Los Angeles, CA (April 27, 2009)--A Rupert Neve Designs 5088 analog console has replaced a digital desk at the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen, the home studio originally built by Frank Zappa in the 1970s.
"I wanted to do something that would allow me to have a real sonic signature and a certain kind of ease of use," explains Dweezil Zappa. "I did not enjoy the issues that came along with the digital console, so we said, 'let's simplify.' We definitely have an easier way to do the majority of what we're going to do now. We still need to use an old-school patchbay, but I'm cool with that."
The modular 5088 desk is configured with 24 channels and outfitted with 12 EQ and 12 compressor modules, with additional signal processing installed in the master section for the main stereo output. The new Rupert Neve-designed and built discrete analog console is paired with a DAW in what is becoming an increasingly common hybrid workflow that offers the best of both worlds.
"For a lot of the work that we're doing, we're using the computer for what it's best for, in terms of automation and plug-ins and whatnot, then summing it through Class A, nice sounding analog gear for better headroom and that other sonic signature," comments Zappa.
The 5088 console's master section houses additional Rupert Neve Designs Portico signal processing modules. "We have the stereo compressor, 'True Tape' tape saturation, two mono five-band EQs, and the stereo field editor. It's a whole analog mastering suite," he says.
The new compact console might appear to offer fewer bells and whistles than the previous desk, he says, "But the majority of what you do have recall on is on your computer. And I might have sessions that have 48 tracks or more, but there are still enough summing capabilities to get what we need out of the 5088 in this configuration."
Rupert Neve Designs