A breakthrough multi-band compressor that solves all of the problems inherent in traditional compressors.
The Drawmer S3 Multi-Band Stereo Tube Compressor offers previously unattainable control and tonality over each of the three bands. Gain control at each stage provides precise spectral balancing. The signal path consists of high performance input/output transformers, passive components and 10 tubes: 8 ECC83 and 2 12BH7 configured as a fully balanced Class A design.
Because the LDR's (Light Dependent Resistors) in the compressors are temperature sensitive the Drawmer S3 houses an 'electronic oven' which provides and sustains the optimum LDR operating temperature - thereby maintaining calibration accuracy and improving performance.
The S3 stereo tube compressor's front panel LED indicates temperature status. Large-scale VU meters are switchable to 'Peak' mode to show transient information. Two further VU meter re-scale modes are available (+10dB and +20dB) to accurately display the S3 compressor's ability to output levels of up to +30dBm.
The Drawmer S3 Multi-Band Stereo Tube compressor has a master output section that includes controls for both Gain and stereo balance to compensate for source material with a Left/Right imbalance or disproportionate processing.
Mix saving/enhancing features: V-Big & V-Air
Among the unique features of the Drawmer S3 that can truly put a mix over the top, are its V-Big and V-Air functions. In a nutshell, V-Big is a variable filter that controls how much low end information is visible to the S3's RMS detectors, so that extreme bass energy doesn't pull down the entire mix; and V-Air, which, as its name implies, lets you control the ever-popular "air" that makes vocals and recordings in general sound expensive.
Unlike previous Drawmer compressors the S2 V-Big control is fully variable allowing complete and subtle adjustments to the perceived level of bass, and the control of ‘pumping’ and ducking that occurs.
Frequency: 75, 125, 250 Hz: Sets the frequency that the ‘V-Big’ control operates at, enabling the engineer to target a specific bass frequency.
Level: -10 - +10: With the control set in a positive position the side chain's sensitivity to low frequencies is reduced, with the result that less gain reduction is applied to those frequencies, creating the effect that the bass is louder or 'bigger'. It also has the benefit of reducing the ducking and pumping effect that occurs by high frequencies being 'pulled down' in sync with the bass, helping to make mix compression much more affable. If set in a negative position the opposite occurs i.e. with bass frequencies being quieter and pumping increased. At the 0 position the ‘V-Big’ control is effectively off.
V(ariable)-Air is used to manipulate the high end of an audio signal so that it sounds more intimate, detailed and transparent, but without making it sound harsh or introducing any noticeably unnatural artifacts. Cymbals are more vibrant without becoming splashy, and vocals sound more open but without becoming sibilant. On the S2 the ‘V-Air’ section is not just an everyday side chain E.Q. that most compressor’s would incorporate, replacing any dulling of high frequency detail by simply adding gain, but a fully variable dynamic process that works in conjunction with the compressor, giving more ‘brightness’ as and when it’s required. Being full range the S2 will compress quiet high frequencies whenever the low frequencies are being brought under control, resulting in a dulling of these high levels, and in the worst cases, pumping - it is here where the V-Air controls are at their most effective. As shown previously, the ‘Big’ section can also improve things.
Frequency: 500Hz - 12kHz: Sets the frequency at which the ‘V-Air’ control operates, enabling the engineer to target a specific frequency.
Level: -10 - +10: At the 0 position the ‘V-Air’ control is off. In a positive position higher frequencies are enhanced, to add definition, particularly to the human voice and acoustic instruments - a negative position has the opposite effect, and may be used to bring back the balance to a mix whose cymbals are too conspicuous, for example.