Sunday, 27 June 2010

The Necks

Last night I went to see The Necks at the Barbican with Dan [who lives there] and Inchtime. It was pretty amazing as usual, I really like this band

Here's a picture I took from our seats in the theater. You can clearly make out the necks, and below them the bodies and above them the heads, where all the hard work is done

Watch The Necks and other great gigs on Moshcam.

Today on the Bay: Neve 51 Series

And here is a early 80's version of a Neve, all IC and compacted but still an interesting prospect:

Up for auction is used VINTAGE NEVE 24/36 CHANNEL CONSOLE Series 51.  NO RESERVE
See attached pictures.  I am selling this item for a family friend who had passed away recently.  I do know this system does work and have seen it fired up.  I don't know the exact state of this Neve Console since I am not an expert in this field.  This Neve Series 51 Console is being SOLD AS IS.  Shipping to the winning bidder will be up to them.  The winning party will have to arrange all shipping details weather its shipped by freight or picked up locally.  Any out of the area shipping is the buyers complete responsibility. 

Needs a little TLC to make it pretty again....

There is a patch bay that is included with this system (not pictured and not installed in the unit) as well as many parts purchased recently for this unit

Seller dibugno is in CA USA and starts bidding at $10000 [£6500]

Today on the Bay: Neve 5316

Here's a beautiful 53 series, basically the broadcast version on the 80 series, this time with 31 [it was a custom fit for a specific location] 33114b modules. Class AB 70's discrete technology!

Seller is in NJ USA [] and wants £43k ono:

This is an all original (31) channel 5316 neve console. The console has been fully refurbished. Every single electrolytic capacitor, in the entire console, was replaced w/ 105deg C panasonic or equivalent. The console is cosmetically clean. Additional features include the faders cleaned, newly manufactured scribble strips, brand new audio accessories nickel plated remote patch bays w/ existing wiring for 24 input/32 output DAW(d-subs). There is also a 50ft snake to a 24 input mic box normalled through bay into 1-24 mic inputs. The full patch bay layout is available in the picture above. The input channels are 33114B. There are (29) 33114Bs loaded. there is room for 2 more plus 2 compressors above the direct inputs on the right. The direct input right of channel 31 is great for pro tools users when tracking for monitoring. The console has 8 busses and (2) stereo busses, the standard mix buss + a clean feed. This board originally was used in a network broadcasting truck and has extensive comm system. It is referred to as custom because of the frame size of 31 which was made to fit a specific truck size. Every circuit path has been tested, calibrated and certified working. the original manual as well as spares are available. The console also comes w/ a powder coated custom stand on casters, pictured above. There are a few knob caps missing in the photo, but they all exist. We were in the process of gluing them on when this photo was taken. There is additional room on the patch bay for outboard equipment. The snake to the remote patch bay is roughly 12-15ft long. This is a true gem. The console is roughly 6ft in length.The EQ freq select switches and gain pots are crystal clean. The overall condition of the console is A+

Today on the Bay: Neve 8048

This blog seems to be all about consoles, consoles, consoles, but that's because I love mixing consoles and I think about them all the time. They are the central focus of any recording studio and are it's defining object, and frankly there's not enough websites about them out there anyway

Today on the bay you can buy what I consider to be the ultimate console ever made, for me anyway. It's a Neve 8048 with 32 1064 mic/eq modules, which are the same as 1073s but with a slightly different eq. Actually there's a great post here on gearslutz in which Neve guru Geoff Tanner explains the differences between the various 10xx modules. This console is in CT USA, the seller vintagetones wants $147000 / £98000. That's £2500 per module plus £18k for the rest. Value

Friday, 25 June 2010

EMI Console

I was watching a really nice little 8 channel EMI 8000 console on the bay. It comes with a matching EMI limiter and patchbay, and would make an exquisite little set-up. Having read about the amazing EMI equipment made for Abbey Road studios in the 50s, 60s and 70s in my favorite book [Recording the Beatles] I know how rare these things are. They were not mass produced but made for their own studios and therefore their bands and producers. They had no reason to compromise any part of the stuff they made, and it always sounded incredible, as you can hear on all those great albums. Go and read the book, and put on The Zombie's Odyssey and Oracle. This 8000 series console looks a bit like the mythical RS147 solid state small console that was used in one of the small studios, which apparently disappeared and the only picture they could find for the book was of another EMI desk, see the last picture. Could this be it? [I don't think so but it's a nice idea]

