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Българският форум за музиканти

Parni_Valjak

История на звукозаписа (http://www.historyofrecording.com/)

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Тъй е. Само ме заинтригува какво подразбирате под израза "най-достоверното слушане на музика"? Съмнявам се да има изобщо технология(преди, сега и в близко бъдеще), която да може да симулира твоето лично присъствие пред група музиканти, изпълняваща някакво произведение на живо - като почнеш от микрофони, конвертори, усилватели, пишещи глави от всякакъв сорт, четящи глави, още усилватели, тонколони, стая, в която слушаш......................... се оказва, че пространственото усещане да си пред инструмента така или иначе няма никаква достоверност спрямо това да слушаш запис :) Та в тоя смисъл, по-скоро нека говорим за качествен запис, качествен презапис и качествен медиум за аудио информация, т.к. тях може да ги сложим в някакви технически рамки. Останалото, дето е психоакустика и усещане за звук и музика, може би някой ден ще може да се запише и възпроизведе "достоверно" като усещане с някакъв електрод забит в мозъка :)

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^^ Напоследък съм силно афектиран от настъпващата простотия. 

Пропускът е мой, по-скоро не прецених правилно, че моите теми се четат от определени хора, които са встрани от мнозинството :metalist: ...

Този цитат е пример за това, че в нета може да се публикува всичко. Колко подобни неща чета от музиканти по отношение на техниката, не е за казване. Особено музикантите, без значение дали от комерсиални подбуди или от безхаберие, често декларират сериозни глупости, които се поглъщат като топъл хляб от необразованите техни колеги.

Колко от нашите форумни колеги ще анализират подобни случки? И колко ще разпространят подобно изказване, понеже е от известен човек.

Така както се пускат теми  - каква апаратура да си взема, за да звуча като "....еди кой си"...

Edited by Parni_Valjak
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^ Простотията винаги си я е имало - само дето сега и се дава повече гласност, а едно време се полагаха повече усилия да се цензурира... Така че, Валяк, съветвам те да последваш шопската максима "Оти че се косим, като че ми мине." Нейсе, и тая хубава тема започна да се оспамва, апелирам модераторите да забършат последните офф-топик постове, за да може темата да остане едно от малкото форумни кътчета за чиста и полезна информация.

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Въпросния цитат го бях публикувал във фейсбук преди доста време на стената си. Имаше доста коментари от рода на - "тъпо", "невярно", "няма такива работи" и.т.н. Оставих ги без коментар - не ми е и било цел да става дискусия. Всеки има право на мнение. Аз също не съм се ровил да търся кога точно и какво точно е казал Куинси и дали той го е казал и кой го в записал.  Cheers  :beer: . :music:

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A window into Studer

 

Meet the people who make Studer tick! A look around the facilities of Studer in Switzerland and the UK.

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The Studer Legend - a history of our Mixers

Video from the Studer Museum showing our mixer heritage

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A look at the new Studer Vista 5 M2

Recorded by Broadcast Engineering at NAB 2011, a look at the new Studer Vista 5 M2 with integrated TFT metering.

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       The famous EMI REDD recording\mixing desks

Much of the recording and mixing equipment used at Abbey Road was actually designed, fabricated, tested and refined on premises. There were very few pre-built, off the shelf retail recording desks available in the 1950's and 60's. Most studios had to come up with their own  custom built gear. The EMI had a large developing department and the REDD desks used to record the greatest band in history bears this out. EMI continued to manufacture their own desks well into the 1970's. As the years went by, microphone technology progressed remarkably thus allowing studio techs far more latitude in mic placement and channel alignment when recording artists to say nothing of obtaining much better balance between all the instruments and amplifiers. Not surprisingly, with more mic latitude, came advancement in recording consoles with more features such as more channels. By the mid 1950's, mixer design entered into a golden era of wide experimentation and fabrication with EMI leading the way. This would have a distinct and profound effect on the sound of the Beatles. 

REDD series all tube design desks: 
EMI started experimenting with stereo separation as early as 1954. When this started, all the engineers knew that entirely new equipment and technology would be needed. Abbey Road Technical Engineer Len  Page was tasked with establishing a new department with this mandate. He established a design team known as REDD: Record Engineering Developement Department. Finally launched in 1955, REDD set about to address all of EMI's technical needs and to look into the future and anticipate future needs. After numerous experimental desks, REDD came up with the REDD. 17 Desk. It was the first recording console that would resemble what we now know and consider a proper recording desk. The brain behind this "advanced" desk was a German named Peter Burkowitz who was stationed at EMI Electrola in Germany. REDD worked closely with Burkowitz and the result was the first World Class recording console in history, REDD.17.  

REDD.17: This remarkable mixing desk included a row of faders, bass and treble EQs on each channel and many other modern accoutrements. It quickly became the standard EMI desk. It was also very portable. Burkowitz designed it using a modular theme such that it could be broken down and reassembled easily. EMI loved it. 

During most of the Beatles era, the centerpiece of each and every control room was of course, an EMI recording desk. These were all "valve" units (vacuum tube) and served all the artists, including the Beatles, remarkably well over the years. Built is extremely limited numbers, these REDD desks now represent the "HOLY GRAIL" of Beatles recording equipment. 

