Neve 88RS Channel Strip from Universal Audio – Overview and Breakdown
I thought we’d take a look at this newish plug-in. It’s been out awhile, new to me. This Neve 88RS channel strip plug-in from Universal Audio. This thing totally comes packaged with functionality and the sound of that classic Neve thing, that Neve vibe. That creamy, kind of smooth — I don’t know how you want to describe it, it’s just got that Neve sound to it, which is awesome.
So okay, let’s get started. So you put this plug-in on your track, and audio is going to hit your cut filters first, so that’s your low pass/high pass filters. You engage them by hitting these buttons, and then you turn the knob.
You know, you’ve got 31.5Hz all the way up to 315, and then you’ve got a 7.5kHz all the way up to 18kHz for your low pass filter.
Then after that, audio is going to jump over here, and you’re going to hit your dynamic section first, so depending on — it’s got a gate/expander section, it’s got a limiter/compressor, which we’ve all used, you know, threshold, you can pull to go down to minus 40, hit this button, just click there, you’ve got your range on your gate…
Quick attack — you can go into like, you know, pull this, hit the button, pull it, it’s got a fast attack on it, release speeds with metering at the bottom.
With your limiter/compressor, engage it with that button. Obviously, I’ve got makeup gain. You can hit this button — you pull it and it goes into a hard knee, which is nice. You’ve got threshold below that, which you can hit this, pull that, and you’re going to go down to minus 20. So you can get really low with your threshold if you need to.
Ratio controls — anywhere from one to ten all the way up to limiting, and then if you hit this, engage it, pull it out, you get a fast attack on it similar to the fast attack button on an SSL channel strip or something, if you’ve seen that before.
Our release goes from 0.1 milliseconds all the way up to 3 seconds. Then if you click auto, it goes into auto release.
Okay, so after our dynamics section, we go into our equalizer, which is your typical one, two, three, four band EQ. Hit the button at the top to engage it. You know, we’ve got low filter, low mids, mids, and a high filter. They’re all bell curves, and you’ve got shelving options on your top and bottom with HQ buttons as well, so you can kind of fine tune some things.
You know. Select your frequency, and you can boost or cut depending on what you want to do. Then after that, we’ve got some global controls here, so we’ve got phase, we all know what that does. Output. Then you’ve got SC EQ, which basically throws it — side-chain EQ is what it stands for, which is going to send your unaffected signal over to the compressor — your dynamics section, and you can kind of use it for — like de-essing techniques, if you want to go that route. You can read more about it. Download the manual and it goes into a whole big long thing on that.
But then you can also hit this button and you’re going to throw your EQ in front of your dynamics section if you want to work that way.
So it’s really flexible. And you get that Neve sound, which is sort of the big thing.
So I’ll stop talking and let’s actually listen to this thing. Solo this Wurli part.
This is with the channel strip on.
[Wurli plays with 88RS]
It just kind of has that — I don’t know, it does something to the tone itself. Like, even if I turn off the compression, the equalizer, take this filter out…
[Wurli with 88RS flat]
Really kind of warms things up in a kind of vibey thing. I’m not doing a whole lot to this Wurli track. Just high passing to about 80, and then I’m ducking out a little like, four — what’s that, like 470ish or something like that. You kind of have to use your ears a little bit with these EQ frequencies.
Then just a little bit of compression to kind of contain it a little bit in the mix.
Just really helps things sit a little better. At least that part.
I also have it on some electric guitars, which I use to really darken them up.
So that’s kind of what the guitar sounds like. Here’s what it sounds like without the plug-in.
Which to me, they’re just kind of pokey and they have a lot of that 2kHz stuff in them.
Which I’m not doing a whole lot. High pass to 80, boosting a little 220, kind of that cool kind of warm kind of tone in there, and ducking out a smidge of that 2.4kHz.
Just kind of helps round out the attacks on it. Makes it a little smoother. Then a little bit of compression.
Nothing crazy. Two to one ratio, pretty quick release.
It’s a nice contrast to the SSL channel strip. Any variation you get.
For me, it worked out really well, because I’ve got — you know, Neve preamps, and so I’ve been looking for — hardware EQs can get pricey, so I’m not really ready to invest in that yet, but something like this totally works well with my preamp situation, so for me it made sense. I really like this plug-in.
Let me know what you think of it down in the comments. I think it sounds really cool. Subscribe to the channel, if you haven’t already. You know, we do new videos every week, mixing contests, all of that stuff. Follow me on Instagram, like me on Facebook, check me out on Twitter. All of that stuff is down below in the description.
Thanks for watching, and I will see you guys in the next video. Later.