1/26/2011 5:27 AM
Legendary artist, recording engineer, and longtime EQ contributor Roger Nichols has been fighting pancreatic cancer for the past year. The astronomical health care costs have devastated his family and severely limited his prospects for progressive treatment. If you are interested in lending support, please read below to learn more about his situation, or visit www.rogernichols.com. Roger, all of your friends at EQ wish you the best!
By George Petersen
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
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 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 our
Now it’s time we helped him out.
You can donate to help Roger via PAYPAL. Any amount, large or small, is appreciated and will make a difference. Go to www.rogernichols.com for more info.