In 1957, Telefunken four-track machines were emerging from Germany and making a huge impact on the recording world. EMI immediately saw the benefit of four tracks and sought to built their own units. EMI committed to this concept as well as the idea that EMI studios would have ONLY EMI built gear installed. As such, REDD eventually came up with the REDD.37 Desk. 

REDD.37: 
This desk was basically an updated extension of the REDD.17 desk utilizing the same V72S amps with similar construction and features. The REDD.37 was a futuristic four track recording console that also mixed the sound and contained far more extensive EQ availability on each channel. EMI originally wanted eight of these desks to be built. The final number came to three. One desk wound up as a prototype serial #58070A and found a home at Kingsway Hall, another EMI recording facility. The other two were slightly upgraded models of the prototype and became actual production models. They landed at Abbey Road; #58121A went to Studio ONE while #58121B was installed into Studio TWO. 

By the time the Beatles arrived at Abbey Road in 1962, the now famous REDD.37 Desk was already getting quite a name for itself. Thus, all of the group's material prior to 1964 was recorded on this 750 pound console. Then, on January 17, 1964 EMI  replaced the REDD.37 console in Studio TWO with the brand new and  upgraded REDD.51 Desk. 

REDD.51:
This brand new and much sleeker desk was a marvel of engineering at the time. The primary functionaldifference between the two consoles was the amplification: The REDD.51 Desk used the brand new REDD designed REDD47 Power Amplifier instead of the Siemens V72S amp that EMI had been using for years. Studio THREE actually got a REDD.51 Desk in mid 1963 but since the Fabs hardly ever recorded in that room, they didn't realy make use of the REDD.51 until it was installed into Studio TWO in January 1964. Interestingly, Studio ONE held on to its REDD.37 for the rest of the 1960s. 

Serial numbers for the desks were as follows: REDD.51 in Studio THREE was #59090A while the REDD.51 installed in Studio TWO was #59090B. EMI authorized the construction of a total of six REDD.51s to be built but only four were actually constructed. Oddly, these desks were authorized and designed in 1959 and for reasons STILL unknown, not installed until 1963 and 1964. Weird. 

Trivia: 

While the REDD.37 Desk has gotten the reputation as "The Beatles' Recording Desk," that was really not the case. As we have seen, it actually got the least amount of time with the FAbs. The Beatles' first album was recorded and mixed on the REDD.37 desks in Studios TWO and ONE. However, much of their second album was mixed on the new REDD.51 Desk in Studio THREE and  beginning in 1964, most of their recording and mixing would take place on the REDD.51 Desks installed in Studios TWO and THREE. In total, about 85% of the total Beatles recording was done on the REDD.51 Desk. More than half of the Beatles' material was recorded and mixed soley on the REDD.51. Aside from occasional orchestral overdubs in Studo ONE, few recording sessions with the Beatles after 1963 used the REDD.37. The striking exception to all of this was the "LET IT BE" LP:  

Some of you might recall the disaster/joke "recording" console that the village idiot "Magic" Alex "built" for the Beatles in the basement of the their then new studio in the basement of 3 Saville Row. It was a big piece of garbage that didn't do anything. In a rush, the Beatles asked to borrow equipment from Abbey Road. Abbey Road agreed and lent the Beatles the original REDD.37 from Studio Two as well as the REDD.51 that replaced it. Thus, each song on LET IT BE was recorded through a combination of both desks. After the end of the LET IT BE sessions, the REDD.37 was moved to Kingsway Hall where it replaced the original REDD.37 that was there. The REDD.51 made its way back to Abbey Road where it was installed in Room 4, a mix-only adjunct room. Phil Spector would go on to use that very desk to mix the final tracks for LET IT BE in 1970. 

The REDD division was disbanded by cost cutting accountants in the late-sixties. Len Page returned to Abbey Road and watched as his beloved REDD.51 desks were eventually all replaced by new generation TG Desks that EMI introduced in the late 1960s. 

*Studio ONE's REDD.37 Desk is now owned by Lenny Kravitz. None of Abbey Road's three REDD.51's have surfaced. But, the REDD.51 that went to Italy was found and now resides in a private collection. Don't forget, Abbey Road had a virtual "fire sale" of old gear in the early 1970's. They got rid of much of the recording equipment the Beatles had recorded on. 

 

Легендарните V72 на TELEFUNKEN

redd17_v72.jpg

Поглед отвътре 

v72-1.jpeg

These are legendary valve pre amps and were at the heart of the EMI REDD.37 consoles amongst others
[the original Abbey Road one is apparently now owned by Lenny Kravitz] .
According to the book Recording the Beatles they cost 550 DM each, which equates to around £10k each in todays money!
 
An estimated 25000 V72 modules were built for the German Radio Network alone. The early versions were built by Maihak and Telefunken/AEG.
In 1954 Siemens and TAB became sub contractors to make the historic V72. Aside from the German radio stations, the V72 was used by most of the European Recording Companies like EMI, Decca/Telefunken, etc.
Siemens designed the V72s to accommodate the specific needs of these recording studios. These units featured a fixed gain of 40 dB and lower input impedance.
 
