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Manley Vari Mu
Old 10th November 2002
  #1
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Manley Vari Mu

Manley lays claim on their web site that this is used on 80% of productions, and it appears to be present in most of the big studios. However, I've read many posts on different forums where engineers don't care for it on their 2 buss. Why, what do you people think?
Old 10th November 2002
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Mike Tholen's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
are they ****ing dreaming or what?
what a bull**** claim. shame on you, eve anna.
I've been in alot of big ass VERY PRODUCTIVE studios in LA, NY, and every where else and I can't think of one that had one of those pieces of **** in the room...
in fact the only time I have seen it was in someone's 'project' studio.
I personally don't care for that unit...I tried it before at my friend's home studio...and then borrowed it on a pretty important gig, only to be disapointed in the way it ****ed the bottom end up (I'm sure they have fixed this problem by now...) and maybe it's fine now, but man, what a bull**** claim anyhow.dfegad

Old 10th November 2002
  #3
Moderator
 
EveAnna Manley's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ya'll need to go to the Variable Mu page and get your facts straight before you guys just haul off at me. Word Hint: Mastering

But you Mikey, you may haul off at me anytime. Your Negative Public Relations postings have been a little absent as of late. That's why I have been holding your N.P.R. checks in case you're wondering. You need to post bad things about us more often if you are going to earn your money. Get on it.

But you're right. Guys like Marcussen and Ludwig work in "project studios." Here's a list of some "project studios" with Manley Variable Mu's and I am sure as a list they don't come close to doing 90% of pop music or do they??? (I usually use the 80% figure, Hutch used the 90% figure):

Gateway
Marcussen Mastering
Sterling
Masterdisk
FutureDisc
Precision Mastering
Oasis
Studios 301 (Oz)
Airshow Mastering
La Source (France)
Sony Mastering (on several continents)
Hit Factory Mastering
Capitol Mastering
JK MasterMix (Germany)
Classic Master (Carlos Frietas Brazil)
Classic Sound NYC
Abbey Road mastering (London)
Metropolis Mastering (London)
Metropolis NYC
MasterWorks
Rocket Labs
Warner Brothers
Bernie Becker Mastering
Sonorous Mastering
Colossal Mastering
Galaxy Belgium
SAE Mastering (Roger Seibel)
And even good ol' Tony Mantz!

Doug Sax doesn't have one and I don't think Grundman has any.


Soooo cuz these are just some folks I can remember off the top of my head who I know have Variable Mu's, I don't think the claim is that out of line, actually.
Old 10th November 2002
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I had the Variable MU and i sold it..

Many people whose opinions i respect, continually glowed and gushed with glazed eyes about how it had changed their lives. I admit that its not really a box that is what i am generally after... I'm generally about attitude and the VMU did not really have what i like or look for. It is VERY polite and i can see why Mastering houses around the world (including even good ol' Tony Mantz!) it does what it does very well.

Suffice to say, i found the bottom end to be a little fluffy and soft which may hahve been why the T-Bar mod was prompted(which i am lead to beleive fixed this problem somewhat) it is generally slow acting whcih is both good and bad application dependant of course..

I had great success on with it on:
- OH's going to digital rigs cos it tames the transients nicely.
-Piano for control and sustain of notes and decay.
-2 buss with FAST compressor BEFORE it!... something like Al Smart..heh heh heh heh .. but it was a bit sluggish with out the faster com before it.

The build is impecable and is built like a Neve or a classic 'brick ****house'

I must admit i got mine at a bargain price...... but i would not buy again for the regular price that the dealers in Australia charge which is just plain stupid!!!!!! and exorbitant and its cheaper to import directly from dealers in US or elsewhere.

but most of all listen for yourself and decide for yourself if this box is for you... dont go by fashion or simply discount it because others dont like it... use ya ears and make your own mind up..

Either way let us know !
Old 10th November 2002
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Wiggy Neve Slut
I had great success on with it on:
- OH's going to digital rigs cos it tames the transients nicely.
-Piano for control and sustain of notes and decay.
-2 buss with FAST compressor BEFORE it!... something like Al Smart..heh heh heh heh .. but it was a bit sluggish with out the faster com before it.
Needing a fast 2buss comp before the unit and saying it will tame [fast] OH transients is a bit contradictory, no?

