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Rest In Peace: Bruce Swedien 1934-2020

Acoustic Sciences Corporation is extremely saddened that recording and mix engineer legend Bruce Swedien passed away on November 16th.  He was a passionate devotee of ASC studio acoustics, in particular, the AttackWall and QuickSoundField.  But much more than that, he was a friend, always cheerful and polite, never afraid to speak honestly and let his feelings be known.  The world has lost a truly great man.  Brucie, you will be missed and always loved.  We are all better for having known you.  You truly brought light to the world through your beautifully recorded and mixed music.  The world may never see another Bruce Swedien. 

 

Above: A Youthful Pair of Strapping Gentlemen Having fun in the Studio (left: Art Noxon, right: Bruce)

 

Art Noxon ASC President, founder, and inventor of the TubeTrap had this to say about Bruce:

Bruce passed over to the other side Monday night, Nov 16, 2020.

He fell about 4 months ago and busted himself up pretty bad. He stayed in the hospital and never made it back home. Bea and Roberta, his loyal wife and daughter are left behind with their many memories and the world he created around them.

Bruce was a highly successful recording engineer.  Over the last 15 years Bruce began to give back. He shared stories and secrets in a number of books. He opened up his studio to mentoring classes filled by engineers from all over the world. He opened his studio to the talent in his community, aspiring musicians living in town around him. One of the fruits of his community work is “Keep the dream alive."  For this song, Bruce volunteered to work with a group of people from a local church and record them.  It is a heartfelt song about passing the torch from one generation to the next, and now, even more, it is his song to us, to listen to as we begin to endlessly miss him.

"Keep the Dream Alive" (YouTube)

Bruce was unabashed. Sometimes he’d boom out with his big voice “Artie”, he’d say “I loooove my TubeTraps” and real loud, especially when we were in a big crowd of people, at a show. Something else, he always ended a visit or work session with the famous line by Duke Ellington who used it to close every show…. Remember, “I love you, madly.”

Probably his most important saying for me is …”You gotta Hear it to Believe it”. It applied to so much of what Bruce was about. It pretty much sums up his approach to work and life.

Bruce was the boss in the studio, but when he realized he just might believe in you, he would just sit back and let go of the reins. He’d let you take the lead … and him on some wild ride. And he was a great and loyal friend to so many people.

In his mentoring classes I was always taking notes when he was talking or demonstrating. He asked me one day what I was doing. I told him I’m keeping track of what is going on so I can write the equation that explains it. He shook his head and said, "Artie, you can’t capture imagination."

Bruce Swedien became a star in his lifetime. Now he’s become a star in the Heavens above, forever.

Bruce will be deeply missed.

-Art Noxon

 

For those of you unfamiliar with Bruce's role in the music industry and contribution to the world you know, please take a moment to read a short biography here.

Above: Even before his AttackWall days, Bruce and Bea hung out with Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson.  Not bad!

 

Above: West Viking Studios with its full complement of ASC Studio Acoustics.  Gorgeous!

 

Above: this is what the walls of your office look like when you are a master of your craft.  The TubeTraps helped a little too.