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Universal Audio Neve 88RS Channel Strip Collection
4.75 4.75 out of 5, based on 1 Review

The Neve 88 Series is a paragon of large-format analog console design. Introduced in 2001, the 88 Series is renowned for its startling depth, airiness, and clarity — deftly encompassing the best of all Neve designs that came before it.

10th February 2016

Universal Audio Neve 88RS Channel Strip Collection by PassionFlower

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Universal Audio Neve 88RS Channel Strip Collection

This is the finest channel strip plugin on the market right now. It's so good that I would pay good money for a dedicated controller specifically made for it.

The preamp section can be used to saturate the signal in a fantastic way. It can even make recordings from subpar microphones sound pretty good and creamy.
It's also the best sounding plugin to be used in Unison mode with the Apollo in my opinion. Just sounds good on pretty much everything.

The compressor is very transparent which I think is good for a channel strip compressor. If I want character I can add an additional compressor. I don't like to slam this compressor, but for smoothing out the peaks without interfering with the sound it works really well.

The limiter/expander however is the weakest part for me. I think it's quite difficult to control and it is often very clicky. I'm not sure if I got something wrong or if it's the actual behaviour of this thing. It is certainly usable but in no way as good as the one on the API Vision strip. It does have a hysteresis control which makes it more flexible, so that's certainly a plus. But as a whole I'm not impressed with this part.

Now the filters and especially the EQ on this thing is just spectacular on the other hand. It just sounds fantastic. One of the best sounding algorithmic software EQs I've heard. You can really push it like you would with an analogue EQ and it won't ever sound bad.
The only negative thing I have to say about it is that the layout and knob colours make it a bit hard to navigate and it will take a while to get used to. I think the previous version was a bit better in this regard actually.

All in all it's a spectacular channel strip, and this can really be the only channel strip you will ever own. It is not as easy to dial in as the API Vision, but it's far more versatile.

But it comes at a cost. And I'm not talking about the cost of the plugin itself, because that's perfectly reasonable for this level of quality. But when all the sections are engaged it eats DSP like there was no tomorrow.
If you are going to use this as a Unison plugin for tracking it's not really a problem. But for mixing it will require at lot of cores so this is something to consider. Be prepared to buy an additional 8 core UAD-2 unit.
For me personally I think it's worth it.

Highly recommended!