Author Archives: Clive Young

Podcasting Pros Ready for Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit

podcast panelNew York, NY (March 17, 2021)—A panel of top podcasting professionals will share their insights and knowledge at the upcoming Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit on April 1. Produced jointly by Mix magazine, Pro Sound News and Radio World, the event is a free one-day virtual trade show where radio and pro audio professionals can learn about new products and technology and network with colleagues and manufacturers.

Podcasts have exploded in popularity over the last five years, inspiring millions of people to start their own shows, in part due to the low cost of entry-level audio gear. In reality, however, the DIY days of podcasting are long gone; today, audio quality is a crucial factor in building and keeping your audience. In the kickoff panel, Podcasting: ‘Good Enough’ Audio Is Not Good Enough, Chris Crump of Comrex Corporation, Fela Davis of One of One Productions, Dallas Taylor of the hit podcast Twenty Thousand Hertz, and Frank Verderosa of Digital Arts NY, will share their insights and real-world experiences, discussing superior audio tools, developing and applying best practices, and more.

Registration for the free event is open.

Chris Crump has served as the Sr. Director of Sales & Marketing for Comrex since 2004. In 1987, he began his professional radio career at ABC/Cap Cities Detroit before taking the Features Editor position at MediaBase Research/Monday Morning Replay. On-air, remote broadcast engineer, Creative Services Director roles followed for Capitol Broadcasting (subsequently Paxson Communications) in Orlando and the Ron & Ron Radio Network in Tampa/St. Petersburg. In 1996, Crump moved to the manufacturing side of the broadcast business performing sales & marketing roles for Spectral, Inc., Euphonix, Symetrix and Klotz Digital America. Crump resides in Buford, Georgia (outside of Atlanta) with his wife Seval, 15 year-old daughter Zara and their Affenpinscher Olive. He is a CBNE certified member of SBE Chapter 5 in Atlanta as well an Assistant Scoutmaster with Troops 597 and 5597 in Dacula, GA.

Fela Davis is a graduate of Full Sail University with 20 years of experience in audio engineering and inducted into the University’s Hall of Fame in 2020. Her live mixing experience includes Ron Carter, Brian Blade, Jose Feliciano, Meshell Ndegeocello, and Bilal. She is front of house engineer for six-time Grammy Award winner Christian McBride, mixing sold-out shows across Asia, Europe, Canada, and America. Fela records, mixes, and edits at her One of One Productions Studio located 5 minutes from NYC in Fort Lee, NJ. The One of One Productions studio also specializes in podcast recordings for top 200 Apple Podcasts like Holding Court with Eboni K. Williams and The Art of Music Tech Podcast that she hosts with her business partner, Dennis. The Art of Music Tech Podcast highlights the latest in audio gear, mixing techniques, and interviews with top audio engineers, musicians, and producers (Leslie Ann Jones, Jeff Bova, Jett Galindo, Patrick Smith) about their journey in audio. It’s also featured with many of her writings for Pro Sound News Magazine & Podcast Pro Newsletters.

Dallas Taylor is the host and creator of Twenty Thousand Hertz, a lovingly crafted podcast revealing the stories behind the world’s most recognizable and interesting sounds. Dallas is also the Creative Director of Defacto Sound, where he has led thousands of high-profile projects ranging from blockbuster trailers and advertising campaigns to Sundance award-winning films and major television series. Dallas is a sought-after speaker at conferences, a regular contributor to major publications, and a respected thought leader on the narrative power of sound.

Frank Verderosa (www.frankverderosa.com) is a 30-year veteran of the New York audio industry, fighting the good fight for film studios, ad agencies and production companies, but secretly loves mixing music most of all. These days, he plies his trade at Digital Arts in NYC, but he has additionally taught hundreds of voice-over artists how to record professionally while at home during the pandemic, and is also a longtime engineer for a number of high-profile podcasts.

The Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit will also feature a virtual exhibition floor, live chat and a separate track of presentations showcasing technologies and trends in pro audio.

