1176 - what makes it so special?
Old 20th January 2012
  #1
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1176 - what makes it so special?

I must admit I've never used an 1176 but I am curious why it is so highly regarded?

What makes this comp so special? I know it has a very fast attack time, but surely it can't be unique in that respect can it?
Old 20th January 2012
  #2
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skybluerental's Avatar
 

if you are talking about the original Urei 1176, what makes it a great tool for sound shaping are its tone and its compression action.

it is really pretty simple.

the reissues and clones are not the same, although the Mohog 76 is really good.
the rest did not impress me.
Old 20th January 2012
  #3
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Ward Pike's Avatar
Magic Beans.

Seriously, you need to spend some time with an 1176ln rev d,f or g or a reissue even to fully get it.
Old 20th January 2012
  #4
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LeMauce's Avatar
 

Urei / UA 1176 is a comp like no other...
It's not only a tone shaper but more... to understand you have to work with a real hardware one. Even its a re-issue what do the job very well (sure still the old ones are THE ONE...jada jada). A plugin how good it is will not sound the same when pushed like a hardware one.

check this out:
Building 1176 Clone: Interview - YouTube
Old 20th January 2012
  #5
It's fashionable and old. The two food groups of modern recording.

I got over them in 1987.
Old 20th January 2012
  #6
Gear maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
It's fashionable and old. The two food groups of modern recording.

I got over them in 1987.
KA-BOOM!!!! lolz
Old 20th January 2012
  #7
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
It's fashionable and old. The two food groups of modern recording.

I got over them in 1987.
Ha ha ha! Excellent.
Old 20th January 2012
  #8
Gear addict
It's one of those compressors that, even when you're using it "wrong" and the meters are buried..... it still sounds great. It doesn't seem to round off the tone and make things boxy like some comps do when hit hard. Instead, it seems to bring the tone forward in the speakers and almost seems to give the sound an edge. It's definitely the "in your face" compressor. I can't think of a single source that I don't like it on.
Old 20th January 2012
  #9
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Bopkit's Avatar
 

yeah, it's the thing for up-front & aggressive with some grit and grain. i sure miss mine..

the older ones verge on lo-fi, but always in a wonderful way.
Old 20th January 2012
  #10
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it's still the best way i know of to put a vocal right up in your face.

love that the attack goes from "crazy fast" to "even faster."

love that the internal threshold changes w/ the ratio.

love that you can make the meter go to -20 and it'll somehow still sound listenable.
Old 20th January 2012
  #11
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alexstringer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
It's fashionable and old.
Like Burberry and Louis Vuitton? Well! In that case, the word classic would be more accurate . Isn't it how we call an item that has received the same steady popularity for over 1/2 a century ?
Old 20th January 2012
  #12
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

If I could only have 1 outboard compressor it would be an 1176.
Old 20th January 2012
  #13
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
It's the sound of rock and roll on voice. It's the way it "grabs" that sounds so cool. There is an "action" or dynamic in the way it grabs that makes your voice sound almost rhythmic and punchy. My CL1B simply makes my voice sound louder without the excitement of the grabbing and releasing that the 1176 adds. Sometimes that may not fit what you're after.
Old 20th January 2012
  #14
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huub's Avatar
It's fairly versatile and it sounds pretty nice...
Old 20th January 2012
  #15
Yeh, devices like the 1176 and LA-2A are what they are because they really are great devices. I've watched a gazzillion music industry/band/studio documentaries and I don't think I've ever seen a studio (prior to the modern plugin era) that didn't have them. In some cases it looked to be the bulk of what they had. All those people from Atlantic Records forward didn't use them just because they were fashionable.
Old 20th January 2012
  #16
Gear interested
 

There are very few compressors that are as versatile as an 1176. And they are reliable, there is nothing more important in recording than not having to think about whether or not your tools will get the job done. They may not be as fancy as some other boxes, but they do pretty damn near everything very well, and over and over. You may also want to ask why people use sm57s.
Old 20th January 2012
  #17
I think they have "magic fairy dust" in them. If you find a vintage one that was in any major studios during the 80s, you might even be able to open it up and see some of that "magic fairy dust". That being said, I think there are plenty of clones and knockoffs that have some of the mojo too. The tools we use should be about inspiration and creativity and we shouldn't get too caught up in specifics.
Quote
1
Old 21st January 2012
  #18
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syntheticrhyme's Avatar
 

On vocals, I just to love tracking through it. It's just an added sheen it adds to the tone as well
Old 21st January 2012
  #19
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vernier's Avatar
1176 is popular because it was a staple in studios in the 70's, and people like music from that era. But in reality, 1176 is lacking, its flat, and lacks tube magic. It's a utility device and nothing more. Btw, I've used 'em since they came on the scene, and have owned about every version, so ..if anyone wants to open a dialog on whats flat and lacking about them, I won't tire of telling the truth about that limiter.
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.
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Old 21st January 2012
  #20
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
I don't think "tube magic" is what anyone is looking for when they use an 1176 though. You're not wrong, I just don't think it matters in what it's being "utilized" for. I think you will find most popular record producers are using it for its fast grab and vocal forward effect. Whether its Beyonce or Jack Johnson its very effective at achieving a specific aesthetic.

