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Rupert Neve Designs 535 Diode Bridge Compressor

Diode Bridge Compressor based on Neve’s original 2254 console compressor, made for the  500-series format

$999.00

Special 12-Month No-Interest Financing.

SKU: RUP535 Categories: , Tag Brand:

Description

The Rupert Neve Designs 535 diode bridge compressor for the 500 series, is a modern update of the 2254 compressor found on classic Neve 80-series consoles from the golden age of recording

There was a time when the only way you could get your hands on a 2254 compressor, was if you owned or worked in a studio with a Neve 80-series console. Originally developed for the much acclaimed Shelford Channel, the 535 is brings the 2254 sound and circuitry to the 500-series format. The 2254 was known for its ability to add thickness and punch to individual tracks or a full mix, and was the basis of the famed 33609 N compressor—still a favorite for stereo bus, mastering, and gluing a mix together on the rear bus of a 80-series console (a la Andrew Scheps). While the behavior of the original 2254 was inconsistent, the 535 Diode Bridge Compressor captures the soul of Rupert Neve’s original 2254 compressor while providing modern updates, including advanced timing control, significantly lower noise, fully stepped controls throughout, and internal parallel processing capabilities.

Rupert Neve Designs 535 in one take: 

  • Updated version of the classic 2254 diode bridge compressor
  • Fast switch divides the attack and release times doubling the number of timing presets
  • Blend control with 31 detents lets you mix the uncompressed (dry) signal with compressed (wet) signal
  • Link switch maintains a stereo center image between two 535s
  • Sidechain high-pass filter at 150Hz
  • Level and gain-reduction metering

INSIDE THE BOX— Rupert Neve Designs 535

 The diode bridge 

While the VCA compressor found in the 543 and Portico II Master Buss Processor excels in clarity, diode bridge compression offers the weight and rich tonality that can push key sources, such as vocals, electric guitars, bass, and drums to the forefront of a mix. Mr. Rupert Neve’s original diode bridge compressors, such as the 2254, are the inspiration for the design of the 535.

By understanding the limitations of the original 2254 topology, painstaking effort was taken to reproduce the unique tone of the 2254 while improving the noise floor, expanding inflexible time constants, adding full wave sidechain detection for improved dynamic response, widening the range of threshold and ratio controls, and raising the headroom of the diode bridge itself. Delivering the powerful sound of these classic designs with enhanced flexibility for the modern age, the 535 is a dynamic tool equipped to make a statement on virtually any track.

Fast switch

The Fast switch divides the attack and release times available on the timing control in half, effectively doubling the number of timing presets available to the user. 

Blend

The Blend control has 31 detents and allows the user to mix the uncompressed (dry) signal with compressed (wet) signal. Turning the control towards 0% will shift the mix to fully uncompressed dry signal, whereas turning the control towards 100% will shift the mix to the fully compressed signal. This feature allows for parallel compression, enabling a wider range of compression subtlety. 

Stereo linking

Link switch allows the compressor to be linked to another 535 compressor module via a sidechain control voltage. In link mode, the compressor generating the greater sidechain voltage (resulting in higher amounts of compression) will control the compression of both audio signal paths to maintain proper stereo center image while compressing. Note: it is advisable to always audition the unlinked sound as well, to decide if the benefit of a constant stereo center image is worth the potential trade-off of reduced left / right independence in the stereo field.  

Comp In switch

The Comp In switch lets you audition the compression. By disengaging the Comp In switch, the compressor is bypassed and the user can quickly compare the compressed sound to the dry input signal for an objective evaluation of the compressor’s sonic effect on the audio signal. Comp In can be used in combination with the GAIN control to match the perceived level of the compressed audio signal with the level of the uncompressed input signal. 

Sidechain high-pass filter

The S/C HPF switch allows the user to insert a 12dB/octave 150Hz high-pass filter in the compressor sidechain. When this filter is engaged, the compressor will be considerably less responsive to information below 150Hz. For example: if used on a drum kit, the low end of the kick drum would have less proportional effect on the compression than a snare drum or cymbals, since a significant portion of the kick drum’s dynamic energy is focused below 150Hz. 

OUTSIDE THE BOX— Rupert Neve Designs 535 

The classic Shelford Blue front panel of the 535 has the following controls:

ThresholdA 31-position detented pot that sets the level at which compression begins, from -25dB to +20dB. Turning this control counter-clockwise will increase the amount of compression; turning it clockwise will decrease the amount of compression. 

Ratio—this control has six selectable positions on a rotary switch, allowing the user to set the slope of the compressor curve with pre-selected ratios of 1.5:1 through 8:1 for levels above the determined THRESHOLD. This range of compression ratios allows the user to compress as moderately or heavily as desired.

Timing—the timing control is a six-position rotary switch that sets the compressor attack and release times. The timing can be further modified by the FAST button.

  • FAST – Fast Attack (750us), Fast Release (130ms)
  • MF – Medium Attack (2.25ms), Fast Release (130ms)
  • MED – Medium Attack (2.25ms), Medium Release (400ms)
  • MS – Medium Attack (4ms), Slow Release (725ms)
    SLOW – Slow Attack (10ms), Slow Release (1S)
  • AUTO – Medium Attack (5ms), Dual Decay Release (T1 500ms, T2 1s)

Fast—The Fast switch divides the attack and release times available on the timing control in half, effectively doubling the number of timing presets available to the user. 

Blend— The Blend control has 31 detents and allows the user to mix the uncompressed (dry) signal with compressed (wet) signal. Turning the control towards 0% will shift the mix to fully uncompressed dry signal, whereas turning the control towards 100% will shift the mix to the fully compressed signal. This feature allows for parallel compression, enabling a wider range of compression subtlety. 

Gain—The Gain control has 31 detents and allows the user to add make-up gain to the compressed signal in order to bring its level back up to unity with the uncompressed input signal. It is much easier to evaluate the tonal effect of the compressor (via the COMP IN switch) when the compressed output level is matched to the uncompressed input level, thereby eliminating potentially misleading level differences. 

Comp In— The Comp In switch allows the user to audition the compression. By disengaging the Comp In switch, the compressor is bypassed and the user can quickly compare the compressed sound to the dry input signal for an objective evaluation of the compressor’s sonic effect on the audio signal. Comp In can be used in combination with the Gain control to match the perceived level of the compressed audio signal with the level of the uncompressed input signal. 

Link—The Link switch allows the compressor to be linked to another 535 compressor module via a sidechain control voltage. In link mode, the compressor generating the greater sidechain voltage (resulting in higher amounts of compression) will control the compression of both audio signal paths to maintain proper stereo center image while compressing. Note: it is advisable to always audition the unlinked sound as well, to decide if the benefit of a constant stereo center image is worth the potential trade-off of reduced left / right independence in the stereo field.  

Sidechain HPF—The S/C HPF switch allows the user to insert a 12dB/octave 150Hz high-pass filter in the compressor sidechain. When this filter is engaged, the compressor will be considerably less responsive to information below 150Hz. For example: if used on a drum kit, the low end of the kick drum would have less proportional effect on the compression than a snare drum or cymbals, since a significant portion of the kick drum’s dynamic energy is focused below 150Hz.

Level and gain-reduction metering—These two LED meters provide accurate representations of both the output level of the compressor and the amount of gain reduction being applied to the input signal.

If you want the sound of classic Neve console compression, all you need is a 500-series lunchbox and two spaces for a pair of Rupert Neve Designs 535 diode bridge compressors—you need two. For more information, call or chat online with your Westlake Pro Sales Consultant today.

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