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having only one tracking compressor - *Purple MC77 or Distressor?* Dynamics Processors (HW)
View Poll Results: Which do you prefer if only having one tracking compressor for vox/guitars/bass/drums
Purple Audio MC77
24 Votes - 40.68%
Empirial Labs Distressor
35 Votes - 59.32%
Voters: 59. You may not vote on this poll

Old 1st December 2007
Registered User

Thread Starter
having only one tracking compressor - *Purple MC77 or Distressor?*

I'm looking to see which of these two very highly regarded, recommended and respected tracking compressors, my neighbours here in the town of gearville think will give me the best mileage.

Please vote but also explain why you voted that way according to your experiences with these two units.

I want to use whichever unit I end up with on:

Acoustic Guitar
Electric Guitar
Bass Guitar

I like colorful and toneful sounds. If you want to call that vintage or whatever, go ahead. But to me, I just want the compressor that is going to flatter the tone of instruments in the best possible way and allow me to compress the above mentioned instruments in ways that will make them all work nicely together in a track.
Old 1st December 2007
Personally i would say neither. They are both a little too over stated around here in terms of some kind of magic tone they impart. Don't get me wrong they are useful tools in the studio but i wouldn't call either "gelling like magellan'".

If you want tools that helps things gel better i would look more at tracking & mixing on a great sounding console and track to tape. Avoid digital tracks like the plague and mix down to analog.
Old 1st December 2007
Lives for gear
amd's Avatar

I'll go for the Distressor with the brit mode if I can only have one or the other. It's flexible and can be clean, dirty or somewhere in between if you want.
Old 1st December 2007
Gear Addict

I rarely use a limiter/comp for tracking, but when I do, the MC-77 is the one I choose (drums room mics mainly)...
Old 1st December 2007
Lives for gear
syra's Avatar
The Distressor is transparent as far as a "sound" goes. The MC77 has a specific color that works magic on some things and just doesn't work on others. For tracking if you had to have one unit the Distressor is it. Btw I have 3 Dists and 2 MC77s...I love them both but for your application its a no-brainer.
Old 1st December 2007
Lives for gear
mtstudios@charter's Avatar

Distressor. The purple is a good compressor but I prefer the Urei 1176LN over it. The Purple is much too clean in comparison. The distressor on the other hand is a whole different beast. Even out those harsh vx, bring an acoustic to life, snap a snare.

Blue Thumb Productions-Audio Production Facilities
Old 1st December 2007
Lives for gear

Having & using both distressor + 1176 (new one).
Both are great tools.

I love the 1176 on vocals with a very fast attack.
I have the feeling it gives things a bit more "pound" than the distressor due to its transformer.

On the other hand the distressor is more versatile.

None of both gives you LOTS of colour, what they do is subtle.
I found out that what REALLY makes a difference in tone is which pre I´m using before my compressor.

A neve pre followed by a 1176 radically changes the sound of your signal especially in the transients.
I guess its two transformers in the signal path doing their magic...
Old 1st December 2007
Lives for gear
not_so_new's Avatar
Trakker.... hands down.

Old 2nd December 2007
Registered User

Thread Starter
The distressor seems to be the clear winner

Most of my recording is electric guitar based. Which compressor of these two is better to have for just that application?

Old 2nd December 2007
Gear maniac

I never used a Distressor, but for electric guitar 1176 like comps really kill...
Old 2nd December 2007
TonyBelmont's Avatar

Distressor. But, you posted this in the High End forum, so why aren't you buying both?
Old 2nd December 2007
Gear maniac
markk's Avatar

If i could only have 1? The Distressor.
Old 3rd December 2007
Registered User

Thread Starter
I'm going to order an Empirical Labs Distressor tomorrow then.

Thanks everyone for your generous help!
Old 3rd December 2007
Lives for gear
robot gigante's Avatar
Hmmm, you don't need to shout!

Both are good, I use the Purple a lot more, fwiw.
Old 3rd December 2007
Lives for gear
herecomesyourman's Avatar
I prefer the Germanium comp by chandler to both...

But either one would be great...I'd probably say Distressor for the flexibility...
Old 3rd December 2007
Lives for Jesus
stevep's Avatar
Youl wish you got the MC77

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