The Neve

By Hannes Bieger (Soundonsound)

“Even though the studio has been open for business for over 30 years, the story of how it came to be is almost as unlikely as a dream. Olivier Bloch-Lainé is a French musician and composer who has made over 700 soundtracks for films, commercials and television programmes — and became a studio owner in the most bizarre fashion.

“In 1980, walking in the street, I met a good musician friend of mine. He said ‘Olivier, I am going to an auction sale at Barclay Studio nearby right now, come with me!’

“Eddie Barclay’s place was a great-sounding, big studio complex where we did many sessions, it was like our Abbey Road in Paris. The studio was closing and selling all its gear. I did not have any plans or money to buy anything, and I never went to that kind of auction sale before, so I came in with my friend just for the fun. Once in the place, still for the fun, as a joke, I raised my hand at the very first bid on the main studio’s Neve desk, but: big surprise — nobody followed, and suddenly a voice said: ‘Going, going, gone!’ Five minutes before, I was walking in the street with no idea of anything, and suddenly I became the owner of the biggest desk custom-made by Neve in 1973. I was shocked and totally confused, because I did not know what to do with it, and although it was not expensive, I could not pay for it. I had to stay in the place all night until I had finally borrowed enough money so they let me go.

“This joke changed my life, because, from then, I was forced to find a place to install the desk and create a studio. A few days later, near the Seine river bank outside of Paris, I saw an old mansion for sale and I thought: this is exactly what I need! I sold my apartment in Paris and bought the manor in La Frette.”

Original Brochure

This brochure is the Neve’s original brochure from Studio Barclay in 1973.