| Originally posted by NathanEldred |
Distressor: Compared to Fatso, has far more flexible compression (attack, release, ratio), "harder" somewhat edgier sound (in a good way too). Cool side chain for controlling low end frequencies (detection or audio HPF). You can turn off the harmonic distortion options if you want and get it relatively clean (never "hi-fi" though). More expensive for two units than a Fatso.
Fatso: Compression not extremely flexible, although it works about 40%-50% of the time. Silkier 'softer' more laid back sound as compared to Distressor. Can't turn off harmonic distortion generator function, as it always remains on, even if subtely. "Warmth" function can make a cool de-esser. Good deal for two channels.
I'd add: Distressor is a must-have tool for fixing tracks that weren't recorded well. In this way, it's a versatile signal processor that does things quite unlike other compressors and can function to add harmonic distortion without compressing much. I probably use this tool too
much. BTW - there is no plugin, or suite of plug-ins, that does anything like the Distressor.
Fatsos - I find these less versatile as some of the stronger compression settings (spank) I find I never use - there's basically a couple of settings I'll use for percussion or drums and that's it. But I use it all the time with those two settings and when I have percussion in mixes (a common occurance for me). I find this to be similar (not the same, but at least related to) some settings of plugins like the PSP Vintage Warmer.