Rupert Neve Designs is proud to introduce the MBT Master Bus Transformer, a remarkable piece of engineering that puts Rupert Neve's decades of experience and passion for audio design into action. Every feature has been crafted with one goal in mind: to take your studio productions to the next level.
Packed with these transformers, the MBT provides an incredible array of flavorful options designed to sweeten, enhance, drive, widen, and utterly transform source material, making it the ultimate tool for musical coloration. Equally at home on a full mix, groups, stems or individual sources, the MBT pairs undeniably legendary tonal quality with an immensely flexible set of controls to shape your sound.
Rupert Neve Designs MBT Master Bus Transformer Features
- Built around Rupert Neve’s Class-A, Transformer Coupled Signal Paths
- Revitalize mono or stereo tracks, stems and mixes with a suite of new controls
- Add that missing weight and power with their new Super Silk circuit
- Add dynamic character with the opto-based Color Comp
- Quickly adjust tone with the gentle and musical LF & HF shelves
- Use the newly designed Width section to create dimension without losing focus
- Drive and level-match the interstage transformers with the I/O amplifiers
Create Tonal Magic with the HPF & Shelf EQ
First in line is a smooth high pass filter with a fully variable frequency selection control. The HPF extends from 100Hz all the way down to 15Hz, an especially helpful area to manage on a full mix that needs to be as loud as possible.
Next up is the all-new 2-band Shelf EQ section - with 3 octave ranges, gentle slopes and minimal phase shifts, this EQ was created with an emphasis on simplicity and elegance. This smooth & musical EQ is excellent at providing just the right amount of tonal enhancement – especially when it is interacting with the other sections of the MBT.
Each band has +/- 9dB of gain control, with the LF EQ corner frequency variable from 30Hz to 240Hz and the HF EQ corner frequency variable from 3kHz to 24kHz. The LF band is excellent at either taming or accentuating low-end to give source material an exacting amount of weight and power. The HF band provides a wide range of corner frequencies to choose from, allowing adjustments to be made from the upper midrange all the way up to the very top end, giving tracks extra shine and clarity.
One exciting aspect of using the MBT is discovering how the different sections can interact with each other. Sometimes the EQ can be dialed in first, other times it can be left alone until the other sections are dialed in. One thing is certain: the MBT encourages experimentation at every turn.
Breathe in New Life with the Color Comp
With an all-new optical compressor design, the Color Comp excels at accentuating the non-linear distortion and “colorful” characteristics of the Opto cell to bring source material a new sense of life and depth.
The compressor ratio can be set to a low (2:1) ratio for subtle & smooth compression or high (5:1) for much more dramatic behavior.
The variable high pass side chain filter removes the low frequencies from the compressor side chain circuit, allowing low-end information to pass through the compressor untouched while the compressor focuses on the rest of the signal. With a sweepable range from 20Hz all the way up to 350Hz, this is a highly flexible tonal shaping control providing the ability to leave the low end intact while taming or squashing the rest of the source material as needed.
The Color Comp also contains a Blend control, making it easy to use the compression circuit in parallel with the uncompressed source material. This can be especially useful when wanting to dial back the harmonic content, dynamic range reduction, and transient squashing from more extreme compressor settings.
The threshold is variable from 0dBu to +24dBu, with a gain reduction LED illuminating when the signal passes the threshold. However, the Color Comp also introduces audible non-linear harmonic content even with just a touch of gain reduction – as such, it’s highly recommend to listen to the Color Comp engaged even when no gain reduction is visible, in order to discern the amount of tonality that it introduces. The pleasing nature of this harmonic content will become even more apparent as the compressor settings become more extreme.
The release is variable from 100mS to 1.5S. By dialing in higher ratios and faster releases it is possible to get the color comp to actively “pump” with the attacks, whereas with slower release times it will operate in a much smoother manner.
Front Panel Controls
Input Level: LED indication that illuminates GREEN when the input signal reaches -20dBu and illuminates RED to show when the input signal reaches +23dBu. This indication is post input trim control.
Input Trim: 31-detent potentiometer that controls the input level within a range of +/- 12dB.
HPF Freq: 31-detent potentiometer that controls the HPF frequency within a range of 15Hz to 100Hz.
HPF In: Push-button switch that illuminates GREEN when the 6dB/octave HPF is engaged.
LF: 31-detent potentiometer that controls the Low Frequency Shelf gain within a range of +/- 9dB.
LF Freq: 31-detent potentiometer that controls the Low Frequency Shelf corner frequency within a range of 30Hz to 240Hz.
HF: 31-detent potentiometer that controls the High Frequency Shelf gain within a range of +/- 9dB.
HF Freq: 31-detent potentiometer that controls the High Frequency Shelf corner frequency within a range of 3kHz to 24kHz.
EQ In: Push-button switch that illuminates GREEN when the equalizer section is engaged.
Threshold: 31-detent potentiometer that controls the compressor threshold within a range of +24dBu to 0dBu.
S/C HPF: 31-detent potentiometer that controls the corner frequency of the S/C HPF within a range of 20Hz to 350Hz.
Comp In: Push-button switch that illuminates GREEN when the compressor section is engaged.
Gain Reduction: LED that illuminates GREEN when gain reduction is occuring. The LED indicates compression for left and right channels simultaneously.
Release: 31-detent potentiometer that controls the Release time of the compressor within a range of 100mS to 1.5S.
Ratio: Opaque push-button switch that toggles between a LO (OUT) 2:1 ratio and a HI (IN) 5:1 compressor ratio curve.
Blend: 31-detent potentiometer that controls the amount of dry (0%) vs. wet (100%) compressed signal in the audio path.
Gain: 31-detent potentiometer that controls the amount of compressor make-up gain within a range of 0dB to +20dB.
Width In: Push-button switch that illuminates GREEN when the WIDTH section is engaged.
Width HPF: 31-detent potentiometer that controls the corner frequency of the width processing HPF within a range of 50Hz to 800Hz.
Width: 31-detent potentiometer that controls the amount of Width stereo field processing within a range of MIN to MAX.
SILK In: Push-button switch that illuminates PURPLE when the SUPER SILK section is engaged.
Blue Super Silk Knob: 31-detent potentiometer that controls the amount of low frequency SILK pre-emphasis.
Drive: LED that illuminates RED when the signal level reaches the optimal range for transformer harmonics. The LED indicates drive level for left and right channels.
Red Super Silk Knob: 31-detent potentiometer that controls the amount of high frequency SILK pre-emphasis.
Harmonics: 31-detent potentiometer that controls the amount of transformer harmonics added to the audio path.
Zener Drive: Push-button switch that illuminates AMBER when the soft clip circuitry is engaged.
Bypass All: Push-button switch that illuminates RED when the master bypass is engaged. This master bypass is a true hard-wire bypass that ensures the MBT will pass audio in the event that power is lost.
Output Trim: 31-detent potentiometer that controls the amount of output trim within a range of +/- 12dB.
Output Meters: Stereo 16-segment LED meters that indicate output level in dBu.
Power: LED that illuminates GREEN when POWER is ON.