[JN] Rupert Neve RIP

Marc Wauters mswauters at gmail.com
Tue Feb 16 18:21:57 CST 2021


> i am convinced that RN — with his intimate knowledge of transformers —
knew exactely what he did when he specified the transformers so that >they
would start to saturate at -10 dBV. that gave the extra fatness that was
part of the Neve signature sound.<

Are you sure it's - 10dBV ??? That's 316 mV, a very low level and I think
it's almost hard to get a transformer to start saturating down there. Where
in a pro console would there be a level so low? I thought nominal studio
levels are a balanced +4 dBu over here and + 6 dBu in Europe?? Of course it
doesn't have to be but a dBV level usually associated with an unbalanced
signal. Strange.

On Tue, Feb 16, 2021 at 3:29 PM Christian Rintelen <christian at rintelen.ch>
wrote:

> back in 2013 and related to the release of «sound city», dave grohl said
> in an interview with npr:
> <https://www.npr.org/2013/03/08/173823162/dave-grohl-finds-musics-human-element-in-a-machine?t=1613512895729>
>
> «Neve boards were considered like the Cadillacs of recording consoles.
> They're these really big, behemoth-looking recording desks; they kind of
> look like they're from the Enterprise in Star Trek or something like
> that. They're like a grayish color, sort of like an old Army tank with lots
> of knobs, and to any studio geek or gear enthusiast it's like the coolest
> toy in the world. But they're pretty simple. They're not filled with miles
> and miles of cable and wires — they're pretty simple. *And what you get
> when you record on a Neve desk is this really big, warm representation of
> whatever comes into it. What's going to come out the other end is this
> bigger, better version of you. And so it makes you sound real, but it makes
> you sound really good.*»
>
> (my italics)
>
> i stumbled across this interview 3 months ago during my research for the
> liner notes of an album that was recorded last summer on a 1972 neve
> console. the other control room of this studio was equipped with an SSL
> console. the difference between the two consoles was striking. and
> everybody (!) preferred the neve over the SSL.
>
> it was a relief when i found grohl’s statement — because he put it into
> very few words and made it understandable, tangible, and down to the very
> essence:* «…it makes you sound real, but it makes you sound really good.»*
>
> (yes, it was the transformers. yes it was the cheap wiring. yes it was the
> tons of dried-out 1970s electrolytics everywhere in the signal path. yes it
> was … yes it was a bit of everything. it wasn’t even really state of the
> art back in 1970, but the Neve had very good mic preamps and the EQ was
> also excellent. and honestly, i am convinced that RN — with his intimate
> knowledge of transformers — knew exactely what he did when he specified the
> transformers so that they would start to saturate at -10 dBV. that gave the
> extra fatness that was part of the Neve signature sound. the obituary
> mentions briefly that he was nominated «Audio person of the century» by
> Sound magazine back in 1999. this was an election among peers — sound
> engineers all over the world. Neve’s first place was no contest; 2nd to 4th
> place were IIRC, Ray Dolby, George Martin and Willy Studer. so yes, people
> that did know how important and groundbreaking neve’s work really was, gave
> the honor to those that the honor really belongs. neve and studer were
> responsible for the huge jump in quality and efficiency of recording
> technology between 1960 and 1995. george martin was one person to push them
> both to go further (Studer J37 comes to mind), and Dolby … well, Dolby was
> the odd man out in this quartet — even though today, his legacy is
> probably bigger than neve’s and studer’s.)
>
> just my 2 cents…
>
> ©
> _ _ _
> aka christian rintelen
>
> Am 16.02.2021 um 21:27 schrieb bear via Sound <sound at soundlist.org>:
>
>
> Sure as heck wasn't due to the stellar performance of his discrete opamps!!
>
> Yes, back in the day, more output current than an IC opamp, but right
> there is the
> limit.
>
> Ever test one? (any version)
>
>                       _-_-bear - my opinions, your opinions, opinions
> both...
>
> Sorry, not a big fan.
>
> Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2021 06:01:35 -0700
> From: Marc Wauters <mswauters at gmail.com> <mswauters at gmail.com>
> Cc: Joes <Sound at soundlist.org> <Sound at soundlist.org>
> Subject: Re: [JN] Rupert Neve RIP
> Message-ID:
> 	<CAGezxSQydLcxRKSPKh+OAy-uXPq1jUALXHy=RLV+TETvG6=Aqw at mail.gmail.com> <CAGezxSQydLcxRKSPKh+OAy-uXPq1jUALXHy=RLV+TETvG6=Aqw at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>
> He had an appearance in the sound city documentary in which he said that
> the sound of his "Neve Consoles" was due to the transformers that he used.
>
> Marc
>
>
> --
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