Registration for the free event is open.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Craig Anderton to Explore ‘What’s Next’ at Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit

Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit
The virtual lobby of the upcoming Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit.
Craig Anderton
Craig Anderton

New York, NY (March 17, 2021)—Acclaimed pro audio expert Craig Anderton will provide an eye-opening, far-reaching look into the future of pro audio when he keynotes the upcoming Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit on April 1. Produced jointly by Mix magazine, Pro Sound News and Radio World, the event is a free one-day virtual trade show where radio and pro audio professionals can learn about new products and technology and network with colleagues and manufacturers.

Prep for a Post-Pandemic World at the Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit

Crises often lead to accelerated advancements in technology, and over the past year, the professional audio industry has been actively developing new tools and new models to support evolving demands in sound production and distribution.  In his discussion, “What’s Next? New Tech for Audio Creation, Collaboration, Distribution,” noted author, composer, artist and technologist Craig Anderton will explore those changes and reveal how many of the foundations of the future—from networked systems and machine learning, to remote collaboration and blockchain payments/audience outreach—are here right now. And they’re about to become a lot bigger.

Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Musician/author Craig Anderton is an internationally recognized authority on music and technology. He has played on, produced, or mastered over 20 major label recordings and hundreds of tracks, authored 45 books on musical electronics, written over a thousand articles, lectured on technology and the arts (in 10 countries, 38 U.S. states, and three languages), and done sound design and consulting work for numerous music industry companies. He is the current president of the MIDI Manufacturer’s Association.

The Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit will also feature a virtual exhibition floor, live chat and a separate track of presentations showcasing technologies and trends in pro audio.

Registration for the free event is open.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Focusrite to Launch New Brand, Optimal Audio

New York, NY (March 17, 2021)—Focusrite plc may already operate Adam Audio, Martin Audio, Novation, Ampify and both the namesake Focusrite and Focusrite Pro brands, but it will be adding to that retinue next month with the introduction of a new commercial audio endeavor, Optimal Audio.

In a statement, Focusrite Group CEO Tim Carroll noted, “Taking a considered view of the commercial audio sector led us to conclude that it represents a maze of often overly complicated products that can be difficult to understand, install and operate. Optimal Audio will set out to do things differently, with a streamlined offering that is straightforward to install and simple to use.”

Focusrite Experiences Record Growth

With the industry—and indeed the world—starting to emerge from the pandemic as vaccines roll out, Focusrite sees 2021 as an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the recovery: “The commercial audio sector has grown consistently over the years, and even during the pandemic has been more robust than many. We expect that momentum to accelerate in the coming months, so we feel that the timing is perfect for the introduction of Optimal Audio.”

With that in mind, the new brand is set to debut April 20 with an online launch event. The brand will enter the marketplace with its own dedicated staff members while also drawing from the collective knowledge base across the Focusrite brands. “Alongside its own dedicated staff, a number of colleagues from across the group – most notably within Martin Audio – are helping to bring Optimal Audio to fruition. In the long term, our ambition is that the brand will have its own distinct team,” said Carroll.

Optimal Audio • https://optimal-audio.co.uk

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Evil Audio Pros are Back with ‘Sound of Violence’

Sound of ViolenceAt PSN, we’re always looking for new trends in pro audio, but one of the most surprising new ones is that audio pros are evil. Not you, of course (unless you happen to be evil). Rather, we’re talking about the ongoing trend in movies and TV where characters who are audio pros tend to be terrible, often violent people. The latest example can be found in a new indie horror flick, Sound of Violence, about an engineer over the edge.

Hitting theaters and On Demand on May 21, 2021, the film uses the audio aspect in a novel way, as indicated in the trailer’s synopsis on YouTube:

Alexis, a sound engineer, helps an aspiring musician, Josh, win the drum machine of his dreams in a competition at a mall. She mentors him and helps him find his groove to compose the winning beat. Once he submits his creation, it triggers a chain reaction revealing the competition booth to be a gruesome contraption. Through Josh’s beat and a horrific death, Alexis’ creative design comes to fruition, directing the macabre music she envisioned.

