Universal Audio 6176 Channel Strip ... DY-NA-MITE!
Universal Audio 6176 Channel Strip
The UA 6176 Channel Strip combines the highly sought after 610 preamp and 1176 compressor into one compact and much more cost effective unit. I say 'much more' cost effective because it still costs around $2500 when usually you would have to pay around that for just a 610 or 1176 - in this case, you get both in one. The cool thing about this unit is that you can split the preamp and the compressor and use them independently of one another if need be. So, down to the review!
In a nutshell, the UA 6176 sounds incredible! I have a home studio and the 6176 adds such a gorgeous warm vibe, no matter what I record with it. Often I don't even have to tweak the unit, it just sounds that good. When I do have to tweak the unit it doesn't take long to find the sweet spot of whatever I am recording. I have used dozens of different units over the years, and I am not a veteran with this unit [I will confess], but at this point I could easily get myself several more when my funds permit.
The 610 pre sounds great on just about anything as a stand alone pre - guitars, vocals, perc, stringed instruments - you're hard pressed to make it sound bad. But adding the 1176LN compressor just gives you so much more fatness, making it the perfect channel strip for electric bass. Although I have also used it on bowed/pizz upright bass and it sounds wicked. The "All In" setting [which is a modern user friendly ratio of the old 60's method of literally pressing ALL the ratio buttons in simultaneously for rock records] just pushes the 6176 capabilities even further, especially on amped electric guitars. Beautiful stuff!
It really is a great idea executed brilliantly. If you're after that vintage warm tube sound in your studio, this is for sure the way to go - I can't think of a better bang for your buck if that's what you're in the market for! Don't underestimate how important the front end of your studio is to your final mix. I have recorded some mixes the last few months where certain tracks were not using the 6176, and when I go to the final mixing stage, the 6176 tracks just sit so naturally and musically amongst everything else. It's kind of crazy to be honest!
As far as mics go that I have used with the 6176, I use the following with this unit with pleasing results: Audio Technica 4033, 4040, 4050, Shure KSM137, KSM32, Neumann TLM49, Neumann TLM103, Neumann KMS105. I also use an Apogee Duet and record into Logic Pro. I'm sure many other micas work brilliantly, but I am a home studio, and don't have millions of mics to choose from!
Buy the Universal Audio 6176 Channel Strip - it transforms the vibe of your home studio!