Need that classic FET compressor sound in your studio? We’re looking at some of the best 1176 alternatives to get the legendary limiting amplifier into your workflow.
We’ve explored the history of the 1176 in a previous post. So if you aren’t familiar with its design, getting your head around the various revisions will help you understand the angles that manufacturers take when recreating the iconic compressor.
Apart from being an FET compressor, the basic fundamental difference between the 1176 and many others is that it uses a program-dependant design that encourages the user to shape the compression with the input and output gain controls.
Choosing the Best 1176 Alternatives
Although famed for its versatility, the 1176 is preferred by most for tracking guitars, bass, and vocals and many top engineers still recommend it as an essential tool in any recording chain.
The 1176 has been recreated in its original rack-mountable format, as well as a 500-series module, a guitar pedal, and a software plug-in. So let’s take a look at some of the best examples of each.
The Waves CLA compressor collection is easily one of the most widely used plug-in bundles available, and the CLA-76 is an 1176 recreation designed in collaboration with superstar engineer, Chris Lord-Alge.
Although it’s been around for years now, the CLA-76 still provides all the hallmarks of the original within the flexible DAW platform. You have the choice of Black or Blueface style characteristics as well as the ability to bypass the compressor circuit.
- More from Waves
Universal Audio UAFX 1176
The UAFX 1176 Studio Compressor puts all the controls of the 1176 in the palm of your hand with 3 operating modes that determine the compressor’s behavior.
While Single mode mimics a single 1176 with subtle compression, Dual mode is created by two chained 1176 units with a far more aggressive crunch. Sustain mode is useful for dynamic passages like solos where you need each note to ring true.
- More from Universal Audio
Lindell Audio LiN76
Owning an 1176 doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With the LiN76 from Swedish manufacturer Lindell Audio, you get the same user as experience the classic limiting amplifier with all the same controls.
The meter calibration control on the rear panel is a useful touch, and even without stereo linking or an internal power supply the LiN76 still offers great value for money.
- More from Lindell Audio
Black Lion Audio Bluey 500
With a design inspired by Chris Lord-Alge’s modified 1176 Blueface, the Black Lion Audio Bluey 500 is built with Cinemag transformers modelled on the original UTCs.
Also, the inclusion of a mix control and the stereo-link function adds an extra degree of versatility to the design. It may of course require a 500-series chassis, but the Bluey 500 is a quality 1176 recreation for the modern studio.
- More from Black Lion Audio
WES Audio ng76
WES Audio is known for its analogue hardware units and modules with DAW automation functionality and digital recall. So the ng76 brings a new spin on the classic workhorse studio compressor.
Apart from a variable sidechain filter, the ng76 also has Modern and Vintage operating modes, Saturation, and a Total Harmonic Distortion function, so you can add plenty of character on the way in.
- More from WES Audio
Also worth checking out:
More about the Best 1176 Alternatives:
*Note: This article contains affiliate links that help us fund our site. Don’t worry: the price for you always stays the same! If you buy something through these links, we will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support!
- waves-cla-76: Amazona
- UAFX 1176 Studio Compressor: Universal Audio
- Lindell Audio LiN76: Lindell Audio
- Bluey 500: Black Lion Audio
- Wes Audio ng76: Wes Audio