Neve Sidecar

Posted by Scott


In the world of audio engineering, the name Neve has become almost mythical. Rupert Neve was responsible for a very popular EQ and preamp circuit design that helped produce many a hit record over the years. I personally love the Neve sound and record everything through a set of four Neve clones. While clones are great and can approach the sound of the original, they’re still not truly a Neve. So to see an actual Neve Sidecar show up on Ebay was a surprise. Just seeing pictures of these is pretty intense, I can’t imagine what it would be like to actually use one. To me, the color and design inspire a sort of reverence, kind of like the Futura of the sound engineering world; classic, refined, and functional. At any rate, a $40k mixer is just a dream…but what a nice looking dream.

13 Comments Leave A Comment


StigC says:

March 18, 2009 at 5:32 am

I hear you, Scott.

With that price tag it will always just be a dream for me, but what a beautiful dream.

SSL is producing some quite interesting tings these days, with pricetags somewhat in the range of what people like us can afford.

The SSL Mynx is something I might consider in the future.

The ability to change the modules is interesting, or you could just buy a separate box with a stereo master comp to run your outputs through, and enjoy that classic SSL sound. (I bet that the SSL master compressor has been used on almost as many hit albums as the Neve boards.)
Wouldn’t that be nice.. A preamp box and a master comp/limiter box, side by side.. Right here on my table…… Sorry, I’m daydreaming. :)


John Athayde says:

March 18, 2009 at 10:33 am

I have a pair of 33122a Neves that I bought from a friend (and spent way too much on) but I run almost everything through them. There’s a warmth that just comes out of these things. They’re not 1073s but they’re still the vintage awesomeness.

SitgC – Comp wise, I’m a bigger fan of the Distressor and the ADR Vocal Stressor. The distressor can do almost everything from light comp to 1176 sounds. The SSL bus is awesome for mixdown (just saw/heard it when Michael Brauer mixed four of our songs last month) but for individual channels and tracking, there’s far more interesting color units out there.

When’s the next single coming out Scott? :D


Alex / HeadUp says:

March 18, 2009 at 1:43 pm

I’m not a music production geek, but I am a type geek…your Futura analogy strikes your point right home haha, that think looks like a real beast


Scott says:

March 18, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Yeah, the modern SSL stuff (xLogic etc..) looks cool for sure. Their EQ is sometimes a little clean for me, the Neve style stuff seems to have some more color. Comp wise, I have the CL 7720 which is an SSL buss comp clone to a certain degree. I also have a pair of EL distressors which I use for tracking, but I use the SSL for hitting drum busses and final mixes.

I have the chameleon labs 7602’s. you’ll hear varied opinions on these, but they sound amazing to me. I have worked with Chandler LTD1’s and owned a pair of vintech x73i’s for a while. You might be able to argue that the Chameleon’s aren’t as true to the 1073 sound, but to me they have their own style which I prefer to the other clones out there.

for sure, the distressors are great. but the SSL has a sidechain input and, like you said, is really nice for busses/mixes, so it’s a good thing to have around (and sounds better than the Waves SSL Buss comp imho). The single is pretty much done, will be out on vinyl and digital coming up here.


Seb says:

March 18, 2009 at 8:40 pm

You might have to add me on Facebook to see — but here’s the centerpiece of the studio I’ve been working in with an old friend — he got this from the BBC.


StigC says:

March 19, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Not long ago, two of my friends started a project where they built their own compressors, using circuitboard prints obtained from a danish company called Gyraf, which also makes some nice handmade comps, and basically built them from scratch. And I must admit the comps they made sounds really great. They’re not SSL, but they damn sure have a great sound.

But maybe my judgement is clouded from the fact that my two friends actually built them themselves. (I can picture the long nights, soldering in a cold garage, hehe!)

But the next project is copying some old NEVE preamps, and I’m thinking about getting in on that. Would be nice to have a great set of preamps for tracking, that you even built yourself!
I’ll let you know how it goes if we get started on that.
Of course the blueprints won’t be genuine NEVE prints, but what the hey. I built them! :-D


StigC says:

March 19, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Btw, I’m pretty sure my album was mastered through a similar NEVE board as the Ebay link.

(And now I regret all the crappy homestudio gear I had back then to make the album, realising what was in the mastering studio! – I’ve learned a lot since.)


m bailey says:

April 24, 2010 at 9:52 am

i just use old outboard gear and still get a better sound than all the new crap. i am looking for a cheap neve/api/amek especially: board someone must have a small console of these somewhere that they can use a few bucks for. can someone help me?. i know this may not be the right forum but i have a slow windows 95 and whatever pops up i go for it. help.