Telefunken used the V72s as standard preamplifiers for their broadcast division.
In 1960 AEG-Telefunken was the world's largest manufacturer of broadcast systems and sold these units to radio stations in South America, Africa and the Middle East, where most of them are still in use today.
In 1966 the production of the V72 stopped at Telefunken. Siemens stopped their production in 1964 but built the V72b version up until to 1966. TAB was the only company that built the V72a up into the 70s
 

 

Два броя  оригинални EMI REDD47

REDD47Pair-779845.jpg

BeatlesREDD37_560.jpeg

London's Abbey Road Studios were at the epicenter of a seismic shift that rocked the world of music during the 1960s, and changed the course of popular culture forever. The Beatles, The Hollies, Pink Floyd and countless other luminaries made musical history at Abbey Road Studios, trailblazing a revolution that resonates to this day.


And at the heart of it all: The REDD consoles, custom-designed, built by and named for Abbey Road Studios' in-house Record Engineering Development Department. Renowned for their silky smooth EQ curves, extraordinary warmth and lush stereo imagery, there’s something magical about the REDDs that sound like no other consoles. (from Waves.com)  
Edited by Parni_Valjak
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuEU7YgAEHU

 

Накратко историята за въвеждането на магнетофоните в звукозаписа  на г-н Нийв звучи така: " Първите звукозаписни устройства които записваха на хартиена лента се появиха късно - някъде 1949-50 -та, до тогава няколко компании произвеждаха 78 оборотни машини, които записваха директно на плочи. По време на войната г-н Нийв служи в разузнаването и благодарение на разработената високотехнологична система за прихващането на честотите за кореспонденция на германците, англичаните успяват да локализират източника ако разговора продължи повече от 2 мин, така немците губят доста подводници. Немците обаче решават въпроса с изобретяването на първите магнетофони, на които записват с нормална скорост съобщения доста по-дълги от 2 мин. и ги пращат с 15 пъти по голяма скорост за по-малко време, така подслушващите не могат да разберат записа нито да локализират източника, докато отсрещната страна със същият магнетофон просвирва на забавена скорост полученият материал. Въпреки разгрома си при порт Диеп, Чърчиловите войски успяват да вземат при отстъплението си два от масивните немски магнетофони, които записват на тогава хартиена лента. Когато г-н Нийв обстойно разглежда трофейните апарати след края на войната си казва..."Това много успешно може да е използва за аудио записи....и за радост не само той мисли така тогава...

Edited by Telerig
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Roger%20Linn%20Design.jpg

Roger Linn is an industrial designer, mainly of electronic drum machines, and has recently branched out into guitar effects pedals. His products have become underground hits, being used on many famous recordings.
Edited by Parni_Valjak

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Geoff Emerick

The legendary Beatles engineer discusses facing, and overcoming, technical limitations at Abbey Road studios while creating some of the greatest moments in pop music history. 

 

Interview: Geoff Emerick

Interview: Geoff Emerick pt. 2

Interview: Geoff Emerick pt. 3

 

Recording the Beatles: Geoff Emerick Speaks

— Feb 8th 2007

By James Marcus

 

Engineer and producer Geoff Emerick began his career in 1962, when he joined the staff at EMI's Abbey Road Studios at the tender age of 15. In the decades since, he has worked with everybody from Judy Garland to Elvis Costello, and won four Grammys for his various feats of technical wizardry. Emerick's greatest claim to fame, however, is probably his long collaboration with the Beatles, which got underway with Revolver and ended with Abbey Road. (For the record, he did take a breather during the rancorousWhite Album sessions.) Last year Emerick recounted his own version of the Fab Era inHere, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles. With the paperback release just a week away, he sat down with Netscape's James Marcus to discuss music, technology, and the night they dubbed the orchestra onto "A Day in the Life."
 

geoff-emerick-head-shot-232.jpghere,there--everywhere325.jpg

Netscape: Even before the Beatles make their entrance, your book gives a funny and vivid picture of the early Sixties atmosphere at EMI. It's very starchy and old-fashioned, with the engineering staff in white lab coats. 

Emerick: That was the corporate way, I guess. You found the same thing at the BBC in those days: even the guys who read the news on the radio every evening had to wear a tux. Amazing! At times it made me very frustrated.

Netscape: Your early sonic experiments with the Beatles--for example, running John Lennon's voice through a Leslie speaker on "Tomorrow Never Knows"--were conducted on the sly, as if you were worried about getting caught.

Emerick: And antagonizing the rest of the staff! I was just a young upstart, you see, and they had been doing things their own way for many years.


Netscape: That was the age of analogue recording and magnetic tape. Compared to today's digital technology, it was primitive stuff. Yet it did encourage a certain kind of creative tinkering.

Emerick: Yes, that's gone. The PC platform is just brilliant: you've got high resolution, you've got great software, and it's fairly cheap. But when the Beatles were in the studio, those sounds came out of their heads. Now it's just the click of a button. It's not something that's being created organically by a person. It's not a unique sound any more. 

Netscape: Because everybody is pushing the same buttons.

Emerick: Exactly. It sounds really, really good, but it's like painting by numbers. You keep waiting for that magic brush stroke. 

