Black Lion Unveil "Bluey" at Messe 2019

At Musikmesse 2019 this month Chicago-based studio outboard and modification wizards Black Lion Audio introduced yet another innovative vintage outboard reissue with a little help from Chris Lord-Alge’s studio – Mix L.A.

Lord-Alge is a long-time user of the original UA 1176 FET limiting amplifiers and has used them on countless mixes. However of the four individual models in his possession, one particular blue-striped unit exhibits - in his own words - a little extra ‘mojo’ and a unique shine in mixes that is unmatched by the other three.

Lord-Alge’s passion for the unit combined with its use on over 14,000 vocal recordings caught the attention of Black Lion Audio, who dispatched Head Design Engineer Jesus Ortiz and modification technician Preston Whiting to open up the hood for a closer look at what made the compressor special.

Inside the original Bluey 1176 FET compressor

According to Black Lion’s findings, Lord-Alge’s affectionately named ‘Bluey’ is a 1176 built with many of UA’s Revision A traits, some from Revision B, and even an array of custom modifications made over the years by Lord-Alge himself.

Bring on the BLA Bluey

With the unveiling of the BLA Bluey, Black Lion Audio are bringing the particular secret sauce that brings phenomenal energy to mixes - to the masses. Bluey offers a little more of a mid-forward timbre compared to rival limiting amplifiers and sounds phoenomenal not only on vocals, but also kick drums, bass and a wealth of other instruments.

Black Lion's newly announced Bluey FET compressor and limiting amplifier

Balancing the mix

Bluey is an exact replica of Chris Lord Alge’s favourite original blue-stripe 1176 with one important distinction, a wet/dry mix potentiometer has also been added. This enables parallel compression and the opportunity to dial any amount of dry signal back into the mix where engineers may feel the sound is becoming too saturated.

Chris Lord-Alge at Mix LA with four classic 1176 compressors

When certain components became unavailable, techs were forced to change the circuit, creating a one of a kind compressor that has been heard on countless hits.

Bluey is estimated to arrive on UK shores in Summer 2019. For further details contact the SCV sales department or check out our product info page for authorised dealers!

  • Posted on 11 April 2019 by Roy Brockington