The Olive Console – The Fourth Plugin in Our Boutique Collection
This console boasts an antique aesthetic with solid olive wood construction and four storage doors to hold all your essentials.
But the Olive had its share of issues as well, chief among them National Semiconductor op-amps that were far outside audio specifications – among numerous other issues.
Early Life and Education
The Olive is an audio console known for its distinctive sound that creates a sense of space and openness in any original signal. Originally used by artists such as Rick Derringer, April Wine, and Elton John.
Wayne Jones established Olive Electrodynamics as a Canadian company to design an integrated console incorporating many features typically reserved for outboard gear: gate and compression on every channel; four-band EQ; automated fader movement, storage of automation data on multitrack, computer controlled matrix routing, ten tape machine remotes, FET switching capability and current mode summing busses – to name but a few features.
At the October 1973 AES convention in Los Angeles, Olive was unveiled as its prototype system for automating mixing. Outboard VCAs connected via matrix switch were controlled remotely using computer.
When first created in the early ’70s, Olive console was ahead of its time. One of the first modular consoles using strip modularization instead of custom panels, enabling it to accommodate differing input channels by adding or subtracting channel switches according to need.
Jones designed an innovative console which required extensive research and development efforts. By employing solid-state circuitry instead of traditional mechanical switches, costs, panel space requirements and long-term reliability were reduced significantly.
Hagan labored tirelessly on the Olive for many years – even after moving to Caribou Ranch – resolving multiple power supply issues, hotrodding its master section (without schematics) and rewiring Multitrack-Dolby connections to finally ensure reliable functioning of this console. His efforts paid off when it finally was operationally reliable.
Achievement and Honors
Olive is our fourth plugin from our Boutique Collection and faithfully recreates an iconic console designed in the early ’70s, which was ahead of its time at its release. Its contemporary wavy silhouette makes this an eye-catching focal point in any studio environment.
The Olive is a semi-modular integrated console designed with all of the features typically reserved for outboard gear built-in, including: gating and compression on every channel; four-band equalization; automated fader movement, storage of automation data on multitrack tape machines remotes ten tape machine remotes current mode summing busses current mode summing busses current mode summing busses current mode summing busses current mode summing busses current mode summing busses current mode summing busses current mode summing busses current mode summing busses current mode summing busses computer-controlled matrix routing. The first consoles were sold to Jim Guercio and Caribou Ranch before an AES convention demonstration using another non-Olive console connected by computer to another (non-Olive).
Olive is a ghost who lives alone in her haunted house. She has one child named Nervous Subject and recently did WooHoo with Grim Reaper upon becoming an elder.
The Olive was a groundbreaking project that required significant research and development effort to complete. Jones dreamed of creating a semi-modular console equipped with every feature typically reserved for outboard equipment; such as gated compression on every channel; four-band equalization; automated fader movement, tape machine remotes and current mode summing busses – features which the Olive fulfilled.
Though the undertaking was vast, it wasn’t without challenges. One major one involved op-amps sourced from National LM301s that were far above specifications and therefore required convincing National to return and respec the chips.
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Wayne Jones designed the Olive console to reduce costs, save space on a control panel, and increase long-term reliability by eliminating switches. His modular approach was similar to Electrodyne.
Clark Hagan, a University of Central Florida (UCD) graduate and Grammy-winning engineer, took on the monumental task of making it work by reconfiguring multiple power supplies, hot-rodding the master section to integrate better with Olive, as well as building meter boxes and side panels for his console.