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RND Portico II VS MAnley Vari Mu Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 27th October 2014
  #1
RND Portico II VS MAnley Vari Mu

Hello,
I usually hate threads with names like "What's the best preamp to track my mother?" or "brand 1 VS Brand 2" but...

I'm looking to upgrade my setup with an analog compressor for the mix buss, after a lot of researches I'm going to buy Ruper Neve Design Portico II Master Buss Processor, cause it seems it can give me a lot of flexibility and mojo if I need.

But I'm a long time Manley Vari Mu Lover, and I see many top mixers use Vari Mu as main go to compressor for Stereo Buss.

Vari Mu seems to have that Valve Brilliance plus a very smooth compression, MBP on the other hand seems to work very well and gives me many more options than vari mu...

As I think both compressor together can give me what I'm looking for complementing each other, I would buy both, but not having enough money, now the real question is...

What compressor I should buy first?

So I'm very grateful for any suggestion based on experience...


My answer is more toward MBP, but I'm losing sleep thinking at it heh

Just to give you a better idea of my setup, I have a good enough treated Room (did a lot of mearumements and fine tuning with my friends at GIK Acoustics), KRK 9000b + Avantone Mixcubes, Cranesong HEDD 192 as Buss Converter, Antelope Orion 32 and RME MADI FX as interface... Some digital Outoboard, all the plugins you can imagine but no one by UAD, I mainly produce for short Movies, Advertising Videos for TV, but very often I produce my own classical contemporary, electronic or rock fusion music...
I usually send my mixes to Mastering engineer but sometimes, very tight budgets or deadlines, force me to Master my own mixes

Thank you

Last edited by Daniele Nosella; 27th October 2014 at 11:19 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 27th October 2014
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
sharkboy's Avatar
So, I think you mean the Portico II Master Buss Processor. In any case, these are completely different things. The Manley does one thing well. The RND does a lot of things well.

If it were me, I'd lean heavily in the direction of the Portico MBS, but also look at things like the BAE 10DC pair, the Chandler compressors as a pair or the Aurora audio GTC2. They might be quite useful tracking and mixing.

For me, the Manley has always been that last piece of gear I want, but there are lots of practical needs before it.
Old 27th October 2014
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
thesolipsist's Avatar
 

I love the MBP, and like sharkboy said it does a lot of things well, and I've found myself using it for tracking often too, it's been handy for vocals, bass, and a variety of things I just want to hit the silk circuit with w/o compression. I've never tried it myself, but I know there are some folks on here who are hitting the Vari after the MBP and getting the best of both worlds, as it were. I'm sure someone who has that experience will chime in.
Old 27th October 2014
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharkboy View Post
For me, the Manley has always been that last piece of gear I want, but there are lots of practical needs before it.
This more or less sum up my feelings

Chandler Compressors are on the list...

Thanks, I needed confirmation
Old 27th October 2014
  #5
Gear Head
 

I use both. For some reason I always lean toward the vari mu.
I just love the tube warmth. It just makes the song sound like a record
Followed by the massive passive. Actually not using the portico 2 Mbp much.
Old 27th October 2014
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by thesolipsist View Post
I love the MBP, and like sharkboy said it does a lot of things well, and I've found myself using it for tracking often too, it's been handy for vocals, bass, and a variety of things I just want to hit the silk circuit with w/o compression. I've never tried it myself, but I know there are some folks on here who are hitting the Vari after the MBP and getting the best of both worlds, as it were. I'm sure someone who has that experience will chime in.
I'm thinking of using it for processing selected recorded tracks too... Just as the Manley, but for this purpose MBP seems the right device...

Thanks, I really appreciate your thoughts about it...
Old 27th October 2014
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrice View Post
I use both. For some reason I always lean toward the vari mu.
I just love the tube warmth. It just makes the song sound like a record
Followed by the massive passive. Actually not using the portico 2 Mbp much.
Many people claim Vari Mu as their choice for mix Buss... ...many top mixers

I will buy both, just trying to figure out what to buy first...
Old 28th October 2014
  #8
Lives for gear
 
muziksculp's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniele Nosella View Post
Many people claim Vari Mu as their choice for mix Buss... ...many top mixers

I will buy both, just trying to figure out what to buy first...
Hi I have both, the Manley Vari Mu imho has that special MOJO character, warm,sizzling, and a really amazing wow factor no matter what you feed it.

The MBP (Portico II) is more subtle, and imho. has less of that MOJO factor, but.. it is more versatile in terms of adding/transforming your mix. via the EQ, Stereo Width, Character, ...etc.

If it was my decision, I would get the Vari-Mu first, then add the Portico II-MBP

They do complement each other very well.

Hope this is helpful.

Cheers,
Muziksculp
Old 30th October 2014
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by muziksculp View Post
Hi I have both, the Manley Vari Mu imho has that special MOJO character, warm,sizzling, and a really amazing wow factor no matter what you feed it.

The MBP (Portico II) is more subtle, and imho. has less of that MOJO factor, but.. it is more versatile in terms of adding/transforming your mix. via the EQ, Stereo Width, Character, ...etc.

If it was my decision, I would get the Vari-Mu first, then add the Portico II-MBP

They do complement each other very well.

Hope this is helpful.

Cheers,
Muziksculp
Thanks...

I'm trying to sell my girlfriend to find the money to buy both...
Old 30th October 2014
  #10
Lives for gear
 
muziksculp's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniele Nosella View Post
Thanks...

I'm trying to sell my girlfriend to find the money to buy both...
hopefully she doesn't read this thread.

Cheers,
Muziksculp
Old 30th October 2014
  #11
I've owned both, preferred the MBP, but am now mostly using the KNIF Vari Mu. I still want to keep the MBP around as it's different from the KNIF.

If you have the budget for both the MBP and the Manley, I'd get the KNIF instead, as that's about what it costs. So far every studio I've let try out the KNIF has bought one, and all of them have already had a Manley, MBP, or both.
Old 31st October 2014
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg B View Post
I've owned both, preferred the MBP, but am now mostly using the KNIF Vari Mu. I still want to keep the MBP around as it's different from the KNIF.

If you have the budget for both the MBP and the Manley, I'd get the KNIF instead, as that's about what it costs. So far every studio I've let try out the KNIF has bought one, and all of them have already had a Manley, MBP, or both.
Never heard the KNIF, but I'm a little reluctant to invest in one product I don't know... and I can't try...

I prefer to invest in two product I can't go wrong with.

But I would to have the chance to try the KNIF for a month...

Thanks for the advice
Old 31st October 2014
  #13
Lives for gear
 

is it a prerequisite that the compressor must be designed by hutch?
Old 31st October 2014
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timesaver800W View Post
is it a prerequisite that the compressor must be designed by hutch?
...oh actually... YES!!!

I think Manley Vari Mu is a Compressor which has been tested and approved as their go to compressor by many top mixer in the last decade for its quality, MBP instead is a new breed compressor with more options and a different character too...

I believe it has been a natural progression for Hutch, and I believe it is the reason why both complement each other so well...

I never used MBP, but I heard enough good opinions and demos about it...
I used Manley just 2 times, and I found it an incrdedible cure for my mixes, wich sometimes sounds a little "digital"...

I believe also I can obtain a very good sound without Vari Mu or MBP, just mixing inside the box, but it take me really too much time, and sometimes I lose that excitement and insipration that is vital to obtain a good result.

With Vari Mu, instead, everything is immediatly more interesting...

Daniele
Old 31st October 2014
  #15
Lives for gear
 

i agree man, there's no substituting the tube for the stereo bus. get the vari-mu or an equivalent first
Old 31st October 2014
  #16
get the RND MBP

it will work on 100% of what ya do.

it also replaces the need for multiple units in one box. it is comp, limiting, harmonic saturation (silk circuit), and stereo field editor.

sometimes, i find the SFE is so useful it replaces the need for eq on some masters i do.

good luck! unfortunately might be selling mine soon so pm me if you're interested.. i have to find a separate RND 5014 SFE first though... i simply can't live without the SFE.
Old 31st October 2014
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by missioncontrol View Post
get the RND MBP

it will work on 100% of what ya do.

it also replaces the need for multiple units in one box. it is comp, limiting, harmonic saturation (silk circuit), and stereo field editor.

sometimes, i find the SFE is so useful it replaces the need for eq on some masters i do.

good luck! unfortunately might be selling mine soon so pm me if you're interested.. i have to find a separate RND 5014 SFE first though... i simply can't live without the SFE.
Not the same on the 5014, alas. EQ but not to both W&D, and different EQ as well, and can't send to side chain the same way. Also discontinued. Keep the MBP!

PS Daniele-
I have both the V-Mu and the MBP, it's a very powerful combo. I like this chain: Tube EQ [Lang PEQ-1 or EQP-10S] into V-Mu and AD-2055 or GML or ____ into MBP. Lot's of fun to be had.
Old 1st November 2014
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Not the same on the 5014, alas. EQ but not to both W&D, and different EQ as well, and can't send to side chain the same way. Also discontinued. Keep the MBP!

PS Daniele-
I have both the V-Mu and the MBP, it's a very powerful combo. I like this chain: Tube EQ [Lang PEQ-1 or EQP-10S] into V-Mu and AD-2055 or GML or ____ into MBP. Lot's of fun to be had.
You're right! I just checked out the 5014 thinking it would be the same.. it's most definitely not going to be as useful. I'm keeping the MBP for now...

I thought after I got the shadow hills mastering comp i wouldn't find the MBP useful any longer, not a chance!
Old 1st November 2014
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniele Nosella View Post
Never heard the KNIF, but I'm a little reluctant to invest in one product I don't know... and I can't try...

I prefer to invest in two product I can't go wrong with.

But I would to have the chance to try the KNIF for a month...
You're right, you certainly can't go wrong with any of these. They are all useful.

We setup demos of the KNIF, MBP, etc. all the time. PM me if you're interested.
Old 1st November 2014
  #20
mpr
Lives for gear
 

I sold my old Vari Mu + 2500 and bought the Knif Vari Mu II and will never look back. (never say never, right...)

The Knif is what my brain has always wanted from a tube bus compressor.

Buttery smooth, deceptively fast, tonally engorging and with enough settings to work on most any genre, at any tempo.

Dual release settings + variable link between channels + 20, 70, 150 SC + full MS encode and decode = perfection
Old 1st November 2014
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
sharkboy's Avatar
Dumb question: who carries Knif in the US?
Old 1st November 2014
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharkboy View Post
Dumb question: who carries Knif in the US?
Since you asked:
KNIF Audio
Old 1st November 2014
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
sharkboy's Avatar
Cool. Thanks.
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