From his earliest memories, Rupert has always had a love for music and for electronics. These two passions, and a dedication to creating the most musically beneficial audio paths turned him into the third person ever to receive a technical achievement GRAMMY Award, the man Dave Grohl has referred to as “The Einstein of mixing consoles”, and the “Audio Person of the Century” from Studio Sound Magazine in 1999 (ahead of George Martin and Ray Dolby).
With 80+ years of design experience, Rupert’s story spans the globe: from growing up building radios in Argentina before WWII, to creating the very first “modern” recording consoles in England, to elevating analogue circuit design for the digital world in Texas.
Rupert first gained audio design and manufacturing experience with Rediffusion, Ferguson Radio, and as Chief Engineer of a transformer manufacturer.
His first real equipment designs came in the form of CQ Audio, where he created a number of early hi-fi loudspeakers and amplifiers.
While CQ Audio never became a giant, these experiences gave Rupert some of the production and marketing knowledge he would need when founding the Rupert Neve Company.
Rupert’s life as a pioneer of professional audio equipment started as a side job with several one-off custom tube mixers for musicians and studios.
These early designs built his reputation and connections, while also helping him understand the needs of the recording world, which was on the verge of a revolution with the advent of rock-n-roll and multi-track stereo recording.
As a designer, Rupert was an early adopter of transistors which allowed for new possibilities and fewer compromises when compared to tubes. However, where most designers used the transistor as a way to make devices as efficient as possible, removing transformers and opting for class-B amplification, Rupert maintained a design closer to his class-A tube designs with custom transformers, optimized for the lower voltages of the transistors.
The resulting designs featured the size, reliability and noise benefits of transistors while still maintaining a rich, musically beneficial sound without any upper-order harmonic content. Additionally, these circuits were the first widely available units to maintain wide-bandwidth performance out to almost 100kHz.
Very quickly, these new designs became the industry’s premiere choice for both recording and broadcast.
In the 10 years between 1965 and 1975, the Rupert Neve Company went from Rupert assembling mixers in his garage to a worldwide operation with hundreds of employees.
During this time, Rupert helped to create a number of standards affecting how equalizers, compressors, pre-amplifiers, faders, microphones and mixing consoles are used today. The outstanding quality and reliability of these “classic” Rupert Neve designs has allowed them to stay relevant, and there is perhaps no greater testament to this fact than the hundreds of these early consoles that are still in daily, high-level use fifty years later.
Between selling and leaving his original company and founding his new company Rupert Neve Designs, Rupert worked at training engineers for Christian radio and TV broadcast work, designed legendary analog equipment and digitally-controlled mixing consoles for industry leaders Focusrite and Amek, and consulted on electronics design work for companies like Taylor Guitars, Summit Audio and Legendary Audio.
With his new company Rupert Neve Designs – founded in 2005 and based in Wimberley, Texas – Rupert Neve and his team of engineers returned to his roots, with new studio equipment born from the same classic concepts as the gear that made him a worldwide success. This equipment has a purist, “sound quality above all else” mentality, intended to create the very best possible analog signal quality for the modern music production environment.
In the years since launching, these new designs have been adopted by countless top professionals in every aspect of recorded and live music, with genres spanning everything from rock and hip hop to classical and jazz, and can be found in studios and on stages anywhere music is made worldwide.
Rupert Neve Designs products have also won almost every award the professional recording industry has to offer, including sixteen coveted TEC (Technical Excellence and Creativity) Awards since 2006.
Watch the video below to learn more about Rupert Neve!