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Sound Quality of Distressors? Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 3rd April 2010
  #1
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SoZo's Avatar
Sound Quality of Distressors?

How is the sound quality of Distressors?

I know they do LOTS but how is the timbre on them, do they lean bright, dark, smooth, grainy, forward, laid back?

Can they be used on a mix buss and vox?
Old 3rd April 2010
  #2
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DirkB's Avatar
 

Pretty transparent and forward sounding to my ears. I have two of them and could easily use two more!

Regards,
Dirk
Old 3rd April 2010
  #3
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roger's Avatar
 

the sound quality is.....good! (haha)......versatile and never crap once you know how to use em!..... one of those no-brainer plug-in and record devices that will do the job and then some. i love mine.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #4
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toasteh's Avatar
 

+ 1.
The distressors never fails to impress me. Ive used some (quite more expensive) compressors that has managed better at certain sources, but compared to the distressors they fail at sounding good at just about everything.

If I could only have 1 compressor, it would easily be a distressor.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #5
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
I have two and love them!! The sound quality is excellent. They have slight mid-range forwardness when pushed hard. Its a sound I actually love.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #6
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Daedalus77's Avatar
Ditto. Wouldn't know what to do without my pair.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #7
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paul999's Avatar
 

I have a pair and I use them all the time. They did take me a while to get used to. It sure wasn't love at first listen but the more I use them the more I want to use them. They pretty well sit on my drum buss now and I am always finding new cool uses for them.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #8
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Daedalus77's Avatar
Hey Paul... Just out of curiosity, how do you set 'em up on the drum bus? It's funny—I use them for drums routinely but have never really like them on the bus (more of an API fan there, in parallel). What's you starting set-up?
Old 3rd April 2010
  #9
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paul999's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedalus77 View Post
Hey Paul... Just out of curiosity, how do you set 'em up on the drum bus? It's funny—I use them for drums routinely but have never really like them on the bus (more of an API fan there, in parallel). What's you starting set-up?
For super aggressive drums I start like this.

10:1 ratio, attack full 10+, release somewhere between 2-4.5 with a max gain reduction of 10-14 db on the meters with snare and kick attacks. I made a super snappy snare (say that 3 times fast)when mixing and didn't have a ton of attack on the kick. As I put the drums through the subgroup the attack on the kick started the come through. I compressed until the kick/snare attack was the balance I wanted.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #10
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ripper's Avatar
 

cameleon-like

be sure and get the brit mod... and the link mod if using a pair. they're very cameleon-like... clean, distorted , whatever. great for toughening up a tepid rock vocal in the mix... play w/ the distortion buttons.

all that said, they will never do what some of the classics can, euphonically.

i a/b'ed them with myy 1176 LN and blue stripe, my chandler tg1, my orig 33609 and my EAR 660... the distressors dont have that "thing" all of the others had... that old analogue distortion BIG button!

i guess the classics are like sabers, broadswords and cutlasses... and the distressors are one hell of a swiss army knife
Old 3rd April 2010
  #11
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The best compressor ever! Distressor!
Old 3rd April 2010
  #12
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paul999's Avatar
 

Quote:
... the distressors dont have that "thing" all of the others had... that old analogue distortion BIG button!
The distressors are pretty well assured a spot as a "future classic" In 50 years we will be pining for the distressor sound that our new plasma compressors just won't give us.

I have really only used the brit mod a few times in a way I was happy with. How are you guys using the brit mod and what starter settings?
Old 3rd April 2010
  #13
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airmate's Avatar
 

all empirical labs tools are extremely efficient problem solvers. the get the job done.

however, it seems like i have to play the party pooper here.
while the distressor might add a pleasant distortion and might be capable of strong compression, it does not exactly make signals sound "nicer" - at least to my ears.

ymmv, but i hear a certain degradation of the sonic details that is probably caused by all the op-amps in the signal path. i find this to be a different league, if you compare it to a pendulum or d.w. fearn unit (just to name two other options that show an extremely high sonic integrity).

i would not hesitate to use a distressor when i have to make heavy adjustments on a signal in a rock mix. but if a signal in a jazz mix needs only a slight touch-up, i would certainly reach for another tool.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #14
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Tom H's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoZo View Post

Can they be used on a mix buss and vox?
Yes, but those are the exact two areas where I find it's tone and color to be a little too much sometimes. Upfront and nasal, not sweetening or flattering.

They are great for dynamic control and pushing things forward, but I personally never loved them on a mix or on female vocals (well maybe a few times there..)
Old 3rd April 2010
  #15
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My dealer lent me a pair of Brit mod Distressors and I really wanted to love them after all that I heard about them. But they did not do that big juicy analogue vibey thing that I love, so back they went.

I can see how they are very useful as a Swiss Army knife, but I'd take anything by Chandler, Shadow Hills, Retro Instruments, and now Airfield (just got a single channel Liminator for vocals) over the Distressor anyday.

