Monday, February 22, 2021

R.I.P.: Rupert Neve, the Father of Modern Studio Recording

Rupert Neve
When the Seattle grunge band Nirvana recorded their breakthrough album, “Nevermind,” at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, Calif., in 1991, they used a massive mixing console created by a British engineer named Rupert Neve, The NY Times reports.

The Neve 8028 console and others he made had by then become studio staples, hailed by many as the most superior consoles of their kind in manipulating and combining instrumental and vocal signals. They were responsible in great part for the audio quality of albums by groups like Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd.

Neve’s innovative, largely analog equipment has been used to record pop, rock, jazz and rap — genres distinct from his preferred one: English cathedral music, with its organs and choirs.

Neve (pronounced Neeve) died Feb. 12, 2021 in a hospice facility in San Marcos, Tex., near his home in Wimberley, a Hill Country town that he and his wife, Evelyn, moved to in 1994. He was 94. The causes were pneumonia and heart failure, according to his company, Rupert Neve Designs.

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