Netscape: In the book, you write, "I still love the art of recording just as much as I did when I was a teenager, but the process is simply not as much fun as it was in those days." 

Emerick: Oh, sure. I mean, it was hard work. But after we had done it, the feeling of achievement was just enormous. When we were working on the Sgt. Pepper album, we knew that when we finished a track, it was 100 percent perfect. There was no way you could really better it. It was a great feeling.

Netscape: Technically speaking, the Beatles seemed to go through phases. First they were infatuated with double-tracking, then backwards recording, then varispeed, then tape loops, and so forth.

Emerick: I was thinking about that the other day. Our approach was: once we did something, we wouldn't do it again.

Netscape: How about techniques used by other musicians? Same deal?

Emerick: Sure. The idea of phasing--that sort of swishy sound--often came up, but people had already done it, so we never used it. I don't think it occurs on a single Beatles record.

Netscape: Yet you had your own technical infatuations. In Howard Massey's Behind The Glass, you recall: "I just fell in love with Fairchild 660 limiters." Without denying the charms of those American-made compression devices, I have to say that I've never encountered that statement anywhere else.

Emerick: I fell in love with those devices because of what they sounded like, not for their technical value. I always talk about sounds in visual terms. If you put a vocal through the Fairchild, it was as if the voice came six feet nearer to you. The same thing with guitars. Suddenly they were smack right up in your face.

Netscape: Did the Beatles talk to you in these visual terms? Did they find it hard to convey the sort of sounds they wanted?

Emerick: Apart from Paul, who knew a little about what was going on technically, the others just weren't interested. They would say, we don't want the guitar to sound like a guitar--and we would start scratching our heads, playing with the EQ or the echo. They challenged us all the time. Which was great!
 

beatles2107.jpg

Netscape: Is there one Beatles track that stands out in particular for you?

Emerick: Well, there's a couple. "Tomorrow Never Knows," of course, because it was the first track I ever engineered for them. But I'd have to say "A Day in the Life." The shivers ran down our backs the first time we heard John singing it, with that echo in his cans [headphones]. He used to like recording that way. He didn't like the sound of his voice straight. I don't know why.

Netscape: I've read that before, and always found it incredibly ironic.

Emerick: That was John. Anyway, the night we dubbed in the orchestra on "A Day in the Life," there was a kind of party in the studio. I set up a rough monitor mix to play for everybody, and Ron Richards, who was the producer for the Hollies, was in the control room. When I played back the rough mix, Ron just put his head in his hands. And he was serious. There was silence after we finished playing it back.

Netscape: Because the impact was so overwhelming?

Emerick: Right. It was like you were watching a black-and-white film, and suddenly there was color and Cinemascope. The feeling in that control room was just amazing. Nobody had ever heard anything like it in their lives.

Netscape: And which song presented the biggest technical challenge?

Emerick: "Strawberry Fields," I guess.

Netscape: Because you had to combine two versions at different speeds and in different keys?

Emerick: That's right. We speeded up one piece of tape and slowed down the other.

Netscape: Your book gives a fascinating glimpse of how the Beatles evolved as personalities and artists. Who do you think changed the most?

Emerick: As an artist, I would say George. He felt terribly challenged at the beginning. But he persevered, and found his niche in Eastern music, and ended up as a great songwriter and a terrific guitar player.

Netscape: Given the other guys in the band, he had a lot of catching up to do.

Emerick: Some people think I was a bit hard on him in the book. But there's a separate little ongoing story in there: the story of George.

Netscape: Let's jump ahead to the present for a moment. You live in Los Angeles now. When did you relocate to the U.S.? 

Emerick: In 1984, basically.

Netscape: Are you nostalgic for England?

Emerick: I hate England. 

Netscape: Do you really?

Emerick: Oh, yeah, sure. 

Netscape: What is it you hate in particular about England?

Emerick: [Laughs] It's great to be a tourist in England. The problem is the infrastructure. My impression is that the place is gradually falling apart.

Netscape: Are you still engineering and producing?

Emerick: Oh yes. My approach is still to work with real artists. I can't manufacture a record in the control room, and I still try to work analogue when I can. 

Netscape: What are some recent projects you've done?

Emerick: The last record I made was with Nellie McKay--that was about two years ago. As far I'm concerned, she's just oozing with talent: it was great. 

Netscape: And what else have you been up to?

Emerick: I did a television commercial in England for the Automobile Association, which is the equivalent of the AAA in this country. It included the Carole King song, "You've Got A Friend," and the first problem was getting the verse and chorus into just 57 seconds. Also, we had to record the music live, and the people singing were amateur singers. Sometimes they would even start in the wrong key. I ended up overdubbing a symphony orchestra and some choral parts--at Abbey Road, in fact. So I still like a challenge.

Netscape: Back to the Beatles again. I've heard rumors that EMI is about to remaster all the records and make them available via digital download. Are you involved in that?

Emerick: No. It would be nice to be asked, but they never do. I don't know why. I do know that when I meet Beatles fans, many of them say, "When are you going to remaster the records?" They don't want generic versions. It's as simple as that.

Netscape: Were you involved with the original transfer of the records to CD in 1987?

