Abbey Road Studios series expands with addition of historic RS124 tube compressor
Shell Rock, IA – October 2015 … Chandler Limited, recognized globally for signal processing and related music and audio products that deliver the classic analog sounds recording and professional musicians seek, expands its acclaimed historic Abbey Road Studios series with addition of the RS124 Compressor. First designed in 1960 by Abbey Road Head of Technical Bill Livey, Deputy Head Len Page and seasoned EMI Audio Designer Mike Batchelor, the EMI/Abbey Road RS124 compressor is one of the most coveted pieces of recording gear ever developed. During the late 1950’s, EMI acquired Atlec tube compressors for use at their studios and soon realized the units were insufficient for critical recording applications. Livey, Page and Batchelor worked to modify the Altec units to meet their standards and ultimately ended up designing an entirely new compressor in the process, the EMI/Abbey Road RS124. From the beginning it was clear to Abbey Road Studios’ engineers that the RS124 was special, not only in the way it flattered the sound, but also how it handled source material. The sonic enhancements provided by the RS124 added heaps of unique character to single instruments, rhythm busses and entire mixes. They where so integral to the recording and mixing process that a pair can be seen in almost every control room photo in Abbey Road during the 60s period. Still in use today at Abbey Road Studios, and most recognized for its use at virtually every Beatles recording session, the RS124’s true inner-workings have remained an enigma to recording engineers. Through the years, from incomplete information and supposition, some have tried to recreate the RS124 compressor, though never fully realizing the elusive signal processor. Schematics themselves only told part of the story, and access to Abbey Road Studios’ historic units and various hand written modification notes would prove paramount towards understanding the true nature of the Abbey Road RS124 compressor, and variances between units. The RS124, a “variable-mu” type compressor, and its multiple personalities, was never commercially available outside of Abbey Road Studios, until now.