New York, NY (August 25, 2022)—Grammy-nominated studio engineer Steven Eigner died Thursday, August 18, due to complications stemming from a stroke. He was 65. Over the course of a lengthy career that saw him contribute to numerous multi-platinum records, Eigner worked with a slew of top names in pop and R&B, before moving on to a lengthy career as a studio recording educator.
Among the artists he worked with as an engineer, musician and composer were The Bee Gees, Jay Z, Justin Timberlake, Nelly, Mary J. Blige, Brian McKnight, Joe Lynn Turner, Jon Paris, Tupac Shakur, 98 Degrees, Blondie and Joe Bonamassa.
Eigner graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston, starting out in the music business as a guitarist for hire, tackling sessions and touring work. Aiming to become a songwriter, he became adept at demoing his own work and soon began recording other artists as well. Before long, he had migrated to New York City to become part of the 1980s studio scene, landing his first gig as an assistant engineer at Unique Recording Studios, where he later became a staff engineer, working there until the facility closed in May, 2004.
During that time, he worked on a number of high-profile projects, including Nelly’s 2000 breakthrough, Country Grammar; recorded and mixed in Unique’s Studio A, the album eventually earned a Diamond certification (10 million sold) from the RIAA. He likewise recorded the follow-up, 2002’s Nellyville, which was nominated for Album of the Year at the 45th annual Grammy awards. Even long after the studio closed, Eigner’s work there still drew accolades: Morgan Heritage’s Strictly Roots album, which he recorded at Unique back in 1995, was released in 2014 and took home the Grammy for Best Reggae Album the following year at the 58th annual Grammy awards.
By then, however, Eigner had long since moved on to the world of audio education; in 2007, he began sharing his experience and insights with the next generation of studio engineers, teaching at New York’s Institute of Audio Research until the school closed in 2017.
Bobby Nathan, who co-owned Unique with his wife, Joanne Georgio-Nathan, told Mix, “Steve died way too young, and was loved by us, our staff and all our clients that he worked with.” Eigner is survived by his partner, Janet, son Steven, sisters Andrea and Debbie, and stepfather Donald.