When Seattle’s grunge band Nirvana recorded their breakout album, “Nevermind,” at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California, in 1991, they used a large audio mixing console run by an engineer who His name is Rupert Neve created.
The Neve 8028 console later became a studio staple, hailed by many as the most superior of its kind in controlling and combining instrumental and vocal cues. and is largely responsible for the sound quality of albums by groups like Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Grateful Dead, and Pink Floyd.
For Dave Grohl, the drummer of Nirvana and later the leader of the Foo Fighters, the console “looks like the best toy in the world,” he told NPR in 2013 when the movie was talented. His data for the California studio, “Sound City,” was released. “And what you get when you score on the Neve table is a really big and warm demonstration of whatever is in it.”
He added, “What will appear on the other end is your bigger, better version.”
In 2011, long after founding Foo Fighters, Mr. Grohl bought the console when Sound City closed, took it to his garage and used it to record the band’s “Wasting Light” album. .
Mr. Neve’s innovative, similar equipment was used to record pop, rock, jazz and rap music – genres distinct from his favorite: British cathedral music, with organ and orchestra. choir.
After his death last Friday, influential hip-hop engineer Gimel Keaton, known as Young Guru, tweeted: “Please understand that this man is a one-man. two. There is nothing close to him in the technical world. RIP to the KING !!! “
Mr. Neve (pronounced Neeve) died in a hospice in San Marcos, Tex., Near his home in Wimberley, a Hill Country town to which he and his wife, Evelyn, moved in 1994. He was 94 years old. The cause is pneumonia. and heart failure, according to his company, Rupert Neve Designs.
Arthur Rupert Neve was born on July 31, 1926 in Newton Abbott, southwest England. He spent most of his childhood near Buenos Aires, where his parents, Arthur Osmond and Doris (Dence) Neve, were missionaries of the British and Foreign Bible Society.
Rupert developed a facility with technology like a boy disassembling and repairing shortwave radios. It accelerated during World War II, when he served in the Royal Signal Corps, assisting with the British Army.
After the war, working from an old US Army ambulance, he began recording the business on 78 rpm acetate, brass band and choir as well as public venues, like Winston Churchill and Queen Elizabeth II when she was a princess.
His future father-in-law is not very impressed. When Mr. Neve talked to him about marrying his daughter, Evelyn Collier, the unimaginable elderly man recording was a way of making a living.
Mr. Neve told Tape Op, a recording magazine, in 2001. “He never heard of that.” “For you, the recorder is a gentleman sitting in the courtroom and recording the proceedings.”
In the 1950s, Mr. Neve found a job at a company that designs and manufactures transformers. He also started his own business making hi-fi equipment.
With his growing knowledge of electronics, he realized that mixing consoles perform better with transistors than vacuum tubes, which are bulky and require very high voltages.
He delivered his first custom-made transistor panel to Phillips Studios in London in 1964, and its success led to thousands more orders over the years – acquired by Abbey Road Studios in London (in the post-Beatles years), Power Station in Manhattan and AIR Studios, both in London and on Montserrat in the Caribbean, were founded by George Martin, producer of The Beatles.
Singer-songwriter Billy Crockett bought a Neve console about eight years ago for his Blue Rock Artist Ranch & Studio, also at Wimberley. He quickly let out a “warm, open, transparent” sound of it.
“It’s all about his transformer,” he said in a phone interview, referring to components Mr. Neve designed for connecting microphone signals to the console and console. control with recording media such as vinyl or CD. “They provide something intangible that makes the mix fit together. So when people become dreamy about analog, that’s how sound travels through transformers. “
Mr. Neve received the Technical Grammy in 1997. In a 2014 interview with the Recording Academy, which sponsors the Grammy, he said that he was satisfied with the loyalty that the music players of I nurtured.
“I’m most proud of the fact that people are still using my designs that started years ago and in many ways, haven’t been replaced since,” he says. “Some old consoles are really hard to beat in both the recording quality and the effect people will get when they record.”
In addition to his wife, Mr. Neve was survived by his daughters, Evelyn Neve, who became known as Mary, and Ann Yates; his sons, David, John and Stephen; nine grandchildren; and great-grandchildren.
Mr. Neve knows more about his panel-handling engineers than the singers and bands whose albums have benefited from his sound wizard.
That interest arose when rock stars approached him after the screening of Mr. Sound City’s documentary “City of Sound”. Grohl at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin 2013.
“They all wanted to take pictures with him,” Josh Thomas, general manager of Rupert Neve Designs, said in a phone interview. “And after each picture, he asked me, ‘Why is he important?'”