Pro Audio Pioneer Rupert Neve Dies Aged 94

Legendary audio engineer, recording equipment inventor and entrepreneur, Rupert Neve has died due to non-COVID-19 related pneumonia and heart failure, aged 94.

Neve’s passions sparked a brilliant design career spanning over 80 years, during which he founded several historic companies, created the most revered analogue audio equipment of all time, and became the most trusted name in sound.

He founded Neve Electronics in 1961 and designed the first ever commercial transistor-based mixing console for Phillips Studio in London. In the '70s, Neve mixing boards defined the sound of classic rock, while arguably one of his most influential inventions is the Neve 1073 preamplifier. He established Rupert Neve Designs in 2005.

His death was announced on February 13 on the Rupert Neve Designs website. He spent his final days in Wimberley, Texas, where he and his wife Evelyn have lived for 27 years.

At 94, Neve remained engaged and passionate about his work, spending most days on a perpetual series of audio electronics projects and continuing to mentor the Neve engineering team on numerous design and development projects.

“I’ve known and worked with Rupert for nearly 30 years,” said Josh Thomas, Rupert Neve Designs’ co-founder and general manager. “When Rupert, his wife Evelyn, and I sat at his kitchen table and founded Rupert Neve Designs 16 years ago, he had two goals. The first was to set a new standard in the quality of recorded sound, drawing upon his unparalleled depth of experience to create high-end solutions for the modern recording engineer, musician, and listener alike. The second was to pass on his philosophies, techniques, and methodologies to a new generation of designers to carry his life’s work and passion into the future.

“It was always assumed that the company would outlive him on this earth, and for 16 years he poured his energies into creating a team that would become the caretakers of the theories, practices, and ideologies that truly constitute a Rupert Neve design.

“All of us at the company are exceedingly grateful for the years of careful instruction and mentoring with which he has blessed us, and we will continue to preserve his legacy in everything we do moving forward. The world certainly sounds better because he was here.”

Often credited as the man who created the recording console, Neve received countless accolades throughout his life, including a Lifetime Achievement Technical Grammy Award in 1997, Studio Sound Magazine’s Audio Person of the Century Award in 1999, an Audio Engineering Society Fellowship Award in 2006, and 16 TEC (Technical Excellence and Creativity) Awards with Rupert Neve Designs.

A full obituary / media brief and photographs are available here: