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Distressor/Fatso AU's and TDM
Old 4th May 2003
  #1
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Distressor/Fatso AU's and TDM

Hiya Dave,

Hope you're enjoying your mod spot, you have a nice fresh vibe!

I was wondering, and apologies if this has been covered as i haven't come across it here,
Could you make a Distressor or Fatso plug-in that would be as satisfying to your ears as the hardware?
Do you believe it's technologically possible?
Would it be commercially unsound for you to do it if it were possible?

cheers
Old 4th May 2003
  #2
jho
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I'll buy it!
Old 8th May 2003
  #3
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
Dave Derr's Avatar
 

FATSO/DISTRESSOR PLUG INS

The answer is I THINK A GOOD MODEL OF THE FATSO AND DISTRESSOR CAN BE DONE.

But that being said, it could never be done identically with currrent sampling rates. One reason is the Distressor goes up to like 200KHz, and the Fatso close to 100K if memory serves me well. Also, you cant really clip 8KHz smoothly without lots of mathematical games.

This is a big subject and I will come back to it. Let me assure you tho, we have been asked dozens of times about it, and had some really great offers made. Lots of thinking and spreadsheets have been invested as well. Turning over all my transistors and diodes to a mathematician is very scary tho.



More later!
Old 8th May 2003
  #4
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Dave

How would you feel if someone "copied" the look and sound of the D and F but changed them slightly and hadn't got your permission? And they sounded
substandard?

does the prospect of such a situation make you want to establish your own plug-in sooner rather than later? or do you feel that would be the wrong reason to act?
Old 9th May 2003
  #5
Gear interested
 

I would really love to use a Distressor or Fatso plugin! I'm sure that one of these days we'll see one!

Dave, good work on the Empirical Labs line -- I have 3 Distressors and 1 Fatso that I use ALOT! Wish I had a few more... any plans more a cheaper "jr" model of the Distressor?! Like 8 channels in a module? That would be really cool!
Old 9th May 2003
  #6
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
Dave Derr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Renie
Dave

How would you feel if someone "copied" the look and sound of the D and F but changed them slightly and hadn't got your permission? And they sounded
substandard?

does the prospect of such a situation make you want to establish your own plug-in sooner rather than later? or do you feel that would be the wrong reason to act?
People have already put out presets of software named Distressor and Fatso. They dont sound the same.

There are lots of Vintage Plug Ins these days. Some are ok I think, and some verge on Shams. I dont think the LN1176 plug ins sound the same as the 1176, except in the most timid and generic of uses. Compare 20dB of a real 1176 on a snare sample, vs 20dB of GR on an 1176 Plug in. Set the attack and decays on 5 or so. Sound the same to you???

The LA2a's seem a bit closer I think. But Id have to check them under real world conditions a whole lot more.

Its very scary to think of putting out a Distressor or Fatso plug in, and not know they sound verry verrry close to the real thing in all situations, and take sales away from the real items. Then when people are using the plug ins, maybe they will go "EH, these things arent that great", only to miss any charm of the real thing.

I think its possible to model things so close its hard to hear the difference, but Im not ready to spend the time taking the chance. Nor risk confusing our users...

and possibly take time from developing more products.
Old 9th May 2003
  #7
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The idea of having these things in a plug is mouth-watering, but not at the expense of hardware development. I would not buy a pale shadow of the hardware equivalent. Well, maybe I would, but I'd rather start having access to plug-ins that aren't as concerned with emulation as with breaking new ground.
Old 12th May 2003
  #8
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Dave

Maybe it's something for the future then when the technology will allow a more accurate translation.

How do you feel about the names of your units being used on presets?

Do you think it
a) increases awareness of your product or
b) does it encourage confusion and delusion, allowing some people to think that they have a Distressor in their virtual rack it if they've got a preset with the name on it?

Maybe the people described in b) are not your market anyway though because they are likely to be very inexperienced to be that naive.
Old 12th May 2003
  #9
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
Dave Derr's Avatar
 

Trademarks and Lawsuits

Hiya Renie

I'm more or less ambivilent about people using the name Distressor in a preset as long as it's not marketed loudly. Most folks will know it doesn't come from Empirical Labs. If it sounds really good, it will increase the plug-in folks' awareness of the Distressor/Fatso, if it sounds really bad... call us and we'll sell you the real deal (laughing). We're probably not going to sue anyone because they made a preset and named it Distressor. If they advertise it as a software Distressor... thats a different story. We do own the trademark.

