RS114 Limiter #GearThatMadeUs

25th June 2022

Today’s Gear That Made Us is the EMI RS114 Limiter. A mono automatic gain control device developed by former chief engineer Mike Batchelor and used on countless Beatles records.

By 1955, EMI had recognised the need for a device to stop - or “limit" - extreme volume peaks, without affecting the volume of the rest of the track. They commissioned the RS98, which was replaced by this RS114 less than a year later.

 
 

At that point they authorised the construction of six of these limiters; one for each control room, two for cutting rooms, and one for remote recordings. In 1957, six more followed.

In the studios, they were used on things like Ruby Murray’s voice and Eddie Calvert’s trumpet, helping to prompt Abbey Road’s first number one record.

Later engineer Norman Smith used RS114 on vocals and guitar on the first three Beatles’ records.

 

“The RS114 had features that are still very common on modern limiters; input and output levels, attack and recovery time adjustments, and an in/out switch. The main problem with the RS114 was its instability. It was a complex design for the time, using push-pull amplifier stages - valve circuits that required exacting adjustments to create a balance between two opposing sides." - Recording The Beatles by Kevin Ryan & Brian Kehew

 
#AbbeyRoad90 #RS114 #RS114Limiter
 

Chandler TG12413 Zener Limiter

The success of the RS114 spawned many subsequent versions including the RS168 Zener Limiter in 1968.

These continued developments finally lead to the TG12413 Zener Limiter, a full featured and flexible unit created in partnership with Wade Goeke and Chandler Limited in 2006.

 

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