Beatles Altec compressors

Discussion in 'Compressors / Limiters' started by Julius Borges, Jul 30, 2003.

  1. Hello Everyone,
    I've always heard that Paul's bass went through a TUBE version of the Altec comp. Maybe a 436 or 438C. Now while looking at page 165 of "the complete Beatles Recording Sessions" I'm seeing what appear to be Altec comps, but they appear closer to the 1591A.
    436/438's all have one knob (volume) to the left of the meter. These have two knobs in that position like the 1591A.
    I'd love to know once and for all just what model it was. Would someone be a lamb and tell me.
    Thanks, Jules
  2. Treena Foster

    Treena Foster Active Member

    Welcome to RO Jules and I am sure someone here can help out with this intriguing question!

    Treena :h:
  3. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    Hey Jules, welcome man. Someone here should know this... :c:
  4. Treena Foster

    Treena Foster Active Member


    :h: Treena
  5. Hey Trina,

    Thanks so much for keepin' my question on the boards.
    Best Wishes, jules
  6. oh, oh sorry about that, Treena.

    God, I'm such an idiot!!!!!

    that short term memory is fried!

    now I'll never get an answer!!!!!!!!
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    You gotta love her!
  8. Tommy P.

    Tommy P. Well-Known Member

    She's a trooper for sure! Who ya gonna call? :w:
  9. Treena Foster

    Treena Foster Active Member

  10. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Hi ya'll...perhaps if you post this question over to the 'hardware' section you'll get a response.My knowledge of the hardware on this is limited, but I know how they got the bass so big.All Beatle recordings were done in stages and then 'reduced' from three or four tracks to one or two.Paul usually cut the final bass part at the end thus making it a first generation and the ONLY first generation in the mix.

    That being said it seems I read somewhere the in an interview Geoff Emerick,the main engineer, said that there was a Fairchild or an EMI of some kind in use for this very purpose.
  11. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Sorry...but I'd like to answer that when I worked with Ringo, The Producer asked Paul what strings he used on the bass (expecting some wisdom)...Paul just said in pure Beatle fashion... "I don't knwo...long silver ones I think..."

    I don't know the real answer... but when you find out let us know....
  12. hey davedog,

    thanks for posting. in an interview in "behind the glass" by howard massey, geoff emerick says that he used a c12 in figure of eight and an altec compressor on paul's bass.
    he mentions that the fairchild was used on drums and that john loved it on his voice.
    sorry i'm not using capital letters, i've got a broken wrist so i'm back to typing with one finger!
    best wishes, jules
  13. Treena Foster

    Treena Foster Active Member

    Jules, I hope you have a speedy recovery! ;) I was hoping you might have a link to the "Behind the Glass" by Howard Massey, article. Thanks in advance.

    :h: Treena
  14. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Julius...I do believe yer right ...and I'm thinking thats where I read that.Isnt that a collection of RE's reminincing about famous sessions??

    It was a good move to this locale for this subject as theres more than likely to be more folks who'll answer here.I mean guitarists and bassists are really only one link in the food chain from ......drummers.(hiya Rod)....

    Oh wait....I'M ONE OF THOSE!!!! :eek: :d:
  15. Treena Foster

    Treena Foster Active Member

    :w: I found it HERE

    :h: Treena
  16. hey there davedog and treena,
    geoff emerick went on to say that "the fairchild couldn't take the bass signal, because the attack time was too fast". i know we all hold our tube gear quite dear, but wouldn't it be a hoot if the the compressor that gave us(played a major role, paul had a lot to do with it) one of the all time classic bass sounds was the lowly solid state altec ? 1591a.

    come on, come on, come on, come on(sounds like a hook) somebodies gotta know! but take a good look at that picture that's not any 436/438 i've ever seen. then again i haven't seen them all.
  17. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Well along those lines comes this...I hung with Geoff through a mix and he was using an 1176 on the BASS.
    want to know the settings? they were enlightening to me because he was using it(the 1176) very much the way that Bones Howe (Another '60's era Engineer/Producer) used the same device...with-out knowing of the other.
  18. bloodspoint

    bloodspoint Active Member

    Hey Recorderman,

    I definitely would like to know. I've seen some people do some weird things with 1176s.


  19. Treena Foster

    Treena Foster Active Member

    :w: Gentlemen you might find this interesting.

    :h: Treena
  20. XHipHop

    XHipHop Guest

    altec 1612a is a nice solid state compressor with a few knobs.

    check, click on the "outboard" section on top, click on altec on the side, and then take a look at some altec pictures. hopefully you can find a match.

Share This Page