Gearslutz (
-   Q+A with Dave Derr (designer of the Distressor compressor) (
-   -   Welcome Dave! (

Jules 30th April 2003 08:24 PM

Welcome Dave!
Hey Dave!

Welcome to Gearslutz!

I've met you at the 2002 AES in NYC and at an Amsterdam AES. I have 3 Distressors and one Fatso!

Rock on!


stanner 30th April 2003 09:15 PM

heres a question for davederr:
i'm a solo electric guitar realtime loop guy. i've always loved having a compressor in my rig-started w/ a dbx 160X for a long time then moved to joemeek pro channel VC3. i wanna distressor! cant hardly find any info on it being used for a guitar rack-would this be feesible?

Dave Martin 30th April 2003 09:29 PM

Where's Dave?

Dave's not here...

Jules 30th April 2003 09:31 PM

Starts tomorow!

post up question threads if you like!


David R. 1st May 2003 12:18 AM

Welcome Dave. I mean, David's not here...

Kaneepa 1st May 2003 09:50 AM

Hi Dave !

I'm a great fan of your gear!

I own 1 distressor and 1 fatso and I really love them !!

It would be nice if during this month you'll suggest us different and extreme EL8 and EL7 settings!

Ciao from Italy.


5down1up 1st May 2003 01:47 PM

hi dave , have a good time


MMazurek 1st May 2003 02:07 PM

Welcome Dave!

I'll chime in with (2) Distressors - Brit mod and (1) Fatso Jr.

Nutmeg II. 1st May 2003 02:29 PM


Screws 1st May 2003 06:04 PM

Howdy Dave,

I'm a VERY happy Fatso owner, use it on everything. Bob Ohlsson is mastering a cd I did, and his initial comment was that he loves what it does to kick and snare.

A question, any mods, improvements or options coming for the Fatso? You alluded to that possibility on the website. If so, put me on the list.

Steve Cruz
Cruzified Music
[email protected]

Dave Derr 1st May 2003 06:36 PM

Im on here for a few min and will try to answer a few of the smaller questions in one swoop. Since Im generally an unconventional person, I'll prolly post to this forum in a wierd way too. Its my first time doing any kind of forum/bulletin board thing, so bear with me.

We have quite a few people who have a Distressor in a guitar or bass rig, so it can definitely work.

The negatives:
1) Its a costly box for use on a guitar and in many situations the dBx's will prolly be just fine for less money.
2) On heavily distorted guitars, compression often only brings up the hiss and buzz noticeably. Guitar amps by nature are already heavily compressed by the extreme clipping

The Positives
1) Its small and sounds tubelike.
2) It will be very very hardy on the road
3) The knobs and huge Bargraphs are very readable in live situations
4) When u get off the road, u may find it much more versatile on other sources around your home studio
5) On clean guitars or acoustics, it will ROCK!. I myself am a guitar player and trust when i say i spent a lot of hours playing thru the Distressor and Fatso. Clean or acoustic guitars have those bright front edges and if you keep the attack around 2.5 or so, and the release on 5 ish, u will get a very convincing LN1176 creamy sound. Start with the 6:1 ratio if you dont have any other place u wanna start. On Distorted guitars, its an if-y difference.. BUT on these clean transient guitar sounds, i promise we will beat most other compressors as far as the fun/excitement sound factor.

10 dB of Gain reduction will be so smooth as to be almost unnoticeable. Up to 20dB of compression is very usable on clean guitars. We have this little circuit inside I call the "Sponge circuit" that is responsible for the creamy smoothness on these transient sources.

Its Lunch time! Hope this answers your question.

Dave Derr 1st May 2003 06:44 PM

Heyee Dave Martin!

I see you all over the place these days. What a published guy! Does it mean the money is flowing like Oil from Iraq? Gonna buy that chateau in the South of France?? You know you could buy a few more Distressors or Fatsos now... ::wink::

Great to see your writing all over the place tho, and I want to thank you in advance for your Fatso Review in Recording Mag that will be appearing soon.

