Belly of the Beast installs UK’s first Neve 8424
Tuesday, 1 December 2020
james-randProducer, mix engineer and studio manager James Rand
UK - South London studio Belly of the Beast has become the first facility in the UK to install a Neve 8424 console.
The studio pre-ordered the desk prior to its release in June, following an in-depth demo that highlighted its full range of features. Designed to offer a centralised platform between the worlds of analogue and digital, this small format console delivers the large format sound of the Neve 80-series console range and is well suited to studios like Belly of the Beast where esoteric and vintage outboard equipment play a significant role in the facility’s workflow.
“For studios like ours where you have a large and varied collection of preamps, EQs and interesting bits of outboard gear, this desk is ideal because it provides a very logical system to bring all of those elements together,” says producer, mix engineer and studio manager James Rand. “We now have an architecture where we can route our preamps directly into the console and send the sound wherever we need it. This makes life a lot more exciting because what used to be a faff to set up is now much simpler and easier.”
Based in Forest Hill, Belly of the Beast is owned by producer and manager of Dizzee Rascal, Nick Cage. The studio was set up as a private facility but in recent years – certainly since James Rand and musician/engineer Raf Rundell began working there – it has become an end to end facility where artists have access to a team of writers, session musicians and engineers who can handle all aspects of their projects, from recording through to mixing and mastering.
The decision to replace Cage’s old TL Audio VTC console with the Neve 8424 was part of a longer term plan to attract more commercial projects, Rand explains.
“We already do a lot of mixing and that part of our business became even more important during lockdown, so having a console with reliable recall was an imperative,” he says. “The arrival of the new desk gave us the opportunity to reorganise the studio and all our racks so that we could create an environment that really supports artists and allows them to get some wicked work done.”
Since installing the Neve 8424, James Rand has used the desk on a number of projects including mixes for artists such as Lapsely, Sega Bodega, Mykki Blanco and Beatrice Dillon.

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