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Manley Vari Mu
Old 4th July 2002
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
Cape's Avatar
 

Manley Vari Mu

Does it get used often? (thats if ya got one). I realise it's got slow attack but for finishing off a limited (L1/L2) mix in digital, does add the warmth needed?

Also would it screw up it's benefits if you run it back through a digi 192 for burn to CD?


Cheers dudes
Old 4th July 2002
  #2
The Manley Vari-Mu is amazing if you want the bottom end of your mix to sound like a pillow...
Old 4th July 2002
  #3
I wonder what the T bar mod has done for it a a mix buss compressor?

Old 4th July 2002
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
Cape's Avatar
 

Pillow!!!

I need some thing to warm finished mixes off. Going through a DBX at the mo and though it does the job it is abit harsh.

I thought the Manely would be good for some tracking (vocals, acoustic) and then used to add some warmth on the stereo bus.

Depends what kinda pillow your talking about, an old floppy one or a nice new firm one.
Old 4th July 2002
  #5
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
The "T-Bar" mod is of considerable help... but IMHO, it doesn't hold a candle to the Pendulum Audio ES-8 "Variable MU" unit... the audio and flexibility of the time constants make it a far superior item IMNSHO. [BTW, it's the same price, or in some cases less expensive depending on your vendor....].
Old 4th July 2002
  #6
"I thought the Manely would be good for some tracking (vocals, acoustic) and then used to add some warmth on the stereo bus."

Multi useage ROCKS IMHO.

I have a 'virtual' 4U gap in my rack as I want to rid myself of my Joe Meek stereo comp... & Tube Tech lca2a "egg frier" compressor

Pen-du-lum Mmmmmmmmm!

E-A-R! MMmmmmmmmmmm!

Chan-del-er MMmmmmmmmm!



tut $$$$ tut situation presently...

Old 4th July 2002
  #7
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Brad Blackwood wrote:

<< The Manley Vari-Mu is amazing if you want the bottom end of your mix to sound like a pillow... >>

Hhmm, no disrespect to Brad intended, but there are 3 variations of Manley Vari-Mus in circulation.

We have one of the original 6386 tube versions, and have no "pillowy" bottom-end problems... Love it on the stereo bus and for tracking.

OTOH, the 2nd version with the 5670 tubes were noted for their light-bottom problems.

Manley then devised the T-Bar Mod thingy that uses two tubes (instead of a single 6386 or 5670) and this supposedly has rectified the 'low-end blues' of the 2nd version Vari-Mus!!!

Again, not to be argumentative, just a different opinion with some observations. Perhaps Brad's statement is based on one of the 5670 versions? Jay at Atlanta Digital (Jay, are you still called this?) has posted numerous times on this topic, and he is a big supporter of the Manley.

YMMV.

Sincerely,
Old 4th July 2002
  #8
Quote:
Originally posted by blackcatdigi
We have one of the original 6386 tube versions, and have no "pillowy" bottom-end problems...
The are indeed better, but still soft on the bottom compared to an STC-8. Better transformers on the old VM's, too. But you can't get them anymore.
Old 5th July 2002
  #9
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by blackcatdigi
there are 3 variations of Manley Vari-Mus in circulation.

We have one of the original 6386 tube versions, and have no "pillowy" bottom-end problems... Love it on the stereo bus and for tracking.

OTOH, the 2nd version with the 5670 tubes were noted for their light-bottom problems.

Manley then devised the T-Bar Mod thingy that uses two tubes (instead of a single 6386 or 5670) and this supposedly has rectified the 'low-end blues' of the 2nd version Vari-Mus!!!
Having had all 3 versions... I've found that while the 'T-bar' mod helps, it's not a complete cure. The bottom is still "mushy" for my tastes in a 2 buss application. That said, I still find the Manley-MU to be an excellent tool for 'submixes' [within the context of a mix] as well as for individual tracks...

One of the other things that bothers me about the Manley Vari-MU on 2 buss is that it doesn't go into "true stereo" [one set of controls for both sides]... it works in 'linked dual mono'... so you still have to set up the two sides individually, then link them... which IMO is not great in a 2 buss application...

As always... your mileage may vary...
Old 6th July 2002
  #10
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blackcatdigi's Avatar
Brad Blackwood wrote:

<< The are indeed better, but still soft on the bottom compared to an STC-8. Better transformers on the old VM's, too. But you can't get them anymore. >>

Yes, I would imagine they are softer than the CraneSong.
Different beast alltogether! But, yes...

And Fletcher wrote:

<< The bottom is still "mushy" for my tastes in a 2 buss application. >>

Are you still using the Merc Edition Drawmer goody for 2 bus?
Richard and I have been talking about 2 buss squashers, lately... All the usual suspects, 33609, Smart, STC-8, Red 3...

What's the poop, er scoop?

Sincerely,
Old 8th July 2002
  #11
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by blackcatdigi
Are you still using the Merc Edition Drawmer goody for 2 bus?
Richard and I have been talking about 2 buss squashers, lately... All the usual suspects, 33609, Smart, STC-8, Red 3...
Well, seeing as the 1969 was designed with my preferences for a 2 buss compressor as it's specific design criteria, it's safe to say that it's one of my favorites.

I will often use a couple of compressors on the two buss, lately my favorite chain has been the 1969 [attack 4, release 1 (fast) or release 4 (program dependant fast)], followed by an STC-8 or a pair of "Trakkers".

When it comes to 33609's, the ones with the 'metal knob caps' and no "Neve" logo on the front are the only ones I feel are really up to the task of 2 buss compression... they're damn hard to find, usually run $5k USD+ when you do find them, and are generally in dire need of a full electrolytic capacitor replacement. The subsequent models [33609/C and 33609/J] seem to pale in comparison to the original.

I've never been that wild about the SSL 'Quad Compressor' you find in the desks, and while the Alan Smart has superior audio to that unit (and the Logic FX G384), it's just not what I find that I like on 2 buss. That's just a 'personal preference' thing as there are a ton of records employing both SSL and Smart 2 buss compression being made every day...

Overall, I've never found a use for a Focusrite Red 3 where there wasn't a different tool that couldn't do the job better... again, it's most likely a 'personal preference' thing as there are a few thousand folks using them on a regular basis.

Best of luck with your search...
Old 13th July 2002
  #12
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chap's Avatar
 

I've had all the versions of the Vari Mu described above and the new mod has made it my main 2 buss compresser again. The bottom end sounds great as do the highs. Ask Greg Calbi or any of the other guys at Sterling Sound and you will find one in use in their suites. The only other tube compresser
that compares is the Requisite Audio by Danny McKinney. Maybe SLAM will change all this.
Want clinical'tight'? get a system 6000.
jc
Old 14th July 2002
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
audiogeek1's Avatar
 

As an owner of a Manley with the T-bar mod I really enjoy it on most things but I do find the low end sometimes a bit mushy. If I am finding that to be the case then I reach for one of the best compressors ever made the GML 8900. Really awsome unit on the stereo bus also on individual instruments as well. Not as warm as the manley. But I enjoy it quite often.

Mike Maughan
Catface Productions
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