The original Altec 1567A hardware was a rack-mounted five-input tube mixer with removable transformers, a simple two-knob EQ, an unmistakable green faceplate, and a whopping 97 dB of gain. The sound, by today’s standards, is colored and gritty, with a heaping helping of good old fashion hardware noise. In its day, it was used on many early Motown hits, and found its way into the PA racks of countless churches and school auditoriums across the USA.
Radiator brings the classic Altec tube sound to desktop recording rigs, capturing the distinctive warmth and punch of the original hardware. Featuring the modeled bass and treble tone controls from the original unit, a mix control for easy parallel processing, and the saturation and harmonic effects of the original hardware’s input and output amplifiers. All of these different circuit elements interact, allowing a wide range of tones to be created with just a few simple knobs. Plus we let you decide if the original noise is on or off.
Over the past few years the Altec mixers have been picked up by recording studios as an inexpensive way to bring analog color and character to computer based digital recording. With producers like Matt Wallace of early Maroon 5 fame utilizing the 1567A on their early hits, and now bands like the Black Keys (who had a custom console made from Altec 1567A’s) the demand, and price, for these funky little color boxes have soared.
Computer recordists everywhere can now get the Altec tube sound – on every input channel, without the hassles of interfacing to esoteric analog gear, and at a much lower cost. Radiator also includes Little Radiator, a simpler single-stage tube pre-amp model based on the Altec 1566A hardware, the little brother of the Altec 1567A.