Experienced recording engineers are familiar with the concept of "happy accidents" — those once-in-a-blue-moon moments that ignite spontaneous magic in your recordings. You can't plan them — they're organic, comprised of sheer randomness or even bone-headed mistakes. It's the guitarist getting caught in the wrong key ("modal jazz!"); the wrong track patched into the sidechain ("Grammy-winning engineering!"); singers riffing when they thought it was just a run-through ("pure poetic brilliance!"). The same audio gods sometimes smile down upon a piece of vintage gear. Through decades of repair and maintenance, some units seem to improve with time.
The scarcity of original parts forces techs to deviate from the original design, unwittingly creating a one-of-a-kind mod that sounds amazing. Such is renowned mix engineer Chris Lord-Alge's prized 1176, which he affectionately calls "Bluey." Chris wanted more channels of this very special limiter, and he reached out to the modification geniuses at Black Lion Audio. The result sounded so spectacular they decided to share it with the world.
With his gifted ears, decades of world-class experience, and an arsenal of coveted vintage gear, acclaimed mix engineer Chris Lord-Alge came to identify one of his four Blue Stripe revision 1176 limiters as being especially wonderful. Based on the faceplate cosmetics featuring a section of blue paint around the VU meter, 1176 revisions A, A/B, and B are all referred to as "Blue Stripe" units. This particular unit, dubbed "Bluey," has that special je ne sais quoi that makes vocal tracks shine like no other dynamics processor.
Intrigued by Chris’s effusive praise of Bluey, Black Lion head design engineer Jesus Ortiz and modification tech Preston Whiting took a flight from O’Hare to LAX to find out what gave this Blue Stripe its edge. Their diagnosis uncovered a series of modifications done to the unit over the years to keep it working that miraculously created a monster 1176. BLA analyzed the unit in meticulous detail, and has, in cooperation with Chris, re-created the beast — now available to everyone as the Black Lion Audio Bluey.
Fully discrete, Class A circuitry
Vintage-inspired 1-sided PCB layout
Cinemag remake of original UTC transformer
Wet/Dry mix feature
Linear power supply
Precise meter calibration
Typically ships same or next business day
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