Photo by Robert K. Olson
Tom Macomber (pictured), banjo player with the gospel band Summer Church and the owner of independent record label Walkin’ On Water (WOW) Records, recently purchased a Drawmer 1968 ME through retailer Sweetwave Audio, located near Denver, Colo. The Drawmer 1968 ME is a special edition 2-channel tube/FET compressor.
The musician and producer started WOW Records as an outlet for his own band 13 years ago and has since developed it into a label with a growing roster of Christian music artists. “I do a lot of work out of two different studios in Upland and Ontario, California,” Macomber says. “One studio is digital and the other is all analog; that’s where I prefer to track.
“When we put that Drawmer 1968 on my instrument two weeks ago, on a Sunday, suddenly I was hearing the banjo sound that I hear when I play my instrument,” Macomber adds.
The 1968 is the compressor section from the Drawmer 1969, a FET compressor with tube output stages. The 1968 is designed to deliver a transparent sound, even under the heaviest compression. “We have another compressor that is the most transparent thing I’ve ever used,” says Macomber. “I like it a lot, but to my ears, when I listen to the playback through the Drawmer, it puts the richness the instrument had in the first place right back in. The Drawmer 1968 ME gave me what I’d always heard in my head but I’d never heard coming out of the playback.
“It’s very warm and rich and musical sounding without adding all kinds of artifacts that sound like you’ve processed the signal,” Macomber continues. “You hear recordings where they put on reverb and EQ something to death and it doesn’t sound like any instrument you’ve heard before. A banjo has a lot of bell bronze and sometimes you want a chiming, bell-like tone in certain hand positions. The Drawmer accentuates that, and lets me hear what I thought I’d played.”
Macomber is currently working on the next Summer Church album release.