One of my pet peeves is how ready Americans are to use lawyers. I hate it. Frainkly, I dont understand why the judges continue to send the message "YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR ACTIONS, BECAUSE THERES IS PROBABLY SOMEONE ELSE YOU CAN BLAME FOR YOUR OWN STUPIDITY". Its a horrible horrible trend and its GOTTA turn around! Where will it end? WE already have to put lables on things now that make me laugh, so the manufacturer feels a little safer from lawsuits.

If someone takes a hammer and starts using the claw of it to pry out his eyes, do hammer companies have to put a warning "KEEP HAMMER AWAY FROM YOUR EYES"?

The gun issue is the current silly mockery. HOW CAN IT BE THE GUN MANUFACTURERS FAULT IF SOMEONE KILLS SOMEONE ELSE! Maybe its the courts fault for making it so easy to sell guns, but its not COLT's fault for making a good product, goddamn it! No wait... maybe we just need a label on the gun "Bullets can be harmful to yourself and others"!

America wasnt created by a bunch of lazy slobs looking to "win the lottery" by a stupid lawsuit, because they smoked cigarettes for 30 years, even tho every pack of cigarettes has two warnings on them... even tho a 5 year old knows CIGARETTES ARENT FRIGGING GOOD FOR YOU! There are actually people who think they deserve to get rich because they walked out between two cars, or slipped on a wet floor. Its really pathetic, dont you think? Those people are just too frigging stupid to earn a real living. Where will it end?

Urge your courts and judges to start holding people accountable for their own actions. Dont let lazy stupid people "get over" on the system at the expense of good people, who try to produce good things, and have good intentions. To me many of these cases should be "tossed" just by looking at peoples knowlege, and their intentions.

How is that for a Rant?


SOooo no, Im not going to get too angry or sue because of a preset named "Distressor" or "Fatso". Just dont advertise them as such.

ONE other note: Aphex had every right to take Behringer to court a few years ago for directly copying a patented design. I for one am very, very glad. Its one thing to borrow parts of designs and tweak them mercilessly, combining things in new ways with new controls. Its another thing to blatently steal someone elses work and compete directly with them. Marvin Ceasar (SP?)and Aphex are innovators and make GREAT products. They had balls to take Behringer to court, to persevere, and finally win at great personal expense to Marvin and his company because again, it protects other companies (like me) from lazy predators, stealing their hard work, and sends a clear message. AND this is where courts are SUPPOSED to work, upholding their own decisions and laws (Patent laws in this case). Someones intentions account for a whole lot in my book.
Old 12th May 2003
  #10
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Thread Starter
Hey Dave

We are well on our way over here too.

I regularly get the "Hadanaccidentinthelast3years?" clipboard, suit and smile outside my local supermarket.
They lean in as I speed by, they only have 1 second to say their line.heh

Sometimes I walk past 10 or 15 times until it sounds perfect..heh not really.

It is a blame culture. I suspect it's partly to do with a drive to make the rich and powerful more responsible and accountable. As much as it is people who see themselves as victims of life and feel that someone must owe them something. The suing "no win no fee" companies stirring it up are the most distasteful part of all..

Another worry with it is where doctors are scared to act for fear of being sued. The dead BeeGee springs to mind. The brothers on TV afterward sounded desparate to apportion blame. Maybe they were right there is gross negligence in the medical world and standards should be high but the way it's going this blame culture is going to hinder that progress sometimes.

Well it's good you're at peace with your position on your products. It's a sad thing when companies are at war within themselves over stuff they can't change.
Old 13th May 2003
  #11
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
Dave Derr's Avatar
 

Renie

One more footnote on lawsuits. I have often thought the internet could allow grassroots movements to garner tremendous power, financially and politically. One nite some friends and I were talking about a grassroots movement that actually sued judges and lawyers for idiotic, obviously "wrong" cases. Lawyers have very little to lose tying up the courts with liability cases and advertising on TV. But the harm to society done by the courts rewarding the lazy, the ignorant, and the just plain criminal, is reaching immeasurable proportions.

It really has to start with the judges I think. They have to start making it not worth the lawyers time to take a chance. Start throwing the "OOo i spilled the HOT coffee in my lap" cases OUT! These lawyers are those who cant get "real" and "honorable" work for the most part. The judges could make em get real jobs!

Tell me, do the British courts still have a law in effect that says the person bringing the charges against someone in a liability case would have to pay for the defendants lawyer if they lost?

Dave
PS I promise this is the last legal post!
Old 13th May 2003
  #12
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
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ARE THERE ANY COMPRESSORS FOR PROTOOLS WITH WHICH YOU CAN (AND DO) USE 20dB of COMPRESSION ? OR MORE?

WHAT SOURCES DO YOU USE IT ON?
Old 14th May 2003
  #13
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I often use Waves' C1 for extreme compression- it can even go past infinity: 1 for some interesting effects, and will do some nice linear expansion if you set the ratio to less than 1:1. It doesn't behave quite like analog compressors but I don't expect it to, I just use it for what it does do well. It can certainly do some radical squashing.
Old 14th May 2003
  #14
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
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Berolzheimer

Its been a few years since I used Waves Compressor but I too remember it being pretty good above 10dB of Gain Reduction. I think the problem with digital compressors being used above 10dB of fast compression gets back to the high frequencies.

With 192K sampling rate, I keep thinking we should be able to get some "character" compression above 10dB without any side effects. Its just that even doing some basic analog processing, like rectification, in the digital domain has errors from aliasing. And the guys who can spend time tweaking the analog compressors with their ears, making refinements etc, usually dont have the math chops to bring the details and character of their analog designs, into the digital realm. DSP isnt something you just take up and "try out" usually.

Here's A Thought
Imagine if technology moved so fast, that the analog years only lasted a decade or so, and people like Bill Putnam and UREI, Valley People, Fairchild, Pultec, RCA etc etc. never HAD TO do things in the analog domain, never had to tweak things for years and years. We would never have known the incredible character and personality of all their classic gear. We wouldnt have a reference of what a great analog compressor can do, nor would we be using the ensuing compressors the same way or so extreme. We wouldnt even be trying to model some "character" analog gear in the digital domain. Our music and recordings would sound quite different and we wouldnt even know we were missing something.

The great thing is that people like Manley, Crane Song, Fearn, Meek, Daking, Tube Tech, etc are still experimenting in the analog domain, pushing the envelope of character pieces farther and farther away from the "linear" world. I hope it continues so that the digital processing folks keep on their toes, providing references for them and making them go to lengths and think around corners with their math, to capture some of the great, and often extreme non-linear analog character.
Old 14th May 2003
  #15
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Yeah......Great reply, Dave. Maybe what it will take, for now at least, is a partnership between someone like you who knows what to go for, and a DSP/math guy who can make that happen. (hint hint)

Have you heard the J√ľnger compressor? It's a digital compressor, intended I think for broadcast but It's pretty amazing. Not for extreme squashing, more for subtle 2-bus kind of compressing. sort of like a multiband compressor but not- I think they call it a multi-time-domain compressor, it acts differently on various parts of the signal depending on their time domain, or speed, or something like that. Leave it to the Germans to analyze things in a totally different way.
Old 14th May 2003
  #16
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
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RENIE

I just saw that some British Lawyer is trying to sue the makers of Oreo cookies over their ingredients! He wants money cuz he loves oreos and they contain Hydrogenated oils (or something) that is "possibly" harmful.

Could you take this guy out and shoot him. I like Oreos too but I know their not friggin health food!

SHEESH!

Dave
PS (Uh oh, I broke a promise)
Old 14th May 2003
  #17
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
But that being said, it could never be done identically with currrent sampling rates. One reason is the Distressor goes up to like 200KHz, and the Fatso close to 100K if memory serves me well. Also, you cant really clip 8KHz smoothly without lots of mathematical games
The question isn't "would the plug-in sound identical to analog audio coming out of the distressor". The question is : would it sound the same as digital audio does after coming out of a distressor and then put through the AD process. How would the subsequent digital files compare? A 48kHz or 96kHz Distressor modellor need only match digitized audio - not true analog only specs. All that said - it doesn't mean it can be done. You can always write in to the agreement that you have to like how it sounds first.
Old 15th May 2003
  #18
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Derr
RENIE

I just saw that some British Lawyer is trying to sue the makers of Oreo cookies over their ingredients! He wants money cuz he loves oreos and they contain Hydrogenated oils (or something) that is "possibly" harmful.

