february 2011


Audio Engineer Roger Nichols Needs Your Help

By George Petersen

For EQ Magazine, posted at http://www.eqmag.com/BlogComments.aspx?id=126607

One of the great audio engineers of all time, Roger Nichols, needs your help. And he's not looking for an assistant engineer or someone to help dust his Grammy Awards. Roger quite literally is fighting for his life.

Last summer, Roger was diagnosed with Phase 4 Pancreatic cancer. Although quite serious, many of those afflicted survive for years with proper treatment. Unfortunately, the medical costs and bills have devastated the Nichols family, leaving them nearly bankrupt, making any chance of Roger taking part in some promising new treatments nearly impossible.

Once upon a time, Roger Nichols turned his back on a lucrative career as a nuclear engineer, turning audio knobs instead, and the world's been a better-sounding place ever since. From his decades of work with Steely Dan, John Denver and other artists, Roger proved his production prowess while stretching the limits of technology. When the available gear couldn't do the job, he'd invent solutions, such as the 1978 Wendel sampling drum computer (the first drum replacement device) or the Rane PaqRat, which transformed a lowly ADAT or DA-88 recorder into a 24-bit mastering deck. And if that wasn't enough, his Digital Atomics company developed a vacuum desiccation system for tape restoration that offered an alternative to tape baking. Over the years, tracks Roger engineered (such as Donald Fagen's The Nightfly) became established as standards for speaker demos in audio showrooms and AES booths-in either case, some pretty tough customers.

On a personal note, Roger was always a caring and giving person, whether serving on NARAS boards, or volunteering his time to lecture to college students and Audio Engineering Society (AES) sections. Roger once spent a week doing production seminars for the audio community in Buenos Aires, Argentina for AES Latin Region Vice President Mercedes Onorato. That was a little off the beaten track, but Roger was quick to give up his valuable time for the benefit of others. Between his amazing legacy of recorded work (Steely Dan, Donald Fagen, John Denver, Rickie Lee Jones, Take 6, Johnny Winter, Placido Domingo, Roseanne Cash, The Beach Boys and so many more) and his benevolence in helping others, he has given so much to the pro audio industry.

Now it's time we helped him out.

If you are interested in lending support, please visit http://www.rogernichols.com for more information, or donate to help Roger via PAYPAL. Any amount, large or small, is appreciated and will make a difference.

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