The Rupert Neve Designs Portico II Channel is a mono channel strip taken directly from the revered 5088 console and including a fully-featured mic preamp, 4-band EQ, compressor limiter, “Texture” control and level metering.
The Rupert Neve Designs Portico II Channel uses the same high voltage topologies as the 5088 which ensures the best sound quality possible. In addition to the mic preamp, 4-band EQ and compressor, traditionally found on standalone channel strips, the Portico II Channel includes a new Variable Silk with texture control, a fully tunable one-knob de-esser, VCA filters and detection options as well as a transient-optimised sweeping hpf and parallel compression.
The result is a stunning and accurate channel strip designed to empower recording artists and engineers capturing the most accurate and sweet-sounding performance while enabling engineers to boldly tweak the tracks to perfection with compelling vibrance and detail.
A Clean and Musical Mic Preamp
The Mic pre-amp uses an innovative Transistor-like Amplifier (TLA) which ensures a cleaner input. A 10k Ohms non-reactive input load allows for the handling of levels of 26dBu without requiring any pad. Two controls are employed for gain with the main Mic Gain delivering up to 66dB in 6dB increments and a Trim knob, which offers finer control over +/-6dB for a total of 72dB, enough to power all types of mics including ribbon microphones.
A transient-optimised swept HPF with continuous control between 20-250Hz ensures the removal of unwanted low frequencies. Additional controls include the usual +48v phantom power, polarity inversion and mute switch.
The DI input uses a 3M Ohm discrete FET direct injection circuit with a transformer-coupled topography, the latter controlling both the low-impedance microphones input and Hi-Z input for electric guitars or basses. A Thru output relays the input signal to an external source such as a guitar amp.
The “Line” button changes the Mic and DI inputs to the line-level XLR input. It uses an independent non-reactive circuit that shares the Trim and HPF controls.
Modern EQ inspired by Classics
The 4-band EQ included in the Portico II uses a combination of the most-popular EQs designed by Rupert Neve over the years. Unlike vintage EQs, however, these filters allow for precision and surgical operations as well as broad sound sculpting.
The EQ immediately follows the preamp and high-pass filter but can be placed pre- or post- compressor at the press of the Post Comp switch. Each band can be engaged independently or all together with the All EQ in button.
All four bands provide +/- 12dB of gain while the Low-Frequency band offers a choice of peak or shelf modes with a selection of 60 100 and 220 Hz frequencies. Both mid bands (LMF and HMF) are fully parametric and offer a continuously variable frequency range of 80Hz to 1.6kHz for the LMF and 800 to 16kHz for the HMF.
A De-ess knob engages a high-frequency limiter and can be precisely set using the HMF and Q controls to tame sibilance and harshness. The HMF can still be used as an EQ in conjunction with the De-esser to simultaneously add presence to the sound while controlling peak harshness.
The high-frequency band can operate in peak or shelf modes with a choice of four frequency points: 4.7kHz, 6.8kHz, 12kHz and 25kHz.
A Flexible Compressor
The compressor section offers incredibly versatile dynamic control with a vast array of features. Using a VCA architecture with a THAT Corporation VCA chip, the compression sounds extremely clean.
The Portico II Channel’s compressor includes a choice of Feed-forward mode for a more modern transparent sound and a Feedback mode for a smoother and musical vintage sound.
The continuously variable ratio ranges from 1:1 to 40:1 while the ratio ranges between -30dBu to +20dBu. Attack times can be smoothly adjusted from 20ms to 85ms. An RMS/Peak button acts as a “fast” mode and changes the attack time to 0.1ms to keep the transient in checks. Release times range from 100ms to 3s. The makeup Gain control offers level compensations from -6dB to +20dB.
Furthermore, the compressor includes several additional controls to shape your dynamics. First is the HPF to SC button, which adds the high-pass filter to the side chain to attenuate unwanted low-frequency triggering the VCA’s response. Speaking of Side Chain, the Portico II includes an insert send and return over jacks, allowing you to patch an external source to “key” the compressor or an EQ and other effects in the side chain detection circuit to shape the sound of the VCA further.
Finally, a Blend knob works by allowing you to mix the compressed and dry signals, offering an easy way for parallel compression blending.
Rich, Textured and Silky Smooth
While the Portico II Channel’s sound is immaculate, it boasts an enhanced Silk circuit which provides a powerful way to add subtle harmonic distortion richness. Originally found on the original Portico channel, the Silk circuit now includes a Silk Plus mode which mimics the sonic signature of vintage Class-A analogue consoles and is accessible by pressing the Silk button a second time. The Texture control lets you dial in the desired amount of harmonic distortion.
It works by reducing the amount of negative feedback around the output transformer and adding subtle second-harmonic distortion. It also changes slightly the frequency response curve to ensure a sweet and musical sound. The Silk mode focuses its energy on the high-mid and high frequencies to add shimmer to the source while the Silk Plus mode focus its effect on the low and low-mid frequencies, to fill the sound.
|AT A GLANCE|
|Demo in Store||Yes|
|Manufacturer||Rupert Neve Designs|
|Short Description||A self-powered 2U channel module comprised of a fully- featured mic preamplifier, 4-band EQ, compressor-limiter, “texture”control and level metering,|