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Empirical Labs EL8X-S Distressor Vs. 2 Universal Audio 1176's Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 28th February 2011
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Empirical Labs EL8X-S Distressor Vs. 2 Universal Audio 1176's

Empirical Labs EL8X-S Distressor Vs. 2 Universal Audio 1176's

Which do you think is better?
How would you use them?
How would you describe their sound?

If I'm looking for my goto 2-channels of compression to add warmth, character, depth, & to beefen up my MPC (Drums), MiniMoog Synth (Bass), Access Virus, Motif & Fantom Keyboard which should I get? I will also use them on tracking live bass, electric, & acoustic guitar.
Old 28th February 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 

I personally find 1176 reissues hard work. And the older ones, while potentially stunning, are a mixed bag and quite overpriced these days. Distressors are hugely flexible. They do a great job of transparent gain control as well as smash to oblivion. They are a modern classic for sure. You never regret owning a pair and if you did ever want to sell them you'd have no trouble finding greedy hands to whisk them away. They're also reliable so you could buy used with confidence.

J
Old 28th February 2011
  #3
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paul999's Avatar
 

When I faced the same issue I chose the distressors. I am so glad I did and I haven't looked back.
Old 28th February 2011
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

@ Jack & PAul
That's what Im leaning towards right now.
Old 28th February 2011
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
HitzHits's Avatar
 

though call

well, I have never owned the UA1176 but have the Distressor and love it. It works great on most of the stuff. I find it great especially on Snare...but that might only be me :-)

I have the 1176 on my Liquid Mix and even though I would assume it doesn't quite stand up to the original it still get's used a lot.....
Old 28th February 2011
  #6
RiF
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RiF's Avatar
How many people actually regretted the purchase of a Distressor (or two of them)?
I have just one, but before I'd get a 1176LN, I'll get a second Distressor. The versatility (ultimate transient and level control, can easily be used as a De-Esser as well), ease of use (it never takes me more than 30 seconds to dial in the sound I have in my head), sonic character (everything I run through it comes out better and I love the Dist2 on a lot of sources).
I don't say that I am not lusting for a 1176LN, but first comes a second Distressor, then a Chandler Germanium, then a UA LA-2A and then...
Old 28th February 2011
  #7
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tobymusic's Avatar
 

When I bought my pair of EL-8X a year ago I wanted to slap myself in the face for not buying those earlier. I have many other compressors including an UA1176 - the Distressor really is a swiss army knife. If I had to sell all of my stuff, the Distressors would be the second last to go (before the LA-2A).
Old 28th February 2011
  #8
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Sterling View Post
If I'm looking for my goto 2-channels of compression to add warmth, character, depth, & to beefen up my MPC (Drums), MiniMoog Synth (Bass), Access Virus, Motif & Fantom Keyboard which should I get? I will also use them on tracking live bass, electric, & acoustic guitar.
Hey Chad - Have you thought about getting a Fatso? I think it would be a good complement to the gear you have listed above. I use mine for everything from tracking bass,guitar,vocals,mpc to processing VI's and soft synths. Also makes a great Mix Buss compressor. This thread has some before and after clips
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/rap-h...atso-demo.html
cheers
Old 28th February 2011
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

@ down town That was already in the plan!

I'm thinking of narrowing down my process for tracking the instruments listed in OP to...

Chandler TG2 (Possibly AMS 1073, going to have to AB them somewhere)
EL8X-S Distressor
Fatsor JR. (Tape Saturation Emulation!)
Avid I/O Converters (Lot better than 192's)
Old 28th February 2011
  #10
Gear Nut
 
Byron Pierce's Avatar
+1 for Distressors
Old 28th February 2011
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Hey Chad. Don't rule out the Anamod ATS1 if you're after the tape thing. There's not much out there that can do it so well.

J
Old 28th February 2011
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

@ Jack

Checking it out...

Is the "Stop" & "Record" just to be funny & make it look like a tape machine? Or is stop like bybass & record is monitor?
Old 28th February 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
 

It's a bypass on the process. Pressing one disengages the other.

You should budget for the 351 and 102 cards if you're considering it.

J
Old 28th February 2011
  #14
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Sterling View Post
Empirical Labs EL8X-S Distressor Vs. 2 Universal Audio 1176's

Which do you think is better?
How would you use them?
How would you describe their sound?

If I'm looking for my goto 2-channels of compression to add warmth, character, depth, & to beefen up my MPC (Drums), MiniMoog Synth (Bass), Access Virus, Motif & Fantom Keyboard which should I get? I will also use them on tracking live bass, electric, & acoustic guitar.
Omg. Do not buy the Distressors man. I used a pair with basically the same setup and I was very disappointed. I had them sitting next to: API 2500, portico 5043, drawmer 1968, ssl g384. I also picked up an ssl xrack with black and grays shortly after I sold the Distressors and found these superior as well.

