The Neve 8078 was the last of the "80 series" hand-wired analogue mixing consoles designed and manufactured by Neve Electronics, founded in 1961 by the English electronics engineer Rupert Neve, for high-end recording studios during the 1970s. Some were custom built for major studios like CBS Sony.
The rarity of these consoles makes them quite valuable. The classic Neve sound has featured on records by artists including Steely Dan, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Quincy Jones, George Clinton, and Chick Corea.
Each console took several months to build using over 2,500 hours of highly skilled labour and top quality components. It would now be uneconomic to manufacture such equipment to this standard.
A limited number of these consoles were ever made and there are now only a few select studios who have 8078 consoles still working perfectly after almost 30 years. These include Threshold Sound + Vision (custom modified with 72 Channels of flying faders, and API sidecar, formerly housed at Sony Music West in Santa Monica, CA), Long View Studios in North Brookfield, Massachusetts, Ocean Way in Nashville, Blackbird Studio A (72 inputs) in Nashville Electric Lady Studios in New York City, Sound City Recording Studios (operating one 28-channel 8028 and one 40-channel 8078) in Van Nuys (which has closed in May 2011. The board has been purchased by Dave Grohl for his personal studio, Studio 606. In 2013 he produced a documentary about it and an album recorded with it with a large panel of rock stars, called Sound City), Grandmaster Recorders Ltd. in Hollywood (24-channel 8028), Cello (which has since closed and reopened as EastWest Studios) in Los Angeles, Royaltone Studios in North Hollywood, CA (now owned by songwriter producer Linda Perry). The Site Recording Environment in Marin County, CA, The Way Recording Studio London, Revolution Recording in Toronto, Canada, and Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studios outside of Austin, TX.
However Air Studios recording studio in Montserrat founded by George Martin which recorded Dire Straits award winning album Brothers in Arms was recorded on a custom made Neve console (A4792) constructed in 1978 that removed many of the inadequacies of the 8078 series. Only three of these consoles were ever made with the other two originally installed at Air studios in London. Air Lyndhurst still has one of the two remaining consoles in operating today, the other console is in use at The Warehouse Studios in Vancouver B.C.
Despite the recording industry’s wholesale move to digital technology, there remains a high demand for the distinctive sound that can be achieved with analogue equipment. Original Neve modules from vintage consoles command high prices in the second hand market and few serious studios are without some Neve equipment somewhere in their racks.
- Scoppa, Bud (1 March 2009). "L.A. Grapevine, March 2009". Mix. Retrieved 9 June 2013. "A 28-input, 16-bus, 24-monitor 8028 with 1085 EQs and no automation."