Monday, 28 June 2010

Neve DSP1 The First Digital Console

Some days I come over all Neve and have to look at pictures of old consoles and listen to Dire Straits recordings

I was telling Alan about this today and he began reminiscing about when he worked at Neve. He was there for most of the 80's when it had been bought out by Siemens and the main project he worked on was the Neve DSP, the first ever digital recording console. Check out this scan of the brochure, it's amazing. The thing about that product is that it was so cutting edge the only ones sold went to institutions funded by the British government. The designers published scientific papers on the technology they were pioneering. Siemens bought the entire Neve company [outbidding 60 other competitors for it] just so they could own the digital technology. Read more about the DSP here, but basically they cost over a million pounds each and they made less than 10 of them. One of them [the one in the picture] went to a studio in London who actually had the entire left side of the console constructed as a dummy non-working sidecar because they wanted it to look more impressive! Another system went to a Russian national broadcast studio that never got completed, and the console remained in its shrink-wrapped container for the next 15 years, when some lucky person bought it for next to nothing in its perfect state, just as it had left the factory

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