Known as one of the most gifted analogue audio circuit designers of all time, Mr Rupert Neve’s name is now printed in a digital angle. Designed to lay at the end of your mixing or mastering chain, the Ruper Neve Designs Master Buss Compressor or MBC is a Stereo conversion, limiting and saturation packed in a 1U Rack. It can convert stereo analogue inputs into digital audio, via a stereo limiter, a transformer and RND’s proprietary Silk saturation circuitry. In the first stage, the audio will meet the limiter.
This can be run in a dual-mono stereo linked mode, it features control to make up gain, threshold release, as well as a switchable side-chain high-pass filter, which has a frequency range of 20 to 250 Hz. An eight-LED ladder meter lets you know how much gain reduction the limiter is applying.
The transformer can be engaged or bypassed as desired. When engaged, you can also select from one of two flavours of Silk circuitry in Red or Blue, which offer different mixes of odd or even harmonic saturation. The degree of Silk saturation can be continuously varied using the Texture knob, or it can be bypassed, in which case the transformer operates in a clean, linear fashion. With the transformer disengaged, audio passes through a Class-A transformerless circuit that has apparently been engineered for maximum transparency. In the final stage is the D-A conversion. RND tells us it has minimal phase distortion and has extremely low jitter thanks to a high-quality internal clock.
You can also clock it to other gear if you require. The MBC’s mastering credentials are its twin 22-segment output level meters that are calibrated to show the precise pre-conversion levels and also have the ability to select from four different alignments for +4dBu (-20, -18 -16 or -14 dBFS).