A truly professional piece for the project studio.
So here's the deal - I own a small recording studio and I have been composing and recording for over 15 years. I have been crafting great-sounding music that comes fairly close to that "big-studio" sound but I always felt that my vocal tracks, acoustic guitar and live drum tracks lacked a little polish. I have decent mics and pres, a well-treated ( but not perfect) recording room, good monitors etc. I do extensive mix comparison on different systems and am generally able to get solid, translatable mixes that I am happy with. But it takes lots of tweaking and adjusting and often re-recording to get things how I like. Now I had my eye on the Portico series for some time now and finally I ordered one. I am a firm believer in the fact that gear does not make great recordings - people who learn to use their tools effectively and train their ears do.
But the Portico has changed my mind a little. There is something very special about this unit. I can best describe it as a smooth, clear, professional sheen on vocals and acoustic guitar. I plugged my TLM-103 in a added some compression and I felt like I was in a million-dollar studio. The sound was rich and natural. The mic captured details of vocal inflection beautifully. Somehow the recording seemed more "alive" yet was surprisingly forgiving. I felt no need to add lots of eq and plug ins. A touch of reverb and it sounded great. When I did add some plug in effects it seemed to really make them shine. Same results with acoustic guitar and electric bass.
My tracks are now easier to mix, and have a natural "big studio" sheen now. I cannot explain it all but I know the interaction of the Neve circuitry seems to bring the very best out of my mics and instruments.
I still use my Liquid Channel and UA-solo mic pres, but the portico more often than not gets the job done with the least tweaking and fuss. And I can capture the sounds I have in my mind now.
I recognize that every part of the recording chain plays a role. This mic pre is NOT a substitute for good performances, solid acoustic treatment and careful mix-referencing, but it does have some definite MAGIC that has taken my recordings to a new level!!
Mr Rupert Neve I am a believer!