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Vintage King client Brian Alston is an Arizona-based singer/songwriter who recently elevated his project studio to a whole new level. As a long-time fan of the Neve console sound, Brian wanted the benefits of the brand's storied desks, but needed to be mindful of both budget and space. Enter the Neve 8424 recording console.
“I basically wanted a console that would be with me for a very, very long time and one that would continue to inspire me to work every day," Brian says. "I have found that in the 8424.”
Brian recently sat down for an interview with the Neve team to talk about why he loves his new 8424 console. Continue reading below to learn more about how he is using the desk with the Neve 1073OPX eight-channel mic preamp and how Vintage King Audio Consultant Chris Karn helped guide him through the studio transformation.
Why did you decide to go all in on the Neve 8424? If you want the real Neve sound in a console, the value to cost ratio of this product is remarkable. In a typical home studio environment, an 88R would be a bit much and a BCM10 would be a bit pricy, but the 8424 is a perfect balance between the two. It has the same pedigree as the consoles in Abbey Road and Capital Studios, and it is very inspiring to know that most of my musical heroes made some of their greatest albums on Neve desks or with a heavy amount of Neve gear.
Let's talk a little more about ease of use and the compact size of the desk. The 8424 is minimal yet offers so much. One of the things I love most is that once you get it, you don’t have to fit it out with another $10,000 worth of EQs and comps to make it complete. It also fits a small footprint and doesn’t at all feel cramped to operate. All the knobs and buttons are very easily accessible, and your head ends up staying between the speakers.
How are you utilizing the desk with the Neve 1073OPX? The 8424 is the centerpiece of my studio and I link it with a 1073OPX, converter and a computer running a DAW. This gives me a mega fast and smooth way of working. The 1073OPX aids in the recording process so much, especially as I only have one room to record in. Having all of the inputs on the front makes it so easy, I plug in a mic and can get started straight away. I also have the OPX networked to the 8424 via Cat6 cable and can control it from the board, so it’s like having a big or vintage old school Neve desk in that regard. For someone who is pressed for time, it allows me to focus on the musician aspect more than the engineering aspect. I love both roles, but when the front end just works, I can quickly swap out a mic to change tone and continue focusing on the part I’m playing.
What was it like working with Vintage King's Chris Karn to bring home the Neve 8424? Chris was always there to answer my questions, offer options and solutions and make sure that the transaction went smoothly.