I look forward to bantering with you on here.


Dave Martin 1st May 2003 07:16 PM


Originally posted by Dave Derr
Heyee Dave Martin!

I see you all over the place these days. What a published guy! Does it mean the money is flowing like Oil from Iraq? Gonna buy that chateau in the South of France?? You know you could buy a few more Distressors or Fatsos now... ::wink::

Great to see your writing all over the place tho, and I want to thank you in advance for your Fatso Review in Recording Mag that will be appearing soon.

I look forward to bantering with you on here.


Well, I'm the published guy due more to the fact that the recording guy business is down. But it would be nice to have a couple of more Distressors...

Since I didn't hear anything from the editors on the Fasto review, I guess I didn't make a whole bunch of factual errors, at least.

And I am around here pretty regularly.

By the way the folks who haven't visited with Dave at a trade show should know that Dave Derr gives great demo.

Dave Derr 1st May 2003 08:52 PM

Thanks Dave Martin! Everything looked fine fact wise in your Fatso Review, except the price which was lowered in Dec i think? It was raised to $3200 then lowered to $2500 when we overcame some production problems.

ALSO - Everyone, Let me check with Jules about seperating some subjects in an effectual way under the guest moderator thread.

Otherwise im gonna get confused, i think.

Remoteness 1st May 2003 09:02 PM


Originally posted by Dave Martin
...By the way the folks who haven't visited with Dave at a trade show should know that Dave Derr gives great demo.

Yes he does, but I'm partial to his bandanna...

Welcome aboard! Great to have you hear!

Dave Martin 1st May 2003 09:59 PM


Originally posted by Remoteness
Yes he does, but I'm partial to his bandanna...

He IS a cute li'l bogger, ain't he?

But in about 2 minutes, Dave gave my wife a better idea of what compression actually is than she had picked up in the studio in years. I admire that, especially since I don't have to explain why I need a compressor any more - just why I need yet another one...

dblackjedi 1st May 2003 10:13 PM

Welcome Dave,

I'm kind of new around here as well. I'm a proud Fatso owner, and use on damn near everything. It's perfect timing for me that you are guest moderator this month. I'm right in the middle of my project and could use as many tips as possible on getting the most out of my Fatso.

Thanks for being here,

Lincoln Ross
Dead Black Jedis

studjo 1st May 2003 11:43 PM

Hi Dave

I don't own a distressor yethjghfgg but I hope to get 2 of them in the near futurekfhkh

Good luck Jo

alphajerk 2nd May 2003 01:53 AM

is it just me or does dave look like john mcenroe?

why do some of my pics show up in here and some show as links? can i get a 411 on that?

Dave Derr 2nd May 2003 02:16 AM


Steve, you heard right. The Fatso has all kinds of things inside which can be changed, modified, controlled, and played with even by users, down the line.

I dont wanna go into the details but one of the first things we will offer in the next year or so is a new ratio for the G.P. compressor. GP stands for general purpose but we have heard from absolutely NO ONE who uses that compressor preset! (Laughing). Ok OK so we messed up on the curve, the attack, the decay... everything on that one compressor. Alas, have no fear because we may have a kick az compressor to drop in that position very soon, and you can either dare to do the upgrade yourself after we send you the chips, or you can send it back for us to do it here for a pretty small cost.

The Fatsos will probably be offered mods and changes for quite a few years. Check our website from time to time. The mods probably will not appear for maybe a year or so.

Thanks for the question and your appreciation of that wierd beast of a box.

Dave Derr 2nd May 2003 02:20 AM

John McEnroe
John McEnroe? Funny you should say that. Guess who I was at the last Halloween party?

Yep! and i appeared with a tennis racket, screaming " GOD DAMMIT... IT WAS ON THE LINE! ARE YOU BLIND!?"

alphajerk 2nd May 2003 02:48 AM

absolutely my favorite tennis player ever.... not that i ever watch tennis anymore. i used to watch him if it was on.

thats me using a distressor "god dammit, what are you ****ing deaf... lets nuke this bitch!"

