Fulltone Neotek (cont.)
Neotek Film Console Gets a Manley Master Section
What started out as a biopsy soon became major surgery as the function of every circuit and cable had to be evaluated as to its usefulness. Everything deemed unnecessary was removed from the console. This amounted to probably a hundred pounds of circuit boards, cable and metalwork, and when completed left a 4 foot wide open gap in the center of the console. This actually made rewiring much easier having ready access to the ELCO panel that was mounted on the bottom in the center of the console.
The plan was to convert the console to a standard stereo mix bus format with 16 recording busses and 6 aux busses. The console was originally designed for 2-man operation (Music/FX & Dialog) and the buses from both sides would need to be joined as one. The Manley would provide the Monitor section functions plus the additional 16 line inputs could be used as effects returns. The mix summing amps would be derived from existing unused record bus summing amps on the Neotek input modules.
All Neotek input modules contain a recording bus amplifier that is assigned according to its sequential position in the console, which on this Encore are only the first 16 channels. The unused summing amps on modules 17 and 18 were commandeered to serve as the new L & R mix buses and the circuitry was upgraded with Burr-Brown opamps and Black Gate capacitors.
It would be too exhaustive to detail the entire process, but in short, rack-rails were installed to mount the Manley mixer, and blank rack panels were used to fill the vacant space. This provided an excellent surface for the Mackie controller that now resides there. Notice the fader bay space for mouse & keyboard...very cool.
A couple special items of interest that Michael requested were a Mix fader, pre-mix fader inserts in the patchbay, along with a solo-in-place and talkback function. The Manley mixer had to be modified to remove its 1k mix rotary fader and replace it with a P&G fader mounted in the console fader bay. The mix inserts were wired in with a bypass switch mounted on a custom panel that filled the remaining 5" gap in the console surface area. Custom mods were done to existing switches and logic circuits to implement the solo and talkback functions.
Original Neotek Encore
This is a picture of a single-section Encore for an idea of what the original Master Section looked like. I wish I had pictures of the console under construction with the center section removed and miles of cable hanging out.
A Hybrid Classic
As you can see, the end result is a unique one-of-a-kind world-class console that is now in use in Michael's studio. We are looking forward to hearing some hot new music featuring Mike's great guitar work along with some of his talented musician friends.