Outboard Recording Equipment

Message Board - Outboard Recording Equipment General Discussion
Outboard Gear

Musical "outboard equipment" or "gear" is used to alter how a musical instrument sounds. Outboard, (external effects processing and dynamics processing) can be used either during a live performance or in the recording studio. The term "outboard" was originally used to describe a piece of audio equipment that existed outside of a studio or venue's primary analog mixing board. Today, analog effects are also considered "outboard" when used in conjunction with console-free computer-based digital recording systems.

Famous examples include UREI's analog dynamic range compressors, such as the LA-2A and 1176, early multi-effects units like those made by Eventide, and physical or digital reverb processors invented by EMT and Lexicon.

These are separate from the processing that may be applied by using a mixing console or a digital audio workstation. Some outboard effects units and digital signal processing (DSP) boxes commonly found in a studio are:

-Analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters

-Musical instrument digital interfaces (MIDIs)

-Microphone preamplifiers ("microphone preamp", "mic preamps" or "preamps")

-Equalizers ("EQs")

-Dynamics processing units: compressors/limiters, noise gates time-based effects units: reverb, flanging, delay, echo, chorus etc.


dbx Model 160 and 161 Compressor/Limiters


Drawmer DS101 Noise Gate
Drawmer DS201 Dual Noise Gate
Drawmer DS404 Quad Noise Gate
Drawmer DS501 Power Gate

Eventide Clockworks

Eventide Clockworks


Fairchild Model 255 - 25 Watt Power Amplifier
Fairchild 659A REVERBERTRON - Dynamic Reverberation System
Fairchild 660 Compressor/Limiter
Fairchild 670 Compressor/Limiter


Gates Sta-Level - Automatic Program Level Amplifier


RCA BA-6A Limiting Amplifier

Solid State Logic

Solid State Logic XLogic X-Rack Mic Amp Module - XR621
Solid State Logic XLogic X-Rack Stereo Dynamics Module - XR728


Teletronix LA-2A Leveling Amplifier
Teletronix LA-3A Leveling Amplifier

Tube Equipment Corporation

Tube Equipment Corporation SR-71 Compressor/Limiter


Urei 1176 Peak Limiter


Outboard Recording Equipment

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Prof. John Sisti Not rated yet
I do see a mention of Alison with the Kepex and GainBrain. They both made strong contributions to the development of signal processing. As a programmable …

Audiophile Not rated yet
I used to work in radio, and I have always been fascinated with audio recording and production. On a tour of RCA Studio B in Nashville, I saw two "Mojo …

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