Thanks to Attack Magazine for this great article that lists twenty famous hardware compressors with juicy details on their uses & abuses.
I love reading about vintage gear for a few reasons. One is to daydream about my future studio and what I'm gonna have in it when I magically arrive at the place, time and space to get it all in 3D together around myself and my monitors.
The other reason is that inevitably I end up learning tons of interesting things about how people used the equipment in the past, what classic sounds came out of which gear, and sometimes how that single box launched a whole genre. (cf. the French house sidechain compression thing).
Every piece of equipment has its limitations. Usually they're horrendously frustrating at the time, but later it becomes clear that the limitations are exactly the thing that pushes us to use the equipment in a way that brings out its signature sound.
Like the "all-in" trick with the 1176's buttons or the note-repeat on an MPC2000.
For all you Ableton heads, compressor #15 in this list is the one that the Glue compressor was modelled after.
Drool on the SSL and go Glue up your sub-mixes...