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Bruce Knight, Veteran FOH Engineer, Passes

Veteran live sound engineer Bruce "BK" Knight passed away Sunday, April 21, 2024. Across a 40-plus-year professional career, he mixed artists as varied as Prince, Faith No More and Bob Seger, among dozens of top name acts.

Bruce Knight in 2004.
Bruce Knight in 2004. Photo courtesy of the engineer.

Nashville, TN (April 22, 2024)—Live sound engineer Bruce “BK” Knight passed away early Monday, April 22, 2024, after suffering a double aneurysm and a stroke three weeks ago. Over the course of four decades, Knight mixed a who’s who in rock and pop, building a touring resume that included household names across a variety of genres. An in-demand engineer, Knight was as well-known in the industry for his calm, upbeat attitude and insightful conversations as he was for his talent behind the desk.

Knight toured with a broad range of artists over the course of his career, including Sheryl Crow, Don Henley, Aerosmith, The Smashing Pumpkins, Prince, Faith No More, En Vogue, Richard Marx, Alice Cooper, The Doobie Brothers, The Black Crowes, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Expose, Garbage, REO Speedwagon, Lyle Lovett and plenty of others.

“I have mixed a lot of different types of music over the years because I’m always ready for a new challenge and I feel there’s always something new to discover and bring to the table from each experience,” he told Pro Sound News in a 2004 interview. “I’ve definitely learned something great from every artist and every situation that I’ve worked in, and there’s always more to be learned.”

Coming from a musical family, Knight picked up the guitar briefly as a pre-teen before discovering he was far more interested in getting behind a mixing desk. “I just kind of got frustrated with trying to learn playing note-to-note, never really wanted to perform or had the desire to be on stage, and found it more fascinating behind the scenes in audio,” he said. As a result, by the time he was 16, he was mixing local acts. Starting in 1982, Knight joined Chicago’s db Sound where he was mentored by owner Harry Witz, building his career as an FOH engineer and system engineer on numerous tours before going freelance in 1993.

Knight and touring proved to be a good match, as the engineer enjoyed traveling. “I love touring in Europe,” he said in 2004, “because I’m into the architecture, the history and especially the cuisine. It’s some of the best in the world! As a ‘Foodie,’ my big weakness is probably red wine and espresso. I think that ethnically, Europe has brought a lot of good culinary mainstream to the table, as has Asia.”

Such enjoyment of different cultures and cuisines were the benefits of his curiosity and desire to search out new experiences—which was also part of why Knight enjoyed mixing acts live: “I think that’s really what keeps me going and keeps [the work] alive: There’s a new venue and a new experience every day, and you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen.  There’s always that ‘what’s new’ around the corner—what’s going to be fun today? What’s going to be a headache today? That’s the spontaneity of mixing a live show.”

This is an evolving story, subject to be updated.