Rupert Neve Designs brings us another stellar hit: the outstanding Portico II Channel channel strip! with the astounding Portico II!
By combining circuits based on Rupert Neve's single-sided, discrete RNHV2 op-amps and custom transformers with a new array of features like Texture control, a muli-variable de-esser/EQ, multiple VCA filtering/detection options, a transient optimized swept HPF, and parallel compression blending, Rupert Neve Designs made every element of the the Portico II work toward giving you incredible sonic performance and control. This channel strip is an instant classic; in fact, the Portico II Channel received its first award, the 2009 PAR Excellence Award, upon its debut.
The input options you need
Rupert Neve Designs equipped the Portico II to give you flexible input options. Input signals may be derived from any of three sources: microphone, line, or DI. The mic input has a 10k ohm non-reactive input resistance that handles a full 26dBu signal without the need for a pad. A primary gain control provides 66dB of gain in 6dB increments for easy recall with a +/- 6dB trim for fine adjustment. A transient-optimized HPF continuously covering the range from 20-250Hz is included. In addition the usual 48V phantom power switch, phase inversion, signal present indicator and a mute switch are included on the Portico II.
Inserting a plug into the Portico II's DI input selects a 3M ohm discrete FET DI circuit. This circuit includes transformer-coupled pristine topography that optimizes both the microphone and DI inputs, allowing low impedance microphones and high impedance sources such as electric guitars and basses to deliver optimum performance. Primary gain and trim controls on the Portico II are fully operational. Rupert Neve Designs included a "Thru" jack on the front panel that duplicates the unaffected source signal allows the use of an external amplifier, if required. A "Line" switch selects the independent Line XLR non-reactive input circuit that includes the HPF and Level trim controls.
Texture control gives you amazing tonal options
One of the most exciting features on the Portico II is its Texture section. Building on the "Silk" mode found in the Portico Series mic preamps, Texture is designed to adjust the actual amount of harmonic music content from the source material. In effect, it provides countless tonal options from one device! Rupert Neve Designs placed great care insuring that the musical integrity of source material itself will not be compromised by these harmonic controls (these are not to be confused with controls from other manufactures that may "incinerate", "demolish" or "destroy" source material). The Portico II is made to fit the personality of any song, instrument, or engineer. Also found on the original Portico, Silk mode works by reducing negative feedback on the output transformer and adjusting the frequency response to more closely resemble Rupert Neve's vintage designs. "Silk +" mode pushes this technique still further, achieving a more harmonically rich sound.
Amazing Neve-quality EQ
The 4-Band equalizer on the Portico II combines the best-loved sound of several classic designs, but Rupert Neve Designs made it very capable of extremely fine surgical adjustments as well as dramatic boosts or cuts. By default, the EQ section follows the mic preamplifier and HPF, and precedes the compressor, but this sequence may be reversed by engaging the Post Comp switch. The Low Shelf has an independent engage switch, Classic Peak/ Accelerated Shelf selection, with +/- 12dB level adjustment, and selectable turnover frequencies of 35, 60, 100, and 220Hz. The fully parametric LMF and HMF bands have a joint engage switch, providing +/- 12dB level adjustment, continuously variable "Q" from 0.7 to 5, and continuously variable frequency ranges from 70 to 1.4KHz and 700Hz to 14KHz. In addition to its standard capabilities, the Portico II's HMF band can also be used to precisely tune a new De-Esser circuit.
The de-esser function can be varied from off to full effect, and uses the Frequency, and "Q" controls to tame harsh sibilance in vocals and instruments with an independent high-mid limiter. Even when the de-esser is on, the EQ level may still be used. The high frequency shelf has independent engage switch, Classic Peak/ Accelerated Shelf selection, +/- 12dB level adjustment, and selectable turnover frequencies of 4.7, 6.8, 12, and 25kHz. When two Portico II channel strips are used side by side, the EQ section can also excel at stereo material.
