The Earthworks 1021 is a single channel microphone preamp, based on the philosophy that extended frequency response and faster, cleaner time domain performance will yield more life-like results. The unit is housed in a half-rack 1U chassis.
Earthworks was formed by David Blackmer, the inventor of dbx, to realize his vision of upgrading the entire audio chain to new standards of sonic realism. To that end, the unit is currently the quietest preamp available, particularly evident when high gain is used in recording classical music.
Any change that an electric signal undergoes as a result of passing through electronic components is referred to as distortion (clipping heavy metal guitar signals being an extreme example,) but is not limited to clipping alone. For the audio purist, the goal is to have as little distortion as possible affecting the audio signal.
The 1021 with its Zero Distortion Technology (ZDT) delivers immeasurable amounts of all forms of distortion, with a frequency response that is flat and wideband. Further, the preamp provides the recording engineer with the ability to accurately capture sound exactly as it happens in any sonic environment. This still allows for making sonic coloration and textural choices at a later stage, while retaining the original, life-like recording.