For what you are describing I'd grab either a mercenary edition drawmer 1968 or if you can afford it, an aurora audio gtc2.

The distressor cannot compete with these to comps for what u r doing.
Old 28th February 2011
  #15
Deleted User
Guest
Sorry ...
1176 or clone of high end quality purple audio etc
Tracking and 2 bus
1176 thick and aggro ..girthy
Distressor hyped in a strange way and smacky when pushed...not spanky lol
Old 28th February 2011
  #16
Deleted User
Guest
What kinda converters do you have for all that outboard? Forgot to ask. You might consider coloring with UAD with outboard summing as an alternative.
Old 28th February 2011
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

@ Trashman

Will be purchasing Avid I/O's... compared em 2 apogee & aurora audio's & they are better imo. I know ppl will knock me saying that, but there is an improvement from the digi 192's! Big Ben clock though.
Old 28th February 2011
  #18
Deleted User
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Sterling View Post
@ Trashman

Will be purchasing Avid I/O's... compared em 2 apogee & aurora audio's & they are better imo. I know ppl will knock me saying that, but there is an improvement from the digi 192's! Big Ben clock though.
That's a multichannel converter setup?

So you'll be tracking 2 channels or a bunch of channels per pass?

I've found that high gain synths doping pretty darn good when tracked with high end converters. I think coloring with uad is great when mixing ITB.

If you mix OTB then I still think the gtc2 is great. It's like having an la2a and 1176 in one box. You can put it on the mix bus at mixdown. It's also great for tracking.

On a budget there is absolutely nothing wrong with the 1968. Tons of low end, tube distortion and punch. It's a warmth box with balls.

Thing is, for what u seems to be doing. I'd either

a) buy an 8 bus analog like a speck xtramix or toft or venice and slap mix bus comps on each pair of mix busses. Excellent and simple way to get warmth, punch, separation etc

B) color with uad and sum across 32 channels (like an ssl xrack or api etc) with one master mix comp.

C) invest into some amazing converters and keep it all ITB with uad coloring.

Throwing an 1176 or distressor on a 2 bus tracking isn't going to beef it up.
Old 28th February 2011
  #19
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paul999's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by trashman View Post
Omg. Do not buy the Distressors man. I used a pair with basically the same setup and I was very disappointed. I had them sitting next to: API 2500, portico 5043, drawmer 1968, ssl g384. I also picked up an ssl xrack with black and grays shortly after I sold the Distressors and found these superior as well.

For what you are describing I'd grab either a mercenary edition drawmer 1968 or if you can afford it, an aurora audio gtc2.

The distressor cannot compete with these to comps for what u r doing.
This doesn't surprise me. It took me quite a while to warm up to mine. I had them for a few months and was about to sell them when I gave them one more shot on toms. When I go the attack times just right it was like blam. After that I could "feel" what they would do for sources in a mix. On the other hand when I got my Manley variable-mu it was instant love and I've never fallen out.LOL
Old 28th February 2011
  #20
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by paul999 View Post
This doesn't surprise me. It took me quite a while to warm up to mine. I had them for a few months and was about to sell them when I gave them one more shot on toms. When I go the attack times just right it was like blam. After that I could "feel" what they would do for sources in a mix. On the other hand when I got my Manley variable-mu it was instant love and I've never fallen out.LOL
Lol I feel that way about my API 2500 ... Although she can be a bitch at times ... She got that spank!!

Looking at his setup: a bunch of synths and then also tracking vocals, bass etc the gtc2 looks like a great choice. That box can run in series la2a style INTO the 1176 etc

The drawmer would definitely warm up the synths and would be great on the bass and vox.

I know the distressor was the bomb back when it came out, but today there are so many choices.

The 1176 is classic though. But you'll need two. And at that price you might as well take a look at Tanner's aurora gtc2.

Good luck!!!
Old 25th September 2017
  #21
I am currently wrestling with this same question. I am debating between getting a 2-1176 by UAD or the EL Distressor. Any additional thoughts between the two? I play and record a lot of pretty neutral acoustic music. I tend to use the 1176 plugin on vocals, acoustic, and drums at varying degrees and love the tone of the UAD plugin, but want go get some hardware.

Thanks!
Old 25th September 2017
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

Distressor all day long.

It's a deeeeep device that keeps on paying dividends. I have 4 1176s and the distressor gets used everywhere and u should really get another but really liking the arouser somewhat!
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