Rupert Neve

Dave Grohl and Rick Rubin in front of the Neve 8028.

This Neve 8028 has helped record many rock hits. Unlike many studio mixing desks used to make hit songs, this desk only has 24 tracks. It forced many artists to make creative decisions to help make sure that the song would work in 24 tracks. Dave Grohl (Drummer for Nirvana) said “One of the things I think that makes good music is some sort of…restrictions…”. In this blog I will go through the history behind the console but most importantly the man behind the invention, Rupert Neve.

How it came on to the scene Sound city documentary. I highly recommend the watch. It’s ok Amazon Prime

Firstly let’s jump into the history of this mixing console to show you just how only 1 of many mixing consoles designed by Neve impacted the music industry. You can’t talk about this console without talking about the recording studio that brought It to popularity, Sound city in Los Angeles. From the 1970s onwards this recording studio would be associated with a ridiculous amount of great music. Some great artists include Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Neil Young and Rage against the machine. Dave Grohl (In charge of making the sound city documentary who I mention alot in this recorded at Sound city with Nirvana in 1991. It changed rock music to say the least. Dave Grohl stated that during the 60s and 70s recording equipment had just begun to improve and Neve consoles were being installed in a majority of studios at that time. It was like the ‘cadillac” of consoles. Yet it was simple he said. Anytime an artist would record on the Neve 8028 their recording would make them sound better with a warm rich timbre. It sounded real yet better according to Dave. Alot of artists when recording tend to focus on the microphone or what room the recording is in but the Neve 8028 made artists such as Dave Grohl think about the impact that the mixing console may have.

Rupert Neve Rupert Neve.

Now let’s jump into talking about the main man, Rupert Neve was a British engineer born in 1926 on July 31. He was considered a pioneering designer of professional audio recording equipment. He even served his country well during World War 2. He was enlisted in the Royal Corp of Signals which had the purpose of providing communication support to the army. After the war he could focus on things that he loved so in the 1960s he did just that and founded Neve Electronics in 1961. After that comes in great tracks that would define the genre as discussed previously.

Neve’s EQ design Neve 8028

One of Neve’s many great achievements was the creation of his flagship EQ design, which would be implemented in most of the mixing console for years to come. The “Neve sound” as it’s referred to. This great idea came from his idea to remove the need to rerecord after a live performance.


Rupert Neve’s Technical grammy.

To my eyes this man can be seen as the Steve Jobs of audio equipment. What he has done for the industry as a whole is phenomenal to the point where even artists praise the genius. However I must inform you that he unfortunately passed away on February 21st 2021. Rest in peace to a king. We won’t leave it on a sad note however cos in 1997 he was awarde with a technical Grammy for his achievements within the field.

Practical Research

Roland TR808

An iconic machine

One amazing audio electronic device that has been brought up many times in the music industry, has to be mentioned on one of my blogs. It’s iconic for its memorable drums sounds such as the 808 kick, 808 snare, hi hat and many more. The Roland TR808 is the origin for the “808s” and it became popularized through many hit songs in hip-hop. In this blog I will go through the history of this machine and its impact on music and audio electronics.

History Ikutaro Kakehashi. Legendary Japanese Engineer.

Funnily enough you would think that my praise in the introduction would mean that it somewhat was commercially a success. However that is not the case. Quite the opposite. But let’s rewind time a bit to its invention. It was created by Ikutaro Kakehashi in 1980. He was born in Osaka and got his start through repairing broken watches and clocks later going on to graduate and earn a degree in mechanical engineering. He founded Roland Corporation in 1972 and began creating synthesisers and drum machines. What separated his iconic TR808 sound was the drum machine did not replicate accurate drum set sounds, it did more of a futuristic drum sound. Most memorable was the bass heavy sound.

Impact on music

It’s tricky by Run DMC. Picture provided by Amazon.

