Side Alley Recording Steps Up to 90V with Rupert Neve Designs 5088 Console

Side Alley Recording owner Brett Mulzer has upgraded the studio’s main control room with the addition of a 32-channel Rupert Neve Designs 5088 discrete analog mixing console, which he purchased from Sweetwater in Fort Wayne, IN. The desk is configured with 26 Rupert Neve Designs Portico analog audio processing modules in the console’s penthouse section and is outfitted with 32 channels of Tonelux ShadowMix fader automation.

Mulzer, who has been recording for about three years, reveals that he had previously been working entirely within the digital domain, with outboard analog summing. “But I wanted to step up, so I decided to go for it and get the best out there,” he says, adding, “This board is just amazing.”

The complement of Portico modules fitted in the 5088 console includes nine 5012 Duo Mic Preamps, four 5015 Mic Pre/Compressors, four 5043 dual-channel Compressor/Limiters, and nine 5033 5-Band EQs. “I hope to fill it up some day,” he says, noting that, until then, the onboard Portico processing is complemented by additional outboard rack units. “I do my surgical EQ, taking care of problems, through plug-ins. But any kind of tone, any kind of warmth, anything that really matters, I get through my Porticos and a few outboard things.”

“When Brett first contacted me about putting a new console into his studio, we talked extensively about his needs and how the console would integrate with the rest of his equipment and his workflow,” relates Sweetwater sales engineer Bob Furlong. “It quickly became clear that the best choice for him was the Rupert Neve Designs 5088. The combination of ergonomics and features, along with incredible sound quality, made the 5088 the obvious mixer for his room.”

The installation of the 5088 is just the latest phase in the development of Mulzer’s music recording studio. “I switched over to [Avid] Pro Tools|HD3 through Apogee converters coming in and out of the board,” he reports. “I’ve never had a Rupert Neve Designs preamp of my own, but once I used these — man, they are unbelievable! I won’t be using anything but those, and a few of the other things that I have.”

Side Alley Recording features a 21 ft. x 20 ft. control room and a live room measuring 36 ft. x 33 ft., with a small isolation booth for vocals and a second, larger iso booth that is typically used for acoustic instruments, such as guitar, as well as vocal groups. Haverstick Designs, an acoustical consulting company based in central Indiana, tuned the control room. The facility was built out less than a year ago, according to Mulzer, “with the idea that I was going to be getting this larger desk. I do everything myself so I wanted everything close by. I wanted it very flexible, so I have everything within reach.”

The studio is located in Tell City, which is situated on the north bank of the Ohio River in southern Indiana. “The majority of the work I do is small projects for area customers and clients. Occasionally I’ll have a full-length album come in,” says Mulzer. “Since I typically work by myself I usually produce the sessions and also run all the equipment. The 5088’s routing and versatility makes my engineering job a little easier, allowing me to focus on getting a good performance, which is ultimately what I’m after in a session. Knowing the sonics are exactly what I’m looking for, and seeing the VU meters move around, gives me peace of mind that I will have a great tone when I am mixing the final product.”

Side Alley Recording clients span a variety of musical genres, he reports.”But it seems like the trend is going toward singer-songwriters these days. Right now I have two or three singer-songwriter projects going, some rock projects, a Christian hip-hop project; a little bit of everything.”


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About Rupert Neve Designs:
Founded by Rupert and Evelyn Neve, Rupert Neve Designs is built on passion, experience and a desire to create products embodying the highest musical quality. In continuing his legacy as a pioneer in audio circuit design, Mr. Rupert Neve is currently focusing his talents on creating innovative solutions to the issues facing the modern recording engineer. For further information on Rupert Neve Designs please visit:

Company Contact:
Rupert Neve Designs,
11 Flite Acres Road,
Wimberly, TX 78676.
Tel: (512) 847-3013
Fax: (512) 847-8869