Rupert Neve Designs have announced the release of the Newton Channel, a new channel strip that combines a Class-A mic preamp, three-band EQ and VCA compressor, and also offers a range of tonal options thanks to the inclusion of the company’s Red and Blue Silk circuits.
The Newton Channel’s preamp section promises to deliver the tight, clean and detailed sound that Rupert Neve Designs are renowned for. Although tailored for use with microphones, the input is said to be equally happy accepting line-level signals, allowing the unit to be utilised as a mixing tool in addition to excelling at tracking duties.
A 12-position rotary switch offers up to 66dB of gain in 6dB steps, whilst a Trim control provides a further ±6dB for fine-tuning and level matching when working with stereo arrays. A variable high-pass filter ranging from 20 to 250 Hz is also present, along with a polarity button and switchable phantom power.
The unit’s EQ section has been designed with speed and flexibility in mind, offering three bands of equalisation via a simplified set of controls. The low- and high-frequency shelf bands and offer ±12dB of adjustment, with switches allowing their frequencies to be set to 60/150 HZ and 8/16 kHz respectively.
The mid-range section again features a ±12dB range, and can be continually adjusted between 220Hz and 7kHz, with RND’s engineers carefully choosing a fixed Q setting which aims to offer a balance between musicality and precision.
All of the controls employ 31-detent potentiometers, and the section can be independently bypassed, allowing to users to audition their settings quickly and easily.
The next section is equipped with the latest iteration of the company’s VCA compressor. The Threshold control offers a range of +20 to -30 dBu, and compression will begin with a soft knee at a 2:1 ratio once signals rise above the defined threshold. Release times can be set between 50 and 500 ms, and the section is capable of providing up to 20dB of make-up gain.
31-detent potentiometers are again used for each of the section’s controls, and the individual bypass is joined by a Pre EQ switch, allowing the compressor circuitry to be placed either before or after the EQ section.
Whilst the Newton Channel is designed to deliver a clean and transparent sound, it is also possible to introduce some ‘character’ thanks to the addition of the company’s Silk feature. The final section contains a switch which provides a choice of Silk Red or Silk Blue circuits, and a Texture control defines the overall amount of saturation applied.
Silk Red enhances high-mid and high-frequency content, adding a “sparkly sheen” to the signal which is said to be ideal for sources such as vocals, pianos, snare drums, strings and other acoustic instruments. Silk Blue then emphasises a signal’s low-mid and low-frequency range, providing some additional weight for drums, bass guitars, male vocals and synthesizers.
The unit features a custom transformer output stage, and offers a balanced line-level main output. Additionally, a separate -6dBu output is present, providing the option to drive the Silk sections harder to achieve more transformer harmonics without clipping the next device in the signal chain. It is also possible to use both outputs at the same time.
Pricing & Availability
The Newton Channel will be available in June 2023, priced at $1999.