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moosers 11/18/2010

Drawmer M500 : moosers's user review


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The Drawmer M500 is a digital, multi-effects dynamic processor that's designed for use in the studio. It's a somewhat older piece of gear that falls somewhere in between the digital and analog ages. The connections that it has include XLR jacks for stereo inputs and outputs, as well as separate 1/4" inputs and sidechain inputs. It also has MIDI connections for input, output, and thru. This isn't something that we have in our main room, rather it's in one of the smaller producer's suites and frankly doesn't see all that much action. It is rack mountable and will only take up a single rack space.


Using the Drawmer M500 isn't the easiest thing in the world at all. I've only used it basically, but you can get pretty in depth with it if you so choose, as you've got the option of running seven processors at once. It has a series of buttons for pulling up a variety of parameters on the screen, as well as saving your own presets and using the built in ones. It's not the easiest dynamic processor that I've ever used, and definitely takes some time to get used to. I don't use it enough to warrant learning it inside and out, but if you wanted to, the manual would definitely be a good idea.


As far as sound is concerned, the Drawmer M500 definitely sounds like a Drawmer dynamic processor in general. The types of dynamic processing found on the M500 includes traditional compressor, limiting, de-essing, a gate, and an expander. As you can see, it's got the full range of dynamic processing, all with their own parameters and presets and all that. It's awesome that you can also save your own sounds here, as it makes it really easy to recall certain types of compression for different applications.


I don't know how easy it would be to get your hands on a Drawmer M500, but unless you're specifically looking for this piece of gear, I'd recommend going in another direction to get your dynamic processing. I'd encourage you to either go with something 100% analog or get some plug-ins to do the job, which will be easier and less of a hassle to use while still giving you all of the digital control you get with the M500. Don't get me wrong, the Drawmer M500 is a very nice and versatile dynamic processor, but in the DAW age, it's really not necessary to have a digital dynamic processing outboard gear...