Rupert Neve Console Magic in a Channel Strip
Employing high-voltage topologies ported from Rupert Neve Designs' acclaimed 5088 console, the Portico II Channel delivers stunning transparency. You can color with it if you want, but you'll be painting with very fine brush strokes. Rupert Neve channeled his half-century of experience in designing the most accurate, sweet-sounding professional audio gear into a channel strip designed to take all the disparate sonic elements that go into a recording, and help you craft a vibrant, engaging 3-dimensional sonic statement that evokes the same raw emotion as a live performance. Rupert Neve Designs' Portico II Channel will make your recordings sound huge, punchy, and authoritative.
The essential tools for crafting hits
The Portico II Channel feature set fortifies your studio with the essential cutting-edge Rupert Neve tools: mic preamp, 4-band equalizer, compressor/limiter, texture control, and level meter. There's also a fully tunable de-esser, VCA filtering and detection, a transient-optimized swept highpass filter, and a continuous blend control for parallel compression. With its simple yet advanced topologies and thorough feature set, Sweetwater considers the Portico II Channel an essential component for today's hybrid recording studio.
The input options you need
Rupert Neve Designs engineered the Portico II with flexible input options — mic, line, and DI. The mic input's 10k ohm non-reactive input resistance handles a robust 26dBu signal without need for a pad. The primary Mic Gain control gives you 66dB of gain in 6dB increments for precise recall; this is supplemented by a +/- 6dB Trim for fine adjustment. To eliminate rumble and other undesirable low-frequency artifacts, RND has included a transient-optimized HPF with a continuous 20-250Hz sweep. Of course, the Portico II also includes a +48V phantom power switch, Phase (polarity) inversion, an SP (signal present) indicator, and a Mute switch.
Jack into the DI input, and the Portico II automatically activates its 3 Mohm discrete FET direct injection circuit, which includes immaculate transformer-coupled topography that optimizes both mic and DI inputs for your low-impedance microphones and hi-Z sources like electric guitars and basses. The front-panel Thru jack duplicates the input signal for routing, for instance, to a guitar amp. The Line switch selects the rear-panel XLR input, an independent, non-reactive circuit that includes the HPF and Trim controls.
The Portico II's 4-band equalizer combines the circuit topologies of several classic Rupert Neve EQs. But unlike vintage designs such as the legendary 1073, this EQ is a tool for precise surgical adjustments as well as dramatic boosts and cuts. The EQ section is normalled to follow the mic pre and highpass filter, preceding the compressor; however a press of the Post Comp switch will place the EQ after the compressor. The LF, LMF/HMF, and HF sections may be engaged independently. LF gives you +/- 12dB of adjustment, selectable Classic Peak or Accelerated Shelf, and turnover frequency selection of 35, 60, 100, or 220Hz. Fully parametric LMF and HMF sections (which share an engage switch) deliver +/- 12dB adjustment, continuously variable Q (0.7 to 5), and continuously variable frequency ranges from 80Hz to 1.6KHz, and 800Hz to 16KHz, respectively.
You can dial in the De-ess function from off to full effect, and use the HMF frequency and Q controls to tame sibilance with an independent high-mid limiter. The EQ level may still be used even when the de-esser is on. The HF section features selectable Classic Peak or Accelerated Shelf, +/- 12dB of adjustment, and selectable turnover frequencies of 4.7, 6.8, 12, and 25kHz. At Sweetwater, we've found that two Portico II channel strips do an outstanding job of equalizing stereo material — which makes them particularly well-suited for mastering duties.
A compressor with remarkable flexibility and control
The VCA compressor section of the Portico II is eminently versatile, letting you select between feed-forward and feedback modes for a transparent-sounding modern response or a smooth, musical-sounding vintage response. The Threshold control offers continuous adjustment between -30dBu and +20dBu; the Ratio control sweeps between 1:1 and 40:1. Attack continuously adjusts from 20 to 85ms (.1 ms with the RMS/Peak "fast" button engaged), Release from 100ms to 6s, and makeup Gain from -6 to 20dB.
The Portico II's compressor section presents options to curb or enhance your dynamics. The HPF to SC button inserts the highpass filter into the side chain to attenuate low frequencies that may adversely affect the VCA's response with certain source material. The RMS/Peak switch modifies the compressor's attack to react to transients with a roughly .1ms response time. When disengaged, the compressor responds to the RMS signal in concert with your attack and release settings. The Blend control creates a mix between your dry and compressed signals for parallel compression. The rear-panel sidechain send and return jacks let you patch in an external EQ or other effects for additional signal manipulation. You can also use the return as a "key" input for automatic ducking. Patch the rear-panel Link jack to another Portico II's link jack and engage the Link buttons, and you have a killer stereo channel strip setup.
The Silk and Texture controls
The Texture section of the Portico II Channel is a major development that builds on the Silk mode found in the original Portico Series mic pres. Texture lets you add sweet, musical-sounding harmonic content to your source material, providing you with endless tonal options. The effect can be dialed-in from a single knob, from barely audible to quite dramatic. And because this is Rupert Neve Designs, these harmonic controls with never compromise your source material, and can be used to enhance the sonic personality of any vocal, instrument, or mix.
The blue Silk mode reduces negative feedback on the output transformer and adjusts the frequency response to more closely resemble Rupert Neve's vintage designs. The blue mode leans toward affecting harmonics generated by the input material's low and low-mid frequencies, essentially filling the sound out from the bottom up. The red Silk mode enhces harmonics generated by the source's high-mid and high frequencies, effectively adding harmonic "shimmer" to your original signal.
Rupert Neve Designs Portico II Channel Strip Features:
- The modern evolution of Rupert Neve discrete audio circuitry
- A complete channel strip that delivers stunning transparency and variable color
- Mic preamp with highpass filter
- Front-panel hi-Z direct input
- Rear-panel Line input
- Best-of-the-classics 4-band EQ; De-ess function
- VCA compressor with feed-forward and feedback modes
- Silk and Texture controls for variable harmonic enrichment
- Gain Reduction and Output meters