Mixing desk


Replying to a question – SEE LETTERS

In Montreux, in the Queen Studio Experience, It’s a classic Neve desk, Ian, with Flying Faders. I will ask Justin to give some more details, if he has a minute.

As regards ‘the sound’, really everything has an effect. Certainly, even used ‘flat’, a mixing desk of this kind has its own characteristics. But when the EQ (equalisation, or sound spectrum modification) controls are brought into play, the differences in sound between desks become large.

The old analogue mutitrack recording machines had differing effects on the signal, too, but more down to what they LOST – and, to my ears, subtle effects, unless they were wrongly set up.

But the greatest influences on sound are the room, the microphones and how they are deployed, the way people actually play or sing, and the way the engineer and producer choose to operate the gear.

Again, Justin may want to add something here.

All the best.


Expert comments !

From: Justin Shirley-Smith

The console at Mountain Studios was a 1975 vintage Neve 8048. The Studio Experience exhibition features a specially created faithful and full-scale representation of that desk. The main surface of this is a 2D printed image formed from over 300 separate photographs of the original Neve modules. The frame and trim were constructed with reference to the original 1974 Neve drawings. This replica console was the work of the brilliant Nigel Knight and his talented team at RMA Ltd in UK. The original Neve console is now owned by Svenska Grammofonstudion of Gothenburg in Sweden, who kindly allowed it to be photographed by Andrew Guyton for this use.

The original desk was updated in the late 1980’s with Neve ‘Necam’ moving faders but the image in the exhibition shows the original 1975 manual faders … and in the spot where originally there were sixteen red group faders, we have put some real red faders so anyone can mix a Queen song there once more.

As Brian says, every piece of equipment has an effect of some kind. The only points I would add are that the old Neve was of the very highest quality available in its day and, even now, this type of desk is globally sought-after particularly for it’s microphone amplifiers which many people love … including the happy owners in Sweden!

Best wishes


© brianmay.com