A film about killer sound design? Sure! Here’s a ‘more to the point’ Sound of Violence synopsis from the 2021 SXSW Film Festival:

A young girl recovers her hearing and gains synesthetic abilities during the brutal murder of her family. Finding solace in the sounds of bodily harm, as an adult, she pursues a career in music, composing her masterpiece through gruesome murders.

If that whets your appetite for more sound professionals doing terrible things, here’s some additional selections to cue up for your own personal audio-related horror festival:

• Shudder Network’s 2018 microseries Deadwax follows a vinyl collector tracking down an evil mastering engineer who created a record that kills anyone who listens to it.

• The creepy 2013 Scandinavian film, LFO, centers around a widowed amateur scientist who discovers that his experimental solution for tinnitus gives him total control over his neighbors.

• Also worthy of cuing up is 2012’s Berberian Sound Studio, starring Toby Jones as a horror film audio post engineer who can’t tell what’s real and what’s on the screen.

• And if you’d prefer a film where you can root for your fellow sound pro, you can always turn to Brian DePalma’s underrated 1981 thriller, Blow Out, where noble soundman John Travolta is on the run after he accidentally records evidence that a tragic car accident was in fact no accident at all.

 

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Peek Inside Hitmaker Taio Cruz’s Home Studio

Taio Cruz's Beverly Hills mansion
Taio Cruz’s Beverly Hills mansion, complete with home studio looking out on to the pink hot tub. Keller Williams Beach Cities

Producer and singer/songwriter Taio Cruz put his Beverly Hills, CA mansion on the market in early March, 2021, asking $8.5 million for the five-bedroom, 5,691-square-foot compound built in 1955. While the real estate listing shows off the house’s vaulted ceilings and chef’s kitchen, let’s take a closer look at what really matters—Taio Cruz’s home studio.

Cruz had a string of international hits in 2009 and 2010, including a pair of U.S. number ones, with “Dynamite” and “Break Your Heart.” While he’s still releasing albums, in recent times, Cruz has spent a lot of time writing tracks performed by other acts, including Jennifer Lopez, David Guetta, Usher, Ludacris, Lil Wayne, Nick Jonas, Olly Murs, Cheryl Cole, McFly and others. No doubt, a few of those songs came to life in his home studio.

Taio Cruz's home studio.
Taio Cruz’s home studio. Keller Williams Beach Cities

One of the coolest things about this room is the table, because it tells a story. Sure, it’s a nice, big space to work on, but look at its edges—the paint is worn away, chipped and accidentally scraped off over time, because this is a real work room, not just a bit of showmanship for when guests come over. Despite how tidy the room is for photos (and one of the overhead LED lights is out, by the way), clearly a lot of time has been spent here, dragging songs kicking and screaming into existence.

Studio Monitors

Dominating the well-soundproofed room are a massive pair of PMC MB2S XBD Studio Monitors, towering over everything else. Right beneath them are another pair of loudspeakers—in this case, they’re ADAM Audio S3X-H Horizontal Active Nearfield/Midfield Monitors.

The PMC monitors dominate taio cruz's home studio
The PMC monitors dominate the room. Keller Williams Beach Cities

Table Top

At the center of the table space is an ultrawide-class Benq monitor, sitting behind a Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol S49 Mk2 Keyboard Controller. To the left sits a wireless phone and both a PreSonus Monitor Station V2 Desktop Monitor Controller and an Apple MacBook laptop. Right next to them on a Lucite stand is an Ableton Push 2 MIDI Pad Controller. Meanwhile, on the right side of the table sits another MacBook, and just behind that is a MacMini.

Home Studios of the Rich and Famous: The Complete ‘Peek Inside’ Series

Below the Table

Under the table on the left in a rack hangs a Samson S-Patch Plus 48-Point Balanced Patchbay, while the power gear lying on the floor between the two racks includes a pair of APC AV Black 1.5 kVA H-Type Power Conditioners.

The right-side rack has some interesting equipment in its grasp, too. At the top is a Universal Audio 1176LN Classic Limiting Amplifier, while beneath it sits a Chandler Limited TG 2 Pre Amp/DI. The next RU down holds an Apogee Electronics Ensemble Thunderbolt Audio Recording Interface, placed just above an Avalon Design VT-737sp Channel Strip. The lowest spot is taken by a dbx 286s Channel Strip with De-Esser.

taio cruz's home studio
A Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A61 Keyboard Controller and a Kawai VPC1 digital piano are kept close by.

