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Its 2-Buss Time Again!!! Portico or Drawmer? Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 12th September 2007
Lives for gear
Paul Vnuk Jr.'s Avatar
Its 2-Buss Time Again!!! Portico or Drawmer?

Ok I know that there has been much love in various camps for both compressors.

Currently I have in my studio:

1 Distressor EL8X
1 UA 1176 LN
1 Millennia TCL-2

So I have $2000 in my hot little hands and I was going to buy a 2nd used Distressor and an then a Purple MC77 when I saved up a little more, but instead I think maybe I should skip the 2nd Distressor for now and get a good versatile 2 buss beast...and then still save up for a 77 in a few more months.

So I think I have it narrowed down to either a Drawmer 1968 or...the new Portico compressor.

What sold me on the Drawmer was actually a post I found by Fletcher in which he mentioned using it on everything from Rock to electronica or something like that...leading me to believe it is versatile.

Then we have Greg Well's showing much love for his Portico comp.

So I am sure both are great units, but I can only pick one (for now)

I record lots of acoustic folky,celtic and jazz groups, 70's ish rock and Christian contemporary. Not much indie or metal. I also do sound design and am a percussionist who does world influenced electronic space

I would like a comp that is good for tracking stereo sources, like overheads, room, analog keyboards as well as sounds good on the old 2-bus.

While I love versatility, I tend to always lean toward "vibe".

Which of the two would be a better choice? Is there a dealer who might lend me both, knowing I will only keep one? Is there a better option I am missing in the $1800 to $2000 range (please dont give me options above and beyond...I really want to stay around $1800, but could push $2000).

Old 12th September 2007
Registered User
Rick Sutton's Avatar

I recently picked up a used API 2500 for $1800 and I'm using it very succesfully on the 2 buss for just the type of music you have listed. Just a thought. I also use a Manley Vari Mu for this type of music but it is above the price range.
I haven't used the Drawmer but when I tried the Portico it just didn't do it for me, although when I listened to Greg Well's samples using the Portico I thought they were superb. Just goes to show 'ya...YMMV.
Old 12th September 2007
Lives for gear
Paul Vnuk Jr.'s Avatar
I have always shy'd away from API as I figured it was too agressive and more of a hard rock type thing...interresting.

Old 12th September 2007
Registered User
Rick Sutton's Avatar

Originally Posted by xj32 View Post
I have always shy'd away from API as I figured it was too agressive and more of a hard rock type thing...interresting.

Set with 1.5 ratio, 30 attack, fast release, "Old" feedback and no coupling it is a thing of beauty.
Old 12th September 2007
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Dr.Wu's Avatar

i like the 1968.
its permanently attached to my 2 buss.
Old 12th September 2007
Lives for gear

I love my portico. It replaced the api on the mix buss. Ivelbeen ooking at drawmer products lately though. They have some really nice compressors that alot of people seem to like..

the portico is one awesome unit though.. cant go wrong with that one. ;-)
Old 12th September 2007
Lives for gear

I've tried the APi 2500 but was not particulary impressed, I mean it does sound good but I don't need the faster feed forward settings nor some of the other controls. I can see see that this add ons makes it a more versatile compressor but as I was looking for a master buss compressor ONLY, all these extras were redundant. I choose to buy the drawmer 1968 instead. It really is perfect for my setup. (I don't record bands, just my stuff, and i'm not looking for the "modern" agressive master comp sound a la SSl/Smart) I just mix my tracks through the 1968 with my "go to" settings then adjust to taste when the track is finished.)
For me, it has the right balance between attitude and cleanliness i was looking for and the release and attack times are really well chosen (though I'm using the same settings most of times.)
Old 12th September 2007
just call Mercenary. They'll send you both and then you can send back the one you don't like.
Old 12th September 2007
Gear Maniac

Sorry if this is a little off topic a little.... I have a digidesign 002R which is clocked to the A/D card in my focusrite ISA 428. I have been thinking of getting a good outboard compressor for the 2 bus like the Portico or the Drawmer but I am wondering if it would be worth it considering the converters in the 002. ie. would the round trip A/D D/A process from the 002 degrade the benefits from using the outboard compressor and I would be better off staying in the box for my bus compression? Can anyone talk to this?
Old 9th July 2010
Gear Addict
Geddyleewannabe's Avatar

Revisiting the question...

Now with a few more years of experiences, anyone else have any experience on the application of Drawmer 1968 comp vs. Portico comp for 2-bus?
Old 9th July 2010
Lives for gear
I had a drawmer and I borrowed a portico - but ... I have now a joe meek sc 2.2 on the cleanest setting on the mix buss and it is simply fantastic - widens the stereo imaging - seriously good and you can save money and spend it on something else
Old 9th July 2010
Jai guru deva om
warhead's Avatar

Man some old posts are getting bumped.

You can hear the 1968 and Portico (in feed forward and feedback modes) on 2 buss in the Clip-A-Lator on the ZenPro Audio site.

They are very different units.

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