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Elop or vari mu?
Old 28th June 2014
  #1
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Kyleseglin's Avatar
Elop or vari mu?

I really like Manley gear. I want to get eithe an elop or a vari mu. I've been reading about both, and both clearly have their strengths. I wondering if the slow attack time (28ms) would make it a much less ideal tracking comp for vocals and acoustic guitar than an elop (attack time 10ms)? I want to be able to track with it primarily, and if I had the elop I'd throw it over the mix buss in bypass for the tone but without compression. Then I thought about the vari mu.. Just wondering how it fairs for tracking vocals.
Old 28th June 2014
  #2
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Channel time's Avatar
Having both and tested I'd probably go for the ELOP for vocals, but saying that I often use both in the vocal recording chain for nice effect.
Old 28th June 2014
  #3
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Kyleseglin's Avatar
I know the elop is ideal for those sources, but would the vari mu be good?
Old 29th June 2014
  #4
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The new Manley Core has all the ( core ) technologies/features from most Manley Labs boxes which include ELOP, Baxandall EQ, Voxbox, 300 volts tube preamp and limiter.

I have one on order.

This will be my go to channel strip for years to come.

Cheers
Old 29th June 2014
  #5
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Kyleseglin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickknack View Post
The new Manley Core has all the ( core ) technologies/features from most Manley Labs boxes which include ELOP, Baxandall EQ, Voxbox, 300 volts tube preamp and limiter.

I have one on order.

This will be my go to channel strip for years to come.

Cheers
I like the idea of two channels in the elop but I'm going to check it out
Old 29th June 2014
  #6
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mu6gr8's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyleseglin View Post
I really like Manley gear. I want to get eithe an elop or a vari mu. I've been reading about both, and both clearly have their strengths. I wondering if the slow attack time (28ms) would make it a much less ideal tracking comp for vocals and acoustic guitar than an elop (attack time 10ms)? I want to be able to track with it primarily, and if I had the elop I'd throw it over the mix buss in bypass for the tone but without compression. Then I thought about the vari mu.. Just wondering how it fairs for tracking vocals.
I use both ELOP and Vari-Mu every day, and can assure you that they are very different beasts. Either one should work for your needs. I wouldn't get hung up on the attack time specs because they are both very musical.

BTW ELOP (with the sidechain filter option) can sound 3-dimensional on a mix bus, even with gain reduction.

I suggest you try both before buying.
Old 29th June 2014
  #7
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Kyleseglin's Avatar
I'm just used to tracking with a faster attack time to catch peaks. I've used the elop, and I liked it a lot. I'm surprised there aren't any selling used there usually are a couple.
Old 30th June 2014
  #8
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Motoxxx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickknack View Post

This will be my go to channel strip for years to come.

Cheers
What if you hate it? Pretty bold statement since you have not used one or heard it and neither has anyone else here at this point.

It is true that Manley makes great gear and you expect this piece to be no different. However in my opinion almost every company has that one piece that is sort of ho hum, or lame. This is never more true than when a higher end company tries to build a lower end or lower price point product to attract a new customer base. Lexicon had the Alex and Reflex stuff (junk), Drawmer has the Front End One stuff etc etc etc...

Now, having said that, I hope I am wrong and that the Core is a spectacular value. I just was sort of warning you against getting your hopes up so high as you did with the statement I quoted above. Sometimes just because people spend money on something they think it is the best and they let the exchange of their hard earned money cloud their judgement of their gear. Your statement indicates that you are already in love with it without ever hearing it or using it in person. Also since there are pretty much no reviews on it that I can find, hanging your enthusiasm on a new piece of gear "for years to come" today could be setting you up for a big let down or disappointment. I hope that does not become the case at all.
Old 30th June 2014
  #9
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Vintageidiot's Avatar
^^^^^^

Although I do think you can find a sweet spot with most gear wherein it is usable, maybe not optimal....
Old 30th June 2014
  #10
The VariMu is unreal, and has a price point to match. The ELOP is cool too, but not the same by any measure. If you wanted an ELOP style compressor, the best in that category is the Retro Sta-Level. I think it does a better job than almost any vintage piece you could find as well.
Old 30th June 2014
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by AntillesSound View Post
If you wanted an ELOP style compressor, the best in that category is the Retro Sta-Level.
Isn't the Retro a Vari Mu style compressor also? I think the ELOP is one of the best optos around.

To the OP, the ELOP and Vari Mu are so different and complementary that it's hard to decide. If you are just tracking a few instruments then probably the ELOP, but if you want to do some mixing and bus (sub or main) work then the Vari Mu can come in handy (and it also sounds great on individual instruments, there isn't one perfect compressor in general).
Old 30th June 2014
  #12
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Kyleseglin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred View Post
Isn't the Retro a Vari Mu style compressor also? I think the ELOP is one of the best optos around.

