I have to say I can't remember a huge amount about it, as it was a hectic time in my life. I had just started an academic position, and got a call out of the blue to ask if I would go to the Neve factory, as they would like to talk to me. It was before the days of what became known as "headhunting", but my name had been given as someone who had published a research project involving industrial hybrid digital and analogue processing, a novelty at the time.Boswell that’s pretty amazing...you can’t just end your story there, what was the interview like? why did you turn it down?
What a great story, Bos. Thank you for sharing this! We're fortunate to have you with us here too.I have to say I can't remember a huge amount about it, as it was a hectic time in my life. I had just started an academic position, and got a call out of the blue to ask if I would go to the Neve factory, as they would like to talk to me. It was before the days of what became known as "headhunting", but my name had been given as someone who had published a research project involving industrial hybrid digital and analogue processing, a novelty at the time.
I recall being shown around a barn of a place that had workbenches down the length on both sides and the middle, with rows of ladies assembling wiring looms. There was a development lab, which was surprisingly empty, but had a senior engineer with his head inside a tape machine.
Back in Rupert's office, he dug out some photos of a rack full of gear and said this is what had caught his eye - the first commercially-available 16-bit A-D converter. He had been waiting for these to become available, as that was the minimum specification he could accept for audio. I believe the rack was made by Sperry, but I can't be sure of that. At that time, Rupert did not have much experience with digital work, and he had mis-read the paragraph in the article that talked about this converter running at 100 microseconds. He thought that meant 100KHz, and so would be very suitable for professional audio use. He went very quiet when I pointed out that 100 microseconds was only 10KHz, so was unlikely to be suitable.
We discussed possible ways round the speed problem, as I knew that the speed was largely being limited by the D-A conversion of the partial result inside the converter. I explained how you could pipeline these operations, doing the first fraction of the conversion relatively slowly and handing on the partial result to a second and third process that could run quicker. I remember using the analogy of a Consultant Surgeon doing the delicate bit of an operation and moving on to the next patient while the junior doctors stitched up the first one. Rupert's eyes lit up when he got the point, and he banged his hand down on the desk "THAT'S what we'll do!"
I eventually had to admit that I was not in in a position to drop what I was doing and join his team, but hoped that I had given him a few pointers as to how it could be done. It was some years before I saw any Neve digital product on the market, and it was nice to think that I might have played a small part in it.
Tracking yes, once ITB no. Mixing otb is not even close to ITBiTB has gotten a lot better, but There is something about working outside the box that is so much more satisfying. And if you are lucky enough to have mixed on a Neve it’s really hard not too.
I doubt the new generation will subscribe to $500,000 consoles to keep companies like NEve, API etc going when we all can do it at home on a computer “close enough “.
Definitely mixing OTB is fun compared to using a small screen and a mouse but I was referring in terms of sound quality. I've does many test comparing mixes with world class gear and there is no comparison. ITB always sounds better. Never the less... we should be doing this for fun too.I much prefer mixing OTB, its like a performance especially without automation. To my mind that performance part of the mix is where the magic happens.
the point isn't to keep anyone going, it's for a better expierence tracking and mixing. for some people, good enough isn't. you have to be buying a pretty big console to get to the $500,000 mark. there's plenty of new 24 channel consoles available for far less than that.