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Beatles Altec compressors

Member for

21 years

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

Comments

Member for

20 years 5 months

RecorderMan Wed, 08/06/2003 - 20:22
Originally posted by Julius Borges:
[QB 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. [/QB]
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.

Member for

20 years 5 months

RecorderMan Thu, 08/07/2003 - 19:05
Originally posted by Julius Borges:
hello recorderman,

please tell us about geoff's 1176 settings. it would be a great insight.

thanks, jules
Hey Julius.

What's cool (for me) about Geoff's and Bones Howe's approach to the 1176 peak limiter, is that they use it as such...a peak limiter. Alot of the time people use it as a compressor (4:1).
Geoff used it on bass.
attack=2 (medium slow; aka 9 o'clock)
release= 7 fast; aka 5 o'clock)
ratio=8:1
hitting it pretty good ; 6db gaoin reduction on average.

So this sounds pretty similar to what he was doing with the altec. If he had an 1176 in 67 I bet he would have used it. The slow attavk allows the top to stay in there and still be able to squeeze it really good.

Member for

18 years 4 months

wwittman Thu, 08/07/2003 - 21:54
I'm not sure that's true, as Geoff was very much a valve gear type (always felt the transistor mic pres didn't sound as good as the older EMI desks with valve pres).
And he was always a big 'Fairchild on the vocals' fan as well.

I still, personally, feel the Altec 436 is a much better sounding bass guitar limiter than an 1176.
And I agree slowish attack is the key.

I know AIR had (has?) a 436 and I'm willing to bet that's what he used at Abbey Road as well.

Member for

20 years 5 months

RecorderMan Fri, 08/08/2003 - 04:43
Originally posted by Davedog:
hummmmm...I personally know where theres a pristine 436...theres a whole rack of that era Altec...4 channel mixer...amp...monitor...436...power supply...5 grand no scratches...
let me guess..a school? When I was in college our A/V department used that stuff.

Member for

21 years

Member Sun, 08/10/2003 - 13:34
com'on kev!!

throw us a bone, we're the ones that're gonna buy your book. don't be a tease!!!!!! give us this one little fact just to prove your books got the juice we're all looking for. we'll be your friends. it's nice having friends. it beats having people cheesed off at you.

be nice and tell us, PLEASE.
there i said PLEASE.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE. IT'S KILLIN ME, I JUST WANNA KNOW!!!!

regards, jules

Member for

21 years

Member Sun, 08/17/2003 - 13:53
Hello Henrik,

Model A has all parameters fixed.
Model B has variable input attenuation.
Model C has variable input attenuation plus variable recovery (release) and threshold. Model A is grey, Models B and C are dark green.
All user variable parameters are factory modifications to the basic 436A.

Jules

Member for

18 years 2 months

Treena Foster Tue, 08/05/2003 - 15:14
Originally posted by Julius Borges:
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
:(

:h: Treena
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