The Neve 1073 module is considered to be one of the most musical sounding preamp/EQ modules ever built and it’s been the subject of countless imitations and plugin emulations since it debut in 1970. The question is, “Does the world really need another 1073 plugin?” You’re not wrong for thinking that, but you really should check out the new KIT Plugins BB N73 before making a decision.
The Secret Sauce
The basis of the sound of the 1073 is certainly it’s circuit design but the secret sauce lies in the input and output transformers that were used. It turns out that Rupert Neve was a master transformer designer who knew just what was needed to not only provide the proper impedance match but also some pleasing signal coloration as well.
That leads us to why the BB N73 is different than any of the dozens of other choices already on the market. An emulation is only as good as the hardware you base it on, and as most users know, the sound of a 1073 changes from module to module, even within the same console. KIT has a close relationship with the legendary Blackbird Studios in Nashville, who are owners of a dozen different 1073 modules. Each was meticulously mapped for its most pleasing characteristics and the best of them all ended up in this plugin. That’s something that most other 1073 plugs can’t boast.
While the BB N73 has all the features of the original 1073 module in the 3 band EQ with hi-pass filter and the stepped input gain, it does have some nice extra features as well. Underneath the input gain control is a Mic/Line switch, which makes it easier to set the correct gain the original all-in-one control. Under that is a Saturation switch that adds a little extra coloration to the input signal.
There’s also a modern level meter section with input, output and master buss meters, coupled with a master output fader on the right. Auto Gain allows you to push the input harder for more coloration without worrying about the output level getting out of control. There’s also an Analog Hum On/Off switch with three hum levels controlled by the rotary Hum Level switch. Some 1073 plugins are just too clean so they don’t sound enough like the original hardware as a result. Adding in that analog hum gives you more of the hardware sound if you want it.
The KIT BB N73 has list price of $150 but is now available for an introductory price of just $75. There’s also a free 14 day trial period. It runs on MAC and PC, supports mono and stereo, and is compatible with all major DAWs that support the following formats; VST3 (Steinberg Virtual Studio Technology 3), AU (macOS Audio Unit), and AAX (Avid Audio Extension). You can find out more about it here.