To the OP, the ELOP and Vari Mu are so different and complementary that it's hard to decide. If you are just tracking a few instruments then probably the ELOP, but if you want to do some mixing and bus (sub or main) work then the Vari Mu can come in handy (and it also sounds great on individual instruments, there isn't one perfect compressor in general).
I'm doing both tracking and mixing. Which is why I thought of the vari mu, but the slow attack time just seems less than ideal for tracking? Otherwise I'd definitely go for it over the elop just because of it's mixing and buss potential. But I can only afford one rhght now and won't get another piece of gear for a bit most likely
Old 1st July 2014
  #13
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I have both. If I could only keep one I'd keep the elop as I just get more value out of it during tracking and mixing...

You could track with the vari mu but it's not really what it's designed for...

Neither box is "quick" and I also find myself using fet style compression ahead of the elop...
Old 1st July 2014
  #14
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Kyleseglin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinNYC View Post
I have both. If I could only keep one I'd keep the elop as I just get more value out of it during tracking and mixing...

You could track with the vari mu but it's not really what it's designed for...

Neither box is "quick" and I also find myself using fet style compression ahead of the elop...
Gotcha. I'm going to most likely go for the elop unless a great vari mu deal comes up or something. I have an old 1176 so i can use that in conjunction if need be
Old 1st July 2014
  #15
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Had mine since '92 or '93. Still sounds great, pretty much idiot proof...and a good value!

I'm aware of some people on occasion using the elop to shave a tiny bit off the two bus...I like it on drum overheads, bv bus, horns, ac guitar as well as the usual bass and vocals...
Old 1st July 2014
  #16
....

edit...sorry I misread
Old 2nd July 2014
  #17
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mu6gr8's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyleseglin View Post
Gotcha. I'm going to most likely go for the elop unless a great vari mu deal comes up or something. I have an old 1176 so i can use that in conjunction if need be
That sounds like a good plan. They work well together if you use the 1176 to "precondition" a highly dynamic performance to keep it in the ELOP's sweet spot of gain reduction.
Old 2nd July 2014
  #18
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Heartfelt's Avatar
From Manley:
You've probably heard someone say, "You've gotta get the Manley compressor." Now you've found out we make two completely different stereo units yet each unit has its own following. (And then there are the fanatics that own both of 'em...) But when you can only get one, the choice really depends on what you need a dynamics processor for. If your requirements include compressing your 2-Buss, drums, or making this your day-to-day compressor, the Variable Mu Limiter Compressor is your clear choice. Why? Because when used more than a few dB, the ELOP® Limiter's fast attack time will want to grab fast transients first (like drums) from a mix and throw them back into the next room behind the speakers. The Variable Mu Limiter Compressor has adjustable attack and release which have optimised settings for mixing and mastering but are flexible enough and also go fast enough for most tracking situations. This makes the Variable Mu Limiter Compressor one truly versatile machine.

You might think having every control in the world is what you need, but if recording vocals is your main focus or if you're doing live work, your goal is to be ready not to miss 'that moment'. The ELOP® Limiter is ideal for recording and tracking because it is incredibly easy to use, and hard to get it wrong. It seems to do the right thing at the right time-- no regrets. Peak limiting of individual instruments especially vocals, room mics on drums, and good ol' mega-squashing effects are the daily duties of the ELOP® Limiter.

The most common mistake most people make when buying a compressor is getting wrapped up in specs and theory. Remember, that the real goal is cool music and great sounds, not knobs and numbers. Time to stop thinking and start listening!
Old 2nd July 2014
  #19
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It's one of my favorite things about it....I'm self tracking a lot so it is nice not to have too many parameters to obsess over
Old 2nd July 2014
  #20
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Kyleseglin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heartfelt View Post
From Manley:
You've probably heard someone say, "You've gotta get the Manley compressor." Now you've found out we make two completely different stereo units yet each unit has its own following. (And then there are the fanatics that own both of 'em...) But when you can only get one, the choice really depends on what you need a dynamics processor for. If your requirements include compressing your 2-Buss, drums, or making this your day-to-day compressor, the Variable Mu Limiter Compressor is your clear choice. Why? Because when used more than a few dB, the ELOP® Limiter's fast attack time will want to grab fast transients first (like drums) from a mix and throw them back into the next room behind the speakers. The Variable Mu Limiter Compressor has adjustable attack and release which have optimised settings for mixing and mastering but are flexible enough and also go fast enough for most tracking situations. This makes the Variable Mu Limiter Compressor one truly versatile machine.

You might think having every control in the world is what you need, but if recording vocals is your main focus or if you're doing live work, your goal is to be ready not to miss 'that moment'. The ELOP® Limiter is ideal for recording and tracking because it is incredibly easy to use, and hard to get it wrong. It seems to do the right thing at the right time-- no regrets. Peak limiting of individual instruments especially vocals, room mics on drums, and good ol' mega-squashing effects are the daily duties of the ELOP® Limiter.

The most common mistake most people make when buying a compressor is getting wrapped up in specs and theory. Remember, that the real goal is cool music and great sounds, not knobs and numbers. Time to stop thinking and start listening!
Yeah I read that on their site.. I was just more interested in opinions from people using the gear in addition to the manufacturer.
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