The Roland TR808’s impact on music has been phenomenal to say the least. Although it failed commercial and it’s product line discontinued, its drum sounds were in many top hip hop hits. It spawned many great artists and a new type of artist coined with the nickname “bedroom producers”. Nowadays bedroom producers are quite the common way of how people get interested into music such as myself. One great artist is Rick Rubin who used one in his NYU dorm. The first hit to be associated with the TR808 was Planet Rock by Afrika Bambaataa in 1982. Then it was Marvin Gaye’s Sexual healing that brought it up to mainstream success. Famous tracks include it’s Tricky by Run DMC, Rock the Bells by LL Cool J, Emergency Room by Rihanna and Kanye even created an album called 808s and Heartbreaks. Many of these famous hits are in the genre of hip hop however nowadays this drum machine is being used in genres other than hip hop such as EDM. In my experience listening I started to notice that after doing some research and it is quite interesting to see how an audio electronic can have such a massive impact on the music industry.

Audio electronic impact 8raw8 drum machine. Similar to the TR808

Many of Roland’s competitors have tried to recreate this product such as Behringer’s RD 808. It doesn’t even try to hide the fact that it’s trying to make an exact clone. HINT HINT, the names are very similar. The 8raw8 analog drum expander is quite an interesting “clone”. I recommend taking a look at it. Here is the link. . I don’t necessarily dislike these “clones”, in fact I welcome innovation as it always leads to beautiful spurs of spontaneous art.

A great machine.

Picture provided by Amazon Prime Video. Great documentary about everything you need to know on the Roland TR808.

Wow! This research on the TR808 has been quite fun. It’s quite amazing how technology can impact. Maybe one day I could be like Ikutaro Kakehashi ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. If you enjoyed reading this blog I recommend watching the documentary 808 available on Amazon Prime. That being said I was surprised to see how much I enjoyed this research so I am looking forward to researching another famous piece of hardware in audio electronics. The Neve 8028 mixing desk!!!. See you on the next blog post :D.


Electronic circuits Electronic circuit

A discussion I had with a friend of mine made him ask me a very good question. This discussion began when I had told him about my project. I told him it included building an electrical circuit with some code running through it. He then asked me is it the same type of circuit as one used in a computer. To which I replied, I actually do not know. Thus began my research on Christmas Eve on a mission to find the answer to the question that was asked.

What is an electronic circuit?

A chip is a tiny piece of silicon. A chip may be a single transistor or an integrated circuit made up of interconnected transistors. Chips are encapsulated in an airtight plastic or ceramic enclosure called a package.

There are 2 types of integrated circuits or ICs: Monolithic and Hybrid. Monolithic ICs contain the entire circuit on one single chip. The amount of transistors they have can range from a few to millions. Hybrid ICs have a circuit with several chips inside the package. The chips in a hybrid IC may have transistors, capacitors and Monolithic IC chips.

Printed Circuit Boards/ PCBs

A PCB holds an electronic circuit together. The completed PCB with components attached is called a printed circuit boardassembly or PCBA for short.

Most important part of an electronic circuit are the transistors. Diodes act as valves to allow current flow in only one direction. Other passive components that we are familiar with already are the capacitor and resistor. An inductor is one that we have yet to encounter. Its commonly found in electronic circuits and its purpose is to store up energy in the form of a magnetic field. They are uncommon and found usually more in larger powered circuits.

Most PCBs are created using CAD (computer aided design). Many of the circuits we see in computers today are extremely complex and use millions of transistors, therefore requiring CAD.

The Answer to the Question

Well after all that research I have come to the conclusion. The Answer is yes and no. While it may be similar is it’s use of same components, the PCBs are much more powerful and require more technical skill and knowledge to produce or manufacture. However that’s not to say that the circuits used in electrical engineering aren’t as complex. Quite the contrary, I appreciate both branches of engineering and how they apply in the real world it different situations. Furthermore it has made me notice the difference between electronic and electrical engineering.

Project Research

Music Theory

Since I have to find the music sheet for the melodies I have chosen, it is a wise choice to make the time to do some research on music theory. My music theory is adequate enough for the task at hand however it could use some basic revision to help make the research easier. I did some research on the 20th of November after going into town for some component shopping. Here is what I found.


