Versatile Stereo Tube compressor (with Transformer outputs), this is the go to compressor if you are budget minded but do NOT want to sacrafice quality
First of all, this thing is an exceptional value. There is clearly no tube compressor with this sort of quality for miles. Finding a truly professional-level 2-channel compressor for under $2,000 is virtually impossible, much less one that is selling at our special, for less than $1700!
The Drawmer 1968 strikes a really nice balance- while it is a tube unit, based on how you set it, and how you drive it, the unit can become quite transparent, or be pushed to be rather tubey, and even edgy/aggressive. The point is, you get not only a professional level compressor for well under market price for such a box, but you pick up a unit that has a range of color choices, and therefore a wonderful range of applications. We've tested the 1968 in clean applications such as acoustic guitar where it had subtle, neutral dynamic control, but at the same time provided a nice tube sheen and splash to the sound. We've tested the on distorted electric guitar cabinets where we pushed it hard, and it clammed up just like we wanted it to. And, we've tested the Drawmer on the stereo 2 buss where it nicely warmed up a relatively thin digital mix. For a compressor that operates at a professional level, much less a tube compressor (they tend to cost considerably more money to build well than many purely solid state build alternatives), the 1968 is one incredible value. As a color option tool and as a general studio workhorse, it makes sense for any studio to pick one up, at this uniquely reasonable price point.
Drawmer UK and Mercenary Audio continue to answer the demands of the discriminating engineer with their latest entry, the 1968 "Mercenary Edition" Based on the exceptional compressor design found in the Mercenary Edition Mic Pre/DI/Compressor , the "M E" features improved metering and function with the incorporation of separate "big" switches for each channel, making it ideal for use in both tracking and stereo compression applications. The "M E"'s gain reduction cell is the same FET compressor with variable tube output stages as the 1969, giving it a rich euphonic tone with the speed and musical grace made famous by the 1969 "M-E". The "Big" switch feature on each channel provides the user front panel control to easily remove the low frequency component of the program material from control of the gain reduction cell, effictively boosting the bass output. A patchable side chain is available in conjunction to the "Big" switch offering the user complete flexibility frequency dependent ducking. The 1968 "M-E" also features 'side chain listen' capability granting the user the ability to perform precise and specific side chain control. The metering on the 1968 has also been expanded to meet the demands of modern tracking and 2 buss requirements. The VU meter can display either gain reduction or output levels while a sophisticated LED warning system has been implemented to warn the user as they approach the maximum operating level. The 1968 "M-E" is a unit that was designed to be capable of being driven hard, which is the reason for the "+10" meter re-scaling switch, yet one need not be a maniac to enjoy the musical qualities of what we think you will find to be one of the most musical compressors you can add to your arsenal of tools.