Could you take this guy out and shoot him. I like Oreos too but I know their not friggin health food!

SHEESH!

Dave
PS (Uh oh, I broke a promise)
Where oh where will it end? No, don't.

Johnny Cash sang about " A Boy Named Sue", did he not?.
Old 15th May 2003
  #19
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Paul Turpin
The question isn't "would the plug-in sound identical to analog audio coming out of the distressor". The question is : would it sound the same as digital audio does after coming out of a distressor and then put through the AD process.
Paul

VERY WELL PUT.... AND I AGREE TOTALLY. Some people that make classic emulations claim they have modeled things down to the caps etc. But I swear they still dont have the attitude and wonderful character of the original. I already named a few specific ones.

Comparing two files as you proposed is a good idea, and i think there are programs out there that will actually compare non-exact files in percentages. The slightest change in attack or release will change things significantly and I can see someone fiddling endlessly trying to get a high percentage match. Also the front edge of transients which are really really key to the sound of a compressor happens in microseconds, and the whole transient can be over within 10 - 40 mS. If that part isnt right, but the rest is, your little comparison "program" will come out really close, but you will have missed matching the transients, since they take up so little space. Even a set of mediocre ears probably wont miss the transient differences.

Comparing compressors sucks. Two compressors might sound identical on 2 out of 3 sources but the third source will never sound the same thru them. I think even if we modelled a Distressor incredibly close, others and myself would still be thinking "theres something wrong", if for no other reason than some placebo effect. Nonetheless, Im quite sure it will be done "officially" someday. Lets hope that as more things are modeled, and emulated in the digital domain, that even if they arent perfect, it still sounds killer.
=========================================

Berolzheimer

No I havnt heard the Junger compressor, but, I have heard of it. Theres also this box called the Sinnefex I think, (from Europe somewhere?) that is supposed to be able to sample an external black box and then simulate it. Sheesh its a great concept that has been out there for awhile. Yamaha and others have a sampling reverb that does the same thing in a hall or room. Id love to play with those things! If only there were more hours in the day.....
Old 15th May 2003
  #20
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Re: Trademarks and Lawsuits

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Derr

America wasnt created by a bunch of lazy slobs looking to "win the lottery" by a stupid lawsuit, because they smoked cigarettes for 30 years,
Your right. it was created by a bunch of lazy plantation owners who expected people to work for free....
Old 15th May 2003
  #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Derr
ARE THERE ANY COMPRESSORS FOR PROTOOLS WITH WHICH YOU CAN (AND DO) USE 20dB of COMPRESSION ? OR MORE?

WHAT SOURCES DO YOU USE IT ON?
i don't use a mac...but I use SOnic Timeworks compressorX i'll go all the way to 30 db sometimes...but that because it was recorded low hehe
Old 15th May 2003
  #22
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
Dave Derr's Avatar
 

Re: Re: Trademarks and Lawsuits

I never heard of Sonic Timeworks? Is it software? Hardware?


Quote:
Originally posted by Teacher
Your right. America was created by a bunch of lazy plantation owners who expected people to work for free....
tutt
(Laughing!) NO NO! America wasnt founded by those Stinky Southerners! ::WINK:: It was founded well over a 100 years before the introduction of what we know as plantations. Probably more like 250 years actually.

And besides, 140 years ago we fought a horrid war to end that crap. (Iced Tea was invented right after that to help cool down & motivate the newly hard working, sweaty southern folks. lol) I actually lost some distant relatives as yankee soldiers, if my sisters research is correct.

I appreciate anyone who works for an honest living, rich or poor. One of my favorite teachers in High School (Mr Albert Jones), used to holler at us to "GET UP OFF YOUR KNEES, AND ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES". I still tell that to myself sometimes when I start whining and complaining.
Old 15th May 2003
  #23
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Thread Starter
Dave

The Sony Dynamics plug-in for PT can cope with serious threshold settings, more than any other comp plug i've used including the McDSP CompBank.
Old 16th May 2003
  #24
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
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Holy Kalopiters

Sony makes a compressor for PT? Im out of touch. Ill have to find someone who has a copy and check it out. Would you say its just a good smooth compressor or could you call it a "character" processor?
Old 16th May 2003
  #25
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Thread Starter
I'd say a good smooth, but it has a lot of bells and whistles that can add character in other ways, such as the warmth option, and the expander. Each section has lots of detail to play with. I wouldn't say it was a 'character' compressor in the usual sense of the word in this context.

