Universal Audio 1176 LN Peak Limiter
Legendary single-channel FET compressor
The 1176LN has become a world-wide studio standard for processing dynamics. It was designed by Bill Putnam in 1966, and along with the Siemens U273 and Telefunken U373 that had just been introduced prior to that, it was part of the very first generation of transistor-based compressors.
A compressor works backwards, i. e. it controls compression depending on the output level. A field-effect transitor (FET) which is used as a voltage-controlled variable resistor, governs the desired degree of gain-reduction. All circuitry is fully discrete.
Ratio can be adjusted in four ranges (1:4, 1:8, 1:12, and 1:20), and response time is extremely fast (20 milliseconds to 800 milliseconds). Release time can be varied between 50ms and 1.1 seconds. The gain-reduction circuit can be turned off as well so that the 1176LN can also be used as an ordinary preamp (45 dB of boost).
- Sound and application
The 1176 sounds very powerful and helps to add a lot of edge to signals. It is the first choice for processing vocals, bass, drums (snare-drums in particular), guitar, and overhead microphones. In addition to this, it can be used as a preamp for adding a bit of colouration to the signal. One favourite setting for recording vocals is the so-called Dr. Pepper Setting: Ratio set at 4:1, Attack set to 3 and Release to 5, and voilà. For some more dramatic and effective compression, the famous All-Button Mode can be used (where you would depress all four buttons at once).
There were at least 13 different revisions of the 1176 – the only bits that were revised were the input and output stages. Revision A (the “Blue Stripe”, c. 1967) came first, and Revision H (introduced in 1989, and on sale until the mid-1990s) came last.The most significant revision is considered to be Revision C – thanks to the introduction of newly-developed Low Noise circuitry in the input stage, the unit was re-named 1176LN and sported a black front panel (the so-called “Blackface”).
The unit for rent is the re-issue by Universal Audio from 2000 which stays as close to the original design as possible – it is based on the two most popular revisions D and E from the early 1970s.
- manufacturing period: Urei 1176 (1967-1994), Universal Audio 1176 (since 2000)
- weight (with case): 10 kg
- 1 Day30 €
- 2 Days50 €
(Fr-Mo) 65 €