Los Angeles, CA (October 13, 2020)—Cameron “Brent” Averill, founder of BAE Audio, died in August at the age of 71. A tech’s tech, Averill created his own niche in the recording industry during the mid-1980s, recognizing the audible value of some classic pieces of vintage analog equipment and essentially reformatting them for use in the evolving modern studio.
Fascinated by electronics as a boy, Averill was a born tinkerer who eventually fell into working in high-end consumer audio during the 1970s, eventually moving into recording studio maintenance for a few years in Rochester, NY before moving to Los Angeles in the late 70s. There, he became a tech for Westlake Audio and a field tech for then-cutting edge 3M digital recorders.
Eventually Averill went out on his own, starting BAE as he spent the next eight years refurbishing old analog recording consoles. While slowly frustrated by the work, viewing it somewhat as a sisyphean task, he had the idea to take old API 312 cards and build them into preamp modules—and a new product was born. He moved to creating new modules soon after, his likely best-known effort being BAE’s replication of the Neve 1073 preamp/EQ, which debuted in 1999.
Averill retired from pro audio in 2009, selling the company to Manchester, UK-native Mark Loughman, who had started at BAE years earlier as an intern. Today, the company retains the name—now also standing for British Audio Engineering—and many of his designs remain in production. Loughman remembered Averill on the company’s website, “He was not only a pioneering tech, but an accomplished engineer and all around great human being.”
BAE Audio • www.baeaudio.com