Scales are a group of notes arranged by ascending or descending order of pitch. The two most common types of scales used in western music are usually major and minor. The key or pitch the scale is played in determines which notes can be played. For example Imagine by John Lennon is played in the key of C major. These notes include all the white keys on a piano. C, D, E, F, G, A, B.

Major scale

Major scales are defined by there combinations of whole steps and half steps. It goes like this. They have 7 notes Whole – Whole – Half – Whole – Whole – Whole – Half. You may use this with any note on the keyboard. If you start with G it would be a G Major scale and it’s note are G, A, B, C, D, E, F#. Major scales are mostly associated with happy or joyous feeling music.

Minor scale Minor scale formula

Minor scales are similar to major scales. The difference is the order of the combination of whole and half steps. Minor scales are defined by having a flattened third. A flattened third means the third note of the scale is three semitones above the first note and not 4 unlike the major scale. The formula for the minor scale is Whole – Half – Whole – Whole – half – Whole – Whole. Music in minor scale tends to be sad and melancholy.

Melody sheet ABC by Jackson 5

Now that the basics have been reviewed. Let’s compile a list of the melodies I want to play on my project and their melodie notation.

ABC by Jackson 5:

D  E G
“A B C”

B    B-A  G   D E G
It’s easy as 1 2 3

B     B-A    G    D   E   G
As simple as do re mi

A B G   B A G
A B C,  1 2 3

G-G     A      B     B     G
Baby, you and me girl

Still Dre by Dr. dre

Still Dre by Dr Dre: Right hand A E C x8, A E B, G E B x5. Left hand: A A (First AEC) B B (Seventh A E C) E E (First A E B), E E (Fourth G E B) What a wonderful world by Louis Armstrong

What a wonderful world by Louis Armstrong:

C   E      F      A    ^C
I see trees of green,

^D  ^D-^D  ^C
Red roses too

Bb Bb   Bb       A
I see them bloom,

G      G     G     F
For me and you

F       F    F      F      F – F
And I think to myself,

F         F      E – F – G       A
What a wonderful world.

Minor issue

I realised after looking at all the notation that my ability to play a piano is not really up to par. Alongside building the circuit, minor (see what I did there) practice may be required or just playing the melodies constantly until it sounds coherent enough to enjoy.

Planning Project Research

A run into error

Hi so you may have noticed on my previous blogs that my project suddenly made a component change and had a new component review blog. This is because during this project I was behind due to personal reasons. Due to that I was left during Christmas behind on schedule and when it came to building the circuit there were no tutorials or help I could go to during this time.

Below are the pictures of the schematic and what my circuit looked like when I couldn’t get it to work.

My circuit.
Schematic for melody shaper

I ensured that all the values of the components were correct such as the capacitor being at 100uF. Possible errors may be from how the jumper wires are connected. However my main speculation is that the battery is suppose to be the external power source plugged into the Arduino separately


I continued to rearrange the circuit in order to get it working however it was to no avail. It felt as if I was continuously going the wrong direction when looking for my destination. At times I nearly felt like giving up however I remember one thing, the power of the internet! Just one problem there were no tutorials at all on this. So instead I jumped to another project. This one.

This was called the Arduino mini piano. One key difference I noticed was the code programmed the push buttons to play individual notes rather than coded melodies that would play after being uploaded to the circuit. This was interesting as it made me notice that I could compile a pros and cons list for the two and compare them.

Project time!

I jumped straight into it, as you can see on the previous blog with the component review. Now it is time to build this new mini Arduino project and play the melodies intended.


Audio circuits!

Surfing the internet many interesting things come up such as the Top 10 video games of the year or cute and funny cat videos. However that not what has caught my attention this past week. Funnily enough it has been the topic of audio electronics. Audio circuits to be more precise. I browsed the internet on audio circuits and I came across a few interesting websites that detailed a lot about how to build simple circuits with Arduino. In the following blog post I will detail some simple Arduino board circuits to help me understand audio electronics much better and hey!, if you find anything interesting feel free to try them yourself.

