56th Annual GRAMMY Awards

27th January 2014

Daft Punk were the big winners at the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday. The French dance duo took home Album of the Year, Best Engineered Album (non-classical) and Dance/Electronica Album for Random Access Memories and Record of the Year and Pop/Duo Group Performance for last year’s catchy “Get Lucky“, their collaboration with Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers.

Random Access Memories was recorded at various locations – including Electrical Lady Studios in New York and Capitol Studios in Hollywood. The duo used none other than Neve 1073 mic pres to record vocals and also live guitars, and recorded the orchestra in Studio A at Capitol Studios. Once the recordings were finished, mixdown took place at Conway Studio C (Hollywood) using the Neve 88R, which has 24 remote Neve mic pres, consisting of 12 1081Rs and 12 1081R Air versions.

They also spent a lot of time auditioning compressors with the Neve 33609 coming out on top. Daft Punk originally bought a vintage reconditioned 33609 but it didn’t quite produce the sound they wanted – so they traded it in and bought the 33609 that Conway Studios had because ‘everybody loved that one’.

Other GRAMMY winners included ‘Cut Me Some Slack’ (Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Krist Novoselic & Pat Smear) from “Sound City: Real to Reel” -– awarded Best Rock Song, while the film’s soundtrack was awarded Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media. “Sound City” is a 2013 documentary film produced and directed by Dave Grohl (his directorial debut) about the history of recording studio, Sound City Studios, in Los Angeles. It follows Grohl’s purchase of the studio’s custom analogue Neve 8028 console, which he moved to his personal studio, Studio 606. ‘Cut Me Some Slack’, and indeed the rest of the songs on the soundtrack were recorded on the Neve 8028.

It was also a triumphant night for British artists at the American awards show. Previous Grammy and Academy Award winner Adele won Best Song written for Visual Media for Skyfall (co-written by Paul Epworth). Adele’s vocal for the track was recorded in the classic studio to end all classic studios – Abbey Road, Studio 2 – on the 60-fader Neve 88RS console with SP2 scoring panel.  For the orchestral backing, Epworth used Abbey Road’s Studio 1.

Incidentally, ‘Skyfall’ also won a gong for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media. Abbey Road was again the choice, this time with Thomas Newman’s score recorded on the larger Studio 1 and the 72-fader Neve 88RS with Simon Rhodes as recording engineer. Here too, the SP2 scoring panel and stem-maker came into its own, for quicker, more efficient routing and easy delivery of the stem mixes to the final mix. Once again, for ‘Skyfall’, the 23rd Bond movie, AMS Neve’s flagship mixing consoles rose to the challenge.

Full list of GRAMMY winners can be found here.