There’s no knowing what the microphone might be behind that pop filter, but the two keyboards on the right are a Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol A61 Keyboard Controller atop a Kawai VPC1 digital piano.

 

Elsewhere

ADAM Audio monitors seem to be the speakers of choice for Cruz. In the small hallway leading into the studio, there’s a Pioneer DJ rig with yet another MacBook, bookended by ADAM Audio T7V 7-inch Powered Studio Monitors, with two pairs of Roland’s V-Moda brand headphones casually placed atop them. Elsewhere in the house is a spare bedroom with its own small recording setup—another ultrawide monitor, a PC of some description, a Focusrite Scarlett interface…and more ADAM Audio T7Vs.

Even a spare bedroom gets used as a secondary recording space.

Cruz bought the property in 2012 for $4.05 million, and it has plenty to offer the next occupant—five bedrooms, views overlooking Los Angeles, floor-to-ceiling glass doors, a guest suite in its own wing, massage room, private gym, and right outside the studio, an infinity pool, hot tub and cabana. No doubt the next owner will also benefit from the good vibes from all the creative work that happened in that home studio as well.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

The Tula Mic – A Real-World Review

The Tula Microphone
The Tula Microphone sports a built-in stand that is removable and surprisingly robust noise cancellation.

As the debut product from Tula Mics, the appropriately named Tula Microphone is pretty unique, and not just because of its lustrous exterior. Instead of being another pocket-sized recorder that can double as a USB mic, the Tula is a pocket-sized USB mic that can double as a recorder. That may sound like splitting hairs, but it’s indicative of where the mic and the company behind it are coming from, rethinking the familiar from a different vantage point.

Roughly the size of a deck of cards, the Tula Mic is a stylish prosumer microphone designed for use in podcasting, content creation, the work-from-home world and so on, and it has a price tag to match at $199. Housed in the Tula’s solid metal/plastic case—available in black, red and cream—are cardioid and omnidirectional capsules, Burr Brown op amps, a Texas Instruments audio codec and a custom iteration of Swedish music software company Klevgrand’s Brusfri noise reduction algorithm. The mic connects to computers and devices via a USB-C port on back, and comes packaged with a USB-C to USB-A cable, a built-in (but removable) stand, and a universal threaded mic stand adaptor.

For those who use the Tula as a recorder, there’s 8 GB of internal memory (no SD or MicroSD cards here) which can hold up to 14 hours of recordings captured in .WAV format. When used on its own without a computer, the Tula is powered by a rechargable internal 3.7 V 700 mAh lithium ion battery that can hold enough power to record continuously for 10-12 hours with noise cancelation on, and 14 hours without. The Tula recharges via the USB-C cable, and when plugged into a computer, it appears on the desktop as a USB drive, allowing users to copy audio files to their machine.

The Tula Microphone
The Tula Microphone with its threaded mic stand adaptor (mic stand not included).

Sporting a retro-futuristic look that vaguely recalls the Star Trek communicators of yore, the Tula has a minimalist design that underscores the usually intuitive controls on the mic. Aside from the detachable built-in stand, there are no moving parts on the Tula. All the control buttons run up each side of the mic and are under pressable mesh; notably, there is no screen on the Tula to convey information like settings, gain and so on, so crucial info is instead provided through two LEDs on the front face. Thanks to that minimalism, the mic may have a timeless look but there’s also far fewer parts to potentially break—a crucial factor for a mic that is likely to get tossed in backpacks and the like.

When used strictly as a USB mic, the Tula is pretty straightforward; it gets power from the USB-C cable in the back, but still requires the user to hit the On/Off button to activate it. The Tula defaults to the cardioid capsule, but a short tap of the Mic Select button switches to the Omni, and a long tap activates the Tula’s 3.5 mm lav mic input, which doubles as a headphone jack for playback.

