Lloyd produced, engineered, sang, and played all the guitars, bass and drums on "The Radiant Monkey," then had a drummer learn and replace his original percussion tracks. "Out of 24 tracks all but five are through the 5012," he reports.
He elaborates, "I recorded the new record with seven mics on the drums: two ribbons overhead, two ribbons in front, kick and snare, and a room mic. I used the 5012 for either the two overheads, which were Beyer 160s, or in front of the kit, where I used a stereo pair of the Royer 121 or the AEA R84--it switched, back and forth." Apart from the bass, which was recorded direct, he continues, "Absolutely everything else went through the 5012--all the vocals, and all the guitars, which were usually recorded in a stereo pair with a Royer 121 and a Turner Model 500 cardioid."
Lloyd maintained a short and clean path to the 24-track digital recorder in his private studio. "There are no effects whatsoever on any of the guitars. No fuzz boxes, no chorus, no echo, just guitar straight into an amp. And I hardly used EQ," he reveals, adding, "But the 5012 has to have the greatest high pass filter. It’s an extremely pleasant sweep. I usually set it between 60 and 80Hz. You never hear it, but it’s taking away the vibrations that might be coming through the mic stand."
Plus, he adds, "I started using the Silk button in and out, but it finally found its way in. Now it never comes off." The Silk switch introduces the classic warmth and presence of Mr. Neve’s renowned audio circuit designs to the output signal.
Lloyd has picked up engineering techniques over the years from the likes of Andy Johns and has honed them over the course of his last few album projects. "I love engineering," he comments. "You always let someone else do it and end up unsatisfied. Finally, I’m satisfied." As a result, he says, "I think “The Radiant Monkey” is the best thing I’ve ever done, short of being involved in “Marquee Moon.’" That album, Television’s debut release, is consistently included on lists of the best of the period and of all time by critics and listeners alike.
Regarding the 5042, he says, "I don’t mind crispness, but digital crispness is wearying to listen to. Mixing through the 5042 softens the entire soundscape. So the whole record is mixed through the 5042 and also a stereo tube compressor."
Lloyd was an early adopter of the 5012, acquiring serial number 6. "I really liked it right away," he recalls. "It has girth. If I had a 24-track board of nothing but 5012s I’d be happy. People argue that the older Neve stuff is better, but this new stuff is not only smaller but it’s a complete workhorse. If I’m doing two tracks at a time it’s the only thing I’m going to use."
In addition to the new solo project, his first of all-new material since 2000’s "The Cover Doesn’t Matter," Lloyd used the Portico 5012 when replacing guitar and vocal tracks on the recent deluxe reissue of his 1985 "Field of Fire" album. "I did almost a complete re-do; sometimes I kept only the drums and redid everything else. All the redone vocals and guitars went through the 5012."
Owned exclusively by Rupert and Evelyn Neve, Rupert Neve Designs Inc. was founded on passion, experience and a desire to build products embodying the highest musical quality. In continuing his legacy as a pioneer in audio circuit design, Mr. Rupert Neve is currently focusing his talents on creating innovative analogue solutions to the issues facing the modern recording engineer.