Analog sound in the digital world
... but my audio interface already has preamps. Why do I need virtual preamps? What difference will it make?
As you’ll know, preamps raise the gain of incoming signals - from microphones and musical instruments - to usable levels, which can then be mixed. Practically all modern audio interfaces include preamps, just as most analog mixing consoles integrated preamps in the pre-digital age.
Thanks to today’s technology, preamps are very neutral and transparent in the way they amplify the audio signal. In the past, preamps tended to subtly distort the sound, imparting a tonal character to the audio they processed; a sort of “sonic fingerprint” that music producers would become familiar with, and start to use in creative ways. This is what people usually refer to when they talk about ‘the sound’ of a mixing console. Running a session on a mixing console that used the 1073 preamps, for example, would give the whole track a harmonically exciting feel.
Now, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. You can use the preamps on your audio interface to get your signals to a usable level, and use Arturia’s software preamps to impart that iconic tone to your tracks.
Adding that “je ne sais quoi”
It’s difficult to let new producers and mix engineers know just how important the subtle sound-shaping power of preamps are; we’re talking about something understated. It’s not a flashy synth or an extreme audio-mangling plug-in.
At their core, all of our preamp plugins provide 2 main benefits:
A link to the past
There’s something quite magical about hearing classic songs. If you let your mind drift, you’re transported to a totally different time: different fashion, different politics, different tastes, different lives. If you want to evoke the feeling of the 70s or 80s, when the 1073 was used on practically every chart hit, our Pre 1973 makes it easy. Added to individual tracks in your song, you can add that toasty, harmonic, saturated sound that typified the era.
Load up Pre 1973 as an “insert” effect on channel, dial in an appropriate preset, and most of the hard work has been taken care of. You’ll now be mixing with the sound of a classic analog console, with the parameters set up by a top sound designer. Now you’re free to get creative, safe in the knowledge that you have half a century of legendary pro audio heritage supporting you.
That’s what we think, anyway. How you decide to use Pre 1973 is up to you. Maybe you’ll just love the way drums sound when you slam the input gain and pull down the high end. In fairness, that does sound pretty awesome.
Cracking the code
We built our award-winning reputation on accurately modelling classic synthesizers and keyboards, now we extend our expertise to bringing legendary, rare, and unattainable pro audio hardware to every modern music creator.
We didn’t just want to make something that sounded like a 1073, we wanted to create a living, breathing emulation to bring you as close as possible to the joyous original, and go beyond your expectations. To do Rupert Neve’s brainchild justice, we analysed the unique response of every electronic component of the hardware. To guarantee the best preamp sound, Arturia’s engineers travelled the world, visited studios, and spoke to producers and engineers who use their 1073 on every project.
When designing the Pre 1973, our quest brought us to London, England. There, we were able to spend some time with unit #3392, an original unmodified 1073 built in 1971. This particular preamp helped shape the course of popular music for almost half a century. Now owned by Fish Factory Studio, it also played its part in creating iconic Blur and Gorillaz tracks when it was used by Damon Albarn’s sound engineer.
Taking its rightful place alongside the best performance keyboards, analog synths, and digital powerhouses in Arturia’s virtual hall of fame, the Pre 1973 is ready to show you what it’s made of.
The Pre 1973 has such a characteristic tone, it works wonderfully on drums and adds warmth and tone to vocal recordings It's a must-use for me during tracking.Alicia Light
( Tracking engineer )
Rediscover an industry legend
Beautifully simple, yet stunningly effective, the Pre 1973 offers simple controls that pros will feel right at home with, and newcomers will quickly learn to love.
Creatively shape your signal with low, medium, and high band controls of +/- 18dB. The low band lets you perfectly balance the bass content in your signal, the mid band can add presence or cut the mud, and the high band can add shine and air, or remove any unwanted sharpness.
Controls how much of your signal is sent through the circuitry. Subtle levels will introduce that flattering brilliance that the 1073 is known for. Pushing harder will introduce harmonic distortion, adding presence and fatness.
