Manley® Variable Mu Limiter Compressor
Tube compression royalty for your mixes.
As Manley Labs' flagship compressor since 1994, the Variable Mu is a tube and transformer-driven classic that exudes hand-made craftsmanship. A gold standard among mixing and mastering engineers, the Variable Mu adds clarity and cohesion to stereo buses or your entire mix.
Developed under Manley Labs' rigorous scrutiny, the Manley Variable Mu Limiter Compressor plug-in is a thorough emulation of this legendary tube limiter, and is based on the coveted “6BA6 T-BAR Tube Mod” unit. Now, its famed sound is available exclusively for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces.
Now You Can:
Add definition and fidelity to individual tracks, stereo buses, or an entire mix
Glue together difficult mixes with signature Manley tube compression
Link channels for a precise, perfectly matched stereo image
Select from Left/Right or Mid/Side operation for precise control of stereo imaging
Use the plug-in-only Dry/Wet Mix control to easily dial-in parallel compression
Mix with artist presets from Tom Elmhirst, J.J. Blair, Mike Larson, and more
Take A Listen
Manley Variable Mu Under the Hood
While the Manley Variable Mu uses the remote cut-off style gain reduction found in the Fairchild and other classic limiters, it has a sound and character all its own. Its classic dual-triode gain reduction design is constantly re-biased by the sidechain control voltages, creating a unique variable gain compressor with stunning transparency. This lets you treat source material with velvety-smooth gain reduction, while infusing warm harmonic content, free of audible compression artifacts.
King of the 2-Bus
The Manley Variable Mu Limiter Compressor plug-in can be used on single instruments such as bass or a lead vocal, or on subgroups like strings or horns. But its raison d'être is on the mix bus, where its expert features can unify your mixes with a rich, hi-fi fit and finish.
Parameter linking allows simultaneous adjustment of both channels with stereo signals. When unlinked, the plug-in's Mid/Side processing is actually improved over the hardware, providing phase accurate stereo imaging. The High Pass Sidechain filter prevents compression to frequencies lower than 100 Hz — letting you compress, say, overheads, while retaining punchy bottom-end. Plug-in-only controls Dry/Wet, Mix, and Headroom give you more colors to paint your mixes. Dry/Wet Mix offers easy parallel compression — perfect for polishing vocals and more. Finally, the Headroom control lets you optimize the Variable Mu’s overall level to your playback system.
“If you've got a ragged mix, this plug-in will give it a big hug. It's a stunning emulation of our Variable Mu hardware, right down to the last detail.”
– EveAnna Manley President of Manley Labs
“The Manley Variable Mu is one of my go-to compressors for all types of sounds – especially when I’m looking for an upfront, in-your-face tone. It's fun to distort too.”
– Mike Larson (Pharrell, Daft Punk, Kendrick Lamar)
“I used to lament that I had only one Manley Variable Mu. Thanks to UA, those days are in the past! Now I'm like that little old lady on the hot sauce commercials — I put that s*** on everything!”
– Phil Tan (Mariah Carey, Ludacris, Rihanna)
“Three different hardware versions of the Manley Variable Mu have lived in my gear racks since the ’90s. Now the UAD version captures the same unique feel that the hardware adds to my mixes.”
– Mark Needham (The Killers, Neon Trees, P!nk)
Variable-MU is a must-have compressor in my mastering chain! I doubt there will be one to replace it.続きを読む
After getting the feel of the Manley compressor, I found that it is very powerful and amazing at glueing the mix together in a mastering situation. Once I got the hang of the headroom...続きを読む
I just got this, but....
...I'm going to use it on EVERYTHING. It sounds great. For my purposes the compression is exactly what I was looking for to add a little depth, color, and adhesion to my overall mixes. I...続きを読む
That's the sweet word Manley!!!
The whole line of Manley emulations is just great. You don't need to read, just try! And in this compressor I'm just in love for its softness and saturation. Works great with any genre of...続きを読む
My New 2 bus Compressor
I used the 14 day demo on some old recordings and was floored with what happened!! Vocals became more forward, the stereo image seemed wider, brighter but so harmonically rich and pleasant....続きを読む
Just the best ever......... I can’t believe what iam hearing in this plug in. It’s got the elements of old tape machines and the flexibility of new gear all in one. I just love what it...続きを読む
Exclusively licensed and rigorously scrutinized by Manley Labs, modeled by Universal Audio
Transparent Variable Mu tube compression for master fader, subgroups, or individual sources
Models entire stereo stereo Class A circuit, including custom tubes and transformers, input gain and gain reduction
Continuous Dual Input, Stereo Output, Threshold and Attack controls with five position Recovery controls
Sidechain Filter, L/R or M/S operation plus plug-in only Dry/Wet parallel processing Headroom and Controls Linking
Requires UAD-2 DSP Accelerator Card or Apollo Interface, available from authorized dealers worldwide
Manley® Variable Mu Limiter Compressor
Variable-MU is a must-have compressor in my mastering chain!
I doubt there will be one to replace it.
After getting the feel of the Manley compressor, I found that it is very powerful and amazing at glueing the mix together in a mastering situation. Once I got the hang of the headroom feature this compressor quickly became my go to compressor for my mastering needs. Highly recommended! I have a multitude of great compressors at my disposal and the Manley is my number one compressor for Mastering. I haven’t tried it out on mixing instruments and vocals yet, however I can imagine it will do just fine.
I just got this, but....
...I'm going to use it on EVERYTHING. It sounds great. For my purposes the compression is exactly what I was looking for to add a little depth, color, and adhesion to my overall mixes. I can't compare it to the hardware, which I'm sure is wonderful, but if you're on a budget this is a solid option to start with.
