AMS Neve Heaven for 007

25th October 2012

The name is Bond – James Bond. It’s a phrase synonymous with the most famous franchise in movie history.

And with cinema’s most compelling soundtracks, from the iconic Bond theme, through the smash hit Bond songs, to the explosive sonic backdrop to the on-screen action. Hitting all those targets within a tight-production schedule is a complex mission that demands state-of-the-art precision audio. Once again, for Skyfall, the 23rd Bond movie, AMS Neve’s flagship mixing consoles rose to the challenge.

Target #1 – The Theme. Performed by Adele, co-written by Adele and Paul Epworth with orchestrations by JAC Redford, Skyfall (the song) has already established itself as a classic.  No surprise.  Adele’s vocal 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.  As well as rocketing to the top of the iTunes charts within minutes of its release, the song was a hit at a recent auction of Bond memorabilia, where a signed copy of the score raised – £13,750 ($22,000) for charity.

Target #2 – The Film Score.  The orchestra is massive, and so is the sound.  But it also has to be recorded with classical perfection, against a deadline and delivered for easy incorporation into the final soundtrack.  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.


Target #3 – The Final Mix.  De Lane Lea, in Soho, London, was (as with Quantum of Solace) the choice for the re-recording mix, where the dialogue, effects and music stems are combined in the finished soundtrack.  Scott Millan and Greg P Russell were the re-recording engineers manning the 80-fader DFC Gemini in Studio 1, and utilising its ultra-powerful dual-engine USP processing and time-saving Encore:2 Automation to deliver the perfect mix, on time and bang on target.

Mission accomplished, Mr Bond.  And by the way, the name is Neve… AMS Neve.