Emerick: Not at all. I find them unlistenable, to be honest with you.

Netscape: Some of them do sound terrible.

Emerick: They sound nothing like the records they were supposed to be.

Netscape: How about the recently issued Love? Any thoughts on the mix-and-match approach to the Beatles catalog?

Emerick: I won't listen to it.

Netscape: Not a single note?

Emerick: People have told me about it. Look, the four artists were present when we did the mono mixes of the original records. And the recordings were fresh in our minds when we did the stereo mixes: even if the Beatles weren't present, they were involved. It's their record--and now it's been messed around with.

Netscape: So you can live without the mash-ups and recombinant mixes.

Emerick: The original records are iconic, they're pieces of art. Would you go and repaint the Sistine Chapel? You don't. Just leave it alone.

Netscape: Do you still listen to Beatles records?

Emerick: Yes, I do.

Netscape: Do you take the purist route and listen to the mono mixes?

Emerick: Oh, no. I don't have them. Most of my vinyl is still back in England, so I'm forced to listen to the CDs.

Netscape: Finally, will there ever be another Beatles?

Emerick: No. The Beatles are the exception to the rule.

Netscape: And why is that?

Emerick: For one thing, the focus is gone. The only entertainment we had back in those days was the TV, the radio, and gramophone records. Now there's video, computer games, and so forth. People don't really listen to music the way they used to. Back then, you put on an album and listened to it all the way through. Then you put it on again! These days, there are probably two tracks on an album worth listening to.

Netscape: I have a 13-year-old son, and although he loves music, he hardly ever buys a CD. He buys a track here, a track there. 

Emerick: Yes, it's a shame. And now, with an iPod, you can just randomly play the tracks on an album, which is totally wrong. The way I was brought up, a record was a complete piece of entertainment, and it was presented as such. You wouldn't put a Shakespeare play on your iPod and then decide to put all the scenes in a different order!

Netscape: I wouldn't, no.

Emerick: There's a reason why we sequenced each album in a particular way: it's a piece of art! Also, the Beatles were in the right place at the right time. There was an anti-Establishment thing in the air, and everybody was looking for a youthful leader to latch onto. Everything came together. It just happened, really. And I could never see that happening again.

 

 

Fletcher: There has been some measure of debate about bandwidth including frequencies above 20 kHz, can we hear them, do they make a difference, etc.

Rupert Neve: OK, Fletch, pin your ears back… In 1977, just after I had sold the company, George Martin called me to say that Air Studios had taken delivery of a Neve console, which did not seem to be giving satisfaction to Geoff Emerick.

In fact, he said that Geoff is unhappy…. engineers from the company, bear in mind that at this point I was not primarily involved, had visited the studio and reported that nothing was wrong. They said that the customer is mad and that the problem will go away if we ignore it long enough.

Well I visited the studio and after careful listening with Geoff, I agreed with him that three panels on this 48 panel console sounded slightly different. We discovered that there was a 3 dB peak at 54 kHz Geoff’s golden ears had perceived that there was a difference.

We found that 3 transformers had been incorrectly wired and it was a matter of minutes to correct this. After which Geoff was happy. And I mean that he relaxed and there was a big smile on his face.

Edited by Parni_Valjak
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Chat From The Past: Talking With Rupert Neve
 

 

November 15, 2012, by PSW Staff

OpenRupertNeveChatPhoto.jpg

From 2002, the transcript of a ProSoundWeb live chat session with industry legend Rupert Neve, designer of professional audio recording equipment and credited as the inventor of the recording console.

Fletcher: Well, this man really needs no introduction. Pretty much anyone who is involved with audio production seems to say his name a few times a day in relation to something.

Be it consoles we would like to work on, or individual modules we would like to own, or equipment that is used as a point of reference for our industry.

I’m probably asked 10-15 times a day if “it sounds like a Neve” [the point of this ‘chat’ is to try to get a bit better definition of just what that means].

So here’s an opportunity to have somewhat of a conversation with the first name we think of when it comes to outstanding sounding audio equipment, a man I am rather proud to call a friend… Mr. Rupert Neve.

Good evening Rupert.

Rupert Neve: Good evening…

Fletcher: Here we go…

chrissugar: In the early days [1073], the use of the output transformer was a technical necessity or you used it to achieve a special sound…

Rupert Neve: This question goes to the heart of my original designs. I used transformers because in those days it was the only professional way of interconnecting equipment. We used balanced lines by default, if you like.

Everything was balanced and worked between 600 ohms termination. This meant that the modules which you are familiar with today would be reconnected, recycled endlessly without the problem of ground loops and so on…. When they sell old modules if doesn’t benefit me in my old age trying to build a retirement fund.

chrissugar: What do you think about the new designs with op-amps [5532] compared to the old transistor designs?

Rupert Neve: Well, to answer these I would start by saying how long have you got? One of the qualities of the original designs is that they were all single ended. This meant that there was no crossover distortion. Every IC, or maybe I should say almost every IC, includes the push-pull output stage and of course, it has very small power capability.

Such a stage will produce small amounts, maybe some of them not so small, of crossover distortion.

Which is to say that there are high order harmonics present which are not in the original music—and I’m even incorrect calling them harmonics. They are spikes, which occur at the repetition rate of the signal frequency.

