Rupert Neve, the Father of Modern Studio Recording, Dies at 94


After the war, working out of an old U.S. Army ambulance, he started a business recording, on 78 r.p.m. acetate discs, brass bands and choirs as well as public addresses, like those by Winston Churchill and Queen Elizabeth II when she was a princess.

His future father-in-law was unimpressed. When Mr. Neve spoke to him about marrying his daughter, Evelyn Collier, the older man couldn’t imagine recording as a way of making a living.

“He’d never heard of it,” Mr. Neve told Tape Op, a recording magazine, in 2001. “To him a recorder was a gentleman who sat in a courtroom and wrote down the proceedings.”

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

With his expanding knowledge of electronics, he recognized that mixing consoles performed better with transistors than with vacuum tubes, which were cumbersome and required very high voltage.

He delivered his first custom-made transistor console to Phillips Studios in London in 1964, and its success led to thousands more orders over the years — bought by, among others, Abbey Road Studios in London (in the post-Beatles years), the Power Station in Manhattan and the AIR Studios, both in London and on the Caribbean island of Montserrat, founded by George Martin, the Beatles’ producer.

The singer-songwriter Billy Crockett bought a Neve console about eight years ago for his Blue Rock Artist Ranch & Studio, which is also in Wimberley. He is quick to extol its “warm, open, transparent” sound.



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