Top Tools Spotlight: Manley SLAM! And 16x2 Mixer

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Whether we’re tracking, mixing or mastering at BB4, we’re happy to have a double shot of Manley available.

Let’s start with the SLAM! According to the manufacturer that stands for “Stereo Limiter and MicPre”, but as far as we’re concerned it also means “Sure Love A Manley.” Corny jokes aside, we have this unit in the console because it’s outstanding for both tracking and mixing.

It sports two limiter pairs (four in all), designed to deliver the classic sound of the LA2, 1176 and Neve 2264 in a single stereo tube unit. Also on the technical tip, we were attracted to the fact that it has a highly desirable Electro-Optical circuit (ELOP) and a fast FET-based brick-wall limiter, plus a sidechain filter for removing low frequencies.

“The SLAM!’s tube circuitry gives a lot of warmth to the tracks, and glues everything together,” says BB4 engineer Kiara Mudd. “It’s great as a secondary compressor in the vocal chain – it doesn’t colorize the sound, and it levels out the signal very smoothly. Another way we’ll use the SLAM! at BB4 is in conjunction with our 16x2 for working on rough mixes. They complement each other very well.”

Speaking of the Manley 16x2 line mixer… We added this unit for its fast functionality, ultra low-noise integrated circuits and tubes, and highly flexible I/O. “This is a terrific mixer that can really open up the mix,” Kiara says. “The tubes give a lot of warmth to the tracks, which make it an ideal summing mixer. I’ve used it extensively for mixing hip-hop, R&B, and EDM.”

Other places that our 16x2 has made an appearance is on the amazing “Beyond the Beyond” project that rock innovator Ian Lloyd has been producing here, as well as tracks for BB4 publishing. We’d also love to hear it on your next project! Give us a call and take this Manley matched pair for a test drive.

Try this outboard and more when you work at BB4.

David Weiss