YMMV
Old 3rd April 2010
  #16
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paul999's Avatar
 

Quote:
I can see how they are very useful as a Swiss Army knife, but I'd take anything by Chandler, Shadow Hills, Retro Instruments, and now Airfield (just got a single channel Liminator for vocals) over the Distressor anyday.
I know what you mean. I almost sold mine. I used them with mediocre results but kept choosing my Manley variable-mu, La2a etc. over them. After I decided to give them one more try before selling them I tried them on a mix after weeks of them never even being turned on. I forget what source I was using them on but finally I just clicked with what it delivered and have never looked back.

I don't turn to it for big juicy low end but nor do I really look at it as a swiss army knife. I look at it as a disagreeable savant that when it shines I really smile. Some pieces make stuff sound better by just putting sources through them this is not the distressor IMO.
Old 3rd April 2010
  #17
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airmate's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul999 View Post
Some pieces make stuff sound better by just putting sources through them this is not the distressor IMO.
this pretty much sums up what i was trying to say.
Old 4th April 2010
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoZo View Post

Can they be used on a mix buss and vox?
They are usually what i go to first when mixing vocals or bass. I know when they work i'll have an easy mix day because the vocals and bass were tracked really well and i won't have to do a lot of processing down the line to make them work. Just the right touch of Distressor compression and off to the next thing.

If i have to go elsewhere then it will probably be a long day which will involve complex chains and EQ just to give each a unique sound.
Old 4th April 2010
  #19
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GYang's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
They are usually what i go to first when mixing vocals or bass. I know when they work i'll have an easy mix day because the vocals and bass were tracked really well and i won't have to do a lot of processing down the line to make them work. Just the right touch of Distressor compression and off to the next thing.

If i have to go elsewhere then it will probably be a long day which will involve complex chains and EQ just to give each a unique sound.
Real master level post
Old 5th April 2010
  #20
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i do electronic music and use it on drums and synths,to me it sound modern, clean but not steril , i like how it color the sound.
it s hard to make them sound bad but it s hard to make them sound at their best (it need time to learn cause it`s so versatile)
Old 5th April 2010
  #21
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ripper View Post
be sure and get the brit mod...
I almost never get anything I truly like using the brit mod, you know. I guess it's just me, but I always find it way over the top. Of course it's supossed to be extreme, but... ok, example:
When I used it in vocals, sure I get the urgecy of the 1176, but I also get all those consonants sticking out in an aweful way. That doesn't happened the times I was fortunate to use the original 1176. Actually I get something closer with other settings. As I said, it's probably just something I'm imagining or plain bad use from me (wrong settings).

Can you guys show me the light? How and where do you use the brit mod?

Thanks!
Old 6th April 2010
  #22
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Daedalus77's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sput View Post
Can you guys show me the light? How and where do you use the brit mod?
Are you compressing in parallel? With such extreme settings, that's how I usually manage it.
Old 6th April 2010
  #23
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ProFool's Avatar
 

Can't live without them, would love two more... though the choices and possibility's settings wise are endless.
Old 6th April 2010
  #24
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awesome rock/metal compressors.

but not limited to.
Old 6th April 2010
  #25
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedalus77 View Post
Are you compressing in parallel? With such extreme settings, that's how I usually manage it.
Well, no, but that's the point. When using original 1176's (admitedly, 2 months of my entire life) I never did parallel. I instantly got that in-your-face vocal sound, that seemed to want to rush out of the speakers, and was bigger than life. As I said, it was probably a mixture of many things, not just the compressor.
With the distressor's brit mod the only bigger-than-life thing I get are the k's and p's. Everything else is smaller than life!!

Don't get me wrong, I think distressors are very useful tools. Every ratio seems to bring something interesting to the table (I particulary enjoy 6:1). But many people on GS say "you must get the brittish mod version", like it's the only reason to use them. It happens to be the setting I NEVER use.

Oh, and come on, you can use pretty much anything in parallel...
Old 6th April 2010
  #26
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u b k's Avatar
 

When you want *that* snare sound, Distressor is the only way to get it.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 7th April 2010
  #27
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complicated yes but harsh?
Old 7th April 2010
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
When you want *that* snare sound, Distressor is the only way to get it.


Gregory Scott - ubk

UBK Distressor!?!???
Old 7th April 2010
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CeretoneAudio View Post
UBK Distressor!?!???
Dave Derr has comented how the Distressor was designed with extreme flexibility for modding and how he was surprised no one has done this yet (besides ELI and the brit mod)
Old 12th April 2010
  #30
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skybluerental's Avatar
 

a distressor is a fine sounding unit.
it does MANY things very well.

you should get your hands on one and hear for yourself.

i would also add that my customer service experience with dave at EL has been absolutely magnificent..................
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