The flexibility and vibe you want from a compressor
The Portico II's compressor section is exceptionally flexible. Like the Rupert Neve Designs Portico 5043, the Portico II lets you choose between Forward Feed and Return Feed modes, either providing a transparent modern response, or a smoother more musical vintage response. Along with FF/FB modes, there are also 1:1 to 40:1 ratio controls and threshold from -30dBu to +20dBu, together with attack from 20 to 75ms (.1 ms in fast mode), Release from 100ms to 2.5s, and makeup gain from 0 to 20dB with a stereo link.
The Portico II's compressor section incorporates a number of new ways to tame or enhance dynamics. HPF to SC inserts the highpass filter into the side chain to deal with intense low frequencies that may skew the response of the VCA with certain songs and instruments. The "Fast" switch alters the Portico II compressor's attack to react to transients with a roughly .1ms response time. When "fast" is disengaged, the compressor responds to the RMS signal in conjunction with the attack and release settings. "Blend" works by creating a parallel mix between the compressed and dry signals. By mixing the compressed and dry signals, it is possible to increase the volume of quieter elements in the source material (for instance, delicate snare brushing on a track with much louder hits), while maintaining a natural dynamic feel for the louder elements. Rupert Neve Designs included an insert "send" and "return" that may be paired with an external EQ or other filters for additional manipulation. The "return" may also be used as a "Key" input for ducking one signal under another. (for instance, a voiceover keying the compressor to duck a background music track). By connecting the "link" jack on the back of the Portico II to another Portico II link jack and engaging the Link buttons, the compressor section may be used for stereo material.
- Texture control for fine tuning harmonic ratio and tone
- Post Comp moves the EQ after the compressor
- Multi-variable De-Esser can be used to soften harsh sibilance in voices and instruments
- Blend gives you a continuously variable control to mix compressed and uncompressed signals
- FF/FB changes the VCA detection from a forward feed design to a feed back design
- Super Fast overrides the attack setting, using a combination of peak and RMS detection set below 1ms
- Side Chain Send/Return
- External compressor side chain send and return on 2 x TRS jacks
- Dual 16-point peak meters display compressor gain reduction and output levels
- Highpass filter is continuously variable from 20-250Hz
- HPF to Side Chain Uses the HPF in the compressor side chain
- Gain provides 66dB in 6dB steps
- Trim: Continuous +/- 6dB level control
- All EQ In: Enables all EQ bands
- Comp In: Engages compressor section
- Phase Inverts
- Phantom power: Selectable 48V
- DI: Discrete FET input for hi-Z instruments
- Line input: Selectable +4 balanced input
- LF EQ: +/-15dB adjustment at 35, 60, 100, and 220 Hz, independent LF engage, selectable classic bell or accelerated shelf curves
- LMF EQ: +/-15dB adjustment from 70 to 1.4KHz, with a continuous "Q" from .7 to 5., engaged with the MF switch.
- HMF EQ: +/-15dB adjustment from 700Hz to 14KHz, with a continuous "Q" from .7 to 5., engaged with the MF switch.
- HF EQ: +/-15dB adjustment at 4.7, 6.8, 12, and 25kHz, independent HF engage, selectable classic bell or accelerated shelf curves
- Rackmountable, 2U
Questions on Portico II Channel Strip
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- Preamp Type: Solid State
- Number of Channels: 1
- Frequency Response: 2Hz-160kHz (-3dB)
- Phantom Power: Yes
- EQ: Yes
- Compressor: Yes
- Other Processing: Textre
- Analog Inputs: 1 x XLR (Mic), 1 x XLR (Line), 1 x 1/4" (Hi-Z)
- Analog Outputs: 1 x XLR
- Digital Inputs: No Digital Inputs
- Digital Outputs: No Digital Outputs
- Other I/O: 1 x 1/4" (Thru), 2 x 1/4" (Sidechain Send, Return), 2 x 1/4" (Link)
- Computer Connectivity: No Computer Connectivity
- Rackmount Spaces: 2U
- Height: 3.5"
- Depth: 10"
- Width: 19"
- Weight: 20 lbs.