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Anyone heard the Manley Nu Mu?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #61
Here for the gear
Yes you're right but the purpose of the test was not to do a gentle 1 or 2dB compression but instead push it more to hear it working. Of course those are not settings I would use for mastering, most of the time I'm compressing around 2 dB with the HIP function engaged. I agree with you about the TK having more smack (it's also a faster compressor). But that's funny because I think the Manley tends to brighten up the mix, whereas the TK can sound a little duller. I think the TK emphasizes more the low end, but probably because the HP filter is different from the Manley so the TK compresses less the low end. I find the Manley to be well balanced and classy sounding especially for electronic music, but I tend to prefer the TK on mellower stuff like acoustic pop with gentle compression (the Manley can pump a little bit sometimes especially if the transients are not well controlled in the mix).

So now I'm not using that much the TK for mastering, I do use it however on the mix bus to glue everything together (SSL style) when I mix dense songs (especially rock or metal) because he's really good at that, and I love it on drums, very nice, clean and punchy compression (but not smacky).

But that's interesting to hear different points of view, and I will also post some examples with the HIP function, which I'm sure you would prefer.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #62
joulss If you're interested I can send you a file of one of your tracks I ran through my Foote P3EX for comparison.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #63
Here for the gear
Yes that would be interesting to compare.

By the way here some files processed with the HIP function, GR is less than in the previous samples, around 2dB :

https://we.tl/6yr0Hx8KG1
Old 3 weeks ago
  #64
So these are electro pop and hip hop through Lynx Hilo via the Foote P3EX in 1.2:1 RMS soft knee mode, one version with 50Hz hpf engaged one without. The unit may not be fully warmed up yet. The files are the actual recorded files, matched with the makeup gain on the Foote. The Foote is getting and putting out near full scale +20 so should awake some colour from the trafo and class A gain.

Edit: Doing 2dB reduction. Sounds like the Hip Hop one got a little more compressed than yours but might also be a quicker attack from the Foote.

https://wetransfer.com/downloads/2a7...8195707/d068da
Old 3 weeks ago
  #65
Yes HIP is more full less clamped/restrained while still doing it's thing, I like what the Nu Mu with HIP does. Doesn't sound like my VCAs, I agree it's open in the high end, slightly hi fi euphonic maybe.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #66
Sorry if I didn't catch it, but what converters are you using for this? Seems like the converters or Nu Mu adds a bit of sharp highs/sibilance?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #67
Here for the gear
Thanks for the files ! I will listen tomorrow morning on my monitors. It's going to be interesting because the Foote was on my list too so I will be able to hear it.

Yes I think the Nu Mu sounds better with the HIP, it's a great function if you want to compress without squashing a mix or make it pump. And you're right I forgot to mention what converters I used, I'm using an Antelope Pure 2 AD/DA converter running with Mogami cables. I think the high end hype comes from the Nu Mu because it's less obvious on the TK and the Pure 2 is a clean converter and pretty transparent, I really like it especially regarding its price tag.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #68
Funny, I was about to mention that the high end was similar to when I had the Pure2! Also the Orion, or if I clock my Hilo to the Orion (which I don't, I do the opposite) The Pure had a fault with some sub low end noise, and the rest of the ones in stores did too, so I got the Lynx Hilo instead, which I find smoother in the top end more true to the source, if you listen to the shaker in the pop track, the Pure2 change it a little. It's not that much, but I found I got a tad more problems with vocals getting a bit harsher, just something to look out for.

I like the Foote, and I might want thay Nu Mu down the line as I like a two channel linkable comp that can serve differnt functions while mixing etc. Do you use it for other stuff than whole mixes?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #69
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by-tor's Avatar
 

I would say the hip control is what makes this compressor really work for me. I always end up with it on.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #70
Here for the gear
I listened to the Foote files, it sounds really good, kinda like the TK but more elegant I would say, more classy sounding. I think the Manley with the HIP function sounds a little bigger and brighter, but the HPF is also different (50 hz on the Foote versus 100 hz on the Manley). I see what you mean about the hi end. Your top end is a little smoother, I guess the Hilo is more neutral and closer to the source, it's a real step up from the Pure 2, not the same price too, but what I really like with the Pure 2 is the ability to have a dedicated DAC for monitoring, separate from the AD/DA loop. With most mastering converters, it's only an AD/DA loop so you need an extra DAC just to listen to your DAW. Plus the Pure 2 is USB so it's all plug and play.

But I remember someone on the forum told the Pure 2 sounded better in AES or ADAT than in USB. I'm using it in USB so that may be the reason why the top end is a little harsh. That's no big deal though and coming from an Apogee Symphony, the Pure 2 sounded clean and transparent to me and was a big improvement.

But thanks for the files, it was interesting to hear the Foote. And yes by-tor you're right, the HIP is great and always on for me too.

EDIT : actually I looked for some information about the Hilo and it also has a dedicated DA circuit and is not that much expensive compared to the Pure 2... might check this out !

