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NAMM Show Report

Rupert Neve Designs 543 Compressor/Limiter Reviews

5.0 stars based on 5 customer reviews
Questions about the Rupert Neve Designs 543 Compressor/Limiter?

Questions about the Rupert Neve Designs 543 Compressor/Limiter?

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  • from San Antonio,TX September 21, 2016Music Background:
    Producer, Engineer

    Wow

    I was absolutely blown away by this compressor. Sales Engineer Drew Foster told me about how good it sounds. He was not wrong at all.. Even doing loads of compression, there are no unpleasing artifacts and it just adds weight to the sound. Just like Neve should.. Awesome..

  • from Newport, RI July 12, 2016Music Background:
    indie record label owner, audio engineer.

    BEST 500 SERIES COMPRESSOR .

    Not gonna say much about this purchase, only that the name and product speaks for its self. go to your nearest pro gear vendor and listen and believe.

  • from East Orange, NJ January 29, 2014Music Background:
    Producer/Recording Engineer

    Nice!!

    I have to admit the low price point had me a little skeptical at first, but after using the 511 for a little over a month, I have to say that I am very impressed!
    This thing just sounds nice and gives my vocals that presence I was looking for. I did only hear a slight difference when engaging the silk feature, but the hi pass filter works absolutely great!
    Really good sounding pre at a REALLY good price.

  • from San Francisco, CA USA October 10, 2013Music Background:
    Supervising Sound Mixer and Sound Designer in production and post-production for Film, Television, Stage, Theatre, Concerts.

    "Among the cleanest, most foul creature!"

    This was our first foray into the world of Rupert Neve Design. After countless performances and shows of using UA 1176LN, LA2A, Distressor, Presonus ACP88, including the ubiquitous Art Pro-VLA II, we decided that a cleaner and more transparent compressor was needed in our selections.

    RND's Portico 543 particularly excelled in the category of sounding clean without having the pumping effect of an overly-compressed signal box. The first exception was it's high-pass sidechain parameter that enables all frequencies under 250Hz to pass through untouched. What this does is allow the compressor to work on only the mids and upper transients of the signal, thus, giving a much smoother and uniform body. Very similar to having a multiband compressor across your signal, ie bass, kick, mix buss, and boosting the lower frequencies for a fuller soundtrack.

    The second most important feature is the feedback and feedforward parameter. The feedback mode is very gentle, while the feedforward mode has a higher compression effect. With feedback mode engaged and high compression ratio, the signal still retains most of it's dynamics except for the slightest transients that gets smoothed out.

    In all, RND's 543 is by far the most transparent compressor we've ever heard to date. It's not unlikely that one would fill a whole 500 series rack full of 543's.

  • from Lexington, SC USA October 19, 2012Music Background:
    Producer, Engineer and Pro Musician

    Clean...

    I love this on FB mode for R&B and Hip Hop vocals (or for any vocal you want clean). This sounds great with my Pacifica mic pre. Very clean and transparent. One design aspect that I would change is to have the gain reduction meter on top so it's easier to see. That's just a personal preference. It seems to be of a very solid construction.

Reviews

  • Mitch Gallagher
    4-15-2013

    Watching the studio-gear paradigm progress has been interesting. Years ago, of course, everything was analog. Then the digital era hit, and many of us switched to completely in-the-box systems for the advantages they provided. But these days, many studios (including mine) are switching to a hybrid approach - using the best of both digital and analog. A big part of the growing popularity of the hybrid approach has been the rise of the API 500 Series format, which condenses pro studio gear into compact modules that can be loaded into a rackmount or portable chassis.

    Rupert Neve Designs recently released a family of modules, including two brand-new pieces that were first shown at the 2013 Winter NAMM show. I was able to load up all four into a chassis and take them for a spin. There are two preamps: the 517, which combines an RND preamp with an opto compressor and RND's signature Silk control, and the brand-new 511, which is a preamp with Silk and a variable highpass filter. The 517 actually has two paths, mic and DI, which can be blended. Both modules sound phenomenal, with a full but open tone. The Silk control allows you to shape the tone, adding a subtly smooth texture.

    The 543 is RND's mono VCA compressor. It offers full control over all parameters, plus a choice of RMS or peak detection, feed-forward or feedback operation, and the ability to sidechain with or without a highpass filter in the path. I found it to be transparent, with just a touch of added "polish" - the tracks I ran through it sounded subtly enhanced in that beautiful Neve fashion.

    Also brand-new is the 542. This tape emulator module can do great things to your audio, adding beef and rounding out harshness while adding desirable harmonic content. You get a saturation control, a blend control for mixing in the effect, and the choice of 15ips or 30ips tape-speed simulation - as well as the ability to add Silk to the signal. Here's my favorite setting: 30ips, fairly heavy saturation, the blend set to around 50%, and a good amount of the "blue" texture setting. It's analog heaven!

    Rupert Neve has really hit the mark with these modules. All the Portico sound is there, with plenty of control and powerful sound-shaping options, but in the compact, affordable 500 Series format. Outstanding!

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