Manley® Variable Mu Limiter Compressor
Manley® Variable Mu Limiter Compressor
Really Blown Away
I've never heard the Variable Mu hardware so I can't talk to its authenticity. I was familar with the SSL's bus compressor from the Waves SSL that I owned so I started off getting that compressor for this platform as well. I felt it did what I expected but I wanted more and so I auditioned this and the Neve 3390. I expected I would really like the Neve so I tried it first. Next I tried the Variable Mu and wow! I for the first time heard that magical glue that every strives to get. I use about 2 db of compression on my sub mixes and 2 - 4 on my master mix bus. I ended up getting this compressor and the UAD SSL that I already bought. I found I use this one always because it doesn't sound compressed it is very transparent. Try it!
Winner vs Previous Compressor Combination
Before buying Manley Variable Mu I was using Teletronix® LA-2A Classic Leveling Amplifier Plug-In combined with Fairchild 670 Compressor Plug-In made by UAD. Was an excellent choice but after buying Manley Variable Mu® Limiter Compressor Plug-In there was a big change on my mix. This is one of the best plugins to work compression on vocals based on my experience.
I almost bought the hardware version a couple of years ago so I'm glad UAD finally did this one! It's one of the smoothest and most transparent compressors I've ever used (plug-in wise). Whether on the mix buss or individual tracks - it just works. If you want something aggressive you may not reach for this one - but if you're looking for smooth and creamy, this might be your "go to". And you don't have to replace the tubes every couple of years. :-)
Absolutely love it!
We had one of these back in the day at University and I used it all the time and ever since I got the plugin it put me back into those days. It's so nice so warm and just beautiful on everything. It's a subtle effect but it makes everything sound just better!
Maybe it's just me....
As a plug-in stereo compressor it's great- just like a lot of stereo compressors in UA's catalog. I've used the Vari-Mu plug-in in a wide variety of situations and it works fine. But when comparing it to the 10 year old Manley Vari-mu in my rack (recently modified with the HP SC option), the plug-in just doesn't carry the same "weight" as the hardware. The hardware version just has some magical glueness to it that the plug-in doesn't. Maybe I'm just used to my particular hardware version sonic character -using something every day for 10 years, things tend to grow on you. Maybe it was modeled after the tube switch?
So for me it's the hardware version going in and sub-bus on mixes and the plug-in for channels for a little extra as needed.
I own the 670 mkII & SHMC. I initially thought the VariMu might be redundant, I assure you, it is NOT. It has a sound all its own. It does have a sublime 'glue' factor. It has less edge than the 670 but does still manages to impart a polite, silky top that is all class. I tend to like it best working at ~ -2 dB's of G.R., more than that & I can start hearing the comp work a bit too much for my tastes; unlike the 670 which seems to sound just fine when pushed harder. However, an argument could be made: a decent mix shouldn't really need much more than -2dB's of G.R., yes? Ill be reaching for this on every mastering project moving forward. I'll A/B it against the 670 & occasionally try it against the SHMC too. I expect it will be quite a star
I've had the hardware version since the year it came out...
We've loved having the hardware Vari-Mu at Cowboy Technical Services in Brooklyn. It's such a great, musical compressor. I remember EveAnna Manley excitedly showing it to us at the AES Show in NYC. It's been used on every recording that's come out of our place since then. I'm very familiar with the sound of the hardware unit. It's terrific to be able to use this one in addition when mixing. Also terrific to be able to use it when mixing ITB. It behaves just like the one I've used to and has some added features beyond that. Thanks a bunch for your hard work on this one.
really good tool.
i looked for a stereo-compressor, which is easy to handle and i found it.
What a beautiful compressor. This has to be one of the best plugs I have ever had on my master buss. The input is amazing. Glued everything together like nothing I have used before. Awesome!
excellent sound, thick but transparent, waiting API 2500?
This is the perfect plugin for when you wanna slap a compressor for a ton of gain reduction but don't wanna hear pumping or artifacts and still somehow maintain dynamics... Really a great job medeling the hardware. GREAT JOB, UA!
Por ahora lo utilizo en buses estereo, pues aun no logro sacarle máximo provecho en canales individuales. La verdad no sé si se acerca lo suficiente a la versión hardware original, pero me gusta como suena y se comporta en la mezcla, fue una buena compra.
Lo negativo, no hay manual en español, cada día son más sus clientes de habla hispana y sería bueno considerarlos.
(Traducido pot Google traductor)
For now I use it in stereo buses, because even I can not get most out into individual channels. Truth does not know if it's close enough to the original hardware version, but I like the sound and behave in the mix, it was a good buy.
The negative, not manual in Spanish, every day more Hispanic customers and would be good to consider them.
BEST COMP PLUG!
This thing is just amazing and transparent. Whether it makes the cut compared to the real one I cannot say but having only demoed it I am seriously sweating at the excitement of owning it! It wasn't even on my top list of things to but but its sound is just so impressive it is a must have and will be getting it now! Have have it! Demo it you will see!
My new buss comp!
I love this thing! I was using the UA Neve comp for buss compression mostly till I tried this. I've done a few mixes and this is my new go to buss compressor! The reviews about how much DSP it used had me a little worried, but I've had no issues at all!
Your music seems to be breathing
I use this plugin on the two bus only is has a suble unique effect I would de describe as : Your Music seems to be breathing, it humanizes. All mixes sound more natural and less technical when you are mixing in the box.
For this purpose the compressor is unique. For compression on single instruments I would not use it.
Nice glue and warmth
This plugin sounds so good. I already have the LA2A, 1176, and Fairchild collections so I was on the fence about buying another compressor. But after demoing it and doing some mastering work with it I was floored. Well, the first time I used it I wasn't, but after reading the manual and going back to it I was! Definitely buying this
M. Vila Nova
Glue and character
Amazing recreation of the original with added benefits. I might take the HW out of my wish list... Once again, UAD at its best!
Decent Alternative to the Hardware
After using the plugin for awhile now, I agree that it does a nice job of compressing cleanly and is a useful tool. But I still find that the hardware has the mojo that isn't fully realized in the plugin. I'm not sure why the meters are different between the two either. On the hardware, a lot of time is spent in the .5 to 2dB range so I kind of miss that on the plugin. Overall, a worthy purchase but I'm not parting with the hardware just yet.
This took a while for me to get comfortable with. This compressor can crush without sounding like it is compressing. It's so clean. I never used the hardware version, but who cares. It sounds great and does the job. I use this on my drum bus and it sounds great!!
Like a Ghost. You can see through it but you know its there!
Whoa. Never bothered to write a review before, in my life. Blown away. Own a lot of plug ins. Several manufacturers. When they indicate that it is transparent, they should mean it. This one delivers the goods. So subtle but you hear the difference. I use the outboard one. But man, the cost difference and what it delivers? I have learnt in time, to try out the products and be my own judge. And this one, man! Don't take my word for it, for now. But try it. Then respond, if I'm wrong. I still have not purchased it as of yet. I will soon. Good work UAD.