The seller seems to be Andy from Emis, but I'm not sure. It had 7 bids and got £7400

For auction, one EMI 8000 mixing console dating from 1973, one of the last, maybe a prototype as all EMI console development was halted at the end of 74

Eight Channels with Mic and Line inputs and passive EQ, Four Groups with EQ, Master and Echo cassettes, all featuring huge custom wound EMI input transformers

4x 8020F Channel Cassette (note each cassette holds two independent channels)
2x 8021F Group Cassette (note each cassette holds two independent Groups)
1x 8022F Master Cassette
1x 8023F Echo Cassette
1x '80' type Bucket/ frame with 5 massive EMI Output transformers
2x '8212413' limiters in a '82' type rack mount frame
2x GPO patch bays,
1x rack mount Headphone panel
1x Bound manual.
1x Console Power Supply

The console was decommissioned and stored for many years, It was my intention to get a wooden console/ rack made to house this beautiful piece of history, alas.. present workload prevents this happening

Tech work required to re-commission:
Make and connect an XLR panel to be attached to the existing tails from the patch bay. Alternatively you could go in and out of the bay.
Hookup of the Limiters to the Patch Bay
Service and interface the included Power supply.

General interfacing, a map of the cassettes connectors is included in the manual
The GPO bays are hooked up to the bucket and feature: Line and mic ins and channel Inserts
Have run up the Limiters, channels, groups and master, and it really sounds fantastic! 

All EMI equipment was made for their own studios and not available to the general public, only very small quantities were ever made

This is not a massed produced item, It was hand made in England
Would make a perfect sidecar for tracking or mixing... or 4 track recording :-)

Full set of photos here

Friday, 18 June 2010

Silent Serge

UPDATE: The above picture is a nice hi-res one taken on the Leica Digilux 3

I finished making the new case for my Serge Modular. Well almost finished, I might live with it for a while and check it's how I want it, then use the wooden panels I made as templates for thicker solid wood ones that I will have cut by a pro. Below is a mini-blog of what I did

I bought the modules home in a box and set it up so I could test it out and think about the configuration

After checking out the modules I took off all the face plates which also contain the electronics. Some will need a bit of work later on such as non working lamps etc

After much thought and precarious balancing I arrived at a design and then cut the wooden side-cheeks. I used American Walnut left over from when I had my kitchen built

When I bought the modules about 8 years ago some were of a more modern and dubious vintage, the clue here being that the face plate was written in Biro. It's actually a very useful and clever module, as it interfaces with the Roland MP101 midi-cv interface which came with the Serge module opening up a whole world of possibilities. I decided to redo the graphics, so I took off what was there

It was interesting to see which modules the previous owner had replaced. Looking underneath revealed that it had been a dual reverb [which I have in another panel] and a Serge dual pre-amp. Oh well

Here is the layout I made in photoshop. I think I found the exact font which was a stroke of luck [Twentieth Century Bold]

Here it is in-situ. I even 'aged' the paper [with tea] prior to laminating it to roughly match the rest of the panels

And here it is! I am going to have an extra [custom delay?] panel made up to fill the space at the top left, or if i find the right vintage Serge [TKB?] then maybe....

Why is this post called 'Silent Serge'? Because upon testing out the finished thing, I managed to short out the power supply with a banana cord, and now it won't power up. It should be a quick fix for Big Al though, but it means I can't play with it till next week. DOH!

