Rupert Neve, father of modern studio recording, dies at 94

When Seattle grunge band Nirvana recorded their breakthrough album, “No problem,” At Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California, in 1991, he used a large-scale mixing console made by a British engineer named Rupert Neve.

The Nive 8028 console and others which he then created became staple staples, many of which distinguished him as the best console of its kind in his manipulation and combination of instrumental and vocal cues and great for the audio quality of albums such as groups Were responsible in part. Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd.

For Dave grohl, Nirvana’s dholakia and later leader of the Foo Fighters, the console was “like the best toy in the world” He told NPR in 2013 When his documentary film about California Studios, “Sound City,” was issued. “And when you record at a nave desk, whatever comes into it, it’s a really big, warm representation.”

“The other end that is about to come out is a bigger, better version,” he said.

In 2011, not long after making Foo Fighters, Mr. Grohl bought the console as Sound City was closing, moved it to his garage and used it to record the band’s album “Westing Light”.

Mr. Neve’s innovative, largely analogue instrumentation has been used to differentiate the pop, rock, jazz and rap – genres from his favorite one: English cathedral music, with its own organs and singing.

After his death last Friday, noted hip-hop engineer Gimel Keaton as Young Guru tweeted: “Please understand this man was one of a kind. There is nothing close to him in the engineering world. Rip off the king !!! “

Mr. Neave (pronounced neave) died in a hospice in San Marcos, Tex., Near his home in a mountainous country town of Wimberly that he and his wife Evelyn moved to in 1994. He was 94. The causes were pneumonia and heart failureAccording to his company, Rupert Neve Design.

Arthur Rupert Neve was born on July 31, 1926, in Newton Abbott, Southwestern England. He spent most of his childhood near Buenos Aires, where his parents, Arthur Osmond and Doris (Dens) Neave, were missionaries British and Foreign Bible Society.

Rupert developed a facility with technology and worked as a boy and repaired shortwave radios. This intensified during World War II, when he served in the Royal Corps of Signals, which provided communications support to the British Army.

After the war, working outside an old US Army ambulance, he began recording a commercial, with 78 rpm acetate discs, brass bands, and choir as well as public addresses, such as Winston Churchill and Queen Elizabeth II when he Was a princess.

His future father-in-law was innocent. When Mr. Nev spoke of marrying his daughter Evelyn Collier, the old man did not envision the recording as a way of living.

“Nevelle never heard it,” Mr. Neave told a recording magazine Tape Op in 2001, “For him a recorder was a gentleman who used to sit in a courtroom and write proceedings.”

During the 1950s, Mr. Neve worked at a company that designed and manufactured transformers. He also started his business of making hi-fi equipment.

With his wide knowledge of electronics, he identified that mixing consoles performed better with transistors than vacuum tubes, which were cumbersome and required much higher voltages.

He delivered his first custom-built transistor console at Philips Studios in London in 1964, and its success led to thousands more orders over the years – bought by others, Abe Road Studios in London (in the later years of the Beatles), Power in Manhattan The station and AIR Studio have been established both in London and on the Caribbean island of Montserrat George martin, Producer of the Beatles.

Singer-songwriter Billy Crochet bought a foundation console About eight years ago for his Blue Rock Artist Ranch & Studio, which is also in Wimberley. He is quick to extract his “warm, open, transparent” voice.

“It’s all about their transformers,” he said in a phone interview, referring to components that Mr. Neve designed that connect the microphone signal to the console and the console to a recording medium such as vinyl or CD . “They provide something abstract that makes the mix fit together. So when people get poetic about analog, that’s how sound comes through the transformer.”

Mr. Neve received a Technical Grammy Award in 1997. In a 2014 interview He said that the Recording Academy, which sponsors the Grammys He was pleased with the loyalty that his peace was encouraged.

“I am proud that people are still using my design, which started many years ago and which is not finished in many ways,” he said. “Some of those older consoles are really hard to beat in terms of recording quality and the effects that people will get when making recordings.”

In addition to his wife, Mr. Neve is survived by his daughters Evelyn Neave, known as Mary and Ann Gates. His sons, David, John and Stephen; Nine grandchildren; And five great-grandchildren.

Mr. Nive knew more about the engineers who handled their consoles than the singers and bands whose albums benefited from their audio wizardry.

This preference came to light when rock stars approached them Screening of Mr. Grohl’s “Sound City” documentary In 2013 at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin.

“They all wanted to take pictures with him,” Rupert Neve Designs general manager Josh Thomas said in a phone interview. “And after each picture, they asked me, ‘Why is that important?”

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