Bruce Keen 2nd May 2003 03:09 AM

welcome to Mr Derr
As a proud owner of 2 distressors and a fatso I must say that these units are the swiss army knife of compressors. It's difficult to go completely wrong. I don't own any other compressor that's as versatile as this.
All hail Dave Derr. Thank you for truly innovative dynamics tools.
I must admit that I've never used the compression on the Fatso though. Just a question: Is there a way to pad the input of the fatso internally? I'm always between 1 and 2 on the input and I would like to have a bigger range. Perhaps this is not the right place for this question?
Bruce Keen

Dave Derr 2nd May 2003 04:35 AM


We are totally aware of that issue and have been trying to deal with it. Its a discontinued potentiometer story.

It all started with 10K Carbon Molded Clarostat pots which we used for years and years. THEY QUIT MAKING THEM! These pots had a TRUE LOGARITHMIC CURVE... something you almost cant get anymore. We had to match the pots but OOoo were they smooth once they were matched. Where you work at now (1-3 on the knob) was up at 4 - 5. When they Discontinued them last year, we went thru all hell trying to find more of them and even had them deliver some new ones that really just sucked (I dont mind saying it, Clarostat!). We then went to some 50 K pots with a special taper... they were touchy and didnt match. Then we went to Clarostat 10K Conductive plastic. Its a long story but even tho the curves in their data books say they are logarithmic, and identical to the old carbon molded pots - THEY ARENT! Especially down below 5. We just started shipping them about 3 months ago and anyone who is coming out of a +10 device such as goood modern DA converters, may have to deal with working the pots down in the 1 - 3 range sometimes, especially when hitting the Fatso lightly.

There is an attenuator we can send you, that is an XLR barrel to knock the level down a couple db going into the Fatso, or we can probably still find a couple of the old molded Carbon pots to make you happy. We have a couple guys working on it here, including me! It sucks when you come to rely on something like a pot that gets discontinued. At least it doesnt affect the audio quality whatsoever and the conductive plastic pots are supposed to last 10 times longer.

Screws 2nd May 2003 04:39 AM


Thanks for the reply, I'm excited. Give me an LA2a or CL1b in my Fatso and life will begin to reflect my dreams.

2 Distressors with Brit Mod are on the list for this year's budget.

Steve Cruz

jon 2nd May 2003 02:23 PM

Hi Dave,

Congrats on your success with the distressor...I like your business philosophy.

Used to own 4 EL8 and am down to two now. They are the total bizness on clean and acoustic gits and good on drums and overheads. I'll admit not being a fan of them for vocals.

Good to see you here on GS...enjoy yourself!

Rader Ranch 2nd May 2003 06:41 PM


Originally posted by alphajerk
is it just me or does dave look like john mcenroe?

i was thinking Paul Simon...

Tim L 3rd May 2003 12:11 AM

Just wanted to throw in my "Howdie!!!" to Dave Derr... It's certainly an honor to have you here. I have a feeling this is going to be a great month here at 'slutz'! kfhkh

Dave Derr 3rd May 2003 05:58 AM

Thanks Jon and Tim. Its been fun learnin this forum, meetin folks here, and having the priviledge to Talk to some serious users out there! People are so damned friendly on here!

I was just getting used to how things worked on my IBM when I had to come here to Delaware with a new Apple Ibook Laptop.... it does seem to work tho lol. Just gonna be slower since Im on dialup and a whole new shabang of a computer instead of my usual Cable Modem'd Compaq at home.

Bear with me... and let me see if I can start some threads on subjects I really wonder about. I see there are some serious major engineers hanging out here and Im gonna try to make them give up some of their tricks, as well. Check out John Paterno's post on getting vocal sounds and de-essers if you havnt seen it already.

THEMIXFIX 23rd May 2003 12:17 AM

Hey Dave!!

You ARE cute, but Judy is cuter!! bumpkin hooppie