Old 16th May 2003
  #26
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the only CHARACTER plugin compressor i have come across is the PSP vintage warmer or their mixpressor or their mixsaturator. they are usable, but id still rather have a chandler tg1 or something.... talk about spanking the signal. i couldnt get 2 distressors and a fatso inline to equal one channel of that thing. that thing on vox was just ********... you could SEE the wind sucking in between lines. of course you cant spank everything that hard.

the "emulations" sound nothing alike. and most plugins sound damn grainy. i do like what convolution brings to the table however.

digital compressors are weird beasts. drums never sound just right with them... but thats where i have been loving the fishfillets dominion envelope thing. anyone know of a plugin thats basically an ADSR filter? dominion is strictly AR...



so when do you think we are going to get to 384khz? 192 came pretty quick after 96 but DSP/storage isnt really ready to handle mass usage of it yet.
Old 16th May 2003
  #27
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AlphaJerk, I think some of your comments are right on about "analog" filtering and compressing in Pro Tools. I hear lots of people saying that they don't need anything higher than 44.1 on the DAW. I think that while the output of audio at 44.1 is fine, doing any kind of nice sounding manipulation at that sample rate is not going to happen. 192 is just the begining to getting a clean smooth sound.

PSP is making some cool stuff, and it definately starts to fill a missing area in ProTools Plug-ins. They also seemed like pretty cool guys when I met them at NAMM.

<Instert Shameless Product Pumping Here>
FilterFreak that we are about to release nails a bunch of these issues, and I think is the next step in good sounding effects on a DAW. It does have a really nice ADSR, which you can set with an input trigger, tap trigger, or midi trigger. The envelope filtering also sounds great on drums, and can give you a nice fat sound.

I will do my best trying to get some clips together for you guys to hear. We are still busting our butts trying to get the thing shipping.
</Instert Shameless Product Pumping Here>

Dave, I had a great time in Amsterdam. Hopefully we will be able to share another booth sometime in the future. I'm also having fun reading your thoughts on some of this.

Noah
(A Wave Mechanics, SoundToys guy)
Old 16th May 2003
  #28
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
Dave Derr's Avatar
 

Alphajerk

Im with ya on the Chandler TG1. Wade (the founder/designer) of Chandler is a goooood buddy of mine and friggin knows his way around wacky sounds. He and I are like this when it comes to compression:
<Im the one on the right>

The TG1, like the Distressor, doesnt use off the shelf VCA's to control the sound and it gives us the ability to do some wild things to waveforms... as well as being subtle when desired. I personally think everyone should own a Chandler TG1 because it does really have a one of a kind sound and brutal capability. Also, if you tell Wade that Dave Derr sent you, I know I can weasle a free Dinner out of him. The TG1 definitely offers you colors that I dont think youre going to find in any other current unit. It is based on a design used back in the Beatles days, but Im not going to mention which one cuz Im scared of lawyers . Go try a Chandler TG1, everybody!

NOAH

I had a great time at the show too. Amsterdam is one partying town and we only closed maybe 50% of the CLUBS and Coffee houses we went to, as opposed to every single one like we do here in the ol US. And you and little Jamey can hang like pros with the big dogs (like Gil and I). Tell her I said Hi along with Ken Bogdanowicz and Bob Belcher there at Wave Mechanics.

Your filter software, Filter Freak does really sound smooth and wonderful, thanks to the attention to eliminating Aliasing artifacts and hard clipping. I believe Ken B does quite a bit of oversampling to eliminate those "hostilities". Once I get my Protools set up goin, you know Im gonna be ringing you guys up to buy some software! And not just Filter Freak but also your Ultratools software.
Old 16th May 2003
  #29
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Dave
How much is that going to cost me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Old 16th May 2003
  #30
The Distressor's "daddy"
 
Dave Derr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by wade goeke
Dave
How much is that going to cost me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?
One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer... errr... NO NO....

One Chandler TG1, One LTD-1, One LTD-2.....

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