Langley Design - parametric - equalisers - compressors - limiters - microphone preamps - crossovers - surround - multichannel- multiformat - Live Sound - Recording and Broadcast - Reinforcement - Graham Langley - Amek - TAC - M1000 - M2500 - M3000 - Angela - Scorpion - analog - analogue - audio- mixing consoles - Rupert Neve - Pcad - P-cad - Design Bureau

Our story begins in 1962 with the 12 year old Graham Langley immersed in study at William Hulme's Grammar School in Manchester, England. Lured by dad's promise of a Spanish guitar for Christmas, GL takes lessons. Soon the lessons become tedious, and the Spanish guitar seems a little passé. GL buys a Futurama electric guitar, and hangs out in Mameloks and A1 Music, Manchester. Ace of cool in 1963.

The historic meeting of GL and Nick Franks takes place in 1964.

In 1965 GL buys the Framus electric guitar which he still plays today, and starts making guitars and speaker cabinets in woodwork classes. The necessity for tone controls, amplifiers and guitar effects leads to electronics becoming a hobby.

Not sure if he is a Mod or Rocker, but now beginning to see the path he wishes to follow, in 1965 GL starts managing two major-league bands: Franz Moons and The Sound.

In 1967 while on holiday in Perranporth, Cornwall GL attempts a daring Silver Surfer move. Recuperating in bed afterwards, he originates the name: Amek. It was chosen simply to be short and distinctive. Well, it worked for VOX!

1968 to 1970 were the Rugby years. This was a 4-year Electrical Engineering degree course at Rugby College of Engineering Technology. GL builds a double manual organ and his first mixer. Heavily into rock'n'roll by now, these are the "I'm with the band" years. Rugby's loss and Bolton Institute's gain came in 1970. Whilst NF goes to think about greater things at the London School of Economics, GL enrolls at BI in the final year of an electronics course.

Converting his Framus guitar to stereo, designing a power amp with notch EQ and experimenting with analogue synthesiser design, things are looking good. But, in 1971, bad vibes, man, at a gig for a friend's party, when the complexities of spatial sound signal the end of a rock star career.

1972 sees GL hard at work at Audio Developments. Valuable work experience at AD included mixers, tape recorders and Mellotron drive systems. GL was introduced to the world of Sound Reinforcement with clients such as Claire Brothers, Yes and The Moody Blues.

In 1973 GL leaves AD and Amek is registered as a company.

In this eventful year, GL moves to a hill farm in Llangunllo, Wales, and starts building four channel mono mixers in small purple boxes.

Progressing to graphic equalisers and phasing units, speakers and amplifiers, the hill farmers became involved with importing Kay guitars and Cetec loudspeakers. The Incredible String Band, Alexis Korner and Fairport Convention were names to drop. Speaker cabinets were covered in purple, paint-impregnated hessian. The working man's silk.

September of 1973 witnesses a terrible tragedy, in which several members of the collective were killed in a road accident. GL returns to parents' house in Manchester, and there is another fateful meeting with NF. The fledgling Amek starts life in a garden shed. In 1974 they move to their first "real" premises, in Altrincham, just south of Manchester.

First products are scaled down loudspeaker cabinets, purple-cased phasing units, and silver 10-into-1 mixers. The name JMS (Jasmin Music Systems) is used on some mixers.

Amek provide mixers, amps and electronic crossovers for AMCO PA Hire. Supplying Global Village Trucking Company's PA system is a big step forward. This is acclaimed by Virgin Tour Management and enthusiastically used by Gong, who, as some readers may know, came to this planet in a flying teapot.

Amek build a 3-section winged console with joysticks for Francis (Venux Deluxe) Linon for a Gong tour, together with amps, monitor console, lighting mixer and strobe controller. Becoming main suppliers to Virgin Management in 1975 for touring equipment was a prestigious boost. These were exciting days for young companies with ideas.

Things moved fast over the next few years. Relationships were forged with other up-and-coming companies in the industry. HHB , SSE and Turbosound used Amek consoles exclusively for major tours. Amek became known for the "musical" sound of the consoles and moved rapidly into the Recording and Broadcast markets.

In 2001 GL leaves Amek to form Langley Design.

CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF KEY AMEK AND TAC PRODUCTS AND EVENTS

1976 Entry into US market through Everything Audio in Los Angeles.

X Series semi-modular console launched for general-purpose applications followed by M Series modular, split, consoles for music recording - Castle Sound, Edinburgh, has first one. Similar S Series modular console for Sound Reinforcement - Wembley Conference has first.

 

1977

Low-price single faceplate 16-2 console produced under TAC (Total Audio Concepts) brand.

OEM electronic crossover manufacturing for Court Acoustics, ESE and Soundcraft.

Introduction of 2016 (M2000) in-line recording console - first one to Village Way, London.

 

1978

X series range expanded, adding addition modules and features, meter hood and stand.

 

1979 Amek adopt recognisable Blue finish for consoles.

M3000 introduced as Amek top-of-range recording console - fully parametric EQ was basis for all future Amek parametric equalisers. Console had 24 buses, and Allison 65K fader automation. First one installed in Amazon Studios, Liverpool.

 

1980

M1000 introduced as Amek top-of-range Sound Reinforcement console to replace X Series. This had fully parametric EQ from M3000 and 8 subgroups. Applications in SR, Broadcast and Post Production.

M2500 introduced as simplified M3000 but with same sound. This is considered to be the "classic" Amek console. Many are still in use.

TAC factory opens in Dalwood, Devon, run by Jon Lloyd-Hughes.

 

1981 Amek move to new premises in New Islington Mill, Salford, and TAC adopt Amek Blue

TAC launch 16-8-2.

 

1982

Amek introduce Angela console as competition for MCI JH600 and as cheaper alternative to M2500. The equaliser is quite different and is also considered a "classic" Amek sound.

Amek introduce first small Broadcast console, the BC01, also sold as an OEM product.

 

1983 Preliminary talks with Mr Rupert Neve.

 

1984

TAC introduce in-line Matchless console for Music Recording

TAC introduce multipurpose Scorpion console. This sold in large numbers and is renowned for its ruggedness.

 

1985 Amek awarded Queen's Award for Exports.

TAC introduce Scorpion Foldback console.

 

1986 Amek awarded second Queen's Award for Exports.

TAC test and final assembly moved from Bridport to Nottingham.

TAC introduce modular electronic crossover, the TX10. TAC launch Matchless Series 11.

 

1987 TAC awarded Queen's Award for Exports.

Amek introduce APC console providing assignable features and recall of knob and switch functions. An alliance is formed with George Massenburg Labs. and GML motorised fader automation fitted as standard.

First APC delivered to Greenstreet Recording, NY.

Last remaining Amek blue console (Angela) changed to grey colour scheme.

 

1988 Amek expand to Regent Trading Estate, Salford, and open new 13,000 square foot factory.

APC installed at Sunset Sound, Los Angeles. Amek replace M2500 by G2520 console which is normally fitted with Mastermix fader automation.

TAC launch Scorpion 11.

 

1989 Mr Rupert Neve joins Amek as consultant.

Amek launch Mozart console for Music Recording with Supertrue automation.

TAC introduce Bullet small format multipurpose console.

 

1990

Launch of first RN product - The Medici Equaliser.

 

1991

Amek replace BC11 broadcast console with BC111.

Amek launch Hendrix in-line console.

TAC launch SR6000 large format sound reinforcement console.

 

1992 AKG Acoustics acquire shareholding in Amek.

Amek launch Einstein dual-path in-line recording console.

TAC replace Matchless by Magnum music recording console.

TAC introduce foldback version of SR6000.

TAC launch B2 version of Bullet.

 

1993 Harman International Industries Ltd acquire AKG Acoustics.

TAC introduce SR6500 foldback console.

Amek introduce BIG-by-Langley. The first cost effective in-line music recording console with recall.

Amek introduce RECALL-by-Langley. The first conventional automated sound reinforcement console with recall.

 

1994

First 9098 split console delivered and Series 9098 Equaliser launched.

 

1995

Amek introduce 501-by-Langley sound reinforcement console based on Recall console.

Rembrandt dual-path in-line recording console launched.

 

1996

DMS introduced - a modular digital mixing system.

Amek introduce Angela 11 dual-path in-line recording console.

 

1997 Harman acquire 100% shareholding in Amek.

Galileo in-line console introduced.

Nick Franks exits and pursues a new career in complementary medicine.

 

1998 "Langley" and TAC trading names replaced by Amek.

AMEK launch BB100 broadcast console replacing the TAC Bullet and B2.

