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Drawmer <i>Dynamics</i>

By Mike Collins
Published February 2000

Drawmer Dynamics.Drawmer Dynamics.

Format: TDM plug‑in only

The Drawmer Dynamics plug‑in software provides first‑rate limiting, compression, expansion and gating for Pro Tools TDM systems. The user interface emulates the controls on Drawmer's hardware units, which existing users should find appealing. Three modules are provided: DrawmerECL (Expander/Compressor/Limiter), DrawmerGCL (Gate/Compressor/Limiter), and the DrawmerKey for use with the Gate module. The DrawmerKey simply lets you designate any track as an external trigger source for the Gate module. The gate only opens to let you hear the audio when audio is playing on the key track, which can prove creatively interesting (for example in the production of 'stuttering' fuzz guitars or pad sounds precisely keyed to rhythm tracks or events). Filters are also available on the key track, so that the gate is only keyed by certain frequencies.

The Expander module allows a wide range of adjustment and will automatically vary ratio and release times depending on the dynamics of the input signal — making it easier to avoid cutting off quiet word‑endings, for example. The fully featured Compressor section offers fully variable control over Threshold, Ratio, Attack, Release and Make‑up Gain parameters, and there are programme‑dependent Auto modes for the Attack and Release parameters, as well as the Make‑up Gain. Finally, a Peak Limiter catches any peaks a slow compressor Attack setting might miss — particularly useful for digital recording. This is a tool for the serious professional audio engineer which emulates the well‑known Drawmer hardware extremely well — although it can be a bit fiddly to set up. Mike Collins