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Manley Labs



Manley Labs is truly a premiere professional audio equipment manufacturer and has been since 1989. The company is run by one of the true geniuses in the world of professional recording studio equipment engineering— EveAnna Manley. Every piece of equipment that is manufactured by Manley Labs is handcrafted with pride and care at their company headquarters and factory in Chino, California. Most of the gear that is manufactured by the company is tube-based, in other words, gear and equipment from Manley Labs will serve to give the work of any artist, engineer, musician or producer who uses it the classic sounds of the great popular music of the past. 


Which products from Manley Labs that were used by the great engineers and recording studio facilities of the past would be a great fit for the educational space?


While I would like to highlight five particular products that are being made by Manley Labs, it must be stated that every product made by Manley Labs would be a great fit for the educational space. During my stint in the professional music industry, we used products from Manley Labs, including their amazing equalizers, compressor/limiters and microphones. Each of the products from Manley Labs are easy to use, incredibly durable (built like a tank) and sound fantastic— on any source. Their products are some of the very best that you will find in the world of professional music recording. 

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Image: Manley Reference Cardiod Microphone

Image courtesy-- Manley Labs

Manley Reference Cardiod Microphone


The Manley Reference Cardiod Microphone is a tube-based condenser microphone that sounds great on any source. Since the introduction of this microphone in 1990, it has been one of the premiere microphones in the world of music recording. While this microphone sounds fantastic on any source, it should be noted that it is an amazing vocal microphone. It has a warm, but, yet clear and detailed signature. This microphone is a classical piece of technology in the world of professional music recording, along with its sibling— the Manley Gold Reference Microphone. 

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Image: Manley Gold  Reference Microphone

Image courtesy-- Manley Labs

Manley Gold Reference Microphone


The Manley Gold Reference Microphone is also a tube-based condenser microphone that also sounds great, too, on any source. However, it offers three polar (or microphone pickup) patterns, whereas its sibling only offers a cardiod pickup pattern. We used this microphone on a number of notable country music artists, as it was truly one of our go-to vocal microphones of choice. Though it is an amazing microphone for vocals, it would be an outstanding microphone for recording large-scale performances. For example, a trio of these microphones would be excellent for recording a choir, band or orchestral performance. It is an extremely versatile microphone. And just like its sibling, it has become a classic recording studio staple microphone. 


Image: Manley Enhanced Pultec EQ

Image courtesy-- Manley Labs

Manley Enhanced Pultec EQ


The Manley Enhanced Pultec EQ units are also recording studio staples. Using the vintage Pultec equalization units of old, Manley Labs has created a new recording studio classic. Manley Labs manufactures three different equalization models in this range, including: a mono (or single-channel) unit, a stereo (or two-channel) unit and a mid-frequency unit. Each of these units sound fantastic on any source, are incredibly easy to use and have found a home in fine recording studios around the world. In the studio that I worked primarily in during my stint in the professional music recording industry, we had four of these fantastic single-channel units from Manley Labs. 


Image: Manley Stereo Variable MU

Image courtesy-- Manley Labs

Manley Stereo Variable MU®


The Manley Stereo Variable MU is one of the greatest sounding compressor/limiters to ever be produced for the purpose of recording popular music. While it sounds great on any source, I have seen legendary recording studio engineers use it on drum submixes and on the mix bus. It is warm and creamy sounding— just like the vintage compressors that were so important to creating the popular music of the past. 

Image: Manley Force

Image courtesy-- Manley Labs

Manley Force®


The Manley Labs Force is a four-channel, tube-based microphone preamp unit. Like each piece of gear manufactured by Manley Labs, these microphone preamps sound fantastic on any source. Plus, in a single, 2-space rackmount unit, there are four pristine and warm microphone preamps. It is both easy to use and incredibly durable. Each of these traits make it a perfect choice for the educational space. 

Why should an educational institution invest in products from Manley Labs?


If you purchase a product that has been made by Manley Labs, you will get the following from each of their offerings: a product which sounds fantastic, a product which is incredibly durable and will last a lifetime and a product which is both easy to use and will be an excellent teaching tool. Manley Labs makes each of their products by hand at their factory in Chino, California and their customer service and technical support are among the very best that you will find in the professional music recording world. Each product made by Manley Labs would be an excellent fit for the educational space. 


If you would like more information about Manley Labs and the amazing products that were discussed in this article, please use the following links which are listed below.


Manley Labs— Reference Cardiod Microphone

Manley Labs— Reference Gold Microphone

Manley Labs— Enhanced Pultec EQP-1A

Manley Labs— Stereo Variable MU

Manley Labs— Force



The following link will take you to the Manley Labs website where you can learn more about this legendary company and also, find an authorized dealer for their fabulous products in your area.


Manley Labs


Special Note: Each of the images in this article appear through the courtesy and generosity of the wonderful people at Manley Labs and Duration Consulting. The Manley Force® and Manley Stereo Variable MU® are registered trademarks of Manley Labs. 


Special Thanks— At The Recording Session Vault Educational Website Project, we would like to take a moment to express our thanks and appreciation to Chris Dauray of Duration Consulting who represents the amazing people at Manley Labs for his time and assistance with this article. 

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