Doesn’t need any 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.
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. Transprency is all good and dandy, but this compressor can also become a saturating, pumping and sucking beast! By activating the “all-buttons-in” 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.