AMS Neve has always been one of the leading names in the professional audio industry. However, many of their products were large analogue consoles. So for many with home studios, Neve products have been a bit out of reach. Neve has kept up with the times, however, and created products aimed for these smaller studios. One such product is the 8816 Summing Mixer.
Right out of the box, you may be surprised at the size of this device. The 8816 hangs 14 inches behind the rack braces. It’s not as heavy as you might expect, though. The smooth, sleek knobs and buttons might not seem too durable, but the 8816 is actually solidly built. Part of the lightness is due to the back that the power supply is external. Don’t be overwhelmed by the many different controls on the front—you’ll get used to them, and they really give you many different options. This is more than just a 16-to-2 mix engine, after all.
The 8816 can be summed up in one word, and that word is “flexibility.” You’ll be amazed at how much you can do. Part of this is because almost every knob and button has two functions, which means you’ll need to be certain you’re on the right setting each time. You’ll have no trouble with that after reading the handbook (a must in this case). Some controls aren’t really intuitive.
But how does it sound? The mixing system works very well. The 8816 uses the same software as Neve’s other 88-series units. If you’re familiar with this software, called Recall, then you’ll have no trouble jumping right in after you’ve got the controls down. The 8816 has a lot of headroom and gives your mixes that classic transformer mixing topology that people love. It sounds very analogue. The 8816 isn’t cheap, though: it retails for $3,650.