Manley Variable Mu Limiter Compressor Is Now 84% OFF


The Manley Variable Mu Limiter Compressor plugin is currently available for $50 at the Universal Audio website, which represents an 84% saving from the list price of $299. 

The plugin is a Windows and Mac release, and the same deal is also available at Plugin Boutique

The developer Universal Audio describes the Variable Mu as “an authentic emulation of Manley’s flagship compressor. so you can add definition and fidelity to individual tracks, stereo buses or an entire mix.”

The tube and transformer-driven Variable Mu hardware unit has been Manley Labs’ flagship compressor since 1994.

It’s a classic that is not only the best-selling Manley product but also an industry standard for mixing and mastering. 

The hardware Variable Mu has several notable users, including 16-time Grammy Award-winning producer Tom Elmhirst, who has production credits with Adele, Beck, David Bowie, Lady Gaga, and Amy Winehouse, to name a few. 

Manley vouches for the Universal Audio emulation, with Manley Labs President EveAnna Manley saying, “If you’ve got a ragged mix, this plugin will give it a big hug.”

Universal Audio asserts that the plugin version “gives your stereo buses or your entire mix the same clarity and cohesion as the high-end hardware”. 

Now, that is certainly a big claim that we can take with a grain of salt, but the plugin received quite good reviews from both critics and users.

If you prefer to make your own mind up about it, you can do so with the 14-day free trial offered by Universal Audio.

Note that the developer has not specified when the current sale ends, however. 

Applications for the Variable Mu include gluing together complex mixes and linking channels for a precise stereo image. 

The signature Manley tube squeeze is at home for adding definition to tracks, buses, or mixes. 

However, Universal Audio describes the comp’s raison d’être as polishing the mix bus, where “it can unify your mixes with a rich, hi-fi fit and finish.”

The Variable Mu plugin is compatible with Windows 10 or Windows 11 (64-bit only) and macOS versions 10.15 Catalina, 11 Big Sur, 12 Monterey, and 13 Ventura. 

Unfortunately, the release involves some fiddling with DRM, namely an authorization via iLok.

This can be done with iLok USB (2nd generation or higher) or iLok Cloud, so a physical iLok dongle is not required for activation.

GET THE DEAL: Manley Variable Mu Limiter Compressor (Currently 84% off – $50)


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Steve is a musician and journalist who hails from Melbourne, Australia. He learned everything he knows about production from Google and used that vast knowledge to create a series of records you definitely haven’t heard of.

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