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Rupert Neve, born 31 July 1926 in Newton Abbot in the county of Devonshire in southwestern England, is an English electronics engineer and entrepreneur, who is particularly known as a designer of professional audio recording equipment.
Neve is known for his work on microphone preamplifiers, equalizers, and early large format mixing consoles. Many of his long discontinued products are considered classic equipment and are very highly sought after by the professionals in the recording industry. This has resulted in several companies releasing products that are Neve replicas or clones. He is often credited as the man who made the recording console. He was the third person to receive a Lifetime Achievement Technical Grammy Award and became an inducted member of the Mix Hall of Fame in 1989. He was named man of the century by Studio Sound Magazine in 1999, and was selected by his peers as the number one audio personality of the 20th century. Dave Grohl has interviewed him in 2013 documentary Sound City.
Rupert Neve was born a British national although he spent much of his early childhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where his father was an agent for the British and Foreign Bible Society. He began designing audio amplifiers and radio receivers from age 13. The start of World War II increased demand for radios and Neve began repairing and selling radios. At 17 years of age he volunteered as a soldier for the British navy and soon after settled in England where he built a mobile recording studio in which he recorded choirs, operas, and public addresses.
In the 1950s, Neve worked for Rediffusion, primarily a forerunner in early cable TV systems (CATV). Neve left the company, and formed CQ Audio, a company specialising in the manufacture of hifi speaker systems. In the early 1960s, he designed and built a mixing console for a composer named Desmond Leslie, from Castle Leslie, Ireland, where the original desk is still housed. In 1961, he formed Neve Electronics.
In 1964, Neve built a transistor-based mixing console with an equalizer for Phillips Records Ltd. As demand for consoles increased, Neve started a life of manufacturing and designing audio recording equipment. Neve has founded or been involved with several companies (listed below), most recently Rupert Neve Designs, based in Wimberley, Texas, USA, where he has resided with his wife Evelyn since they became U.S. citizens in 2002.
Companies associated or affiliated with Neve
Neve's first company was a manufacturer of high end recording consoles in England. It was originally operated out of Neve's home, and moved to its own premises in the late 1960s. It was sold in 1973 to Bonochord Group of companies and Rupert Neve left the company in 1975.
The original Neve group was sold to Siemens in 1985. Siemens then merged Neve with another UK audio console manufacture AMS (Advanced Music Systems) and formed AMS Neve. After the merger, Siemens closed down the Neve production facility and moved all production to AMS's Burnley facility. Many of the original Neve staff made the move to Burnley and continue to work at AMS Neve. AMS Neve now hold the IP rights to all products designed by Rupert Neve during his ownership of the Neve group.
The company made outboard gear, mainly dynamic processors and equalizers. The company was liquidated in 1989. Mr Phil Dudderidge, who incorporated a new company Focusrite Audio Engineering Ltd, bought the assets of Focusrite Ltd. He still sells the Focusrite Ltd designed products designed by Neve. Neve has not designed any products for the Focusrite brand name since he sold the company.
ARN Consultants helped Amek design Consoles.
ARN consultants helped to design the ES pickup system for Taylor's acoustic guitars. Rupert also designed the K4 preamplifier for Taylor in 2002.
ARN Consultants designed the 2-channel mastering box, the Masterpiece.
Rupert Neve Designs
ARN Consultants currently trades under this name. Rupert Neve Designs markets a variety of microphone preamplifiers, equalizers, compressors, and other recording equipment. Rupert Neve Designs also manufactures a line mixer, the 5088.
Rupert Neve partnered with sE to design a "Rupert Neve Signature Series" of microphones. As of May 2014, two models have been introduced: the RNR1 active ribbon microphone and the RN17 small-diaphragm condenser microphone.
- "Mr. Rupert Neve Achieves a New Milestone". rupertneve.com. 15 August 2006. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
- "AES New York 2005 Press Release - Rupert Neve - 119th AES Convention Keynote Speaker". Aes.org. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- "Rupert Neve Designs – Honors". rupertneve.com. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- "AMS Neve Celebrates 45 years of Innovation, Growth and Technology Leadership". ams-neve.com. 5 October 2006. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- "Rupert Neve Designs – History. ARN Consultants". rupertneve.com. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
- "Rupert Neve Designs". rupertneve.com. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
- "sE Rupert Neve Microphones". www.seelectronics.com. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
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