In my youth, my father used to play the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack LP frequently. The opening song, New Attitude by Patti LaBelle, has a perfectly produced intro. To this day, that 35 seconds of recorded, touchstone music helps to maintain my returning pursuit of Timeless Music. Much further down the road, the technique and process of how to create a great recording of a great performance of a great song brought me to the name Rupert Neve. Mr. Neve’s personal dedication and professional effort is behind some of the greatest musical tools ever created. In audio school, the word was that if you wanted to make a “real record”, use the Neve console; when you are serious, you will buy a Neve.
60 years later, there are a plethora of emulations of varying quality of Mr. Neve’s timeless circuit designs, software and hardware. One of the emulations most faithful to the “sound” of Mr. Neve’s original designs is the Seventh Circle Audio N72 Microphone Preamplifier. At a gain setting of 50dB and below, purportedly, it is identical. But if you want external access to the crucial microphone impedance settings, you’ll need to embody a piece of Rupert’s original enthusiasm for music and it’s preservation, and bust out the soldering iron and drill.
Here’s a guide in pictures.