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Hardware Hall of Fame: Universal Audio’s 1176 Compressor

To people who work with audio engineering and music production, it is a standard procedure to look for the best alternative in terms of tone, dynamic, and texture to the specific sound may this be in a recording, mixing, or mastering process.

Between the alternatives one might come across to reach a certain sound, coloring, and texture, this can include microphones, pre-amps, and DAW plug-ins.

These plug-ins which can be compressors and equalizers, some of those can be made to imitate specific hardware that were used back in the analog days, and some of these pieces of hardware can have such a unique and distinct sound property to them, that people will still search for them whether it may be “in the box” (software form) or the hardware itself. And the piece of hardware chosen for today’s overview will be the Universal Audio’s 1176 Compressor.

Universal Audio 1176

The 1176 is a 1 channel solid state compressor, marking the transition from tube compressors to the FET (Field Effect Transistor) technology, giving way to a more portable and easy construction, for not having the need of valves in its scheme.

The 1176 was designed by Bill Putnam Senior still under the brand UREI in the late 60’s, pioneering the FET technology, that provided unique characteristics the sounds that could go through this compressor.

1176's Interior

The FET technology offered a much faster attack and aggressive sound, making it perfect for adding punch a presence to the sound.

Featuring four ratios (4:1, 8:1, 12:1 and 20:1 which is in the limiting range) the 1176 became an instant classic and is used by standard in the industry today.

Under different revisions and editions, the 1176 can be found in its physical and original iteration, but it can also be found in its software version as a plug-in and as a guitar pedal, also produced by Universal Audio.

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