Universal Audio’s UAD Powered Plug-In versions of the Manley Massive Passive EQs represent UA’s most ambitious and detailed EQ model to date. The two-channel, four-band Manley Massive Passive tube EQ utilizes design strengths from choice console, parametric, graphic, and Pultec EQs — delivering a fundamentally different sounding EQ that is beyond compare. The incredibly natural, organic results of the Manley design method — evidenced on albums such as Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Amon Tobin’s Foley Room and Tori Amos’ A Piano: The Collection — demonstrate how the Massive Passive’s natural treatment of a signal lends itself to both radical tonal shaping as well as delicate vocal shading or subtle mastering enhancement.
Painstakingly modeled over a six-month period, and rigorously scrutinized for authenticity by Manley’s engineering team, Universal Audio’s standard and mastering versions of the Massive Passive EQ plug-in are included. Both capture the behavior of the original hardware; from the unusual filter curves, to the multiple band interdependencies, right down to the tube amplifier distortion, and all-important transformer/inductor hysteresis.
“Passive” refers specifically to the tone shaping elements of the equalizer, which use only resistors, inductors, and capacitors to create all frequency changes. The Massive Passive utilizes older parallel concepts rather than non-interactive series designs as defined by George Massenburg’s original parametric EQ. The Frequency controls intentionally interact with one another, as do the Gain and Bandwidth controls. While this may result in the appearance of some unorthodox knob positions, it is specifically these band interdependencies between all bell, shelf and cut filters that allow for the Massive Passive’s natural and organic sound.
Each of the four Massive Passive EQ bands is switchable from shelf to bell, and is switchable from boost to cut. The specially tuned fixed frequencies overlap and interleave between all adjoining EQ bands. The standard version offers +/- 20 dB of continuous Gain boost/cut, while the mastering version offers a gentler 11 dB of Gain range, with 16 discrete Gain steps. The standard version offers continuous Bandwidth adjustment, while the mastering version includes 16 steps of easily recallable Bandwidth selections. Stepped High and Low Pass filters are included on both the standard and mastering versions of the Massive Passive plug-ins, each with its own specialized frequencies and filter slopes. Output Gain is also available of both versions: 10 dB of continuous Gain on the standard version, 5dB of stepped gain on the mastering version. Both versions include individual Left/Right enable/disable. True to the hardware, disabled channels still retain low-level system filtering and coloration. Lastly, global bypass is available via the Power switch (disabling the entire circuit), plus the “digital only” Link switch, which conveniently gangs the left and right channel controls for easy stereo use.
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