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Saturation Sauce – Neve Portico II Master Buss Processor Review

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@mastrprod SATURATION SAUCE One of my favorite parts about the Portico II Master Buss Processor is the fact that there are two saturation modes that sound slightly different. The red silk boosts the mid-highs, while the blue silk enhances low-end material. Which sounds better to you? #audioengineer #musicstudio #mixingmusic #masteringmusic #saturationplugin #neve #masterbussprocessor #rupertneve #analogaudio ♬ original sound – MASTR Productions

This right here is my Portico II Master Buss Processor from Neve! One of my favorite parts about it, is that it has two different types of saturation mode (red and blue) that each have their own distinct flavor! Let’s review the Neve Portico II Master Buss Processor, and see what its best features are!

Which one do you like the best? Or do you think it sounds best without the saturation engaged? You be the judge!

The Red Silk saturation mode provides a crispy boost to the high mids that a lot of recording artists seem to enjoy. It instantly makes the track sound louder, but it also gives a nice lift to the mids without messing with any of the lows. When you apply the Red Silk, you’re “enhancing harmonic content generated by the highs and high mids of your source” according to

The Blue Silk saturation mode focuses on the low end. I find this mode to give a nice roundess to bass elements. It gives a pleasant, clean boost to the lows that almost feels like the high-mid elements get tucked back a little bit in comparison. I like using this when a track is just sitting “too hot”. According to, when you turn on the Blue Silk, you’re “enhancing harmonics generated by the lows and low mids of your source“.

The Neve Portico II Master Buss Processor is one of the best analog units for finishing a track. The main feature of the unit is its compression modules, usable in either linked stereo or variable mu, and created with notched knobs for easy recall. Ratio, threshold, attack, and release all get their own knobs for excellent control. The saturation is adjustable with a “texture” knob, and the entire unit has a wet/dry knob, making finding the perfect blend super easy! The Portico II also has options for sidechain processing, feed-forward / feed-back toggle, and the ability to switch between RMS or Peak detection. This unit also features a limiter, however we find our in-the-box methods work best, and we keep the limiter mostly disengaged.

The Width EQ and Depth EQ deserve their own article, so I’ll save that for another topic, but in a nutshell, the SFE (Stereo Field Editor) is absolutely mind-blowing at making tracks wide while still retaining punch. The SFE gives a significant increase to the “depth” of a track. I found settings that I like with the SFE module, and always find myself going back to those settings, so once you find a sweet spot you like, rock with it!

Happy mastering!