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Abbey Road RS124 Compressor

One-of-a-kind compressor heard on Beatles to Beyoncé
Image for Abbey Road RS124 Compressor

The Holy Grail of Vintage Smooth Compressors


You've heard the original units on almost everything the Beatles recorded at Abbey Road. You've heard it, most famously, on Paul McCartney’s immortal bass lines. There’s a reason why Abbey Road considered these heavily modified Altec compressors their “secret weapon.”

More recently, the RS124 sound has been a favorite of Grammy-winning mix engineer Tony Maserati, taking advantage of its unique compression tone on Beyoncé's and Alicia Keys' vocals.

Rescued from the Abbey road archives, several original RS124 units were restored to fully operational status in 2000. And now, thanks to Waves’ meticulous modeling, the RS124’s legendary sound is yours.

  • Unique compression for vocals, beats, bass, synths and mix buses
  • Designed in close collaboration with Abbey Road Studios
  • Two RS124 versions with different tube flavors: Studio and Cutter
  • Super Fuse mode adds explosive, aggressive compression sound
  • Mono, stereo, left, right, mid, and sides processing and monitoring
  • Optional Auto Hold feature reduces compression artifacts
  • Sidechain highpass filter can beef up compressed bass or kick
  • Dry/mix controls for parallel, “New York style” compression
  • Optional high-frequency roll-off for softer tones
  • Presets by Beatles remixer Guy Massey and many more artists
Watch It in Action

Abbey Road Studios’ Secret Weapon for Bass, Drums, Bus Compression

  • Ultra-Rare Tube Compression: Bass and Beyond

    RS124 was an Abbey Road modification of the Altec 436B compressor: only 25 units were ever made. It shaped the thick, creamy tones of nearly every Paul McCartney bass line in the Beatles: “Come Together” is a prime example. Abbey Road engineers would typically push the input deep into 15-20 dB of gain reduction, producing wonderfully lush results.

    Features: Glue Mixes without “Squashing”
  • Two RS124 Flavors: Studio vs. Cutter

    No two RS124s sounded exactly the same. The Studio model emulates the famous 60070B unit known for its more aggressive sound that squashed transients, with faster attack and release times. The Cutting model has the slower attack time favored by Abbey Road’s cutting rooms—more suitable for bus compression and mastering.

  • Go Super-Aggressive with Super Fuse

    Want RS124 to become more aggressive? The Super Fuse mode matches release time to attack time, creating a brutal compression character that sounds like it’s “fighting against itself.” Try this on your drum bus for complete room destruction, or to make your beats jump out of the speakers.

    Features: Fast and Efficient Operation
  • Original Sound. Modern Additions.

    For modern mixing capabilities, features have been added to the original RS124: Sculpt your sound with mid-side processing, in addition to stereo, dual mono, and mono. Roll off high frequencies to smoothen the sound. Apply the Sidechain Highpass to remove low frequencies from your bass/kick sidechain. Dial in the perfect blend with Dry/Mix.

    Features: From Vocals to “The Ringo Drum Sound”

Abbey Road Studios, EMI, RS124 and its associated logos are trademarks of EMI (IP) Limited