Producer, engineer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Greg Wells (pictured) discovered the Rupert Neve Designs Portico range of half-rackspace signal processors, purchasing six units, and is considering purchasing more.
"I just randomly came across the Portico 5042 tape emulation box online," explains Wells, whose recording facility features a classic Neve 5114 console, as well as vintage gear and instruments of all descriptions. "I’ve had a lot of tape machines in here, but I don't do it any more."
Attracted by an introductory online price, Wells took a gamble and ordered the two-channel 5042. His first opportunity to use it was on a session with engineer Joe Zook for a rock band on Columbia Records. "We both checked out the 5042 and were prepared to put it right back in the box and send it back. But we were completely gob smacked; we were blown away. Now Joe owns one and I own one. I can't live without it."
The Portico 5042 is more than just a tape emulator, notes Wells, who has worked with Rufus Wainwright, Deftones, Pink, Jesse McCartney, Otep, Paris Hilton, Louise Goffin and others. "Joe was so into the 5042 that he started to use it as a line amp for bass and, I think, guitars, and maybe even vocals. Then, when we were doing rough mixes we put it across the stereo bus. We just loved it. It's really a very musical box."
The discovery sent Wells back to Rupert Neve Designs for more. "They'd been telling me about the 5043 compressor/limiter for months, and I was jonesing to buy it. Then I got a call saying it's ready. Now there are five of them here.
"The 5043 compressor is equally as musical as the 5042, if not more so. I literally use it on everything. It's become my two-bus compressor,” Wells says. “It has that magic, gushy, Neve sound that one hopes for. And in feedback mode, when it emulates the vintage units, it's ridiculous. It's basically the best sounding 33609 I've heard."
Wells is now auditioning the Portico 5012 dual-channel mic preamp: "I'm using it on electric guitar right now,” he says. “It sounds great."
For further information, visit www.rupertneve.com.