The two units are destined for installation in the mastering consoles operated by Masterdisk owner Scott Hull and mastering engineer Randy Merrill. One of New York’s foremost mastering facilities, Masterdisk, will take delivery of the first two Rupert Neve Designs Portico II Master Buss Processor units when they go into production at the beginning of October.
Hull purchased the two MBP units after evaluating a prototype sent to him by Caig “Hutch” Hutchison, senior design engineer at Rupert Neve Designs. “When Hutch calls and tells me, ‘You gotta hear this,’ I know it’s going to be interesting,” comments Hull. “So I was not surprised with my reaction when I first heard the Master Buss Processor. I had a few short days to demo the prototype and felt that this box has a LOT of potential. New colors, new wrinkles on old themes, and so far I haven’t put anything through it that didn’t sound better. I can’t wait to get my hands on the production unit!”
The new Portico II Master Buss Processor (MBP), which combines two compressor channels, each with limiting, and a stereo field editor, offers revolutionary capabilities that redefine the concept of two-channel buss processing. The MBP is based around the high-voltage, Class A discrete analog signal paths made famous in the 5088 mixer and Portico II: Channel, and incorporates mastering grade detented pots throughout for accurate repeatability of its dynamics, tone, and stereo field settings.
For Rupert Neve Designs’ Engineering Team Leader William “Hutch” Hutchison, the purchase is telling: “I’ve known Scott over the last couple decades, and I truly respect his opinion as one of the top mastering engineers in the world. It is extremely encouraging for us to have an ambitious new design like the Master Buss Processor get such an immediate acceptance at the highest level. Once people hear what it can do dynamically and spatially and experience the big door it opens for creative productions, it probably will become the secret weapon of choice in many well equipped racks.”
The MBP will be especially beneficial in those situations where a client would like some additional character added to the sound of the project, Hull believes. “It’s got a very pleasant style,” he reports. “I had another engineer, Randy Merrill, listen to it and he wanted one, too. I expect even more of my mastering engineers will interested in adding the MBP to their rig once they have heard it.”
Masterdisk, located on West 45th Street in Manhattan, was established in 1973. Hull’s clients have included Bob Dylan, Sting, Lou Reed, Steely Dan, Bruce Springsteen, Panic at the Disco, and many, many others.