What makes your Neve mic preamp emulation different?

The big differences start in the analog domain: First, the circuit architecture of our Advanced Stepped Gain mic preamp is quite similar to that of a Neve. A Neve has a big red gain switch while the Apogee mic pre has a digitally-controlled analog gain switching module, but they operate in a very similar way. This allowed us to more faithfully reproduce the 20 to 80 dB gain structure of the Neve without a -20dB pad or additional digital trims (like other emulations have), just a gain knob and an output fader. We even discovered that when we pushed our circuit to 80 dB of gain, it exhibited a gradual high-end rolloff very similar to the Neve.

Next, we took our decades of experience with Soft Limit (an Apogee feature first introduced with the AD-500 in 1986) to create an analog circuit that shapes transients as the circuit is pushed into an overdriven state.

Finally, we added a switchable impedance feature to match the input impedance of our mic preamp to the two impedance values available on a vintage Neve preamp.

With these three innovations, a significant part of the mic preamp emulation is done in the analog domain, for a richer and more authentic result.

Of course, after the A/D conversion stage, on-board DSP is applied to precisely refine the emulation throughout the entire gain range. That’s Apogee Alloy, the fusion of analog and digital processing for a result that’s stronger than the components.