Arduino Uno REV3


RGB has been getting ever so popular with gaming products on the rise in terms of sales and production. I’ve always wondered how they work and I finally found the circuit that showed just that.
To begin the parts needed are:

  • (1) Arduino Uno
  • (1) USB A-to-B cable
  • (1) Breadboard
  • (1)RGB LED
  • (3 )300 ohm Resistor
  • (5) jumper wires
arduino uno projects for beginners
RGB LED circuit

Connect the Arduino board to a computer using a USB cable. Download the file Circuit_09_RGBLED and open the project code in Arduino.
Select the board and serial port so that the code is able to run through the board. Ensure everything is running and once that is done, click the upload button to send the sketch to Arduino.
What should follow is that the LED will turn on and change different colours.

RGB fan for a computer. Nowadays it is very common to see an average gamer have something RGB related.

Push Button

Learning how to create a circuit with a push button is important if you want to learn to create anything as a majority of products have buttons with functions on it. This specific circuit that I am going to show has an LED light switch on after a press of a button. For me, learning how this circuit works is beneficial as it opens up the idea of adding buttons to my. project. These are the parts you are going to need:

  • Arduino uno
  • USB A to B cable
  • Breadboard – half size
  • 1 LED 5mm
  • 220 Ohm resistor
  • 10k ohm resistor
  • push button switch
  • 6 jumper wires

Connect the Arduino board to a computer using a USB cable. Download the file and code related to this project on and open the project code in Arduino.
Select the board and serial port so that the code is able to run through the board. Ensure everything is running and once that is done, click the upload button to send the sketch to Arduino.
What should follow is that the LED will turn on after a press of a button.

Working with an LED and a Push Button - Arduino Project Hub

Much More

I could spend more time detailing more circuits on how to make them however I’ll just leave it at these 2. When you learn 1 circuit it is possible to combine these circuits to complete ‘harder’ functions. For example a circuit with a button should look similar regardless if the function is to turn on a button that makes a noise or emits a light. Overall the world of electronics is daunting at first however if you take it step by step and circuit by circuit it all comes together.


Loudness and its relation to electronics

An interesting thought

How Harmful is Loud Music on Your Hearing? - Collin County ENT
Suppose to be a representation of me listening to music.

Last night I sat chilling in my room with the music playing aloud. I was enjoying my music and increased the volume. The battery on the speaker was blinking red indicating that it was going to run out unless I charge it. It noticeably got quieter and I thought to myself “hmmm does the amount of power or voltage determine how loud the speaker can get?” That thought then led me to think about my project and specifically the piezo speaker. I immediately went on to my laptop to conduct some research. In this blog post I will share my findings and my thoughts on how it may help me on my project.

Basics first

Before jumping into how loudness is related to power, lets stick to the basics first. What is loudness, power and how is sound actually produced in a speaker is important to understand as it will give us an understanding to how power or voltage may be linked to it.

Power and Voltage

Power in this case is referred as watts. Watts are the units of measure we Voltage is the pressure from an electrical circuit’s power source that pushes charged electrons (current) through a conducting loop, enabling them to do work such as illuminating a light.

File:Ohm's law triangle (VIR).jpg - Wikimedia Commons VIR triangle for determining the voltage, resistance or current of a circuit.


Put simply, loudness is the level or intensity of sound. It is measured in decibels or dB. It uses a logarithmic scale meaning it is the inverse function to exponentiation. In laymen terms when it comes to adding loudness level you must use a mathematical equation in order to get the right answer. Decibels cannot be added together .


A loudspeaker produces sound through converting electrical signals into sound waves in the following way. A current within in the coil create a magnetic field which interacts with the permanent magnet generating a force, which then pushes the cone outwards. The current in the cone is meant to flow in the opposite direction. The direction of the magnetic field reverses and the force of the cone then pulls it back in. The repeatedly alternating current direction makes the cone vibrate in and out and these vibrations cause pressure variations in the air. Hence sound is produced. It is important to know that to make loudspeaker cone vibrate correctly, the electric current must vary in the same way as the desired sound.

