With the LiN76, Lindell Audio offer a valuable 1176 replica with all known features for a small budget.
Swedish company Lindell Audio, founded in 2010 by producer Tobias Lindell (Bohus Studio), is dedicated to providing high-quality hardware gear at affordable prices. The Universal Audio 1176 Peak Limiter is one of those legendary hardware compressors that can be found in almost every major studio. Since the late ‚60s, it has shaped many legendary productions, from Led Zeppelin to Michael Jackson. First introduced to the market in 1967, the FET compressor can also be used as a limiter with ratio values up to 20:1. Visually, the LiN76 is very similar to its prototype, also comes in 19‘‘ rack format with 2 height units and weighs 8kg. It is a single-channel compressor with a balanced jack input and output.
On a budget
Due to the fact that the originals are only available as expensive second-hand goods, the replicas are a good thing. Of course, Lindell is not alone with this idea, because after early replicas like Andrew Roberts Purple Audio MC76 or Universal Audio‘s 1176LN reissue, especially Warm Audio‘s WA76 and Klark Teknik‘s 76-KT have found their way into many studios in recent years. Lindell position themselves exactly in between them in terms of price. Qualitatively, all three devices are rock solid.
This is a rotary point compressor that does not have a threshold control. Stronger compression is created by turning up the input control, which automatically lowers the threshold and increases the input level. What makes the LiN76 special - analogous to the 1176 - are the short attack times of less than a millisecond (20uS to 800uS). It should be noted that the controls for attack and release (goes from 50ms to 1200ms) work exactly in reverse to most compressors. This makes operation less intuitive at first, but you can quickly get used to it.
In return, you are rewarded with an exquisite sound - as well as a great flexibility: The LiN76 can color the signal analog and compress it subtly, but also flatten it and distort it. That distortion effect is created by an extreme setting of attack and release, and is just as iconic as the all buttons mode, which creates a particularly dense and lively sound by pushing all the ratio buttons in, which is difficult to reproduce. Any other combination of ratio buttons is also possible and leads to interesting results. Producers appreciate the 1176 for its „musical“ character and unconventional sounds. In addition, the sound hasn‘t „aged“ since the 60s and is still as popular today as ever.
Comparison to plug-ins
Over the years, not only analog replicas of the 1176 were put on the market, but also digital emulations. The analog LiN76 has a clear advantage here, because the fact that real current flows means it sounds rounder, especially in extreme settings, and the sound coloration when the ratio is switched off is more concise. This also applies to legendary basic settings such as Dr. Pepper setting, All Buttons mode or distortion of the signal, which we take a closer look at on the opposite page. These are also possible with the Lindell LiN76. The difference to digital emulations becomes less obvious with moderate settings. The disadvantage of the Li76 is also that you can‘t integrate as many instances as you want into a mix without a lot of effort.
The key question is, for which people is the LiN76 predestined. Stylistically there are no restrictions here, because a good compressor is welcome in every genre, isn‘t it? Therefore, the target audience is primarily home recordists who want more than just producing „in the box“. The LiN76 does well for digital recordings that you want to give an analog flair, such as vocals, bass, guitars, drum single tracks or synthesizers. For the latter, the limitation is that you need two instances of the compressor for stereo signals, as it is single-channel. If you have two devices, you will also find applications that come to mind in the processing of drum room microphones or mix sums.
Professional settings on LiN76 as free download
Download the pro settings for the LiN76 HERE:
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