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Portico II Master Buss Processor

Rupert Neve Designs Portico II Master Buss Processor
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Description

Based around the high voltage, discrete and class-A signal paths made famous in the 5088 Mixer and the Portico II Channel, the Portico II Master Buss Processor is a creative tool that redefines the boundaries and limitations of traditional 2-channel compression and limiting. Though originally developed for mastering applications, the MBP has quickly become a favorite of mix engineers, tracking engineers, and even FOH engineers. From mixing bass-heavy EDM to a delicate master of a chamber ensemble, it has something to offer everyone – no matter the use or genre.
With input and output transformers designed and implemented by Mr. Rupert Neve, the high-voltage 72V topology found in the Master Buss Processor will integrate flawlessly with virtually any system. Additionally, the MBP incorporates mastering-grade detented pots throughout to fine-tune its revolutionary dynamics, tone, and stereo field controls. This new topology is a significant evolution of Mr Rupert Neve’s classic designs with appreciable benefits to headroom, dynamic range, distortion, noise, slew rate, bandwidth, and accuracy while still providing the sweet, musical performance that has been a part of countless recordings.

The Compressor
The MBP’s two compressor sections allow virtually limitless possibilities in dynamics for either dual mono or stereo sources, with controls for ratio, threshold, attack, release, blend, side chain HPF, limit and make up gain. When engaged, the compressor section can be used in both feed-forward and feed-back modes to provide a transparent modern response (feed-forward), or a smoother, more musical vintage response (feed-back). Peak mode alters the compressor’s attack to react to peak transients with a roughly .1ms response time. When the Peak switch is disengaged, the compressor responds to the RMS signal in conjunction with the attack and release settings. SC HPF inserts a high pass filter at 250 Hz into the side chain to deal with intense low frequencies that may skew the response of the VCA with certain songs and instruments. “Blend” creates a parallel mix between the compressed and dry signals. By mixing the compressed and dry signals, it is possible to increase the volume of quieter elements in the source material (for instance, delicate snare brushing on a track with much louder hits), while maintaining a natural dynamic feel for the louder elements.
To further control the side chain, there is also an insert “send” and “return” that may be paired with an external EQ or other filters for additional manipulation. The “return” may also be used as a “Key” input for ducking one signal to another (for instance, a voice-over keying the compressor to duck a background music track).
With the stereo link control engaged, Ch. A settings act as the master control for convenient operation.

The Limiter
The Portico II Master Buss Processor also features an extremely versatile, transparent and musical limiter. At first glance, one might scoff at the single knob operation – however, this limiter is extremely intelligent, knowing how to appropriately respond to the various signals presented to it. Our new Adaptive Release Technology is behind this revolutionary performance. Using a blend of release time constants, this limiter will simultaneously respond quickly to transient material (such as the “snap” of a snare drum) and slowly to more sluggish signals (such as a bass guitar). This configuration allows the limiter to grab a transient and let go just an instant later, while also dealing with more constant signals in a slower, more musical way. In this manner, the MBP’s limiter can provide a much more aggressive amount of limiting than typically possible, while maintaining the essential character of the music and remaining free of the modulation distortion usually found in a fast-acting limiter.
Typically there is a tradeoff between how fast a limiter can react and the amount of modulation distortion in the lower frequencies. This is due to the lower frequencies finding their way into the side chain signal, triggering the compressor on and off very quickly, which ends up modulating the overall signal. This is interesting to look at with sine waves, but sounds quite undesirable with music. The MBP does not have this tradeoff, and one is able to have the best of both worlds: a quick, snappy response while maintaining the integrity and smoothness of the low end. In addition to the adaptive time constant circuitry, the release time is also varied with the position of the knob. As the knob is turned counter-clock-wise, the release time is increased accordingly, as typically one would want a longer release time with a larger amount of reduction.

Discussions

What's on your master bus? (analog only please)

I'm also including the RND MBP in my mastering chain virtually every time. For me it's usually Lavry Blue DAC, IBIS, RND MBP, Lavry Blue or Burl ADC. Sometimes I patch in a pair of BAE 1073D and/or the RND 542 Tape Heads. Recently I've got the KNIF Soma and/or Vari...

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Mastering Compressor Comparison (Audio Samples)

...8900 Greg Hanks Design BA-660 Gyraf G22 Hcl Varis Hcl Varis Blueface IGS Multicore IGS Tubecore Knif Pure Mu Knif Vari Mu II Kush Tweakers Manley SLAM Manley Vari Mu Mercury 66 Neve MBP Pendulum ES-8 Pomchild 670 QES Variable Gm Rockruepel CompOne Rockruepel CompTwo Shadow Hills Dual Vandagraph Sknote Leso SSL Thermionic Culture Phoenix Vacuvox Vertigo VSC-2 ********************************************************* ORIGINAL POST The missing link in my analogue chain is a Vari Mu (or perhaps Opto) style compressor. There are several pieces...

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Louder than Liftoff Silver Bullet first impressions

Sorry my bad, I mean API 5500:lol:. Neve MBP is my favorite, it just unable to sound bad even when I try to make it. I own API 2500, too, a different beast, it stays on my drum bus forever. What I am trying to say is that I don't find Silver Bullet good as...

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