Rupert Neve

Earlier today I learned that Rupert had sadly passed away.

He leaves behind a huge legacy of equipment, knowledge and legendary recordings that were facilitated by the electronics he designed.

I was very fortunate to spend a couple of hours talking with Rupert in the late '80s and vividly remember the conversation. It was around the time he was a consultant for AMEK who were based in my neck of the woods - i.e. up north.

Meeting an audio legend like this was tremendously exciting as over the years I had used a selection of his consoles on both sides of the glass.

He must have been asked a million times but I couldn't resist enquiring as to how he came up with ‘the’ inductor-based EQ circuit found in the Neve 1066 console. With a twinkle in his eye, he told me it was a gift from God.

One night he had a dream and the higher force came to him with the design. In the morning he woke up and scribbled the circuit and values on a serviette. Sitting across a table from Rupert it was impossible to doubt his sincerity or faith.

We went on to talk about all things consoles, the importance of very high frequencies when designing an audio circuit and a particularly deep conversation about the merits of transformers for balancing, which of course was his trademark passion.

Since then I have used many more of his 'works of art'. Every time I rotate a control and hear the beauty of the design, this story, his beaming grin and childlike enthusiasm come to mind putting a big smile on my face.

If you are reading this you will probably know of Dave Grohl’s film Sound City which is the story of the legendary studio and its centrepiece console - the Neve 8028. Watch this and you will understand how important Rupert was to the world of rock n roll.

One very cool man and inspirational electronic engineer. Rest in peace.