Saturday, 6 February 2010

A Diabolical Liberty

I just watched The Long Good Friday again and its currently my favorite film ever. The music is totally amazing, a mixture of synths, drumming, orchestral sounds and plenty of old FX units [and yes, lots of saxophone]. It was composed by Francis Monkman, the keyboardist from Curved Air and The 801 [late 70s prog band put together by Eno]

Here is the track 'The Scene Is Set' from The Long Good Friday OST

Friday, 5 February 2010

A 70s Sound in Blue

My friend Hugo is in LA at the moment, writing his first feature which he will direct. I will be doing the music. Well done mate! He regularly sends me videos and pictures of Porsche 911 cars even though he knows full well that I don't get on with them. But I couldn't resist this one because of the spectacular soundtrack:

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Fairlight Factory, circa 1984

As a kind of update to this post, here is a wonderful video about Fairlight, the company. Check out the Neve console while you're in there

Bambie, by Benge / Ben Sheppee

Music by Benge, circa 2005
Expanding Records

Video by Ben Sheppee

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

The Knack

Thanks Jack!

Analogue Cheese, Literally

I had this for dinner last night, bought from my local corner shop. The perfect studio meal......

Monday, 1 February 2010

Neve, DSP, Montserrat, Police, etc

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

Rupert Neve had left the company in the late 70s, but before he did he designed three consoles that were commissioned by George Martin. One of them went into his new studio on the island of Montserrat in the Caribbean, pictured above. That console has been around a bit now, including being pulled from the wreckage of the studio after it was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989, but here it is for sale if you have 1/2 million dollars spare

At the end of this video you can see Sting being a prat and jumping on it. Damn! [skip through to 3.10]

The Air consoles were the last ones Neve had a hand in before leaving and setting up a company called Focusrite. The next console he designed was the legendary Focusrite Forte. Below is a picture of the one that is still in daily use at Ocean Way in Hollywood. Sadly one was recently split up and sold off in small sections by Funky Junk. There are a few bits left....

Alternatively for a much more reasonable £40k you could buy this Neve 5316 which are also selling: