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Remembering Albert Leccese, May 11, 1953 – July 17, 2010

“He treated everyone like they were a million-dollar customer, like they were Bruce Springsteen, even if they were just some young kid.” - Ken Toal, Audio Analysts

Albert Leccese’s three rules of live sound:
1) Make noise
2) Continue to make noise
3) Make it sound good if you can

Albert Leccese lost his 5-year battle with lung cancer early in the morning of July 17, 2010 with his family at his bedside. His wife, Denise and his two sons Paul, 22, and Steven, 19, survive him. He was far too young to go. Beyond that, he was far too good a man to be taken from us so early. 

I share a birthday with Albert – same date, same year. My first contact with him was as a staff member for the Live Sound Workshop, held annually just before the Winter NAMM show through the 1990s. Out of the blue in 1994, when I was product manager for TOA Electronics, Albert called me up and offered to try out the first prototypes of our second-generation DSP at the north stage of Woodstock ’94. 

What an experience! Four days of three hours of sleep a night. Same meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Snapple Tea only, not even water. Multiple stomach pumpings due to copious amounts of bad drugs being passed around… And cleaning the snake when it was over? Oh, mercy! As a manufacturing dweeb, I remember thinking I’d be willing to wait another 25 years before doing that again. But it was no big deal to Albert, just another gig. And yes, I watched him clean that snake. 

Albert and a big Audio Analysis rig at Giants Stadium in support of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
(Photo credit: Clive Young)

Albert was one of the pioneers of the touring sound industry. The list of tours he worked is endless, including Avril Lavigne, Blue Man Group, Bruce Springsteen, Linkin Park, Mark Knopfler, Norah Jones, REO, Ricky Martin, Ringo Starr, Sammy Hagar, Sarah McLachlan, Styx, and so on, as well as multiple Papal visits. 

Albert’s official role was co-owner and vice president/director of engineering at Audio Analysts in Colorado Springs, and he also served as an invaluable resource to numerous manufacturers and engineering departments, providing considerable insights on product development and equipment evaluation.

Albert (far right) teaching an evening session on stage monitoring at a 2005 SynAudCon seminar in Colorado Springs.

Armed with an EE degree, he developed the first linear-phase DSP in the industry (detailed in the October 2006 issue of Live Sound International), and worked closely with Crown on the development of touring industry power amplifiers. He was also closely affiliated with JBL, contributing to many touring loudspeaker system designs.

JBL VP Mark Gander:

“My thoughts go to napkin designs that turned in to world-class tour sound systems… 2 AM weekend calls to expedite replacements for rained-on tour system woofers… shipping hundreds of speakers to build the “Monsters of Rock” tour system… TEC Awards banquets at AES conventions… Albert exchanging trade show badges with Ron Borthwick of Clair Bros. to confound the uninitiated manufacturers… AES dinners with the tour sound engineers… pub crawls and meetings of the ‘Sambuca Brothers Society’…  Montreal, Plattsburgh, New York, Colorado Springs… and tour stops all around North America and the world. Endless shows at load-in, backstage, meals with the crew at catering, sitting at FOH, walking the hall even to the nosebleed sections, on the bus… very late nights in LA… the Audio Analysts “audio crib” in Marina Del Rey for wayward crew members… Albert contributing his time to teaching seminars whenever asked, and every year at the Live Sound Workshop… Albert frustrated with a humble student’s lack of comprehension, almost angry, then an under-the-breath sigh of resignation, followed by patient explanations of how the theory works in the real world, and how the get results that please the client and the audience…”

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