And, although small in nature, it can be perceived not only by the trained ear, but even by, shall we say, “Joe Public.” The way he would notice it is that it produces sensation of frustration as he listens to music.

Fletcher: How does the “Transformer Like Amplifier” (did I get the name right?) behave in terms of “crossover distortion?”

Rupert Neve: I think the first thing to say is the transformer like amplifier can be configured with discrete transistors and it would be if it were important. In my 9098 console there are, I believe, last count, some 64 buses.

I use transformers on all the main signal buses but, entirely due to space and weight, I use the TLA transformer like amplifier or auxiliary (auxiliaries) which are not as demanding as the main buses.

However, I also use a technique which offsets the DC at the output of the integrated circuits and so removes that crossover distortion from the zero line and places it at a higher level, usually around 0 dBu. That makes a huge difference to the percentage of distortion.

Tom Borthwick: I have a 5106 console and on an Audio Precision test it goes from 5 Hz to over 150 Hz. This extended bandwidth, was it a concerted effort or just the result of good design?

Rupert Neve: Good question. Well Tom, I’m guessing what you meant was 150 kHz not Hz. The transformers and all the amplifiers in these designs were of that order.

The console mentioned, if I remember correctly, was a broadcast console, one of the later ones. We were paying particular attention to bandwidth. Incidentally, that console was designed by Geoff Watts, one of my earliest colleagues on my design team.

Fletcher: There has been some measure of debate about bandwidth including frequencies above 20 kHz, can we hear them, do they make a difference, etc.

Rupert Neve: OK, Fletch, pin your ears back… In 1977, just after I had sold the company, George Martin called me to say that Air Studios had taken delivery of a Neve console, which did not seem to be giving satisfaction to Geoff Emerick.

In fact, he said that Geoff is unhappy…. engineers from the company, bear in mind that at this point I was not primarily involved, had visited the studio and reported that nothing was wrong. They said that the customer is mad and that the problem will go away if we ignore it long enough.

Well I visited the studio and after careful listening with Geoff, I agreed with him that three panels on this 48 panel console sounded slightly different. We discovered that there was a 3 dB peak at 54 kHz Geoff’s golden ears had perceived that there was a difference.

We found that 3 transformers had been incorrectly wired and it was a matter of minutes to correct this. After which Geoff was happy. And I mean that he relaxed and there was a big smile on his face.

As you can imagine a lot of theories were put forward, but even today I couldn’t tell you how an experienced listener can perceive frequencies of the normal range of hearing.

And following on from this, I was visiting Japan and was invited to the laboratories of Professor Oohashi.

He had discovered that when filters were applied to an audio signal cutting off frequencies of 20 kHz, the brain started to emit electric signals which can be measured and quantified.

These signals were at the frequencies and of the pattern which are associated with frustration and anger. Clearly we discussed this at some length and I also would forward the idea that any frequencies which were not part of the original music, such as quantizing noise produced by compact discs and other digital sources, also produced similar brain waves.

Fletcher: What about frequencies below 20 Hz (theoretically, the low-end of the human range of hearing)... how do they affect the tone?

Rupert Neve: OK Fletch, now we get down to the meat and potatoes… I believe it is necessary to not only maintain the frequency response, to well below 20 Hz, but to keep the phase integrity. Failure to do this produces a slight muddiness and again, it is very difficult to quantify.

All of my designs are kept within a phase shift of between 2 and 5 degrees down to 10 Hz

Bink: What are the most important measurement specifications, in your opinion? What specs can be thought of as less important than the resultant ‘sound’?

Rupert Neve: This is almost impossible to answer… because it depends on the function of a particular circuit. I suppose the most significant measurement is to establish that there is virtually no crossover distortion.

We currently in the Pure Path design for harmonics measured on an Audio Precision System 2 less than 130 dB down. This also applies an extremely low noise floor I’m sorry, I meant implies…. and for example, the 9098 console was measured at unity gain has a dynamic range of about 126 dB.

This of course is 6 dB better than any digital system can yet deliver. These two measurements are probably the most significant. Of course, when digital comes of age, we have circuits on the bench now which will deliver better than 140 dB of dynamic range!

Ronny: Speaking of keeping phase shift between 2 and 5 degrees. Do you have any views on linear phase EQ?

Rupert Neve: Ronny, this is a perpetual question we get asked all the time. I take it you would be referring to equalizer and filters.

When you apply equalization to an audio signal you are enhancing or depleting a portion of the spectrum. And, phase shift will always accompany that correction of equalization in the analog domain This is part of nature.

You can experience it by simply cupping your hands around your mouth and your voice will immediately change frequency response due to the resonator you have now applied.

If you did something similar with a musical instrument the same would hold true. The acoustic resonator which you are applying is following laws of nature that include a lot of phase shift.

It sounds sweet and natural of course, some people’s voices benefit more than others!!

loudist: Please excuse me if this was already asked but… regarding phase shift, isn’t this one of the reasons tubes (valves) sound better to most is that the phase shift of tubes is minimal compared to solid state amplification?

