Tom Coyne,a mainstay of the New York City mastering community for more than 40 years, has died from multiple myeloma. The Morris Township, N.J., resident was 62 years old.
While at Frankford/Wayne Mastering in the late 1970s, Coyne got his first big break on Kool& The Gang’s “Ladies Night. He would go on to win six Grammy Awards andbe nominated more than 30 times, his most recent two wins this past February for Adele’s 25. Through the years, he also worked with stars such as Beyonce, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Lady Gaga andcountless others. He was perhaps best known for his groundbreaking work in the late 1980s and early 1990s, while at Hit Factory and Sterling Sound, ushering in the Golden Age of hip hop with artists such asA Tribe Called Quest, R. Kelly, Digable Planets, the Roots, Wu-Tang Clan and Erykah Baduh.
Oneofhislongtimecolleaguesand friends,Vlado Meller,wrote toMix:
“I was extremely saddened to learn today about the passing of my friend Tom Coyne. Mastering isa pretty solitary career, but Tom was always kind and collaborative. In 1980, when I was working for CBS, a producer had sought me out to work on the next Grover Washington, Jr., record, but since CBS wouldn’t work with outside artists,I was unable to work on it ina traditional manner. So during my lunch break one day, I went outand walked to Frankford/Wayne Mastering to see if there was any chance they’d let me use their studio soI could master the album asa freelance project. Sure enough, Tom was incredibly accommodating, showing me the way around the studio and letting me master the whole album there.
“The record ended up being Grover’s hit Winelightfeaturing the smash single “Just the Two of Us,” and it exploded, going on to win multiple Grammys. If not for Tom and his generosity, I’m not sure I would’ve been a part of that record. After that project, we remained closeas we moved throughout different studios and projects, oftengoing out to lunch when he was at the Hit Factory andI was at Sony. Tom was a brilliant engineer, respected peer, and a compassionate friend, and he will be sorely missed.”