Award-winning tape saturation emulation with genuine tape drive circuitry.
The Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5042 Tape Emulator won the 2006 TEC award for signal processing hardware. The Neve 5042 provides a remarkable simulation of true tape sound through the inclusion of genuine tape drive circuitry. When the Tape circuit is not engaged, the Portico 5042 Tape Emulator may be used as a full, transformer-coupled, high-performance line amplifier that includes a gain range of + and -12dB.
The Portico 5042 2-Channel "True Tape" Emulation and Line Driver unit's emulation circuit provides the nostalgic rounding and compression usually only achieved by the use of recording tape. This typically offsets the harshness often found in digital recordings. The Portico 5042 incorporates an actual tape drive circuit that feeds a tiny magnetic "head" which, in turn, is coupled to a correctly equalized, replay amplifier. The only thing missing is the tape itself!
Portico Series Awards:
Rupert Neve Designs has been honored three TEC Awards since its inception in 2005. The Portico 5042 "True Tape" Emulator won for achievement in the category of Signal Processing Technology/Hardware. The Portico 5015 Mic Pre/Compressor (#482645) won for achievement in the category of Mic Preamplifier Technology. The 5088 Discrete Analogue Mixer won for achievement in the category of Large Format Console Technology.
Rupert Neve Designs received the Mix Certified Hit Award in 2006 for the 5088 Console and the Portico Range.
Rupert Neve Designs received the Future Music Platinum Award for the Portico Range in 2007.
How it works:
The Portico 5042 Tape Emulator consists of two identical line driving amplifiers having transformer balanced inputs and outputs. The sonic quality of these amplifiers is such that, by providing galvanic isolation, simple single-sided circuit topology and freedom from grounding problems they are capable of enhancing the sonic quality of many signal sources, especially those of digital origin. The sonic "signature" is one of extreme purity and the image is consistent with that of Rupert Neve's original designs of 35-40 years ago.
The Portico 5042 host line amplifier has a much higher output level capability than the "tape" circuit embodied within it. The gain of the Record and Replay amplifiers has been adjusted so that with the TRIM control set to 0 dBu, and the ENGAGE TAPE button out, an incoming signal of 0 dBu, will cause the first meter LED to illuminate.
Now, with the Engage Tape button pressed and the Saturation control at Min, the same first meter LED will continue to light regardless of whether the meter button is set to Input Level or Tape Level. This is the minimum recommended record level. When the Saturation control is rotated to Max, this is the maximum recommended record level.
An input signal level that is appreciably below 0dBu (the 0 dB LED on the meter not lighting at all), for example, if you are feeding the Portico 5042 from a consumer hi-fi source, the tape effect still works but you might have to make up gain elsewhere in your system. Of course this would tend to bring up noise, just as it would on a real tape recorder.
If the incoming signal is low, (for example from a consumer hi-fi source), it is recommended that you rotate the Trim control clockwise to bring the incoming signal level up to the point where the first, or Line Up LED is just illuminated. However, with the meter switched to Tape Level, when you rotate the Saturation control clockwise the Tape Level meter progressively illuminates. At Max, with an incoming 0dBu signal, the Tape circuit is running just below clipping point.
The main output signals come from the output transformer secondary which is balanced and ground free. A ground-free connection ensures virtual freedom from hum and radio frequency interference due to ground loops. Ideally the output of this module should be fed to a balanced destination such as the input to another Portico module or one of the many high quality vintage modules still in current use. The main outputs may be used with one leg grounded without any change in performance.
Maximum output level of the Portico 5042 is +25dBu, which provides a large margin over and above the likely maximum requirement of any destination equipment to which the Portico 5042 is connected.
If you'd like to rackmount a single Portico, Neve offers the Half Rack Joining Kit (see #482654). Or to rackmount two Portico units, Neve offers its Horizontal Joining Kit (see #482653). Another option for mounting single half rack units is the Raxxess Universal Rack Shelf (see #421642).
Mr. Rupert Neve — the grandfather of pro audio
If anyone could be considered for the title, "Grandfather of Pro Audio," the first name that would leap to mind would be Mr. Rupert Neve.
Recognized as the developer of the modern mixing console, Rupert's handiwork is found in thousands of studios around the world.
In 1997, Rupert became one of a very few personal recipients of a Technical Grammy award. In awarding his Grammy, the Recording Academy acknowledged Rupert's profound impact on the industry:
Mr. Rupert Neve Grammy Honors
"For setting the standard for quality sound reproduction through his engineering and his innovative designs, which have made possible unparalleled advances in the quality of recorded sound; in recognition of his influence on a generation of audio designers; and for his dedication to purity of audio reproduction."
The morning following the amazing Grammy Awards ceremony in February 1997, Rupert and Evelyn Neve hired a stretch limo to take them to the airport. After all, for that day at least, Rupert was a star. Carrying the coveted Grammy Trophy in its distinctive blue Tiffany bag, they headed for security.
"What is this?" the security guard asked, puzzled by the strange image on her screen. "It's our Grammy," Rupert replied. The girl looked startled and in hushed tones said, "I'm so sorry sir. You'll have to check this. We can't carry ashes in the cabin."
"No, no, no," Rupert explained. "My Grammy - not Granny. Have a look if you like." She opened it up and for a moment security at the airport came to a standstill as girls screamed and all gazed in awe at the beautiful replica gramophone. It was almost the best moment of the whole proceeding.
Mix Magazine Hall of Fame
In 1989, Rupert was inducted into the Mix Magazine Tech Awards Hall of Fame in recognition of his lifetime contribution to excellence in recording and sound.
An Elite Fraternity
In 1999 he was honored as "Man of the Century" by Studio Sound magazine.
It is Rupert's prized honor to have been selected by his peers in the Pro Audio business as number one Audio Personality of the 20th Century.
At the turn of the century, Studio Sound conducted a survey inviting readers to vote for the Top Ten personalities of the industry in various disciplines. The first was Audio Personality.
The Audio Century: Top Ten Audio Personalities of the 20th Century
1. Rupert Neve - champion of audio quality
2. Ray Dolby - household name
3. Sir George Martin - people's producer
4. Willi Studer - tape machine pioneer
5. Colin Saunders - founder of SSL
6. Alan Blumlein — inventor
7. Georg Neumann - microphone designer
8. Michael Gerzon - mathematician
9. Valdemar Poulsen — inventor
10. Les Paul - guitars and multitracks