Rupert Neve: This is not something I would agree with… Tubes sound better because, for the most part, they are used in single sided configurations or if they are used in push-pull the crossover point is already biased well away from zero.

Solid state amplifiers are much easier to design with extremely low phase shift. Not specifically due to tubes vs. solid state but because the impedances necessary to use in tube circuits make them somewhat more limited.

Harvey: What’s your opinion of “euphonic” (even order) distortion products?

Rupert Neve: Harvey, this is another big subject.

Many years ago I listened to a lecture by Dr. James Moire at the British Institute of Radio Engineers, who had researched human sensitivity to the different orders of harmonics.

Odd harmonics are much more readily perceived and are usually destructive to listening pleasure.

Whereas even harmonics tend to be benign I did some work on this a few years ago and constructed a chart based on James Moire’s findings and of many friends in the industry, which chose that human sensitivity to harmonics is proportional to the frequency.

In fact it is hard to put into words but if I could show you this chart…. I would be happy to publish it. The important point here is once again the incredible sensitivity of humans to small distortions or restrictions in amplifier performance which result in pleasure or frustration.

chrissugar: Considering that people like the classic Neve sound, do you have any plans to remake these devices?

Rupert Neve: No designer wants to put the clock back and indeed, there were many subtle differences in these old designs depending upon the year that they were made and the available components I regard many of these now as “effects units.”

I have concentrated on pure designs which will be, or I should say, which are totally transparent.

I have seen many studios use the old classics in this way to enhance the performance of, shall we say, less satisfactory designs…

But, yes, we are expecting in the next 12 months to issue a range of units which will have a behavior similar to the old classics. The size and price of these is significantly lower than the originals so if you’re thinking of buying any more of my old modules wait and see what is announced in the next few months.

dbock: I believe that the 1081 (class AB, four bands + shelves) modules came after the 1073’s (class A, fewer features).

I’ve long wondered if the dramatic changes that occurred when moving from the 73 to the 81 were primarily engineering driven, market driven (and if it was market driven, what was causing engineers of the time to demand such a very class AB sound), or some combination of the two?

Rupert Neve: Let’s see. Well ,the engineers did not demand an AB sound but there was more component density and consoles were getting bigger all the time, so we had to reduce the current that was drawn by the original circuits. There did not seem to be, at that time, any reason for not doing it.

And, you know, this is progress. We now know what the effect of making those changes is and all I can say is, please, in the next few months, contribute to my pension fund, by purchasing the new stuff which will have taken care of these criticisms, I hope.

jjjj: Is there any advantage in digital audio through a DA and into the AMEK Purepath processed and then out the digital I/O? There has been some discussion that digital recorded samples will benefit from the AMEK processing and re-sampling. What are your thoughts?

Rupert Neve: I’m not quite certain what you mean here. What has been established is that if you mix in the analog domain the integrity of your mixed signals is far more accurate than trying to mix in the digital domain.

The AMEK DIB, which is a driver in a box, incorporates balanced mixing buses. Studios that have used this unit as an analog mixer have been amazed at the way in which the sound comes to life and attains a performance and space which is not available with a digital mix.

Any D/A or A/D places some restrictions on audio performance. One of the significant things that happen when you connect an AMEK Purepath or even one of my old modules (which are transformer modules) is the sonic improvement that seems to be applied to a digital signal.

I’m not sure if that answers the question but at any rate you have given me a platform for my opinion.

loudist: Mr. Neve, I wanted to thank you for your discussion on the web regarding the sampling ‘stairstep’ corner distortions in present day A/D converters.

What would be a solution to this anomaly?

Rupert Neve: OK, simple answer. Higher sampling rates.

Bink: How much do you think IC manufacturers’ unilateral decisions to pull chips out of production will affect your future designs? How do you design in a safety net for these caprices?

Rupert Neve: Bink—you are trying to scare me! All I can say is that solid state devices including very early transistors which were manufactured 30 or 40 years ago are still available.

Provided that they continue to be available for the next 25 years, it doesn’t actually worry me. I’ll then be over 100 years old and maybe able to retire.

Fletcher: A little bird mentioned that you were planning on doing some work with “iz Technologies”... anything you’d care to talk about?

Rupert Neve: The problem is a straight commercial one. There are a number of clients whom we are currently building relationships with and designing products which will be available within the next few months. Until they are ready to make public announcements I can only tickle your sensitivities by speaking mysteriously.

One clue I can give you is that any digital device - and there are some very good ones, now - benefit from extremely high quality analog amplifiers both before and after the digital. In the case of iz, they do have a remarkable hard disc recorder.

I have listened to material recorded on Radar and other hard disk machines and it is now possible to hear imperfections which are caused by inadequate mic or line pres. I won’t mention names but we now have to be very meticulous about the analog source.

RPhilbeck: Mr. Neve, when you say, “we”, are you referring to AMEK?

Rupert Neve: Mr. R Philbeck, AMEK has been my faithful client and friend for about 13 years. And most of what I am saying applies to my relationship with them. But, I do have other clients; one which you might find of interest, is not even in the pro audio business.

Taylor Guitars commissioned me to produce a totally new pickup and amplifier. We collaborated and closed on their implementation of a beautiful linear pickup. We have produced a range of guitars and equalizers which will be shown the first time at the NAMM show in January.