UPDATE: Here are some more pics of the finished Serge, circa August 2011

Tuesday, 15 June 2010


I've been digging around on the Serge Modular Owners Group and found some more case designs and these look really simple to make and also really 70s. I also found this cool ad Serge used early on

Monday, 14 June 2010

Discoid Funk

NOTE: I am struggling with Audio Players on this blog. I have tried muzicons and soundcloud but neither work on all systems, so now I have butchered some code from someone else's blog to try and embed a nice simple player for my audio. Hopefully this one will work, on macs, pcs, ipads, even iphones and other mobiles.... but it probably won't dammit

There is a great library record by Brian Bennett from 1978 called VOYAGE: A JOURNEY INTO DISCOID FUNK. I got it from the rather EGG-cellent Egg City Radio blog, which is well worth checking out for interesting and otherwise lost music that you can't find on itunes. I bought a Yamaha DX5 once on ebay and when I turned up at the sellers house to pick it up I was greeted by Brian Bennett, but I didn't know who he was at the time except for the drummer from the Shadows, but to me his composing for film and tv and general input into the world of library music overshadows even the Shadows. This album is really good and features the keyboard playing of Francis Monkman, who I posted about here because he made the soundtrack to The Long Good Friday, which is also EGG-stremely good

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Cher Epp Nin

As an update to this post, I saw this picture of Serge Tcherepnin [see above for pronunciation] and noticed the cabinet he is leaning on. I have decided that as he looks so pleased with it I will base my design on his, and I will keep you posted on my progress. Actually, I am going through my system and making notes of any things that need sorting before it gets put into a new box, such as fixing the sequencer LEDs, mending two of the filters and one of the Negative Slews

Terhill Sessions

Me and Dave drove down to Sid's new house in Terhill, Somerset this weekend for a bit of an Oblong writing session. We managed to get a few things done in between walking and drinking and Scrabble [SLANTY is a word, particularly when it's on a triple word score...] Sid's place is really lovely, a beautiful old cottage filled with arts and crafts stuff and his well-chosen music gear. Here's my Roland SH101 and RS09 and the door to the garden

By the way, I've gone over to soundcloud for music clips....

  Terhill 3 by zagoba

Triple Roland

A great looking Roland 100M just sold on the bay [in Devon]. It reached £6000 with 26 bids. Here's the module list:

112 dual oscilator
112 dual oscilator
112 dual oscilator
121 dual VCF
121 dual VCF
130 dual VCA130 dual VCA
140 dual envelope
140 dual envelope
150 ring modulator
131 mixer
132 dual mixer voltage processor
172 phase shifter / delay / gated delay
182 8 step sequencer
150 clock / LFO

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Serge Patch

Here is a large Serge Modular patch. First some pics of the bananas, then a low res vid, then a 9 min mp3 which was the patch running with some manual tweaking of various parameters such as VCO freq and filter freq

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Pad About


Wooden Boats

I'm planning to make a case for my Serge Modular panels. Ideally I would like something along these lines

Sunday, 6 June 2010

From the Crowd 2

Here's another video taken by Brian from the Metamatic forum. The sound isn't great, he had a HPF on the audio recording so there's no bass...

80's Neve

There's a cool looking Neve console on the bay today. Its an 8128 made in 1984. After the glory days of the 70's Neve went all IC-based and brightly coloured plastic, and it seems the jury is out on the sonic quality of the 81 series. Some people think the eq's are the best Neve ever made [the V series followed on directly from them] but maybe it's let down by the mic pre's. Everyone seems to agree the routing matrix is a compromise and a major source of pain. It looks like a McDonalds cash register. Having a penchant for everything early 80's I would love to get my hands on one. The flying faders in the vid were an option, not fitted on the one on ebay. Images from here and here where you will find a treasure-trove of Neveness. This one is near LA and has a BIN of $12500 [£8.5k]

UPDATE: Here is the front cover of the 8108 brochure

UPDATE 2: Here are some more pictures, this time of the actual console for sale. The more I see the more interesting I think these 'forgotten Neves' look

From the Crowd

The John Foxx gig was last night. Here is a amazingly low quality video from the front of the stage, the first time I've seen it from that POV. Thanks Dan for sending it, and everyone else for coming along!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

In da Roundhouse

Me and Steve D'Agostino set up the synths in the Roundhouse today in preparation for the John Foxx / Maths gig on Saturday. This is us testing the CV/Gate connections between the 808 [master clock], Dotcom modular, Roland100M, SH02 synths

Also in shot are the following: Roland SH101, Korg Monopoly, Simmons SDS5, another Roland100M, Korg 700, Roland VP330, Korg Lambda, Yamaha CS5, ARP Odyssey, Minimoog, Juno-60, Roland Space Echo 301