Los Angeles, CA (January 16, 2004)–Musician and producer Charlie Clouser recently purchased one of the first Universal Audio 2-1176s, a new Dual Mono/Stereo 1176LN Limiting Amplifier and the 6176 channel strip. Clouser put the hardware to the test immediately while tracking the new Helmet album at LA’s Cello Studios.
“We were fortunate enough to get the new UA 2-1176 and the 6176 just as we began tracking the new album by Helmet at Cello Studios in Hollywood,” said Clouser. Since Cello, formerly Western Recorders, was the original Bill Putnam-designed complex that hosted classic recordings like Pet Sounds, added Clouser, there were still original silver-faced 1176’s that had been there since they were installed new, as well as plenty of other classic gear.
“Our brand-new 2-1176 sounded identical to the vintage units, with the added advantage of being a matched stereo pair, and, of course, brand new, completely to spec and totally reliable,” Clouser said. “Since the 2-1176 is a matched stereo pair, we used it for the drum overheads (vintage AKG C-12’s through the Neve console’s preamps), while using Cello’s original silver-faced mono units on toms. It was no surprise that the Putnam-designed studio 1 at Cello produced a huge drum sound, and no surprise either that the compression curves from the 1176’s complemented that sound ideally.”
Later on in the production, the group moved into Clouser’s studio to track vocals, and the 2-1176 became a crucial part of the vocal chain. “As we began tracking vocals at my studio, we rented and borrowed stacks of vintage and new-vintage gear, and wound up with an ideal vocal sound that we have used for every song on the record, consisting of a vintage Telefunken 251 through a vintage Neve 1073, and into one side of the 2-1176 on Jim Scott’s “Dr, Pepper” settings (10, 2, and 4 o’clock!), and directly to Pro Tools HD,” explained Clouser. “The Telefunken’s detail was not diminished one bit on its trip through that chain, and the 1176 kept the lid on the vocals ranging from a whisper to a throat-busting scream. At no time did we adjust the 2-1176 during tracking. One setting provided the basic vocal sound for the entire record.”
The Helmet album, as yet untitled, is scheduled for release in June 2004. It was recorded by Ryan Boesch, Chris Holmes, and Clouser at Cello as well as at Clouser’s personal studio, and was produced by Clouser and Page Hamilton.