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Honolulu Community College Installs Rupert Neve 5088 Console

MELE audio engineering faculty member John Vierra (left) and student Taylor Rohrbacker

Honolulu Community College (HCC) developed an educational partnership with Belmont University in Nashville and recently installed a 64-channel Rupert Neve Designs 5088 discrete analog console outfitted with Martinsound Flying Fader automation. The 5088 console is the centerpiece of the new production facility for the college’s Music and Entertainment Learning Experience (MELE) program, which was funded by the Mike Curb Family Foundation through the University of Hawaii Foundation (UHF) and by federal grants.

“It’s a very solid platform for our students in Hawaii to engage in some really cutting edge technology in an analog format,” says MELE Program Director, Keala Chock. “We are the only program in the university and in the state of Hawaii that offers a degree in audio engineering, so it was important for us to recognize who the industry giants are and some of the technological contributions that have been made.

“We have plans to expand, given the 5088’s unique architecture, which allows for diverse analog/DAW custom configurations,” Chock continues. “It’s a huge step forward for the MELE Program in a lot of different ways, both in the academic sense but also in the professional training that can happen here in Hawaii for other engineers and creative industries.”

Local architects Shimokawa + Nakamurahe designed the Mike Curb MELE Studio facilities, which include a classroom and two tracking rooms, and offer space for future expansion. Hidano Construction, also based in Honolulu, provided contractors for this project.

The 64-fader Rupert Neve Designs 5088 discrete analog console

The 5088 console houses 32 Portico 5032 mic pre/EQ modules plus a 5043 stereo compressor. All outboard gear is routed through a patchbay designed and installed by Belmont University’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment audio engineering faculty and Belmont Dean Wes Bulla. The outboard credenza racks include compressors, limiters and equalizers such as George Massenburg 8304, Universal Audio 1176N, LA-2A, Vintech Pre/EQ and Manley Variable Mu units. The studio also has Eventide 7600 and Lexicon PCM 96 DSP devices. All outboard analog gear is integrated with a Pro Tools HD4 Accel system loaded with UAD plug-ins.

MELE’s microphone cabinet includes models from Neumann, Shure, AKG, Manley, Earthworks, Audix, RØDE and Sennheiser. Studio B is set up with a Toft ATB24 console integrated with a Pro Tools LE system.

Students enrolling at the MELE program can elect to pursue an associate degree in music business and/or audio engineering with matriculation opportunities to Belmont’s Curb College.

For more information, visit, the MELE Program Web page and the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business at Belmont University.