Perhaps the Tula’s strongest selling point is its noise cancellation, because the onboard Klevgrand Brusfri algorithm gets the job done. In testing, I unfairly placed the Tula just six inches from a loud space-heater blasting right at the mic, started talking and hit the NC button halfway through recording. Upon playback, I found the algorithm had ripped that noisy heater out of the recording, leaving my voice very clear and usable, if unsurprisingly missing some low end. Lest that scare you off using the NC button, don’t fret; the Tula automatically records two copies of your audio file—one with noise cancellation and one without—so that you have options come edit time. Still, the noise cancellation is a real problem-solver, if not a miracle worker. It’s not supposed to offer the scalpel-like precision of your favorite audio repair plug-in, but it does an impressive job on the fly of creating more than passable audio in less than ideal circumstances; in those instances, the Tula’s noise cancellation really shines.

Repairing Spoken-Word Recordings with iZotope Rx 8 Advanced – A Real-World Review

Sennheiser MD 435 and MD 445 Microphones – A Real-World Review

TZ Audio Stellar X2 Microphone – A Real-World Review

Used as a stand-alone recorder, the Tula is slightly less impressive—it records well, but is somewhat hindered by the device’s sleek minimalism. Most of the buttons’ functions are relatively clear, labeled with familiar universal icons for ‘record,’ ‘stop’ and the like. Confusingly, however, there are two Playback Volume buttons and two Gain Level buttons, and both sets are labeled with identical +/- symbols. That aggravation aside, the Gain Level buttons work well (once you remember which are which); adjusting in 5 dB increments, they affect an LED light on the front that alternately flashes green, yellow and red to help gauge the right level.

In all, the Tula offers a unique sense of style and design for its intended audience of content-creators—a market where, once video comes into play, a mic’s looks can be as important as its sound. The cleverly designed controls can be a little too clever at times, but the surprisingly robust on-board noise cancellation is impressive and will come in handy, especially for users who take the Tula out into the real world. The Tula Mic marks a solid debut for its namesake company.

Tula Mics • www.tulamics.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

PSN Tracks – February 2021

Welcome to Tracks, our monthly look at the recording process behind five new releases by artists across the musical spectrum, running down who’s using what gear where.

Click on the photo gallery below to see what’s new.

Divide and Dissolve - Tracks Paul McCartney - Tracks David Olney and Anana Kaye - Tracks The Vamplifiers - Tracks XIXA - Tracks

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Sennheiser CEOs Talk Consumer Partner Search

Co-CEOs Daniel (left) and Andreas Sennheiser.
Co-CEOs Daniel (left) and Andreas Sennheiser. Ludwig Schöpfer / StudioTusch

New York, NY (February 22, 2021)—Pro-audio mainstay Sennheiser turned heads last week with the announcement it is searching to find a new corporate partner for its Consumer Electronic division. Under the expected arrangement, the consumer division would gain additional resources that a partner could bring to the brand, allowing Sennheiser to focus on its Neumann, Pro Audio and Business Communications business units, co-CEOs Andreas and Daniel Sennheiser told PSN.

Opting to team with an outside entity is no small decision for the 75-year-old company; the consumer electronics division, which introduced its first headphones in 1968, comprises roughly half the manufacturer’s business, said Andreas Sennheiser. The partnership search, then, is the result of “actually having more opportunities at hand than we can give all the full potential [under our current] setup.”

The decision came after an internal assessment of the company’s divisions, said Daniel Sennheiser: “Looking at the different business units in more detail, we realized we need different strategies to make them successful. How we can develop all four business segments at the same time with the necessary power, so all markets that we’re in have great growth opportunities? We saw that the consumer part can be really driven to the full extent if we can find a partner and focus on the pro part.”

Sennheiser MD 435 and MD 445 Microphones – A Real-World Review

In recent years, the company has sought to make the various business units more independent, creating separate sales forces for each. “Now this is the next level,” said Andreas Sennheiser. “[All four] need investment in technology and audio competency, but also in sales and marketing. We believe that we can do this very well long term on the pro businesses, and a partner will help us accelerate the growth on the consumer business.”

