The Sound & Color of the Fairchild 670 Compressor Plug-In

March 6, 2013 10:50:02 PM PST by Ben Lindell

New York-based producer and engineer Ben Lindell is here to demonstrate the tone, color, and character of the UAD Fairchild 670 Compressor Plug-In and show how it can be used to enhance the stereo width of a mix. The audio examples are very subtle, so make sure you listen to the video on a good monitoring system. For more info on Ben's projects and to catch up on his blog, visit

The great thing about analog gear is the unique tones that each piece can add to the sound. Many of top-level mix engineers use compressors not just for level control but as a way to add “color” to their tracks. Gear designers use transformers and tubes to create useful audio tools, but each of these components actually can impart a little special something to the sound. The Fairchild 670 limiter wasn't originally designed to give pleasant color and glue on drum or mix busses, it was made to prevent peaks from pushing the needle out of the groove on a record — and do so more transparently than any limiter out at the time. To achieve that functionality, Rein Narma had to use a complex arrangement of 14 tubes, 20 transformers, and countless other components. The overall effect is a wonderful tone in addition to a powerful limiter.

Lucky for us, the detail-focused people at Universal Audio concerned themselves not just with replicating the functionality of the Fairchild 670 original units, but also the sound of the analog gear they emulate. The best part is that we don’t have to take recall notes! Many producers and engineers seem to think that you need to push compressors hard to be able to hear the sound you're looking for, but the truth is that many of these units add their color simply by inserting them into the signal path. Working with UAD Powered Plug-Ins gives us all the opportunity to mix and match colors far beyond what you would find available at even the most outfitted studios. 

Here’s a video I just recently did with, highlighting the color and usefulness of the classic UAD Fairchild 670 Compressor Plug-In: