UREI 1176 Rev. A - the “Bluestripe” (probably) doesn’t need much introduction. It’s THE compressor, made popular by the likes of Chris Lord Alge and many, many others, as it’s found its way into more or less all well-equipped studios around the globe.
This compressor features an input and output level control, variable attack and release and four ratio settings from 4:1 to 20:1. There is no threshold conotrol, so the amount of gain reduction depends on the input level and selected ratio.
Sound-wise, this compressor excells in bringing the source forward in a mix with a combination of fast, transparent peak reduction and lively, gentle saturation. If pushed a bit harder, it will start producing more harmonic distortion and the compression will become more and more perceivable, especially with longer release times.
Transprency is all good and dandy, but this compressor can also become a saturating, pumping and sucking beast! By activating the “all-buttons-in”</b> mode with Shift-Clicking any of the ratio buttons, the resulting unanticipated state of the circuitry produces far more distortion and somewhat altered timing constans. In this mode, the 1176 Rev. A treats the transients to a chainsaw experience and is arguably the definition of the hard-rock vocal sound.
The 1176 Rev. A on mix:analog is based on the “mnats” circuit recreation from the original schematic. All the parts selected for the build were either “new old stock” originals or modern equivalents not only in values used, but also in material selection and tolerances.
Where to use it?
Being a mono unit, this processor lends itself well to any single source track in need of a character injection. It’s a classic on a snare drum, it will pull the last drop of sustain from a mono drum room/kit mic, it will nicely thicken a bass guitar and the added harmonics will make it cut through even on smaller speakers. The vocals will sit proudly in front and center, a synth lead will gain even more energy and a mono acoustic guitar will get more body without obvious pumping on the transients.