Most rooms I work in either have the vari-mu racked or have it onsite as an upcharge ...

Great piece of gear Eve Anna ... can't wait for a 5.1 version (hint, hint)
Old 10th November 2002
  #6
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i dont like what it does to my mixes. i ask mastering people to NOT use manley gear when mastering my stuff. there are a few things i would like to own one for on individual tracks... but certainly NOT a whole mix.
Old 11th November 2002
  #7
Gear Addict
 
mplancke's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk
... but certainly NOT a whole mix.
I use mine on the 2 bus in certain (but not all) situations it works quite well. I usually use less than 2db of total gain reduction in comp mode which normally tightens things up nicely. I find if you push it too hard, especially with a full mix things tend to mush up a bit.

Mark
Old 11th November 2002
  #8
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Coldsnow,

I think the only thing that matters -- when you know what you want -- is what you hear when you use it. AFAIK, from a commercial (non-mastering) studio viewpoint, there is no 'must-have' stereo comp that all clients have come to a consensus on. Many engineers just bring their fave comp of the day with them anyway.
Old 11th November 2002
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Screws's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Has anyone seen or heard this?

http://www.studioelectronics.com/ass...EADME_C2s.html
Old 11th November 2002
  #10
Jax
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I like my V-Mu a lot, and I agree with the other post that if you don't ask it to hold down the whole fort on the 2 mix, the bottom end doesn't go mushy. Doesn't work on everything, but nothing I have does. Go figure.

I don't know about it being used in 80% of productions, however. That sounds like an unreasonable claim. Dropping a list is fine, EveAnna, but it doesn't prove that they all use the V-Mu 80% of the time on the 2 mix. It only shows that they own one (or more).

p.s. - I haven't heard the T Bar mod yet, though.
Old 12th November 2002
  #11
Lives for gear
 
hollywood_steve's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Has anyone seen or heard this?

http://www.studioelectronics.com/as...README_C2s.html
****************

I worry when a product announcement contains many factual errors, especially about the model they claim to be better than. According to the UA website, the 1176 much of what is said on the Studio Electronics page is incorrect; from what version of the old 1176 was used as the model for the reissue to the ClassA/Class AB output amp controversy.

Doesn't make for a good product intro.....

steve
Old 12th November 2002
  #12
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by mplancke


I use mine on the 2 bus in certain (but not all) situations it works quite well.
well, there are many different tastes out there. its just not what i prefer.
Old 12th November 2002
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Mike Tholen's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I prefer these...
Old 13th November 2002
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
RESPEC Mike.... i love the C1 which i salso see in ya rack!!! is they the dogs balls or what!

PEACE
Wiggy
Old 13th November 2002
  #15
Lives for gear
 
groundcontrol's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
At the very least they LOOK good! heh
Old 13th November 2002
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Wiggy Neve Slut
RESPEC Mike.... i love the C1 which i salso see in ya rack!!! is they the dogs balls or what!

PEACE
Wiggy
On 2-mix stuff, the C1 absolutely kills the C2 in every way for my money. After I used the C1 for a while, the next time I heard the C2 on the mix, I thought it was busted. Of course crush on drums is another subject entirely -- as is my preference of the SSL unit to all of the Smart stuff on 2-mix.

Phil
Old 13th November 2002
  #17
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Mike, don't you have some U373's in addition to the U73's. I can't remember if you had Oliver tweak them out or not. How do they compare to the 73's? Any tips as to where they work best?

Bear
Old 14th November 2002
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
Jack the Bear's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm curious who Wiggy Gear slut is....if you want to introduce yourself to me off list, please do.

I'm a fan of the Mu. I'm only familiar with it in a mastering context. I have found the Mu to be particularly useful on rock projects and if you run it at unity, it has a lovely euphonic tone. I'm aware of the artifacts that it can produce, but surely there isn't a one-size-fits-all box???? If I'm wrong please lemme know as I'll order it NOW and I can save myself a packet on the Cranesong IBIS I've just ordered.
You'll all be doing me a great favor.

I also have an STC-8 compressor which is deluxe, but it doesn't ALWAYS get put in the chain.

Maybe some of you who had experience with the Mu haven't heard of analogue gain staging?? ;-)

Thanks to Eve Anna for putting me on the list of highly esteemed folks. I'm definitely not worthy!!!