Last edited by joulss; 3 weeks ago at 04:55 PM.. Reason: Forgot something
Old 3 weeks ago
  #71
Yeah the Foote is great. I actually mix through the TK with 60/300 4:1 for snappy drum envelope that lets some attack through and follow up with 1.2:1 rario RMS Foote for a finished sound. The Foote is really great in RMS mode, but attack is kind of fast so it eat up too much if doing too much reduction. It's possible to get feedback compression from it and makes the attack come through more.

Luckily I didn't have to pay extra for the Hilo, and I like it a little better. The Pure2 is nice too, and was a step up from monitoring and capturing with the Prion32 which I initially did.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #72
I think I'll get the Nu Mu to pair with my Massive Passive for a mastering chain. I'm mostly a mixer/producer but there always pop up some local low budget mastering jobs. I like that it has adjustable attack and recovery, sounds (and looks!) great and different from my VCAs. Don't seem to add too much color either. I actually think it's kind of hard finding great sounding compressors for stereo mix and mastering tasks in general, especially at a low-ish price point. It's now on top of my list.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #73
Here for the gear
Yes the Nu Mu is very good, for mastering I'm using mostly the Nu Mu alone, but for mixing, I often put the TK first for the glue and then the Nu Mu for final shaping, the Nu Mu is not really a "gluey" compressor, which is not a bad thing at all, but it's very transparent (there is already a lot of glue compressors anyway), sounds and reacts more like a mastering compressor, even if you can also use it for mixing. By the way I've just tested it on drums but didn't like it at all, I much prefer the TK. I think it could work great however on vocals or acoustic guitar.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #74
Got a good price from dealer, so I just ordered one! Thanks again for providing samples as there wasn't much out there. I like the Vari Mu compression action but without too much color. I bet a regular Manley Vari Mu sounds great too, but I'm running my Massive Passive unbalanced bypassing the trafos and like that one much better without on most mixes. I like the trafo with vocals tho' as it smooths out the eSs-es a little.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #75
Here for the gear
That's great news, glad to know the tests helped you in your decision. I think it's pretty different from a Vari Mu, like Manley says on their website, the Vari Mu is more gluey and suits better to rock, country and acoustic music, whereas the Nu Mu shines on electronic music. So it really depends on what kind of music you're working on. I'm doing a lot of EDM, from chill deep house to hardcore trance, so the Nu Mu was the best choice, plus it's cheaper and easy to service (less tubes). I used to own a Vari Mu couple of years ago, I really liked the color but sounded a bit too soft and slow to me. I'm sure you won't regret your purchase.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #76
Yeah i do most Hip Hop and punchy drum oriented music so I think it would be a better fit at times. And the price I got was pretty great considering Mu comp from Manley, T bar mod Vari Mu is serious dough.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #77
Did anybody else read this comparison of the three Manley MUs? They did not like the Nu that much, and found it inconsistent with attacks and transient peaks, they have a picture with a spikey waveform, wonder if they did not set them up for really the same action or else why such different results if the same exact compressor section?

https://digitalmastering.nl/blog/201...mpressor-test/
Old 2 weeks ago
  #78
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Yes I've read this article. The thing is, the Nu Mu doesn't have the same attack and release times as the Vari Mu, if you put the same settings, it won't sound the same. Besides that, the Nu Mu is very sensitive to transients. For example, if you're compressing a track 2dB, and if at a moment there is a big kick hit, louder than others, then the compressor will go down to around, for example, 4 or 5 dB of GR. It's especially true if you're in limit mode instead of comp mode. So of course when that happens you hear a lot of pumping. And if I remember correctly they're compressing pretty hard.

That's why the Nu Mu always sounds better with the HIP function engaged, because you don't get those inconsistent peaks with it. With the HIP function it's very smooth and you don't have to worry about transients. My guess is maybe Manley added this function on the Nu Mu to get rid of that "problem" and kinda mask it. I would be curious however to hear those samples, as they put some pictures of the waveforms but we can't hear anything.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #79
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by-tor's Avatar
 

I saw that test...I really I love my Nu Mu with hip mode on....but a Vari Mu it is not. It really behaves and sounds different. So trying to set it the same is a bit pointless. And yeah. Like stated above...without hip mode on this thing can really pump and destroy transients or a whole mix. I am never compressing more than 1-2 db. Most of the time it isn't even compressing. It just kicks in to smooth out a slightly peaky vocal moment or drum fill or something. When set right it is smooth and transparent with a lovely tone just from the box. Not huge and tube-like and all that just a nice sheen that I really like. (I got a demo unit for a great great price and still figured I would return it cause I had not heard it and had seen no reviews. At first I was disappointed because I went into it expecting some Vari-Mu ness. After mastering a few things I grasped what it did and where to have it in my chain and now I really dig what it does and it is staying.)

