Manley Variable MuItem ID: VariMu
Dual-channel Tube Limiter/Compressor with Stereo Link and True Variable Gain
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From Our Research Team:
True Variable Mu Limiting and Compression!
Manley Variable Mu Compressor/Limiter at a Glance:
Although the Variable Mu is not a clone of one, the Fairchild 670 series used a similar limiting principle and those who are familiar with that piece of gear know this method to be very special. In fact, with "mu" meaning gain or amplification factor, the Variable Mu offers true variable gain, unlike most devices. How it works is that the unique 5670 dual trioide is at the center of the peak-reducing and compression action - and it's constantly being re-biased by the vacuum tube rectified side-chain control voltages. This causes the tube to smoothly change its gain.
The Varible Mu's Compress mode is soft-knee 1.5:1 ratio while the sharper knee Limit mode starts at 4:1 and moves to a more dramatic ratio of 20:1 when limiting over 12dB. Interestingly, the knee actually softens as more limiting is used. Distortion can be creatively used by turning up the Input and turning down the Outputs while using very little or no compression.
Perfect for dual-mono or stereo applications
You might notice that the Vari-Mu has a ganged input control, but it's certainly not mono-unfriendly. There are separate threshold and output controls to make compensations with, plus you can always adjust your individual source levels elsewhere. The advantage of the stereo input control becomes clear when you switch to Link mode, and that's what th Variable Mu does better than anything else: final mix, 2-track, or mastering limiting and compression. Like one reviewer put it: "It's like pouring a bowl of sweet cream over the mix."
Manley Variable Mu Compressor/Limiter Features:
Add the perfect compression with Manley's Variable Mu!
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Phillip, Lynwood, IL
Reviewsbased on 3 reviews
Manley Vari-Mu is Awesome
by Dan P from Murfreesboro, TNIt helps me take my "in-the-box" mixes out of the box!
January 9, 2013
Music Background: 30+ years as engineer, producer, educator, & musician
I'm a long-time console guy and I never attempted finished, professional sounding mixes at home before, but my Vari-Mu is a big p... read more [+]art of my ability to do so. The sonic qualities of my mixes have improved in a big way once I started using the Manley as a program compressor. I little goes a long way and I love this thing! It's a Manley... it's going to sound great! close [-]
by Robert L. Smith from New York CityEssential to my studio. Perfect for recording, mixing and mastering. Can't recommend it enough!
March 26, 2012
Music Background: Producer/Engineer/Mixer
A Modern Classic!
by Ernest Buckley from NYCI don`t own the Vari Mu but I have had the extreme pleasure of working with it. This is the desert island compressor we all would want. Just one listen and you`ll know why. The Vari Mu works beautiful... read more [+]ly on the overall mix but it really shines on anything. What impresses me the most about this box is how much you don`t hear it. Its so good you will swear its not working but you know it sounds better. The first time I used it I pretty much slammed the ratio as hard as I could just to hear some compression. The ratio was something like 20:1. I know its insane but thats my point! close [-]
June 17, 2006
Music Background: Singer-Songwriter-Producer
by: Gilbert Janke
The Manley VariMu is an American success! It’s hand-built right here on U.S. soil, and sought... read more »
The Vari-Mu is a modern classic, and for good reason! I love that way it sounds on the master bus of a mix... the compression helps to glue the mix together and makes everything sound "finished." With three tubes and two transformers per channel, nothing quite sounds as good to me on a rock or pop mix like a Manley Vari-Mu.
Manley Variable Mu
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