He might be known as the former lead guitarist of The Band, but Robbie Robertson is also quite the audio engineer. What’s more, he’s spent a career sitting behind a classic recording console - a Neve 8014 - but he’s now decided that the time is right to sell it.
Speaking to Reverb about his first encounter with the console, Robertson said: "I realised it has a character, it has a sound, it has a warmth. I fell in love with this board, and I said personally to the board, ‘I'm gonna take you on a journey, pal, you're not gonna believe’. And I have."
Robertson has used the 16-channel board on countless projects down the years, including his eponymous solo album and recordings with the likes of Aaron Neville, Neil Young, The Meters, Eric Clapton, Tom Morello, Robert Randolph and more. He’s also relied on it for soundtrack work - it’s been heard in The Color of Money, Casino, Gangs of New York and more.
There’s been the odd upgrade - to the patchbay, for example - but this is the fundamentally the same classic console it always was, and Robertson is keen for it to be part of a new chapter in recording history.
"My dream would be that this console ends up in the hands of somebody that can totally feel the history of a piece of equipment like this and what it's been witness to and what it's complemented," Robertson says. "I've taken this on a journey that nobody could even imagine. The music that's gone through this board is just a phenomenon. I hope this ends up with somebody who completely appreciates the incredible journey that this board has been on. It is historic."