Acoustic’s New 1176 Compressor Plugin: A Comprehensive Review

Acustica Audio has finally released its much-anticipated 1176 compressor plugin, and it’s creating quite a buzz in the audio engineering community. Named “Nickel,”. Let’s dive into what makes Nickel stand out.

Two Versions in One: LN and Rev H

Nickel includes two versions of the 1176 compressor: the LN version, based on the iconic black model from the 70s, and the Rev H version, modeled after the last URI compressor ever made. This dual offering allows users to experiment with different sonic characteristics inherent in each model.

Beyond Compression: A Full-Featured Plugin

In addition to the compressors, Nickel comes with a four-band fully parametric EQ based on the Yuri 565. The inclusion of pre-amp sections for both compressors is a standard feature in Acoustic’s bundles, adding more versatility to this plugin.

Interface and Controls: Familiar Yet Innovative

Nickel’s interface closely resembles the classic 1176, maintaining familiarity for users. The plugin features standard input and output controls, a harmonics knob for added texture, and a mix knob for blending dry and wet signals. Notably, there’s a ‘Safe Operating Area’ knob, crucial for managing input levels and maintaining the compressor’s character.

Unique Features:

  • Preamp Section: Choose between LN and Rev H preamps for varied tonal options.
  • SH Mod: Offers different release settings, adding flexibility.
  • Filter Control: Up to 250 Hz, useful for shaping the sound further.

Sound Comparison: Nickel vs. The Gold Standards

LN Model: Thick and Heavy-Handed

The LN model of Nickel provides a thick, heavy-handed compression, ideal for drums and specific applications. However, for vocals, the Rev H model seems to be more suitable, offering a cleaner sound with a mid-range push.

Rev H Model: Cleaner and More Versatile

The Rev H model is less aggressive than the LN, making it a better fit for vocal processing. It retains the classic 1176 sound but with a more refined touch.

Comparing with Universal Audio and Waves 1176

When compared to the Universal Audio and Waves versions of the 1176, Nickel stands out with its unique thickness and character. While all models capture the essence of the 1176, they each have distinct sonic qualities.

  • Universal Audio 1176: Cleaner and more transparent.
  • Waves 1176: Closer to Nickel in sound, but Nickel has a noticeable thickness.

CPU Usage: A Point to Consider

One downside noted is Nickel’s CPU usage, which can be significant. This is something to keep in mind, especially for users with less powerful systems.

Conclusion: A Worthy Addition to the 1176 Family

Nickel by Acoustic is a remarkable addition to the world of 1176 emulations. Its dual compressor models, additional EQ, and unique features like the harmonics knob and SH Mod make it a versatile tool for any mix engineer. While it may have a distinct sound compared to its Universal Audio and Waves counterparts, its unique character could be exactly what you’re looking for in a mix. Make sure to watch the video below to hear the compressor in action, and if you need your songs mixed and mastered make sure to reachout!

Your Thoughts?

What do you think about Nickel compared to other 1176 plugins? Do you have a favorite, or is there another model you prefer? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.