That's the sweet word Manley!!!
The whole line of Manley emulations is just great. You don't need to read, just try! And in this compressor I'm just in love for its softness and saturation. Works great with any genre of music.
My New 2 bus Compressor
I used the 14 day demo on some old recordings and was floored with what happened!! Vocals became more forward, the stereo image seemed wider, brighter but so harmonically rich and pleasant. Manley magic I needed, along with Voxbox... and Massive Passive haha. Gorgeous!!
Just the best ever......... I can’t believe what iam hearing in this plug in. It’s got the elements of old tape machines and the flexibility of new gear all in one. I just love what it does to my mix .. this is part of my secret sauce.......Mikke
Una maravilla, con solo insertarlo ya da un rollazo.
THE WINNER IS... The Manley® Variable Mu Limiter Compressor
They say its "raison d'être" is on the mix bus, where its expert features can unify your mixes with a rich, hi-fi fit and finish. Ya know what...They're RIGHT!
It has an open finish that makes anything and everything sound great. I use it where ever I can. Take the time to compare it to all the Variable Mu Compressors and I think you'll see... hear what I mean. Hey, all the top engineers love it. Love It too! - Gilroy
Next level Awesomeness
I have yet to try it on everything, but so far it has been sounding great on acoustic guitars, vocals, and of course, the mix buss. Very happy with this purchase.
Great tool for the master-buss. Natural uncoloured sound, perfect for a gentle 3dB squeeze.
Great mix tool!
I love this plugin. I know the hardware as I used to work with it... Now I have it back!
I always put it at the end of the mix bus chain of inserts. I am kind of using a 670 to a EQP1 (hardware or plugin) to the ATR-102 and then to the Manley Vari Mu...
... then I have this cohesive thing off the speakers. I think this is when it shines going for 1,5 reduction, give or take. I love that popping sound while transients get tamed and enhanced.
Love the Vari-Mu
This plugin was recommended to me by the great Ken Lewis himself. Now I won't finish any mix without it! The way this glues a mix is AMAZING. It has one of the most transparent, most polishing sounds I've found in a plugin.
New Go-To for Mid/Side
I'm still new to the Universal Audio world, but I've played enough now with UAD's Manley V-Mu emu, the Waves Puigchild 670 emu, the UAD demo for their Fairchild emu, UAD's K-Stereo Ambience Recovery demo, and the Left-Only/Right-Only/Mid/Side options in Logic's stock Channel and Linear Phase EQ's. To be completely honest, I couldn't hear much difference between Waves' Puigchild and UAD's Manley V-Mu at comparable settings (and perhaps only heard a transparency difference between the Puigchild and UAD's 670). But after playing with the Manley's Attack and Release controls, Dual Input and Headroom controls, L-R linking, and side-chain filtering, oh my goodness -- I instantly knew the Manley would become my go-to. As a producer and engineer constantly moving between different genres and styles, having this much control serves me greatly and UAD has modeled a powerful unit that can provide that control.
Also, UAD's Manley V-Mu gave me better review of the Fairchild emu plugs I'd been toying with prior (i.e. Waves Puigchild, UAD Fairchild 670): the Fairchild is without a doubt a masterpiece of a classic compressor, and like the old saying goes there's creativity in limits. That is, the Fairchild's six-option time constant system is an extremely useful set of presets if you're trying to get in the ballpark of mix-sound, if not just to "feel" the variable-mu compression behavior along its elastic range from "punchy" to "buttery." But if you want to explore the V-Mu flavor more deeply, you need more than time constants. That's where the Manley gives you more levers to pull. And while I don't have any experience with the hardware unit, I know the UAD model is incredibly transparent and solders Mid and Side channels into a beautiful, sheeny composite that feels good on individual busses and whole mixes. 5 out of 5.
Applications-wise, I feel like UAD's Manley put my mixes in the same vein as Afta-1's "Quest," Nujabes' "Peaceland," Nicolay's "Tight Eyes," Little Dragon's "Cat Rider," Bonobo's "Cirrus." I also think there are some beautiful applications for this kind of compressor as far as jazz and soundtrack music, as well as less traditional hip-hop and R&B tracks. For pop, funk, folk, and more traditional hip-hop and retro, I might either combine the Manley V-Mu with a tape emu (e.g. UAD Ampex ATR-102, UAD Studer A800, Softube Tape) or saturation emu (e.g. UAD Fatso Jr./Sr., UAD Culture Vulture, Soundtoys Decapitator or Echoboy, Sonnox Oxford Inflator, anything UAD with a Neve preamp stage). If trial and error yields nothing, I'll reach for UAD's Fairchild, UAD's Shadow Hills, and the SSL G Buss emus from Waves or UAD. In the latter case, I'm definitely using the UAD Manley V-Mu as my point A.
musical and natural...
Great Manley Unit
Great 2bus compressor ! I am loving it so far
Comes in handy...
I find if I use this last in the mastering chain before the limiter I get most of the Manley sound and a little of the magic...it's like a tube/presence 'in your face' effect...
Another beauty from Manley & UA
Dont't know the original unit, but this thing - together with Massive Passive - got my latest mix work & shine right away. I'll say goodbye to my PSP MasterComp, I'm afraid, Variable Mu did it just better and in a more musical way!
Perfect for Mastering
I was working with the Hardware and Software. The Plugin is sounding the perfect alternative for me.
Mu is straightforward, easy to use. Adds glue to your mix. Nice unit to have in the studio.