Moving coil loudspeaker, diagram - Stock Image - C050/8197 - Science Photo  Library
Loudspeaker diagram

Now that we know how sound is produced in a loudspeaker we can come up with the conclusion that loudness is related to power and voltage. (When I was at this stage of research I became more intrigued because I had realized that this newfound knowledge was going to affect the project in some way). It was then the time to find out how loudness is related to power and voltage. Here is what I found.

Loudness and its relation to voltage and power

This chart below represents the relationship between all the terms we had previously discussed.

dB ChangeVoltagePowerLoudness

Here we can see on the chart that there is no consistent increase between any of the different units. From what we can conclude here is that to get a doubling of loudness, an increase of 10dB is necessary. Furthermore, to reproduce that volume through the loudspeakers in the first place, would require ten times more power from the amplifier.


Emoji symbols
Happy man (me)

Overall I am very happy with my findings as it answered many of my previous questions I had in mind before beginning the project. The main takeaway from this for me is now I understand why my piezo speaker may not produce a lot of sound in comparison to a normal PA system. I may also improve my second version with the thought that I can improve the speakers in mind.


Component review


UK Power Networks - Circuit Components

In my previous blog, I detailed how I reviewed my notes in order to ease the process of building my project. This is a continuation with a review of the basic components of a circuit.

Key concept

  • Understand what a resistor, LED, capacitor and transistor do


Resistor Stock Photo - Download Image Now - iStock

Resistor: A resistor is a passive electrical component that implements electrical resistance in a circuit. In audio they are used to adjust signal levels. There are many different types of resistors with different values and they determine how much resistance there is within a circuit.

Different resistors can be identified through the colour of their bands.

Resistor Colour Code
Resistor colour band chart

Transistors: A semiconductor device used to amplify or switch electrical signals and electrical power. In simple terms it can turn a current on or off. The two most common transistors are BJT and MOSFET.
Bipolar Junction Transistor: Has 3 legs and includes 3 parts. Base, collector and emitter. If you turn it on the current will be able to flow from the collector to the emitter. If its turned off then it does not work.

Application of bipolar junction transistor (BJT) - Polytechnic Hub
BJT Transistor

MOSFET: It has 3 pins. Gate, source and drain. One important difference between the two is that in the BJT transistor, the current from base to emitter decides how much current can flow from collector to emitter. In MOSFET transistor, the voltage between gate and source decides how much current can flow from drain to source.

Nettigo: N-channel MOSFET transistor, 60V, 16A
MOSFET Transistor

Why a transistor: A great advantage the transistor provides is that you can use a small voltage/current to control a much larger voltage/current.
Furthermore in audio a transistor allows for the existence of an amplifier on and off state.

Capacitor: Much like the name states, a capacitor stores electrical energy in a circuit. It is a passive electrical component with two terminals allowing for connections to both the positive and negative side. Capacitor work like filters. In audio it is quite literal that they are used in LPF/HPF. A clock is an example of an everyday object that uses a transistor.

How Does A Capacitor Work? - Build Electronic Circuits

LED: An LED or light emitting diode is a semiconductor light source that emits light when current flows through it. Its function is to light up if a current flows through it to show that a current is flowing. It is very common and can be seen in many everyday things such as a laptop.

What Is An LED (Light-Emitting Diode)? - Build Electronic Circuits

Practice makes perfect

Now that the basic components have been reviewed, the best way to understand them is to get a hands on experience with them. For my case, before I begin building my circuit I will build basic circuits with the help of circuit diagrams in order to make the whole project easier to understand.

