Producer Thai Long Ly adds Neve 1073DPX to his recording rig

Producer and engineer Thai Long Ly has enhanced his mobile recording rig by investing in a Neve 1073DPX dual preamp/EQ.

Over the years Ly has worked with some of the best in the business including George Duke, P!nk, Dionne Warwick, Stanley Clarke, Johnny Mathis, Vinnie Colaiuta, Thundercat, Kamasi Washington, Elle King and Robbie Williams. Since 2018, Ly has been the official recording engineer for Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ), a musical collective that reworks popular modern music into different vintage genres, in particular swing and jazz.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ly was based at Bell Sound studios, a commercial facility in Hollywood, California. But during the COVID-19 lockdowns, the studio switched its focus to recording voice overs and ADR, which forced Ly to relocate his equipment to his own home.

“I have a large mobile recording rig and passport at the ready so I can go anywhere I’m needed,” he explains. “With my current set up I am mainly mixing – I don’t do much tracking here, just the occasional vocal or instrument overdub.”

Adding a Neve 1073DPX was a crucial step, as Ly explains: “I already had 26 channels of various mic amps in the mobile rig, but I wanted to incorporate the fatness and warmth of Neve’s 10 series circuits into both of my setups so I could use them for tracking and mixing. With a pair of LINE INS, the 1073DPX is the perfect solution because it gives me two channels of the classic 1073 sound with *that* EQ, all in a two space rack. And for just $3,000 USD it was a total no brainer.”

Ly’s 1073DPX is not his first Neve purchase – he became a Neve fan in 2008 when he bought an 8816 summing mixer for his original home studio.

“I started off working In The Box but went hybrid when I bought my 8816 summing mixer,” he explains. “When I began working at Bell I used their Neve 8232 console and sent everything through that desk. This made for some incredibly fat mixes but it wasn’t sustainable as I got busier and busier.  I couldn’t leave a mix up for days on end, waiting on client’s notes and tweaks when I had sessions backing up, so I reverted to ITB out of necessity, but immediately hated it. I was working too hard for the separation and depth I was accustomed to but could never really get in the digital domain. This led me to a hybrid setup where I’d zero out the board and push stereo pairs through from Pro Tools.  Recalls were super easy as I’d only have to keep notes on the 2 bus chain and more importantly, I could continue to double and triple book my days.”

Now that Ly is mixing from home, he is 100% hybrid and has racks of outboard feeding his summing mixer and tethered to two 96 point TT patchbays.

“I know mixing ITB is simpler and plugins have come a long way but I still prefer the sound of electrons cruising through a vacuum along a circuit or the sweet mojo a transformer can inject,” he says.  “I consistently feel and hear the difference a nice discrete signal path makes over a digital one and plan on staying analogue hybrid for as long as I can. It’s more satisfying to crank a knob than a mouse, and I much prefer the workflow. Plus, it just sounds better.”