While the CEOs are open to discussing a variety of approaches as they begin the search, one scenario that’s off the table is the possibility of selling the brand outright, said Andreas Sennheiser: “It’s our family name, and therefore we’ll hold that close to the family.”

As the manufacturer plans to focus on its other three business units once a partner is in place, plans are already afoot for those divisions. Daniel Sennheiser noted, “We’re looking forward to the pandemic lifting, especially now for live and broadcast, where we believe that we’ll see a renaissance of the industry; the public is really waiting for live events to come back. It’ll still be a little bit difficult for this year, we believe, but then in 2022, we’ll see great growth.”

The CEOs noted that the pandemic has aided their MI-based efforts, with the rise in home recording and home studios creating an upswing for both the Sennheiser and Neumann brands. “That area has actually grown significantly and gives us more opportunities to also invest into R&D and more products,” Daniel Sennheiser added. The pro-audio division’s broadcast and audio-for-video offerings, will be an upcoming focus, too, as they are the subjects of “strong plans and strong pipelines.”

Sennheiser isn’t letting the consumer division sit idle during the search either. “Every plan, every strategy that was in place prior to this announcement is still there,” said Andreas Sennheiser, “so we’re still driving the business strongly. With a new partner on the consumer side, we can even grow stronger there, creating therefore a better future for all sides.”

Sennheiser • https://en-us.sennheiser.com/

 

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Prep for a Post-Pandemic World at the Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit

Clive Young
Clive Young

For the pro-audio world, March marks the one-year anniversary of everything getting turned upside down by COVID-19. Since then, we’ve all been on a rollercoaster of times alternately hard and hopeful, but things are tentatively starting to look up. With the U.S. now vaccinating more than 1.5 million people a day and Dr. Fauci predicting all Americans could be eligible for vaccination as soon as April, “normal” isn’t around the corner, but it is finally on the horizon.

That means it’s time to roll up our sleeves—not only to get a shot, but to start preparing. “Normal” doesn’t happen with the flick of a switch; you won’t wake up one day and start mixing for a packed house again or find your studio booked solid just because the pandemic has subsided. It could happen—but only if we work for it, laying out the foundations for that kind of success, brick by brick, in the months leading up to it.

A big part of getting ready will figuring out how to incorporate all the radical pro-audio changes and advances we made over the last year. Frankly, that topic is so big that you can’t get all the insight you need from just Pro Sound News—which is why PSN has joined forces with Mix and Radio World to create the Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit, an online expo taking place on Thursday, April 1 (no, this is not an April Fool’s joke).

The free one-day event will feature an exhibition floor, panel presentations, chat rooms and a host of media presentations showcasing the latest technologies and trends in pro audio and radio. Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit will feature two individual program tracks within a single exhibition hall—in each program track, industry experts will explore how manufacturers and users are making use of both current and emerging technologies in order to keep the media coming.

Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit Announced

The Pro Audio Track will feature sessions on remote production, the multipurpose House of Worship studio, the rise of immersive music, audio networking technologies, podcasting and Improved Audio for Education. Through expert panel presentations, sponsor demos and attendee networking, Pro Sound News and Mix will bring manufacturers, engineers, producers, musicians, educators and industry experts together to look at the state of music production as we come out of the most disruptive year in memory.

The Radio Track will feature sessions on hybrid radio, AoIP, virtualization, streaming, business continuity and trends in transmission. These topics will be of interest to any radio broadcast manager or engineer who manages technology or uses it to advance their careers and business missions.

One of the best things about a virtual event is that the doors don’t close at the end of the day; all of the content—and exhibit booths—will be accessible on-demand to attendees for a month after the event, so if you can’t make April 1 (or more likely, if there’s just too much good stuff to absorb in one sitting), you dig into the offerings at times that work best for you. Head over to www.proaudioradiotechsummit.com to sign up for free, and I hope you’ll join me and the rest of the team from Mix and Radio World on April 1.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Rupert Neve, Pro Audio Legend, Dead at 94

Rupert Neve
Rupert Neve

Wimberley, TX (February 13, 2021)—Legendary pro-audio equipment designer Rupert Neve died February 12, 2021 due to non COVID-related pneumonia and heart failure. Neve’s passing brought to an end a career of more than 70 years that saw him create some of pro audio’s most revered, imitated and sought-after equipment, created for all corners of the industry, from recording to radio to live sound and more. As much an entrepreneur as he was an inventor, Neve’s legacy includes a slew of companies bearing his name, and it is no exaggeration to say equipment based on his designs will be used in studios around the world for decades to come. He was 94.