So these, too, will be come the “we” I am talking about. My various clients and I. Life gets more and more interesting as people become more and more aware of the need for a very high quality.

Lee: Do you have an opinion as to why it is so much more imperative to have high quality amplifiers when recording to digital than tape?

Rupert Neve: Lee, we are going back to the recorder. You mention tape. Now let’s bear in mind that even the best of our lovely old tape machines had amplifiers in them which did not measure up to the performance we can achieve today.

The tape medium imposed severe restrictions on the dynamic range and on the frequency response.

There was also a great deal of 3rd harmonic distortion which sounded great with some material but you can have too much of a good thing.

The tape machine would mask imperfections in the source material whereas even CD quality digital can produce dynamic range of 90 dB and a frequency response which may well be greater or at least more reliable than the old tape machine

Therefore you can see that although the distortions inherent in the low-grade digital are extremely distressing one still has to be very careful to maintain accurate source materials. I’ve expressed that rather badly but I hope I’ve conveyed my feelings about it.

Fletcher: OK… a couple more, and we’ll let Mr. Neve have the rest of the evening off…

jason fee: Throughout your career what’s been the best advice that anyone’s ever given you?

Rupert Neve:Probably the best advice came from an old friend now deceased who was our accountant in the early days of the Neve company.

When he showed me that we are, as humans, created and designed, if you like, in the image of our creator - God.

His creativity is in a sense available to us and we recognize it and use it responsibly. Hopefully.

So what we do is beyond ourselves. Perhaps another way of putting it is that we strive, strive, strive knowing that we will never reach the state of perfection in our designs.

There is always another step waiting, to be explored. We could say that there is always room at the top. See you at the top!

Harvey: Would you care to comment on your friendship with Mark McQuilken?

Rupert Neve: Harvey—yes, I first met Mark some years ago when Evelyn and I came to live in Wimberly He is a brilliant designer who has helped me from time to time especially to understand the mysteries of the digital domain. I hold Mark and his family high on my list of friends.

Harvey: Thank you for a delightful evening.

Rupert Neve: Well, thank you folks, too. I’m sure that having corresponded with several with you that may have tuned in. I hope that it has been as interesting for you as it has been for me.

Fletcher: On behalf of the entire PSW crew, I’d like to thank Rupert for sharing his time and knowledge with us.

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Г-н Neve казва за неговата компания,

"Ние сме посветени на овладяване на скритите сили на човешкото творчество в областта на електрониката, магнетизма и звука, за да може музиката да обхване Земята с хармония и радост."

 

Rupert Neve Designs recently earned two TEC Awards at WinterNAMM for both

the Portico II: Master Buss Processor and

the 5059 Satellite 16_2+2 Summing Mixer,

as well as a Pro Sound Network "Best of Show" award for one of the newly-announced 500-series pieces,

the 542 Tape Emulator with Texture.

138999d1254943357-rupert-neve-designs-re

282948d1332361262-5059-satellite-summing

 

Rupert-Neve-542.jpg

Edited by Parni_Valjak
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Мисля, да цитирам само Човека и оставям цитата без коментар:

 

Fletcher: There has been some measure of debate about bandwidth including frequencies above 20 kHz, can we hear them, do they make a difference, etc.

Rupert Neve: OK, Fletch, pin your ears back… In 1977, just after I had sold the company, George Martin called me to say that Air Studios had taken delivery of a Neve console, which did not seem to be giving satisfaction to Geoff Emerick.

In fact, he said that Geoff is unhappy…. engineers from the company, bear in mind that at this point I was not primarily involved, had visited the studio and reported that nothing was wrong. They said that the customer is mad and that the problem will go away if we ignore it long enough.

Well I visited the studio and after careful listening with Geoff, I agreed with him that three panels on this 48 panel console sounded slightly different. We discovered that there was a 3 dB peak at 54 kHz Geoff’s golden ears had perceived that there was a difference.

We found that 3 transformers had been incorrectly wired and it was a matter of minutes to correct this. After which Geoff was happy. And I mean that he relaxed and there was a big smile on his face.

As you can imagine a lot of theories were put forward, but even today I couldn’t tell you how an experienced listener can perceive frequencies of the normal range of hearing.

And following on from this, I was visiting Japan and was invited to the laboratories of Professor Oohashi.

He had discovered that when filters were applied to an audio signal cutting off frequencies of 20 kHz, the brain started to emit electric signals which can be measured and quantified.

These signals were at the frequencies and of the pattern which are associated with frustration and anger. Clearly we discussed this at some length and I also would forward the idea that any frequencies which were not part of the original music, such as quantizing noise produced by compact discs and other digital sources, also produced similar brain waves.

Fletcher: What about frequencies below 20 Hz (theoretically, the low-end of the human range of hearing)... how do they affect the tone?

Rupert Neve: OK Fletch, now we get down to the meat and potatoes… I believe it is necessary to not only maintain the frequency response, to well below 20 Hz, but to keep the phase integrity. Failure to do this produces a slight muddiness and again, it is very difficult to quantify.

All of my designs are kept within a phase shift of between 2 and 5 degrees down to 10 Hz

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