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In Memoriam: Mark G. Pinske, 70

FOH Staff • News • October 1, 2020

IRVINE, CA — Musician, engineer and business executive Mark Pinske passed away suddenly and unexpectedly of cardiac arrest on Sept. 30, 2020. He was 70.

Born in Arlington, MN, in November 1949, he attended Arlington High School and then studied at University of Florida in Gainesville. During that time, he developed his chops as a bass player and doing live sound mixing, before eventually going to work with formative (yet influential) large-format studio console manufacturer Quad Eight Electronics from 1976 through 1980.

Although a sharp and technically saavy businessman, Pinske was perhaps best known for his years of work as Frank Zappa’s personal engineer, doing live sound and studio recording and mixing, as well as running the artist’s home studio, the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen. Although two came from varied backgrounds, Zappa was impressed with Pinske’s production skills, and they worked together from 1980 to 1987. In fact, Zappa was quoted as telling Bob Dylan that Pinske could get a “better drum sound in 20 minutes than most engineers can get in hours.”

In 1987, Pinske headed back to Gainesville, FL, to become the chief engineer and owner of Skylab Studios and he did recording and live work for artists ranging from David Lee Roth and Terence Trent Darby to Men at Work and Bobby Brown.

He returned to the manufacturing side in 1996, with a four-year stint at Creamware U.S., doing product development and sales/marketing. From there, Hartley Peavey brought him in as the general manager of the Peavey Electronics and Media Matrix divisions, which he ran for nine years, until 2009. During that time, Peavey acquired Crest Audio and Pinske served as the chief operating officer of that professional console and amplifier company as well. From there, Pinske took on a more relaxed position as the executive director of Southern California-based speaker manufacturer Radian Audio Engineering, where he extended his love of technology into their cutting-edge designs in high-powered coaxial transducers, ribbon tweeters, advanced crossovers and beryllium diaphragms for HF compression drivers. Five years later, in 2015, he left Radian but never lost his love of performing, producing and engineering music.

Pinske on a recent cruise to the Bahamas

Enjoying the good life: Pinske on a recent cruise to the Bahamas

Mark Pinske will be missed by his many friends throughout the industry and is survived by his wife Beth Martin and his son Maxx Pinske. Farewell old friend… sleep well.

No word on a memorial service had been announced at press time.

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