Pro-Music-News Recording and Studio

Neve 5088 at Blue Room for imparting analogue character to DAW projects

The Magic Shop in New York has installed a Rupert Neve Designs 5088 discrete analogue mixing console in its newly reconfigured and re-purposed Blue Room. The facility also features a custom vintage Neve series 80 console in Studio A, notable as the venue for such album projects as Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" and Norah Jones' latest release, "The Fall".
According to studio owner Steve Rosenthal, a multi-Grammy-winning engineer and producer who established the studio in Manhattan's Soho neighbourhood in 1988, the Rupert Neve Designs 5088 console in the Blue Room is intended to impart analogue character to DAW projects. "It's really a pretty simple concept," he explains. "The idea is to offer a low-cost alternative for my clients who are forced sometimes to mix in the box. The audio restoration equipment formerly housed in the Blue Room has been moved down the hall to the Red Room."
Magic Shop's new 5088 offers 32 inputs with 16 faders and is additionally configured with a variety of Portico modules positioned in the console's penthouse section. They include eight 5032 Microphone Pre/EQs, eight 5033 Five-Band EQs, a pair of 5043 dual-channel Compressor/Limiters, a 5014 Stereo Field Editor and a 5042 "True Tape" emulation module. "It's a nice collection of EQs, mic pres and compressors for people to try out," comments Rosenthal.
He continues, "The other thing that I'd like it to be used for--and hope that it will be used for--is for re-stemming mixes. What happens a lot of times now is that bands come in and spend time and money upstairs in the main Neve room mixing their record. Then, subsequently, there are fixes that either the artist or the record company is interested in doing. This gives them an opportunity to take the stems and run them back through the 5088, through the Class A signal path and the great compressors that are in it. It gives them a chance to re-stem their mixes without having to do the mixes in the box."
As Rosenthal relates, he and his engineers have already had an opportunity to work on the 5088 console and are very pleased with the results. "We've been using it to mix some vintage jazz recordings and it has just been sounding fabulous. I'm happy with it, and Warren Russell-Smith, who's the main engineer in the Blue Room, is really delighted with it. We've been getting really great results," he says.
Rosenthal has a relationship with Rupert Neve going back a couple of decades, he shares. "He's been amazingly helpful over the years. The console upstairs is actually two Neves that came from the BBC. He helped me put them together, and he helped get the Flying Faders installed in the console upstairs. He's been a really great friend of the studio for many years."
Studio A has hosted notable sessions from Sonic Youth, The Hold Steady and Interpol, while the Blue Room, prior to its re-purposing, hosted restoration work for releases by Alan Lomax, The Rolling Stones, Sam Cooke and Woody Guthrie. Most recently, offers Rosenthal, "I mixed five unreleased tracks for the Rolling Stones' 'Get Your Ya Yas Out' fortieth anniversary boxed set in Studio A, and in the last month or so we did a couple of iTunes exclusives, one with Diane Birch and one with the band Shinedown, also in Studio A."
Photo (l-r); Josh Thomas (Rupert Neve Designs), Steve Rosentha (Magic Shop), Rupert Neve.and Warren Russell-Smith (Magic Shop) with the new Rupert Neve Designs 5088 analogue console in Magic Shop's Blue Room.
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