Born July 31, 1926 in Newton Abbot, England, Rupert Neve grew up in in Buenos Aires, Argentina; showing an interest in audio early on, he began designing audio amplifiers and radio receivers at 13, soon repairing and selling radios as a business before volunteering at age 17 to join the Royal Signals during World War II, providing communications support to the British Army. Following the war, he settled back in England, where he built a mobile recording studio used to cut operas, speeches, choirs and more on to lacquer discs. Concurrently, he also provided sound reinforcement systems for events involving Princess (later Queen) Elizabeth II and Winston Churchill.

Neve worked for a variety of companies in the 1950s before eventually striking out on his own to found CQ Audio, which produced Hi-Fi speaker systems. This attracted the attention of composer Desmond Leslie, who commissioned Neve to build a mixing console for him in the early 1960s; the console is still in residence in Castle Leslie, Ireland.

The Leslie console led to Neve founding the first of multiple audio companies that would bear his name, Neve Electronics, in 1961, initially operating out of his home before moving into proper facilities later in the Sixties. As the use of transistors gained popularity, Neve developed a transistor-based console for London’s Phillips Recording Studio in 1964, and continued to create new desks, most notably the Neve 80 and 50 series, which are revered for their microphone preamp, equalizer and processing modules, such as the widely cloned and emulated 1073 and 1081. Neve also developed the first moving fader system, NECAM (NEve Computer Assisted Mixdown); after seeing a pre-release demo on a Neve 16/4 console, Beatles producer George Martin’s first words were “How soon can I have one?” and Martin’s AIR Studios in London soon became the first NECAM-enabled facility.

Neve sold the company in the mid-1970s and left to form ARN Consultants, the result of a 10-year non-compete clause in the sales contract. ARN in turn teamed up with Amek Systems, a collaboration that led to Neve developing the Amek 9098 console, as well as outboard gear and his Transformer-Like Amplifier (TLA) design, which featured in numerous Amek desks.

Rupert Neve signing an RND 5088 mixing console, installed in Blue Rock Artist Ranch and Studio in Wimberley, TX, in 2013.
Rupert Neve signing an RND 5088 mixing console, installed in Blue Rock Artist Ranch and Studio in Wimberley, TX, in 2013.

In 1985, ARN founded Focusrite Ltd., primarily producing outboard gear such as dynamic processors and EQs, as well as another large-format console, of which only eight were made before the company was liquidated in 1989; the company’s assets were purchased by a new company, Focusrite Audio Engineering (today Focusrite PLC), with which Neve was not involved. Concurrently, but likewise unrelated directly to Neve himself, the original Neve Electronics was sold to Siemens in 1985, which in turn merged with UK company Advanced Music Systems, resulting in pro-audio manufacturer AMS-Neve, which continues to this day.

Neve and his wife, Evelyn, moved to Wimberley, Texas in late 1994, and in 1997, he became only the third person to receive a Technical Grammy Award. The Neves became U.S. citizens in 2002 and founded Rupert Neve Designs in 2005, which today produces a variety of products, including its 5088 analog mixing console and a range of rackmount and desktop equipment for processing, summing and more. Even so, Neve continued to also create products for other companies, including preamps and pickups for Taylor Guitars, microphones for sE Electronics, plug-ins for Yamaha’s live sound consoles, and more.

Over the course of his career, Rupert Neve was awarded 16 TEC Awards for his Rupert Neve Designs products, and in 2006, received an Audio Engineering Society Fellowship Award. He is survived by his wife of nearly 70 years, Evelyn; five children, Mary, David, John, Stephen, and Ann; nine grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com