“The first time I used the Black Lion Auteur Mic Pre was recording Peter Asher (Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor) playing his mid-sixties Gibson J200 acoustic. The tone was incredible, with crystal clear highs, and a nice defined bottom end that wasn’t muddy at all. The mid-range was smooth, and we didn’t need a bit of compression. I love my Auteur Mic Pre.”
Producer // Mixer
(The Donnas, Leonard Cohen, Steel Panther, Diana Ross, Brian Wilson, Anthrax, Jars of Clay, Morrissey, American Idol)
- Dec292020Read more
Chris Lord-Alge, aka CLA, must be one of the most recognisable figures in the world of music production. His confident, concise mixing style has graced countless hit records, seen him win multiple Grammys and earned the respect of his peers. Something very important to CLA’s ‘sound’ is his use of compression, and if you look at images of his Mix LA studio, you can’t fail to notice his enviable selection of outboard compressors. Among these, he has several of the ‘Blue Stripe’ versions of the UA 1176 FET limiting amplifier. These ‘Blue Stripe’ compressors were the earliest ‘revisions’ of the famous Universal Audio 1176 — head to UA’s website for more detail on the different revisions: www.uaudio.com/blog/1176-la2a-hardware-revision-history. CLA favours one particular unit, which he feels exhibits a little more ‘mojo’ than the others and which he estimates has been used on over 14,000 vocal recordings!
- Dec282020Read more
We put BLA’s feature‑rich and keenly priced 1176‑style compressor to the test.
Black Lion Audio’s Seventeen clearly draws heavily on the classic 1176 FET compressor, but it’s not a straight clone. As with several FET devices we’ve reviewed in recent years, it builds upon that design, adding features that should be popular in modern studios, and taking advantage of modern devices to keep the noise floor low. BLA have managed to deliver all this at an asking price that’s within reach of mere mortals, without any obvious sacrifice in the audio quality and both ergonomic and aesthetic appeal.
The review model was tidily packaged, and I was instantly enamoured by its classy appearance which, in keeping with the unit itself, is somehwat retro but with a modern twist. The solid construction and smooth‑yet‑sturdy feel of the controls and switches also inspired confidence. It’s a 2U 19‑inch rackmount device, but it ships with screw‑on metal‑and‑rubber feet, which allows more secure positioning on a desktop when not racked.
- Nov292020Read more
A classic piece of studio design is brought kicking and screaming into the 21st century. How has Black Lion Audio achieved this astonishing feat?
The Seventeen isn’t an all-out replication of the 1176, like Warm Audio’s WA76 for example, as it boasts several useful features not found on originals or clones. On its website, Black Lion Audio makes this clear with possibly the best opening gambit I’ve ever read about an audio product: “The Seventeen is not the ’76 compressor that your grandfather recorded with. It isn’t even a remake, but rather the Black Lion spin on what the ’76 should have been”. You’ve got to admire the chutzpah…
- Nov212020Read more
“No discerning studio owner should be without Black Lion Audio’s new line of pro audio tools. My external MICRO CLOCK, and SPARROW A/D stereo converter, stay on all the time in my studio rack. An upscale sound with a great price tag.”
Producer // Engineer // Mixer
(No Doubt, Jane’s Addiction, The Killers, Jon B., Chaka Khan, Jimmy Cliff, Lil’ Kim)