But unfortunately you do have to spend a pretty penny to get one that sounds acceptable. The "D" revision is the only one I like but I haven't tried a Bluestripe. I have owned every version since the D including the AE.
Old 21st January 2012
  #21
Gear nut
 

1176 is good but a comp like the Distressor can do the same thing and is a better comp-more versatile
Old 21st January 2012
  #22
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T_R_S's Avatar
30 years of 1176 on bass guitar!
It's never let me down once.
Old 21st January 2012
  #23
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mowmow's Avatar
I like 1176 or 1178 on drums. I use it to distort ambient mics.
Old 21st January 2012
  #24
Simple - it sounds good on everything. Release knob to the left = smooth, glued compression that sounds like a final product. Release knob to the right = exciting, aggressive compression that sounds like a final product.

If you're going to own one compressor, its an 1176, no question
Old 21st January 2012
  #25
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

Wow some bizarre comments on this thread.

I've had 2 for many years and I think they are great. They add a fatness and tone that is unique to them and that many people find desirable. On just about every relevant record in the past 30 years.
Old 21st January 2012
  #26
Gear nut
 

One thing I don't like about the 1176 (vintage ones) is that they do sound different from unit to unit. Some units do sound better than others. So if you have one of the better sounding units that's great, but not ideal for stereo applications if 2 units each have a different sound.

I do think the emulation setting for the distressor is pretty darn close and you can use these on stereo and know you have the same thing on each channel.

1176 is great yet there really is alot hype about it. IMO I don't think it's overated but most sexy gear is.
Old 21st January 2012
  #27
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timtoonz's Avatar
 

"What makes it so special?" ??? What makes anything 'special' in this biz? The freakin' sound!

You can love'em or hate'em or not give a dang about'em, but the fact is that dozens - if not hundreds - of top engineers have made many 'Hall of Fame' recordings with 1176's over the years.

For me, it was the first comp that, when I put it on a snare track, I immediately had that 'a-ha' moment and heard that Bonham-ish thwack I'd been searching for. And I remember when Richard Dodd guest moderated here a long while ago, his answer to almost half of the 'how did you record _____" questions included the phrase "and an 1176 at 20:1, slow release, fast attack".

But like anything in the audio toolbox, at the end of the day, it's a gizmo that makes a sound. If you like that sound, then it's "special". If ya like some other sound better, then that's cool too.

Old 21st January 2012
  #28
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warhead's Avatar
 

When I bury a signal into the threshold of a compressor the most satisfying thing I could ever experience is that it works. It levels the signal, it actually stops stuff...all compressors do this in their own way but not many have the authority and predictable control of an 1176.

War
Old 21st January 2012
  #29
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Showcase's Avatar
 

I guess the old vintage ones is better than the new UA reissues because I have one of those and it doesnt sound ultra good in my ears, Its decent but not more, I hear what its trying to do but to me it sounds a little hard/cold and I dont think it adds any fatness like someone mentioned, could be my unit, Im guessing the old bluestrip adds more roundness and a little more forgiving with transients attacks, maybe distort them making the sound more pleasant instead of getting to much of the nasty clipping sometimes in the UA reissues, am I right?
Old 21st January 2012
  #30
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by timtoonz View Post
"What makes it so special?" ??? What makes anything 'special' in this biz? The freakin' sound!

You can love'em or hate'em or not give a dang about'em, but the fact is that dozens - if not hundreds - of top engineers have made many 'Hall of Fame' recordings with 1176's over the years.

For me, it was the first comp that, when I put it on a snare track, I immediately had that 'a-ha' moment and heard that Bonham-ish thwack I'd been searching for. And I remember when Richard Dodd guest moderated here a long while ago, his answer to almost half of the 'how did you record _____" questions included the phrase "and an 1176 at 20:1, slow release, fast attack".

But like anything in the audio toolbox, at the end of the day, it's a gizmo that makes a sound. If you like that sound, then it's "special". If ya like some other sound better, then that's cool too.

40 years ago the 1176 was in every studio because it was a state of the art piece back than and it was a ubiquitous item. There wasn't many options and this was the one comp that studio owners bought at the time and so it was the one many engineers used. It does that Bonham drum thingee effect very well but nowadays there are many options to chose fro when picking a comp. The 1176 does retain it's value quite well and is very easy to sell, that's always a ++ (positive)
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