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distressor
Old 5th June 2006
  #1
Here for the gear
 

distressor

what exactly is it good for? is it a great tool for punch up drums or just getting a warmer sound/character? i've finally saved enough money to buy a stereopair, but i just want to be sure that it's worth it =)
Old 5th June 2006
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

ok....see if you can borrow one try it....listen to it....then you can decide whether you need it....

But I assure they are killer....I'm using them right now...
Old 5th June 2006
  #3
Lives for gear
 
vaesion's Avatar
 

they are not magical
they offer heavy transparent compression. they can give ur indiviudal drums some nice kraCK. They are very useful but they are not the magic tool thats gona make ur music sound like u always wanted......its just a piece of the puzzle.

i love mine
Old 6th June 2006
  #4
Gear Nut
 
Raggedy's Avatar
Yes, Distressors can be very good for drums... but their real value is that they can be very good on just about anything. Few would argue against it being the most versatile compressor out there.

I wouldn't call what it does "warming," though. As far as warming/thickening/character, or any other individual task for that matter, there are probably better boxes. But none come as close to giving you "all of the above"
Old 8th June 2006
  #5
Here for the gear
 

allright thanks =) but is there anything else i should buy before this gear? right now i'm only using softwareplugins and outboardsyntheizers..
Old 8th June 2006
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Traxx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by X-lon
allright thanks =) but is there anything else i should buy before this gear? right now i'm only using softwareplugins and outboardsyntheizers..
Depends on what you are doing and what you are trying to achieve, i know i personally could spend the money on a stereo pair on a lot better things if you're just begining. Lets us know exactly what ur working wit...
Old 9th June 2006
  #7
Here for the gear
 

right now i work with a pc, m-audio delta 1010 soundcard, and my only hardware is a tritonrack and a mophattrack. i use reason or battery for my drums and alot of software plugins for effects (i mostly use logic's own compressor, sonalksis s-315, psp vintage warmer for compression and Sonalksis SV-517 Stereo EQ, Equim and the UAD-plugins for EQ:ing).

My problem is that i don't feel i got enough bottom and punch in my drums, specially the kicks.. I've tried layering, pitching, comp, boost/reduce frequency, etc etc.. and it's sound ok, but i'm still not satisfied with the punch, specially in the sonics. when i leave the files to the sound engeer who mix it, he get this sound, but he use alot of outboard. so i wonder if the distressor would lift it up a bit?
Old 12th June 2006
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by X-lon
right now i work with a pc, m-audio delta 1010 soundcard, and my only hardware is a tritonrack and a mophattrack. i use reason or battery for my drums and alot of software plugins for effects (i mostly use logic's own compressor, sonalksis s-315, psp vintage warmer for compression and Sonalksis SV-517 Stereo EQ, Equim and the UAD-plugins for EQ:ing).

My problem is that i don't feel i got enough bottom and punch in my drums, specially the kicks.. I've tried layering, pitching, comp, boost/reduce frequency, etc etc.. and it's sound ok, but i'm still not satisfied with the punch, specially in the sonics. when i leave the files to the sound engeer who mix it, he get this sound, but he use alot of outboard. so i wonder if the distressor would lift it up a bit?

After reading this I'd try a little more work with an eq before dropping that much coin on a compressor. The punch/attack is a little higher up in the frequency range.
Old 12th June 2006
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Traxx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by X-lon
right now i work with a pc, m-audio delta 1010 soundcard, and my only hardware is a tritonrack and a mophattrack. i use reason or battery for my drums and alot of software plugins for effects (i mostly use logic's own compressor, sonalksis s-315, psp vintage warmer for compression and Sonalksis SV-517 Stereo EQ, Equim and the UAD-plugins for EQ:ing).

My problem is that i don't feel i got enough bottom and punch in my drums, specially the kicks.. I've tried layering, pitching, comp, boost/reduce frequency, etc etc.. and it's sound ok, but i'm still not satisfied with the punch, specially in the sonics. when i leave the files to the sound engeer who mix it, he get this sound, but he use alot of outboard. so i wonder if the distressor would lift it up a bit?
With that being said....first off i'll upgrade that sound card. Using a high end piece like the distressor then going into the delta 1010 converters will not allow u to get the full effect of that piece. And i will first like to say, this is just my opinion and everybody will have theirs...just keep that in mind. And using battery...hmmm... you may want to purchase some good drums from some of these online stores(do not wanna drop names and advertise). That will be my advice to you...the interface i'm thinking in my head will be something as affordable as a firebox or pod depending on if you need that amount of pre's. Also if you want some hardware compressors, check out the RNC's...They are cheap but work will on drums when using it as an insert. Those are some affordable remedies that i think may allow you to see a difference in your drum sounds. Good luck to ya...
Old 12th June 2006
  #10
Gear Head
 
sequoia's Avatar
 

I would say to stay away from the presonus firebox, that isn't a step up from the delta. I bought two of them to use with powerbooks. They are very noisy, and have very little headroom. The s/n ratio is horrible, when no audio is playing through the box, I hear all kinds of computer noise through my monitors. Definitely not feeling it! Get an RME box.
Old 13th June 2006
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Traxx's Avatar
 

Goes back to opinion....i don't personally own a firebox but i've hooked up a few for ppl and they seem to be nice boxes period...and i don't see how you can have that much noise...you sure u did not have bad or unshielded cables?
Old 13th June 2006
  #12
Gear Head
 
sequoia's Avatar
 

No disrespect Traxx, but I'm not the type to badmouth a product before I tried a different set of cables. I hand make mine out of canare and switchcraft. You can plug a firewire cable into it and listen through cans and it is blatantly obvious, tried it on several laptops and desktops.

