Professional Drummer, Darby Todd, talks Neve Outboard

1st August 2014

My name is Darby Todd and I’m a freelance drummer based in London. Recently I’ve been working with The Darkness, Robert Plant, Ronnie Wood, Finlay Quaye, Alan Price from The Animals and Gareth Gates, to name a few.

Tell us about your studio
I built this studio here about four years ago because, increasingly, I would get phone calls from people saying ‘can you play on our record?’ and follow that up with ‘do you have a studio?’, and I realised at that point, with people’s budgets shrinking, that setting up my own studio and being able to record from my own space would be a good, practical thing to do.

Why did you choose the Neve 1073?
After about a year of recording, I decided I really needed to upgrade the mic pres in my studio. I looked online to try and get advice from other people and it was just a minefield of so many choices. But no matter what I read, everyone always seemed to come back to mentioning this thing, the 1073 by Neve.

Did you compare it to other mic pres?
I was lucky that the local audio store to me was willing to lend me some mic pres to try out. I tried several manufacturers, as well as the Neve, and for me the Neve 1073, for what I was looking for, outshone over the rest of them, by far.

What difference has the Neve 1073 made?
The quality of my recordings has increased massively. The warmth and the sound that comes out of these things is just fantastic. Everyone that listens to the tracks that I send back to them thinks they sound great and people that I’m doing new sets of tracks for, that I did on my old equipment, all seem to notice a difference in sound quality just by changing the mic pres.

Any final thoughts?
I still go to other big studios around London and other parts of the world to record and one thing that really validated my choice with the 1073, was the last time I was over at Sphere [studios] in Battersea. For the session they pulled out a big rack of vintage 1073s to put my drums through, which I thought was pretty cool. It just made me realise that I’d made the right choice.

Further credits:
Rick Parfitt Jnr
Buddy Whittington

“As well as using the 1073 DPA mic pres I also own the 4081 Mic Pre. I also love the sound that the 4081 gives me. I typically use it across my toms. It gives me a really tight focused punchy sound. The added pad allows me to sculpt the sound on the way in to Pro Tools and really drive the signal. Between the 4081 and the 1073 I find that I have all the mic pre options I need to record my drums to suit any style of music I may be asked to play on.

I knew that upgrading my pres would be an improvement to my studio sound but I had no idea that the Neves would improve my sound as much as they have. I highly recommend them. The great sound of many amazing records is far more affordable than you might think!!”