High pass filter
Cuts the super-low end, inaudible rumble in your signal. Switched on, this can give your mix more headroom and energy. Left off, it lets through the bass you feel, rather than hear.
A fully transparent volume control to give your DAW exactly the level of signal you want.
It’s fair to say that in the 50 years since unit #3392 was built, the music industry has seen some changes. To bring this legend up to date, we’ve also included some optional enhancements to make the most of your DAW.
- Automatic gain control intelligently alters the output volume based on the changes you make to the input gain.
- Continuous controls, rather than stepped, for extra creative precision.
- Switchable transformers, letting you choose between the original Carnill and the modified Marinair components, so you can easily choose which hardware voicing sounds best on your signal.
- Self contained mid/side mode, so you don’t need to use additional convertors to use this advanced studio technique, your audio will sound amazing in both mono and stereo.
To top it all off, we even recreated the vintage style of the interface in a glorious, high-definition GUI. Every aspect of the Pre 1973 has been meticulously put together, ready to take your music to the next level.
Hear it for yourself
Talking about sound is like dancing about architecture. We’ll let your ears be the judge.
Without going into too much detail on how the Pre 1973 shapes your sound, you’ll find that its unique tonal flavor, its powerful equalizer, and its pleasing harmonically rich distortion will give you a solid, time-tested foundation on which to build your tracks. When each channel of audio is given the Pre 1973 top-studio shine, mixing becomes a breeze, and your music will take on a vital, iconic character. Don’t take our word for it, listen for yourself.
Want to try it on your own audio? Remember that you can download a free trial of the plugin so you can experience it in your own setup.
Half a century of hit-making tone,
right in your DAW
Push hard for that saturated, soft-clipping sound that cuts through any mix; get the tonal balance just right at the input stage; add vintage analog warmth in your mastering chain; use the in-built mid/side processing to enhance your whole mix.
Compatible with all major DAWs, now you too can enjoy the harmonic push, subtle overtones, and tone-shaping power of the most iconic studio gear ever made.
- Virtual recreation of famed classic British preamp
- 60 dB virtual continuous input gain
- 2 type of output transformers
- +/- 24 dB Output trim level
- Complete switchable EQ section
- Include bypass & phase Inversion switch
- High Shelf Filter
- +/- 18dB gain
- Fixed frequency of 12kHz
- Midrange Bell Filter
- +/- 18 dB gain
- Continuous frequency range from 360Hz to 7.2kHz
- Low Shelf Filter
- +/- 18dB gain
- Continuous frequency range from 35Hz to 220Hz
- High Pass Filter
- -18dB/oct. Slope
- Continuous frequency range from 50Hz to 300Hz
- 1 & 2 channels plugin versions
- 3 stereo modes
- Stereo Link
- Dual Mono Channels
- Mid/side (M/S) encoding-decoding for advanced stereo processing
- Output Analog VU meter
- 3 calibrations mode (-18dBFs, -12dBS, -8 dBFs)
- Analog clipping LED indicator
- Comprehensive set of presets
- State-of-the-art TAE® analog modeling
- : Win 8.1+ PC: 4 GB RAM; 2 GHz CPU.
1GB free hard disk space
OpenGL 2.0 compatible GPU
- : 10.13+: 4 GB RAM; 2 GHz CPU.
1GB free hard disk space
OpenGL 2.0 compatible GPU
VST 2.4 (64-bit), VST 3 (64-bit), AAX (64 bits with PT 11), Audio Unit (64-bit), NKS* (64-bit DAWs only).
The software is protected by the Arturia Software Center. You can learn more about it here.
All manufacturer and product names mentioned on this page are trademarks of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with Arturia. The trademarks of other manufacturers are used solely to identify the products of those manufacturers whose features and sound were studied during the development. All names of equipment, inventors, and manufacturers have been included for illustrative and educational purposes only, and do not suggest any affiliation or endorsement by any equipment inventor or manufacturer.