Friday, 18 March 2016

Drawmer S73 Intelligent Master Processor - DCSI overview

Hi, here we are with another DCSI overview.

Softube, a company specialized in quality virtual effects, just developed and released a brand new and effective plugin, the Drawmer S73 Intelligent Master Processor.

As the name suggests it's a mastering effect which despite its intentionally simplified but appealing interface bringing a basic numer of controls, hosts a powerful multi-band mastering compression engine working "behind the curtains".

Normally multi-band compressors, both the virtual and real hardware ones , are parameters nested, which may confuse a lot those not into professional mastering or without a basic knowledge of compression and splitting correctly frequency in bands ahead of starting to operate, but on this specific audio plugin Softube wanted to keep it easy for the user while mantaining a number of perfectly working and well optimized audio processing algorithms working automatically.

After studying, analyzing and testing several audo files, they developed some effective algorithms based on the original analog hardware 1973 Three Band FET Stereo Compressor by Drawmer, to which they added some more specific "bells'n'whistles" in the virtual world to overcome specific flaws that often some audio tracks unluckily show before being mastered properly

Each mastering algorithm correspond to one of the 10 different "presets" visible on S73 IMP interface and grouped in 3 main sections.
Each section is specific to certain needs the user may want to satisfy when editing both a single audio track of a project or the whole master out.

We can find these presets/algoritms gathered in:
- a CLEAN group (Clarity 1, Clarity 2, Neutral, Gentle compression, More air)
- a BASS CONTROL group (De-Rumble, Punch)
- a SPATIAL group (Wide Mix, Ambience, Vocal Enhance)

Working in a clean and effective way the beauty of this plugin is that in comparison to some others is happily not introducing strange results or unespected outcomes.
I've personally tested on a couple of tracks I was working on these days and It really works as expected.

Let say I was having a way too muddy mix with some excessive rumbles in the low end, due to layering in a wrong way some basslines, 2 different kicks and other bass frequencies pouring out of a couple of synth pads.
Using one of the specific presets from the Bass Control group and tweaking accordingly to how much I wanted to operate on the master, I was able to clean up those messy frequencies.
Successively thanks to the ability of layering several instances of IMP S73, I then added some clarity with another go and finally some punch in a third instance.
What I achieved was way better than my initial track.
And because of the simplicity of the intereface controls layered clearly I was able to get all done while having fun and experimenting without falling into headaches.

One aspect that comes handy is the parallel compression options achievable throught the MIX knob at the bottom, where we can chose the right amount of processed sound to be added to the original unprocessed one, when and if needed.
This e.g. allow to maintain the original mix (in case we like how our mix sounds ahead of the multimastering stage) while we want simply to add some air, or clarity, some punch or working a bit on the stereo field.

Neatly ordered the gui is offering us:
- two big Vu Meters vintage style showing us the Left and Right output volume
- the big Amount knob to chose how much compression we're going to add to our track
- an AIR switch which add some breathe and clarity, air indeed, to the mix
- the 10 presets selector divided in 3 groups

- a Gain Reduction leds meter in db
- a wet/dry knob useful for parallel compression
- the output gain knob


Summing up Drawmer S73 Intelligent Master Processor is useful both when you want to add a quick flavour to your single tracks or getting your stereo mastering done without having to know multi-band compression to the bones or getting easily stressed trying to wrap your head around too many specific parameters adjustments :-).

In the bundled pdf manual you'll find some useful advices on how to give more perfection to your sounds.

Heading to the Softube website you can find a generous 20-day fully working demo you can request in the link below, along with sound examples and other related videos.

ILok account is required but it's free to be done, and is NOT required any usb ILOK dongle if it happens ot be you don't own one.

Trust me guys, this Drawmer S73 IMP by Softube does its job pretty well and quickly.
It's surely a good investment to be added to your plugin arsenal.
Try it on your own.

Thanks for your time and have fun making music.
Talk soon
Diego - DCSI

No comments: