Radiator is designed to bring the classic Altec 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.
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 noise thrown in for good measure. In its day, it was used on several early Motown hits, and found its way into the PA racks of countless churches and school auditoriums across the USA.
More recently, the Altec mixers were picked up by recording studios as an inexpensive way to bring analog color and character to computer based digital recording. It was only a matter of time before hits were being made - first producers like Matt Wallace of early Maroon 5 fame and now bands like the Black Keys, who had a custom console made from Altec 1567A's, have driven up the demand, and price, for these funky little color boxes.
Price: $129 - 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. Little Radiator was originally offered for free as a promotion earlier this year. Users who currently have the free version of Little Radiator can upgrade to the full Radiator plug-in package for $49 for a limited time (regularly $89). Offer ends Jan 3rd 2013.