Manley® Variable Mu Limiter Compressor

Manley® Variable Mu Limiter Compressor

$299.00

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$299.00

You have no items in your shopping cart.

Tube compression royalty for your mixes.

As Manley Labs' flagship compressor since 1994, the Variable Mu is a tube and transformer-driven classic that exudes hand-made craftsmanship. A gold standard among mixing and mastering engineers, the Variable Mu adds clarity and cohesion to stereo buses or your entire mix.

Developed under Manley Labs' rigorous scrutiny, the Manley Variable Mu Limiter Compressor plug-in is a thorough emulation of this legendary tube limiter, and is based on the coveted “6BA6 T-BAR Tube Mod” unit. Now, its famed sound is available exclusively for UAD-2 hardware and Apollo interfaces.

Now You Can:

Add definition and fidelity to individual tracks, stereo buses, or an entire mix

Glue together difficult mixes with signature Manley tube compression

Link channels for a precise, perfectly matched stereo image

Select from Left/Right or Mid/Side operation for precise control of stereo imaging

Use the plug-in-only Dry/Wet Mix control to easily dial-in parallel compression

Mix with artist presets from Tom Elmhirst, J.J. Blair, Mike Larson, and more

Take A Listen

Take A Listen
Manley Variable Mu Under the Hood

Manley Variable Mu Under the Hood

While the Manley Variable Mu uses the remote cut-off style gain reduction found in the Fairchild and other classic limiters, it has a sound and character all its own. Its classic dual-triode gain reduction design is constantly re-biased by the sidechain control voltages, creating a unique variable gain compressor with stunning transparency. This lets you treat source material with velvety-smooth gain reduction, while infusing warm harmonic content, free of audible compression artifacts.

King of the 2-Bus

King of the 2-Bus

The Manley Variable Mu Limiter Compressor plug-in can be used on single instruments such as bass or a lead vocal, or on subgroups like strings or horns. But its raison d'être is on the mix bus, where its expert features can unify your mixes with a rich, hi-fi fit and finish.

Powerful Controls

Powerful Controls

Parameter linking allows simultaneous adjustment of both channels with stereo signals. When unlinked, the plug-in's Mid/Side processing is actually improved over the hardware, providing phase accurate stereo imaging. The High Pass Sidechain filter prevents compression to frequencies lower than 100 Hz — letting you compress, say, overheads, while retaining punchy bottom-end. Plug-in-only controls Dry/Wet, Mix, and Headroom give you more colors to paint your mixes. Dry/Wet Mix offers easy parallel compression — perfect for polishing vocals and more. Finally, the Headroom control lets you optimize the Variable Mu’s overall level to your playback system.

Key Features

Exclusively licensed and rigorously scrutinized by Manley Labs, modeled by Universal Audio
Transparent Variable Mu tube compression for master fader, subgroups, or individual sources
Models entire stereo stereo Class A circuit, including custom tubes and transformers, input gain and gain reduction
Continuous Dual Input, Stereo Output, Threshold and Attack controls with five position Recovery controls
Sidechain Filter, L/R or M/S operation plus plug-in only Dry/Wet parallel processing Headroom and Controls Linking
Requires UAD-2 DSP Accelerator Card or Apollo Interface, available from authorized dealers worldwide

Customer Reviews

Manley® Variable Mu Limiter Compressor

Overall Rating

D. Borgers

January 15, 2020

Sounds terrific!

I've worked a lot with the hardware units. The Manley Vari MU compressor is nearly as good. And for a fraction of the price of a hardware unit. No tubes to replace, no maintenance.

D. Yudin

January 13, 2020

Cool!

Very soft and very cool plugin, indispensable for some mastering tasks

M. Garrido-Lecca

January 13, 2020

MU Limiter Compressor

Amazing flexibility!

C. Manchester

January 7, 2020

Gives U that mU glU

I bought this for the master bus and for mastering. It does the job very well. Can be very transparent which is obviously great for a lot of mastering unless the client wants you to add character. But I have started trying it out with instruments and even vocals. Its great. For bass it's incredible. Never one to follow the rules. They tell me it's for mastering so I use it on the tails of aux send reverb tails.

S. Allí

January 2, 2020

SMOOTH and Round

Perfect for mastering and mix bus , brings that push you need without break anything if you treat him with love

A. Kolomvatsos

December 25, 2019

it's awesome!

It's subtle and so well sounding compressor!

UAD User

December 17, 2019

Amazing plugin

Love it on the Mixbuss!

g. jerald

December 9, 2019

Manley review

All of my Manley Products shine above all the others. you just can’t go wrong with manley.

B. Schmidt

December 7, 2019

Really good plugin! Big little difference.

When i use this plugin - particularly the mid/ side function, my mixes really gain both cohesivenes and improved articulation of instruments. Even at pretty extreme settings this thing sounds good. Tapping into the headroom knob, as well as the sidechain shelving yields really interesting options particularly when drawing distinctions between the treatment of the mid and side sections. Very fun to work with!

K. Joshi

November 22, 2019

Simply amazing!

Real tube compressor.

A. de David-Beauregard

November 4, 2019

If the others don't, this one might

This is great a great tool for making a mix/bus stick together. Great flexibility, i don't know what's going on with the imaging but you perceive things a little wider, on the right source it sounds really nice.

G. Rezendes

November 3, 2019

UA / Manley ! Good stuff

I'm a UA only plug-in shop and I'm never disappointed.
The Vari-Mu is my latest purchase and it works super on the mix bus but I've also used it with great success on the Bass buss also. Thanks for the affordable tools and attention to detail.

R. Mohammed

October 29, 2019

Who doesn't want a big hug?

I master with two compressors in sequence. This one is very soft, yet binds the mix perfectly without making it sound obviously compressed. I follow this with a slightly more stiff compressor. Sounds so good I want to remaster everything. Should have bought this a long time ago.

D. Schneider

October 18, 2019

Love it!

Variable-MU is a must-have compressor in my mastering chain!
I doubt there will be one to replace it.

D. Puzia

October 7, 2019

Impressed!

After getting the feel of the Manley compressor, I found that it is very powerful and amazing at glueing the mix together in a mastering situation. Once I got the hang of the headroom feature this compressor quickly became my go to compressor for my mastering needs. Highly recommended! I have a multitude of great compressors at my disposal and the Manley is my number one compressor for Mastering. I haven’t tried it out on mixing instruments and vocals yet, however I can imagine it will do just fine.

R. Gac

October 4, 2019

I just got this, but....

...I'm going to use it on EVERYTHING. It sounds great. For my purposes the compression is exactly what I was looking for to add a little depth, color, and adhesion to my overall mixes. I can't compare it to the hardware, which I'm sure is wonderful, but if you're on a budget this is a solid option to start with.

С. Билый

July 23, 2019

That's the sweet word Manley!!!

The whole line of Manley emulations is just great. You don't need to read, just try! And in this compressor I'm just in love for its softness and saturation. Works great with any genre of music.

B. Ullman

July 12, 2019

My New 2 bus Compressor

I used the 14 day demo on some old recordings and was floored with what happened!! Vocals became more forward, the stereo image seemed wider, brighter but so harmonically rich and pleasant. Manley magic I needed, along with Voxbox... and Massive Passive haha. Gorgeous!!

M. Alvin

July 7, 2019

Dynamic!!!!!!!!!

Just the best ever......... I can’t believe what iam hearing in this plug in. It’s got the elements of old tape machines and the flexibility of new gear all in one. I just love what it does to my mix .. this is part of my secret sauce.......Mikke

p. garcia

July 1, 2019

Brutal

Una maravilla, con solo insertarlo ya da un rollazo.