Input modules designed by Mr Rupert Neve made available for Recall consoles.

 

1999

9098I in-line console launched.

 

2000

Media 51 surround recording console launched, based on BIG-by-Langley.

Pure-Path range launched with CIB and DIB.

 

2004 Harman cease production of all Amek products.

 

2006 BB100 relaunched.

Soundcraft puts the BB100 back into production 8 years after it was originally launched.

Harman stated that in a consolidation of the Mixer Group product portfolios, Soundcraft has released the classic Amek BB100 console as one of its analog broadcast consoles, finalizing the restructuring of the broadcast offerings from Soundcraft and Studer.

 

2007 Audio Maintenance Ltd. launch a range of "Langley Design Enhanced" retrofit products as replacements for Amek and TAC microphone and line input stages.

 

 

 

 

Perranporth beach, Cornwall, UK
 
Loudspeakers
 
Early Amek Mixer - 1969
 
8 Stockport Rd. in 2006
 
Early advertisement
 
Desks for GONG - 1974
 
M Series 16-8 mixer
 
X Series 16-4 mixer
 
M1000 Front of House
 
TAC 16-8-2
 

Amek M2500 in use in 2006

Sanctuary Studios -Michigan - USA

 
Amek BC01
 
TAC Matchless
 
TAC Scorpion Monitor Console
 
Amek Angela
 
Amek APC
 
Amek Hendrix
 
501 by Langley
 

Amek Media 51

The Byre - Inverness - Scotland

 
Amek BB100
 

 

Islington Mill in Salford was the home for Amek from 1976 until 1981. It is a listed building from the heyday of the cotton industry around Manchester.

The mill was completed in 1823 but in the following year there was a terrible accident when a cast iron floor beam on an upper floor gave way under the weight of machinery. The lower floors successively collapsed and 21 people were killed.

Inefficient casting techniques were blamed for the disaster.

The building is reputed to be haunted, and over the years several Amek staff heard seemingly inexplicable noises and footsteps.

 
Islington Mill (The Portfolio 23 October 1824)
       

ANALOGUE DESIGN OF ALL THE PRODUCTS LISTED BELOW WAS CONCEIVED AND IMPLEMENTED BY, OR PRODUCED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF GRAHAM LANGLEY

       

RECORDING/POST PRODUCTION

AMEK

M Series · X Series · 2016/M2000 · M1000 · M3000 · M2500 · Angela · M3500 · M4000 (multi-operator film console) · APC · Mozart · Hendrix · DMS (concept) · 9098 and 9098i (in consultation with Mr Rupert Neve) · Rembrandt · Galileo · BIG by Langley · Media 51 (in consultation with Mr Rupert Neve)

TOTAL AUDIO CONCEPTS (TAC)

16-2 · 12-4 · 16-8-2 · 500 (based on Amek M1000) · 10-4-2 · Scorpion · Matchless

 
  M3000 (top) and GALILEO
     

SOUND REINFORCEMENT/THEATRE

AMEK

Custom consoles - Global Village Trucking Company/Gong/Virgin Management · X Series · M1000 · RECALL by Langley · 501 by Langley · RECALL RN (in consultation with Mr Rupert Neve) · BB100

TOTAL AUDIO CONCEPTS (TAC)

16-2 · 12-4 · 16-8-2 · 500 (based on Amek M1000) · Scorpion

 
  RECALL by Langley
     

BROADCAST

AMEK

M Series · X Series · M1000 · M2500 · BC01 · Angela · APC · BC11 · Classic (system only) · Mozart · Hendrix · DMS (concept) · 9098/9098i (in consultation with Mr Rupert Neve) · Langley BIG · Media 51 (in consultation with Mr Rupert Neve)

 
  BC11
     

AMEK ANCILLIARY PRODUCTS

Phasing Units · Electronic crossovers (AMEK and OEM) · Graphic equalisers · Lighting consoles (Virgin Management) · Power amplifiers (Virgin Management) · RM01 Rack system (M2500 equaliser, CL01 compressor, BP01 bandpass filter. · Medici equaliser (in consultation with Mr Rupert Neve) · Series 9098 rack products (in consultation with Mr Rupert Neve) · Pure Path rack products (in consultation with Mr Rupert Neve) · UVS1 - crosspoint matrix · PM1 - Multiformat monitor system

 
RETURN TO TOP   RM01 Rack (Top) and SERIES 9098