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Buying Guide: RND

Rupert Neve Designs: Preamps, Compressors, EQs and More

The 1073 preamp. The 2254 comp/limiter. Rupert Neve's classic designs are so well-known, they're referred to simply by their model numbers. Today, Mr. Neve and his team of engineers are still designing high-end analog gear through his Texas-based company, Rupert Neve Designs. Rupert's custom transformers, high-voltage topologies, and painstakingly crafted Class A amplifiers are found in RND mic preamps, compressors, EQs and more. Read on to learn more about Rupert Neve Designs -- from the Portico series to the Shelford Channel.
Portico Mic Preamps + Rupert Neve Headphone Amp
Your home studio may not have the budget (or space) for a big console or racks full of mic pres, but it's worth the investment to get a few great preamp channels. Rupert Neve Designs' 2-channel Portico 5012 and 4-channel Portico 5024 are workhorse mic preamps for studios of any size. Built with custom transformers and class-A circuitry, both the Portico 5012 and 5024 incorporate the "Silk" circuit, a switchable mode built to yield the warmth and presence of Mr. Neve's classic designs. Rack up your Portico 5012 (or any other Portico horizontal half-rack unit) in a standard 19" rack space with RND's half rack kit.

Not every rig requires mic preamps. If you produce music primarily "in the box," you can still benefit from Mr. Neve's design expertise with the Rupert Neve Designs RNHP headphone amplifier. Based on the headphone output circuit in RND's 5060 Centerpiece Desktop Mixer, the RNHP is a reference-quality headphone amp in a sturdy steel box with XLR/TRS combo jacks, RCA, and 1/8" stereo inputs to accommodate any source, from DJ mixers to DSLR cameras. Capable of driving low-impedance or high-impedance headphones without the noise of your device's built-in headphone jack, the RNHP is a super-simple rig upgrade that'll let you create and enjoy audio with the clarity it deserves.
Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5012 Duo Microphone ...
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Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5211-RM Half Rack Kit
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Rupert Neve DI + Mobile DI/Preamp/Compressor
RND's Portico 5024 mic preamp has two built-in DI inputs perfect for recording guitar and bass "direct," capturing all the depths of your instrument. If you don't need the mic preamplifier circuit itself, but you need a pro-quality direct box that's equally at home in studio or on stage, the phantom-powered active Rupert Neve RNDI is a stellar choice. If you want to plug into an amp and send your direct signal to the console at the same time, the RNDI gives you two routing choices: "Speaker" mode to capture the tone of your amp head, or "Instrument" mode to capture the tone of your guitar/bass before the amplifier.

Mobile musicians, listen up: RND's Portico 5017 Mobile DI Preamp Compressor is an amazingly flexible piece of gear that packs a Rupert Neve Designs mic preamp, a DI, and a single-knob compressor in a to-go box. Performing as a solo singer/songwriter with your own PA? Plug your instrument into the DI input and your mic into the XLR input, and the 5017 Mobile DPC will blend the two sources to its one output, which you can plug right into your amp or PA speaker for a super-simple, great-sounding mono setup. Working on demos on your laptop on the road? Run your mic or instrument through the 5017 Mobile DPC before hitting your audio interface to get that "silk." Need a top-quality DI to patch into the venue's PA? Just want to get your hands on a Rupert Neve mic preamp (and compressor!) for the best price? The Portico 5017 is the answer!
 
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RND Compressors, EQs and Summing Mixers
Born out of the need to reshape a mix already captured to tape, Rupert Neve's classic equalizer designs are famous for striking a balance between the precise and the the natural. The RND Portico 5033 gives you 5 bands of RND equalization to shape your signal any way you like. Run any line-level source into this box to sweeten it with Rupert Neve input and output transformers -- even when you bypass all 5 EQ bands.

The Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5043 gives you two channels of RND compression/limiting in a half rack space, with both a modern, fast, accurate feed-forward mode and classic, slow, sweeter feed-back mode. Link the two channels in stereo, patch them in sequence, or use them independently -- flexible compression is the name of the game with this companion to the Portico 5012 mic pre.

Don't bounce your mixes "in the box" -- sum them with this magic box! With 16 inputs and 2 outputs, the Rupert Neve Designs 5059 Satellite 16x2 summing mixer glues your tracks together with that ineffable warmth you can only get from a Rupert Neve design.

Your mix isn't done until it's been through the Portico II Master Buss Processor. A 2-channel compressor/limiter and stereo-width/depth processor, the super-versatile Portico II MBP gives you that RND polish -- whether you're adding dimension to a mono source, or bringing a master up to radio-ready level.
Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5043 Duo Compressor/Limiter
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Rupert Neve's Flagship Channel Strip Preamps
A great microphone preamplifier -- like those that Mr. Neve became famous for in the 1960s and '70s -- is like a magical box that takes any source you plug in and makes it better. It's this "magic" that Rupert Neve Designs has harnessed to create their flagship channel strip preamps.

With the Portico II Channel, you get tons of clean gain on tap, musical EQ, sweet compression, and Silk and Texture knobs to add subtle color. This preamp's "you are there" transparency will bring out the character of the microphone itself -- and all the nuances of the performance you're recording.

The Shelford Channel gives you the familiar, authoritative sound of a classic Neve console, thanks to Rupert's transformer-coupled Class A mic preamp, inductor EQ, diode-bridge comp/limiter and more. With this channel strip, you have the flexibility to paint with fine brush strokes or slam your signal hard.
 
Rupert Neve Designs Shelford Channel Microphone ...
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Rupert Neve Designs: Past, Present and Future
In the early days of recording, long before "Neve" was a household name, audio engineers didn't have the computers or software we rely on today. Instead of near-infinite channels in a DAW, early analog tape machines offered only a few tracks to work with, and each overdub, punch-in, and bounce added noise to the signal. The engineer's goal was to document the original signal faithfully, then enhance it with musical EQ and compression to get a source closer to its "finished" sound even before it hit tape. And even with sophisticated 24-track tape machines, there was no "undo" button. It was in this high-pressure environment, where "fix it in the mix" wasn't an option, that Rupert Neve and his audio equipment designs rose to prominence.

Today, Rupert Neve Designs' goal is to create gear that captures the most renowned qualities of "classic Neve" modules, while utilizing improvements in technology for digital hybrid studios of the 21st century. With an eye to the future and a nod to the past, you can invest in RND gear to build your own "hybrid" digital/analog studio, knowing that this gear will never go out of style!
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