The trend has now gone somewhat back the other way as many studios are now being built around a new generation of hybrid console/controllers that provide the best of both analog and digital worlds. You get the sound of analog, the no-latency monitoring, the analog summing buss and monitor section, along with the editing, plug-ins, and wide track count of digital all in one. Plus you're able to do tracking dates with ease.
One of the new hybrid desks leading the way is the new Neve Genesys, which provides at least 16 channels (depending upon the frame) of digitally controlled vintage 1084 EQs, 88RS mic amps and compressors, 8 aux sends, 2 cue sends, 8 groups, stereo and 5.1 monitoring, full talkback, and DAW control. A basic 16 channel configuration is around $50k, but there's certainly a huge bang for the buck. Plus, you can tell people that you have a Neve in your studio, which is never bad for business.
Considering that you'd probably pay around $30k for a rack of 8 vintage Neve modules, the Genesys seems like a bargain. Check out the video below.
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