producer and engineer, Elliot Mazer was also known as a pioneer of digital technology in the studio.

Elliot Mazer, the name and brain behind recordings such as Neil Young‘s Harvest, Janis Joplin‘s Farewell Song and other timeless releases from the ’70s to the present, has passed away in his San Francisco home, aged 79 suffering a heart attack after battling dementia for years.

Engineering the sound of Neil Young’s Harvest proved to be his most timeless work, featuring classic singles written by Young like Old Man and Heart of Gold. Mazer utilised pivotal pieces of technology like the Quad 8 recording desk, in unconventional spaces like a barn bought by Young in 1970 called Broken Arrow.

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In a 2009 interview with TapeOp Elliot Mazer said “I like being with the band. It gives me a sense of who they are, a sense of what they need in order to get a great performance… Getting a great take of a cool song is most important… but to me, one has to capture the essence of the song in the best way possible.”

In the late ’70s, he was involved in the creation of a pioneering prototype all-digital multi-track recording system for Stanford University’s Computer Centre for research in Music and Acoustics, that would boast a goal of having a possible 150 track count! He was also recognised with contributions to the broadcast world in the late ’80s with tech like AirCaster, a monitoring and logging system still used today.

Sister of the late legend, Bonnie Murray, told Rolling Stone “Elliot loved music… He loved what he did; he was a perfectionist. Everybody has so much respect for him.”

Vale Elliot Mazer.