Ivor Drawmer, maker of classic analog, and now digital, pro audio signal processing equipment, drew on his thirty-plus years behind the soldering iron to create the Drawmer 1973, a three-band FET stereo compressor. Drawmer's longtime distributor, TransAudio Group, will distribute the 1973 in the United States.
Three features set apart the Drawmer 1973 from other multichannel dynamics processing solutions. First, the all-analog 1973 sounds noticeably better than the wide variety of multiband plug-ins popular with mixers. Second, the 1973's controls are sensibly selected and intuitively laid out to get quick, effective results for an impressively wide range of dynamics problems. Third, Drawmer has priced the 1973 aggressively, matching the price of its best-selling full-band tube stereo compressor, the 1968.
The Drawmer 1973's features include three independent compressor sections with two variable-frequency 6dB/octave crossovers to separate them into low, middle, and high frequency compression sections. Each section contains familiar threshold, gain, attack, and release controls, along with gain-reduction metering. Moreover, each section can be independently muted or bypassed for confusion-free setup and monitoring. The low section possesses a "Big" switch for enhanced low-end, whereas the high section possesses an "Air" switch for enhanced high-end. The three sections are recombined to form the "wet" signal, which can be mixed to variable degree with the dry signal for easy parallel compression. Illuminated VU meters make monitoring compression and output intuitive and, yes, fun.
"Certainly, the Drawmer 1973 owes some of its sound and functionality to Ivor's experience designing the classic Drawmer 1960 and 1968 compressors, as well as to the Drawmer S3 signature series multiband tube compressor," said Brad Lunde, president of TransAudio Group. "But it also has a sound and operation all its own. It is capable of solving problems single-band compressors simply cannot, such as compressing only the low end, raising its average level relative to everything else, and giving your mix a bit more bass without changing the overall level. It has a sound quality that cannot be matched by other analog processors, never mind plug-ins. It will be popular among mixers and EDM mixers alike. The 1973's layout is impressive. Unlike most other multiband compressors, the 1973's controls are easy to understand at a glance and work to inspire creative use. The real news here may be the 1973's affordable price. Those in need of stereo multiband compression with Drawmer's quality can have it for the cost of Drawmer's famous single-band stereo tube compressor, the 1968."