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Drawmer launch 1977 channel strip

Company's most versatile channel strip to date

Drawmer 1977 outboard analogue channel strip preamp EQ compressor saturator

The latest device to join Drawmer’s 70s series, the 1977, combines an ultra-clean microphone preamp with a three-band parametric EQ, a compressor and three types of variable saturation, and is said to be the company’s most comprehensive channel strip to date.


The preamp section of the channel strip will accept microphone, line-level and instrument signals, and offers up to 66dB of gain via a stepped control. When instrument and line-level input sources are selected, the 1977 automatically inserts a -24dB pad, with the resulting gain values displayed by highlighted secondary markings around the switch. Switchable impedance settings of 200, 600 and 2400 Ω help to ensure optimum compatibility with a wide range of microphones, and a continuously variable 12dB/octave high-pass filter offers a range of 16 to 130 Hz.

Microphone and line-level sources can be connected via XLR sockets on the device’s rear panel, and a pair of quarter-inch TS sockets on the front panel provide both an instrument input and a thru connection to feed an amplifier or additional recording equipment. A polarity switch is also present, and the high-pass filter section is equipped with a bypass button to allow for A/B comparisons.


The 1977’s EQ section offers three parametric bands, all of which have a continually variable frequency controls  (40 to 725 Hz, 140Hz to 13kHz and 530Hz to 20kHz for the low, mid and high bands respectively) and a gain range of ±12dB. The slope of the low band can be set to 6, 9 or 12dB/octave, with an additional Peak setting adding a narrow boost at the knee frequency of the 12dB option — a feature that is said to be particularly helpful on kick drums — and the high band offers a choice of 6 or 12dB/octave. The mid band is then equipped with a variable Bandwidth knob, which provides a range of 0.25 to 2.75 octaves around the centre frequency.

Compressor & Saturation

The device’s soft knee compressor offers a choice of ratios between 1:1 and 10:1, and the threshold control ranges from +20 down to -40 dB, with the amount of gain reduction displayed by an eight-segment LED meter. Attack times between 0.2 and 100 ms are on offer, and release times can be set manually between 0.05 and 2 seconds, or set to a program-dependent mode using a PGM switch.

Some additional tonal options are provided by a pair of Big and Air switches. Big reduces the side-chain’s sensitivity to low frequencies, causing the unit to apply less gain reduction at the low end and resulting in a more bass-heavy sound. Air then re-introduces the high-frequency content that can sometimes be lost when applying heavy compression, and is intended to compensate for any loss of clarity or detail during processing.

A Saturate section then offers everything from subtle enhancement through to obviously overdriven tones, and by default will apply its processing across the entire frequency range. A pair of switches allow users to filter the signal, with a low-cut filtering out low-frequency content before the saturation circuitry, and a high-cut option reducing high-frequency content after the output of the saturation section in an effort to combat harshness or excessive sibilance.

Drawmer 1977 front rear panel connections I/OA view of the Drawmer 1977's front and rear panel controls and connections.

Other Features

The 1977 also comes equipped with some helpful internal and external routing options that increase its versatility. The EQ section can be placed either before of after the compressor, and a side-chain insert connection on the rear panel allows users to process the side-chain signal with additional equipment if they wish. A wet/dry mix control allows for built-in parallel compression and EQ processing, and a Fade control offers up to 12dB of additional gain at the output. As well as the main output connection, the device also offers an additional output from the preamp section before the signal reaches the EQ, compressor or saturation circuitry.

Pricing & Availability

The 1977 is available to order now, priced at £1195 excluding VAT. Drawmer say that the unit is currently in production, and that stock has already arrived with some dealers.

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