Long story short: if you buy a Nu Mu to sound and work like a Vari Mu...Yer gonna have a bad time.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #80
I see, but Manley is marketing it as sort of the same but with less color and better for dance/Hip Hop, and that's kind of misleading or weird marketing if it's terrible at drums and transients and get pumpy and a little unconteolled. People are going to notice when they use it. I don't have the budget for a full MU and actually don't want a thick gooey color. I think I'll like this as I liked it over my Foote and TK with the files posted earlier, I want this for that finishing euphonic gente mastering thing where I'm not smashing things, and I think VCAs can be too grabby/obvious there. My unit is on its way and I'm exited.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #81
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by-tor's Avatar
 

Yeah. They are marketing it like that but without that tube drive on the input it really is different. When I use a Vari-Mu I am all about that input knob.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #82
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Slug1's Avatar
TKBC2-ME into Vari Mu for me. Just enough pop but rounded a bit.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #83
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I think Manley is wrong in labelling it "Nu Mu", they should have called it with a completely different name not to confuse people because as By-tor told, it's different from a Vari Mu, not only its sound, but also its action. But Deckdaddy I'm sure you'll like it, you just need to get used to it, because at first it can be a little confusing. But I don't like it for sure on drums, except on limit mode with HIP activated, it can work if you want transparent compression you don't hear, just to control the transients a bit, but for sure you won't get smacky drums like with an SSL. The Nu Mu is made to sit on the master bus. Funny it doesn't appear on the "mastering" gear list on Manley website, probably just because the pots are not stepped.
Old 1 week ago
  #84
Got mine today, warming her up.
Attached Thumbnails
Anyone heard the Manley Nu Mu?-img_6970.jpg  
Old 1 week ago
  #85
First impression is great. Took a minute to get into the action as it's different than my other comps. Especially the attack. I was a little afraid that I had to limit the track after compressing it (especially after reading that test comparing the different Manley Mus), but with Hip and Hpf engaged, compressing 1dB with slow attack and fast release the captured file was actually louder so that worked a charm, might have been different without Hip. Glad I like the action without Hip and Hpf too, for a more direct and edgy sound, Hip and Hpf mellows it more out. Nice finishing/mastering tool and different than VCAs I've tried. Will try it on vocals next.
Old 1 week ago
  #86
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Kimotei's Avatar
 

I was beginning to worry that it wasnt that interesting after all, but this sounds more promising again. Thanks!

Though im still wondering what it actually is doing to the signal that is appealing as hardware that you dont get from software. I mean if it is not sirupy like a vari mu, and not gluey like a vca, what is it actually sounding like, and if any what kind of "color". Is it something you find to be a usable addition to what you have your studio, both in terms of soft and hardware?
Old 1 week ago
  #87
If you want me to send a mix through I can. It helps to hear on your own type of material. While it's maybe not as syrupy as the others perhaps it's a light honey? The action is kind of slow in a nice way, classy way, not like a VCA comp set to slow settings. There is also Manley Iron transformer in there and there is some coloring from the unit, high end changes too. I thought the mix I ran through got "better" in that it sounded more even and solid, less spikey, vocal and important stuff got brought a little more up front. It just shaped the music in a cool way. Might not work for everything, or for you, but I found it nice.
Old 3 days ago
  #88
Just letting you guys know that I really like the Nu Mu on the mix buss after a little action from TK Audio BC1, Hip on but high pass off, 1dB reduction does a lot to the fullness and vibe of the mix. Much more full and finished sound, and sounds analog and a little bossy.
Old 3 days ago
  #89
Here for the gear
Cool man, seems you don't regret your purchase ! I just sold my TK BC2 and replaced it with a Dangerous Music Compressor. I think the TK sounds a little dull and sterile, and I've never been able to get some big punch out of it, whereas the D-Comp is crystal clear and super punchy, plus it has some nice features. So for hardcore EDM or electro rock I use the D-Comp whereas I tend to use the Nu Mu for pop or mellower stuff, but also hip hop when I want to control dynamics without killing the mix. Or sometimes I do like you I use both, the D-Comp first to get a little punch and glue and then it goes into the Nu Mu for final shaping. But you're right even if the Nu Mu is a solid state device (talking about the output, not the compression of course), it does add a little something to the mixes, such as a bigger low end, fullness and a little more air (probably due to the input transformers). However it's pretty difficult to compress just about 1dB with the Nu Mu as it is very sensitive to the transients and drops sometimes to -2 or -3dB of GR on some hits (especially snare or clap hits), have you noticed that ?
Old 3 days ago
  #90
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Justin P.'s Avatar
 

I just compared a NuMu with my Vari Mu (mastering version). There are a fair amount of similarities but then some bigger differences as well.

The HIP mode on the NuMu is very cool. It makes it sound somewhere in between a compressor and a limiter. I wish the Vari Mu had that.

The NuMu doesn't have the same darker/creamy sound of the Vari Mu. I don't think the NuMu adds any gloss or sheen, it just doesn't seem to tame or color the highs like the Vari Mu seems to on some material.

If the NuMu was the max budget I could spend, I'd get one but I don't think it replaces the Vari Mu if you want that classic sound.

The NuMu actually sounded pretty similar to my Dangerous Comp so I don't think I really have a place for this unit in my chain but it's certainly a great unit.
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