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The Black Keys Add Unity Audio’s Lisson Grove AR-1 Tube Compressor

Drummer Patrick Carney selects dual AR-1 compressors to enhance his studio sound on bass, electric and acoustic guitar.

By PSW Staff November 9, 2016

Patrick Carney with Unity Audio's Lisson Grove AR-1 tube compressor

When Patrick Carney, drummer for the popular rock band The Black Keys, was looking to enhance his sound, he was drawn to Unity Audio’s Lisson Grove AR-1 tube compressors upon hearing them in his friend Gus Seyffert’s studio.

Carney purchased two compressors to use across his mix-bus and has been thrilled with his sound ever since.

“I first heard the Lisson Grove AR-1 at Gus’ studio and I was immediately impressed with the sound of the unit on a variety of instruments,” says Carney. “The compressors really shine on the bass, electric and acoustic guitar. The impedance control is particularly handy and if need be, I am able to distort my sound in a pleasing way. Upon purchasing, it was recommended that I invest in two AR-1s to use across my mix-bus and I am glad I listened to that advice. With these units, a little goes a long way and my mix continuously sounds amazing.”

Unity Audio’s Lisson Grove AR-1 is a vintage style tube compressor based on the classic Altec compressor that was used in the 1960’s. It is hand-built from a love of the sound of a bygone era and has modern day upgrades. Among the upgrades includes the compressor’s pot, which originally had an output of only 200 ohms. With Unity’s AR-1, the compressor’s pot adjusts the output impedance of the unit, going from 600 ohms in the far right position, to 200 ohms (Dark) in the far left position. This allows for a variable tone without adding anything too bizarre to the circuit.

“We are always humbled when artists of Carney’s caliber choose our products,” says Kevin Walker, managing director of Unity Audio. “Our company is proud of the advances that it has made in regards to this classic compressor, while staying true to the style of the 1960’s. At Unity, we take a lot of pride in hand-building our units and are happy to continuously provide high-quality products to our customers.”

The Lisson Grove AR-1 tube compressors also possess the ‘Infinity’ control between each of the 6 recovery settings. In effect, this control position results in an extremely long recovery time. With the ‘Infinity’ control, users are able to ‘prime’ the unit before a take and prevent an increase in gain during silent passages. Unity has also added a quarter-inch jack on the back, to enable a foot switch control, for hands free operation of the unit.

The Black Keys are an American rock band formed in Akron, Ohio, in 2001. The duo consists of Dan Auerbach (guitar and vocals) and Patrick Carney (drums). The duo began as an independent act, recording music in basements and self-producing their records, before they eventually emerged as one of the most popular garage rock artists in the 2010s. Their album “El Camino” and its hit single “Lonely Boy” won three GRAMMYs. In 2014, they released their eighth album titled “Turn Blue,” their first number-one record in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

Unity Audio

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