Acclaimed studio engineer and musician Steve Albini has died aged 61

Steve Albini poses for a portrait in his studio Thursday, July 24, 2014 in Chicago
(Image credit: Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Engineer and musician Steve Albini has died after suffering a heart attack at his Electrical Audio recording studio in Chicago. Staff confirmed the news to Pitchfork earlier today (8 May).

Albini leaves a legacy as one of alternative rock's most respected figures both as a guitarist and vocalist with post-punk bands Big Black, Rapeman and Shellac, but also an influential engineer (he pushed back on the description of 'producer') for bands including Nirvana (In Utero), Pixies (Surfer Rosa), Pj Harvey, Page & Plant and Manic Street Preachers. 

His band Shellac were preparing to release To All Trains next week, their first album in a decade, ith tour dates to follow. Albini only recently appeared in an Electrical Audio 'Gear Dork' video on the Samamp V.A.C. 40. 

Albini never lost touch of this hands-on approach to sharing his studio insight with others; from the perspective that he was himself was still learning and discovering. His engineer's approach to his work with bands was all about capturing, and not trying to change the artists he recorded.

"For my part, I've always seen my job as primarily technical," he told us in 2013. "Where, whatever the band wants to do with the record then my job is to facilitate that."

Albini recently gave an insightful interview with YouTuber Aaron Rash delving further into this side of things when he worked with Nirvana on their 1993 album, In Utero.

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.