Me in my studio: Francis Neve
7th Nov 2011 | 17:00
Neve's studio is based on the second floor in a converted Victorian building in Limehouse, East London. The building is full of units being used by artists, photographers and musicians.
"It's a great place to have a creative base," explains Neve. "I have a control room and a live room and it's all been soundproofed and acoustically treated so we don't bother the neighbours too much. We have access, and can make noise 24/7. Let me show you around ..."
NEXT: The live room
"As you can see the place is pretty busy at the moment. I have all the backline set up constantly. I'm currently writing for the new album so everything just gets left out so things are quickly at hand if you need something in a hurry.
"You can see our wonderfully red Nord keyboard here and a few of our amps that we like to use."
"This is my control position and here I have my trusty tube tracker mixer. I use this to warm everything up going in and out of my PC-based DAW. It's a great sounding mixer and adds a lot of tone to my recordings.
"You can see my Genelec monitors too. Small but powerful, they're ideal for accurate near-field monitoring in small spaces."
"My vintage Copycat tape echo is one of the best ever bargains I've had from eBay. It's an amazing sounding device that no digital effect or plug-in seems to be able to recreate.
"It works by recording a moment of your performance on to the loop of tape and then repeating before it eventually gets recorded over by your next part. You can literally hear the cogs in this thing turning when you crank it up. Pink Floyd, The Shadows, as well as the 'surfer sound' really made these things legendary."
"So I had to include a picture of my guitar rack. As you can see I'm really in to Fenders!"
"I'm lucky enough to have this kit living in the studio now. It's my drummer Tom's kit and I convinced him to let me 'store' it here.
"A gorgeous Gretsch, maple new classic with a jazzy woody tone. We have some nice K custom cymbals and a few different snares to choose from too."
Moog Little Phatty
"No studio is complete without a Moog so here is my Little Phatty stage synth. It's an amazing sounding analogue synth with lots of useful modern features.
"I am really into the arpeggiator on this thing at the moment."
"There are some nice boutique pedals on here as well as some sturdier classics. My favourite has to be the Empress Super Delay closely followed by the Strymon blue sky reverb.
"These two together pretty much make my sound live. There is an analogue delay for a slap back sound and a Pog used to get a synth-like tone. What looks like a volume pedal on the far right is actually used to control the delay feedback so I can get big swells and oscillations out of the delay unit without using my hands."
"This is my box of tricks when mixing. I try to use outboard wherever I can. The Avalon and the Distressor are my favourite compressors. I use the Distressor on vocals and snares mostly.
"The Eventide is an incredible sounding FX unit that is really quite old now but still nothing I have ever heard sounds close to this machine. The Roland Dimension D is a great vintage tool to use when looking for interesting stereo spacial FX. At the bottom you can see my MOTU HD converters. These give me 24-in/24-out high definition audio through the PC."
Roland Chorus Echo
"And finally my most precious tool: the Chorus Echo (almost a Space Echo!!). This machine is again older than me but is still working like a dream.
"Similar to the Copycat but a lot more powerful, this device can create some amazing one-off original sounds that are impossible to recreate. It wurrs, rumbles wows and flutters and sometimes hums but always sounds gorgeous. Plug a guitar into it for huge spacial FX or a piano for subtle lush repeats.
"So that wraps up the tour of my studio. Hope you liked my stuff!"
For more information on Francis Neve and to get his latest single, Dance Round The Fires, check out his website at www.francisneve.co.uk