Let's face it, if you are mixing music: rock, EDM, acoustic or anything else - chances are you are using an 1176 somewhere along the process. It's one of those ubiquitous pieces that made their mark on productions for decades and its sonic footprint is here to stay.
As with all things that have such a general appeal, people tend to take sides in what flavour of the 1176 is the best or what kind of emulation, really nailed it - if any at all. So I felt compelled to help - and make a fair, unbiased shootout.
Yep, it's not the first one and probably also not the last one in the vastness of the internet. It's by far not a complete and thorough comparison of every hardware or software version of that legendary compressor, but this focus on just a few units makes it very easy to digest.
But it's an as fair as possible comparison of the four that I had access to, made in the good will of knowing the tools better and trying not to pass any unnecessary judgement.
Those units were: an original UREI 1178, a Rev. A "Bluestripe" 1176 recreation at mixanalog, Waves CLA-76 and Slate Digital FG-116 Vintage/Monster (for "all buttons in" mode).
Although YouTube is a great platform, it compresses audio. So if you'd like to listen to the samples in unspoiled, lossless quality, you can download them HERE.
The mixanalog unit has a very interesting history - but perhaps more importantly, you can use it at mixanalog FOR FREE (for up to 30min/24h per user), head HERE for the product details page and tutorial video. No purchase or credit card needed.