Mar 22
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It’s not every day you get to meet a recording industry legend, but on Monday, Rupert Neve, got to meet me!

R is Legendary in recording industry circles, where his name is synonymous with the absolute best in analogue mixing console design. Chances are at least some of your music collection will have been recorded and mixed through one of his bespoke consoles. So obviously it was a great honour for R to finally come face to face with The Rebbe, at the opening of Sonic Distribution‘s new demo facilities at Canalot studios in London.

If you’re not familiar with Sonic, they are the UK distributors for various high end audio manufacturers such as Apogee, Waves, SE Electronics and Rupert Neve Designs, hence his presence. They also throw a mean party, which I left about 3am, after spending the night exchanging tips on audio engineering, music production and gear with a variety of producers and tech journos.

On show was a stellar line up of software, hardware and playas, including Siwei Zou (from SE Electronics), top producer Bob Clearmountain and, of course, Mr. Neve himself.

Here’s Rupert giving me a 1 to 1 demo of his brand new Portico modules.

Rupert Neve gives MC Rebbe The Rapping Rabbi a demonstration of his new Portico modules

The philosophy behind these modules is twofold. Firstly to provide a range of flexible building blocks that can be used independently or in combination to provide the key elements that would traditionally have been built into large format mixing consoles, without all of the inherent expense and redundancy. Secondly, to utilise all of the latest developments in analogue electronics in order to take the classic Neve sound to the next level.

All together there are currently seven half rack sized modules on offer, including a stereo mic preamplifier, a mono mic preamplifier/EQ, a stereo compressor/limiter, a 5 band EQ, and a tape saturator that, as Rupert explained to me, is effectively an analogue tape machine without the tape.

There is also soon to be an accompanying desk (the 5088) into which as many of these modules as you want (or, more accurately, are able to afford) can be patched in whatever configuration is best suited to your environment. Though if you’re running a small/home/project studio, you can just as easily use 2 or 3 modules in a conjoined standalone stylee, to put together the ultimate mono/stereo recording channel on a budget.

Rupert Neve 50880 mixing desk

What sets these units apart from other ‘similar’ ones could fill three books…one about electrical engineering, one about psychoacoustics…and the rulebook that they effectively rewrite. Since this isn’t a review, I won’t go into detail here, particularly since R goes into detail here.

Suffice it to say that although I didn’t spend vast amounts of time listening to every module in detail, I did hear enough to know that they are well worth checking out, especially the 5014 Stereo Field Editor, which sounded nothing short of remarkable. So if you’re in the market and in London town (or fancy paying it a visit), why not contact Sonic, who’ll be happy to demo these modules, SE Electronics mics, Apogee converters, Waves plug ins and a host of other goodies in their brand new purpose built demo studio.

More info: www.sonic-distribution.com

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