70s drums, this is how you make them
My dear friend Dave Lesage once said "I love the gain brain, its the only compressor you can't hear it breathing." I'm not sure if I agree with this all the time, but ti CAN be true in a lot of use case scenarios.
This is a FET circuit like the 1176 but there the similarity ends. Its cleaner when used reasonably and dirtier when used as an effect. You wll want one for every drum track but kick, but you can do kick with this and get a real frank zappa sound... You'll need an Alison or Valley People lunchbox for this guy so you might as well fill all 10 slots. I really think when urei was making those 1u fet compressors after the 76 they were trying to keep up with Paul Buff's gain brains even though Buff was moving on to VCA with the dynamite, 610 etc etc.
Paul's designs aren't hit or miss. Until he passed every Allison/Valley unit was huge bang for buck and still is although some of these thigns are getting scarce. Its those thigns that came out under the blackface valley international brand you need to steer clear of, they're not BAD, they're not as useful though... but lunchboxes, gain brains, kepexes, gatexes, dynamites. Yeah, good stuff. Not fancy, not glamorous, just does its job and sounds great. No magic line amps or whatever, although the amps are capable of some nice dirt, but its not the mystical magical 1176 make up circuit. And it doesn't need to be. Sometimes you just need lots of gear that works well and these do exactly that. I do slightly prefer the 1 to the 2 for some reason, maybe its just that the allison version is prettier than the valley people version? I dunno. I never have them side by side. I've used a lot of GB2s and own GB1s because I don't like 500 series anymore and like these dedicated old rack systems by dbx and valley because it limits your options to just what they made for it.... the problem wth 500 is everyone is making stuff for it, so what do you get? It becomes distracting. A different comrpessor in every slot? Why?