Neil Young producer and audio innovator Elliot Mazer dies, aged 79

Elliot Mazer
(Image credit: Michael Putland/Getty Images)

Producer and audio engineer Elliot Mazer, famed for his work with Neil Young and The Band, has died at the age of 79. 

Speaking to Rolling Stone (opens in new tab), Mazer’s sister, Bonnie Murray, confirmed that he had died of a heart attack following years suffering with dementia.

“Elliot loved music,” she said. “He loved what he did; he was a perfectionist. Everybody has so much respect for him, and he’s been suffering for a couple years.”

Mazer’s association with Young began with 1972’s legendary Harvest album, and continued for many years. He also served as audio engineer on The Last Waltz, Martin Scorcese’s 1978 documentary film that accompanied The Band’s album of the same name.

Mazer will also be remembered as an audio pioneer, helping to develop the world’s first all-digital recording studio during his time at Stanford University’s Computer Center for Research in Music and Acoustics from 1976 to 1984. 

Other innovations included D-zap, a device to detect possible studio shocking hazards, and the AirCheck Monitoring system, which Mazer developed while president of Artificial Intelligence Resources Inc in the late ‘80s. 

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.