I like this forum. Gotta go and do some work to update my way way way outdated website.

Cheers,

Tony Mantz.
Old 14th November 2002
  #19
Jax
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jack the Bear

Maybe some of you who had experience with the Mu haven't heard of analogue gain staging?? ;-)
Ohhh, now don't be condescending. That's just wrong. I know you're a ME but come on.
Old 14th November 2002
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
Jack the Bear's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Jackson,

If you noticed my ;-) at the end of that quote, you would probably guess there was meant to be some humour there.


And just because I'm a ME (an alleged one at that) it doesn't mean my opinion is right or that I necessarily have anything valid to add that you don't already know. I'm nothing more than a glorified tape copy boy who loves his gear.

However you'd be amazed at how many guys I've seen use a Mu (mine included as I have no problem with my clients having a fiddle if they are so inclined), just drive the **** out of it! Do that to any box and at some point it'll go soft and spongey too.

Transformers are level sensitive. Still doesn't mean the Mu is for everyone.

I certainly didn't mean to offend anyone...I'm offensive enough to myself ;-)

Cheers,

Tony Mantz.
Old 16th November 2002
  #21
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by EveAnna Manley

Here's a list of some "project studios" with Manley Variable Mu's and I am sure as a list they don't come close to doing 90% of pop music or do they??? (I usually use the 80% figure, Hutch used the 90% figure):

(SNIP)

Soooo cuz these are just some folks I can remember off the top of my head who I know have Variable Mu's, I don't think the claim is that out of line, actually.
Y'all can add me to the list - Java Jive Studio, Nashville, TN. 3 channels of Vari-Mu, and used all the time.
Old 17th November 2002
  #22
Gear Nut
 
Jamie Tate's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin
Y'all can add me to the list - Java Jive Studio, Nashville, TN. 3 channels of Vari-Mu, and used all the time.
They're stereo units. Are you telling us one side is broken?
Old 17th November 2002
  #23
Moderator emeritus
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Smafdy


They're stereo units. Are you telling us one side is broken?
Nope - I have a single channel Mono Vari-Mu in addition to the stereo unit. When I got it, EvAna told me that they were out of production, but that she had one or two in the warehouse. It also makes a great compressor/limier on steel guitar...
Old 18th November 2002
  #24
Lives for gear
 
e-cue's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I used the Vari Mu as a limiter today for the 1st time, which is strange to me since I use it all the friggen time to compress. This thing brought my guitar buss alive. Another thing I found strange was that I hit it really harder than I expected, when I normally only take, say, 3 db top off when I compress. Anyone else give thumbs up on the limiter side of it?

All these boxes are starting to sound different to me. I don't think they age well.
Old 18th November 2002
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Mad John's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yeah! The Manley limiter section is absolutly beautiful on Vocals, you should really try that, if you have'nt already!

Cheers,




Old 18th November 2002
  #26
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by e-cue
I used the Vari Mu as a limiter today for the 1st time, which is strange to me since I use it all the friggen time to compress. This thing brought my guitar buss alive. Another thing I found strange was that I hit it really harder than I expected, when I normally only take, say, 3 db top off when I compress. Anyone else give thumbs up on the limiter side of it?
Hey E-cue,


Sometimes the limiter is the ticket to save a buss.


But I use the Vari-Mu more in compress mode or in bypass. The mastering version is actually more fun/versatile for doing specific tricks with drum,guitar and vocal busses.

I won't slag off on the Vari-Mu(sorry guys!!!).tut

I think like anything its a tool and its up to the user to make it work.

I've owned one at three different times in the last 10 years(the current one is the Mastering version with the T-mod).

I stopped using it on the mix buss years ago(1998 I think), when so many mastering guys were using it as their main analog compressor on people's projects(Manley Vari-Mu on top of Manley Vari-Mu starts to sound too non-distinctive). I wasn't crazy about that sound. grudge

I like my mixes having a unique and distinctive sound to them(that way i will keep getting work). That's how I stumbled on to my current mix comp(the modified Blue 230).

Now when "mastering guy/gal" uses the Vari-Mu the uniqueness will remain, plus the glue that the Vari-Mu brings.heh
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