Circuit Diagram | MyDraw
Circuit Diagram


A Fundamental Review

A rapid review

Ultimate Guide to Audio Output - Headphonesty
Different audio Outputs

Before beginning any hands on work for the melody maker, A rapid fire review of the fundamentals of audio electronics was required for me in order to ensure the project runs smoothly. In this blog I will run through concepts that are key to this project so that it may ease the difficulty of the project. You may also learn something however if you choose to stay and read 😀


First things to focus on were the fundamentals. How do circuits actually work. 2 concepts are key to understanding them:

  • Closed loop
  • Voltage, Current and Resistance

Closed loop: Electrons can only flow if there is a closed loop – a path from the negative to the positive terminal of a battery. An example of where a closed loop occurs is a light bulb. Connecting the light bulb to both the positive and negative side of the battery will allow the electrons to flow in order to make it shine a light.

Voltage: Voltage is what makes the electrons move in a circuit. It pushes them onto a wire and the more we have the more ‘power’ we have. In audio more voltage allows for a louder volume. This is why you tend to see small speakers requiring less volts while big loudspeakers or PA systems would require 50 – 100V. V is the symbol for volts.
Resistance: Resistance is a measure of the opposition to current flow in an electrical circuit. The opposite of voltage you could say. It is measured in ohms. Ω is the symbol for resistance.
Current: Current can be described as the rate at which electrons flow past a certain point in a complete electrical circuit. It is measured in amperes. I is the symbol for resistance.

Ohm’s Law

Ohms Law Tutorial and Power in Electrical Circuits
Ohm’s Law

Ohm’s Law states that electric current is proportional to voltage and inversely proportional to resistance.
To remember Ohm’s law just remember this simple triangle. VIR. Voltage, Current and Resistance. Lets say you want to find voltage for a circuit that you are building. Using the triangle you cover your hand over V and what you are left with is I and R. This means Voltage = Current multiplied by Resistance. Using this formula you can find the voltage if the current and resistance is known. You can also do this with finding the current of a complete circuit. Simply hover your hand over I and we can see that V and R are left. V divided by R = I. Overall this is a simple method to help remember Ohm’s law!

More to learn

Now that we remember how a circuit works, we must know review what components make up a circuit and what their function is. This will be featured in my next blog.


Into the World of Arduino

What is it?

Arduino Course for Beginners - Open-Source Electronics Platform - YouTube
Arduino course for beginners –

Arduino is the centre of my project and without it, my project would not be able complete its function (play musical notes). Arduino is a software, IDE specifically, and it allows for computer programmers or coders to write program/code in order to perform functions with a breadboard. Arduino can be downloaded so that it may be used offline or the use of a web editor is also available if you do not want to download it. Arduino code is written in C++.

My Experience

Never used Arduino before however once seeing that it was an IDE similar to Visual Code Studio, my confidence increased as I had experience in coding with Python before. Although my project and python practice may be different in terms of how everything is coded, the fundamentals of the IDE is the same. So far Arduino for me has been quite smooth yet the potential of Arduino is near limitless as I can see how far advanced users may use Arduino. An Arduino board is connected to a laptop/desktop and the code that is written in the IDE, has its functions carried out on the board. Overall it was fun and exciting prospect to getting hands on with Arduino. However safety and care is important. Make sure to avoid eating and drinking around the Arduino board as liquid and crumbs do not go well with the board!!! I had to write this here to remind myself :D.

Everything You Need to Know About Arduino Code
Arduino code –

Format of Code

When writing code for Arduino, Arduino uses a “if-then” structure. All this means in laymen terms is, if a certain condition is met then the board will perform a task such as turning on a sensor. It can be divided into 4 different parts. The setup involves writing code that performs things that only need to be done once. The inputs are then written. The inputs will be used as conditions. The data is then manipulated to perform a function/calculations. The output is the “then” part of “if-then”. If everything is coded correctly then the board should perform said task.

Arduino Starter Kit Multi-language
Arduino Starter Kit –

Arduino’s Versatility

Overall Arduino’s ability to be versatile is very impressive. Initially I underestimated the power of the board and I am left pleasantly surprised with my findings after hours of research. One of my concerns had been if it was too basic however it was simple yet advanced enough for users to build something complex. I was left in awe with how many options people can have with a board.

Smiley face with thumbs up stock illustration. Illustration of drawing -  14491322