You get what you pay for and for $299 you don't get much. I thought it was a great deal too, I jumped at the chance and I ended up pretty dissapointed. I even recommended it to a few friends before I had one, they had the same problem.

I'm just trying to worn a fellow slut not to waste their hard earned bread, definitely try before you buy! If anyone wants one like new in the box for $200, hit me up. Not totally worthless, but you can't make a pro recording with it. I switched over to metric halo for the powerbook and couldn't be happier!

If X-lon can afford a pair of distressors, he can afford a better interface than a firebox.
Old 13th June 2006
  #13
Gear Head
 
sequoia's Avatar
 

I think the best bet is to start with better drums. Like I said in another post, I've had good results layering my Jomox mbase ($299, same price as firebox) under chopped drums off of vinyl. May be helpful to get the out of the box too, and eq them some.
Old 13th June 2006
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Traxx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sequoia
No disrespect Traxx, but I'm not the type to badmouth a product before I tried a different set of cables. I hand make mine out of canare and switchcraft. You can plug a firewire cable into it and listen through cans and it is baltantly obvious, tried it on several laptops and desktops.

You get what you pay for and for $299 you don't get much. I thought it was a great deal too, I jumped at the chance and I ended up pretty dissapointed. I even recommended it to a few friends before I had one, they had the same problem.

I'm just trying to worn a fellow slut not to waste their hard earned bread, definitely try before you buy! If anyone wants one like new in the box for $200, hit me up. Not totally worthless, but you can't make a pro recording with it. I switched over to metric halo for the powerbook and couldn't be happier!

If X-lon can afford a pair of distressors, he can afford a better interface than a firebox.
I was not trying to put you down....i was just wondering if that could have been the case....but you are absolutely right....he could purchase a better interface as well if he was going to drop the lute on 2 distressors good point made and rme stuff is excellent just a little difficult to get going on but they are good, stable interfaces/converters just a little more pricier...
Old 15th June 2006
  #15
Lives for gear
 
theblotted's Avatar
 

better samples goes a long way.
Old 15th June 2006
  #16
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by X-lon
when i leave the files to the sound engeer who mix it, he get this sound, but he use alot of outboard. so i wonder if the distressor would lift it up a bit?
A bit? Surely. But you would have to face the logistics of getting the drums in and out of your computer to use hardware. I do this all the time, but make sure your soundcard can make this convenient. I don't know the config of a Delta 1010.

The best thing you could do would be to upload a couple of MP3 files to this thread - one with your raw drum sound and one with the processing that your sound engineer applies. You could even upload wave files if they are very short. Then we could hear the difference. It might be something standard like a parallel bus with room reverb and compression.

The Distressor is certainly a great piece to have. I have an old one before they even offered stereo versions and "British mods." I use it mostly as a front end for guitars and bass. I suppose you could also strap the stereo version across your stereo outputs and rerecord back to software for your entire mix. And definitely as a front end for your hardware synths.

-Naren
Old 15th June 2006
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Tom H's Avatar
 

Distressors rock ofcourse! But i have to agree with the other guys that there are probably better ways to spend that money.

Get a good set of monitors first if you don't have 'm. (perhaps u do, you didn't tell)

For the rest of the money i would check out a focusrite compounder for some fat bass beats. Then add a rnc and a rnla too. This should give you enough flavours too work with.



...or ignore us, be a slut an get the distressors heh
Old 15th June 2006
  #18
Lives for gear
 
brian_delizza's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommylicious
there are probably better ways to spend that money.
Hmm... I was considering buying a Distressor. Should I not? I am looking for something to use mostly on drums, thats will make them super punchy. Second to that It'll probably be on Bass and Vox. Should I live poor for a while but happy? Or should I invest in a couple cheaper pieces of gear? Is it worth the money?
Old 15th June 2006
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Tom H's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brian_delizza
Hmm... I was considering buying a Distressor. Should I not? I am looking for something to use mostly on drums, thats will make them super punchy. Second to that It'll probably be on Bass and Vox. Should I live poor for a while but happy? Or should I invest in a couple cheaper pieces of gear? Is it worth the money?
Is it worth the money; Yes.. it is an investment and it probably won't loose much value.

The question is what's the use of having one distressor in your case. It would be great for tracking mono sources, but i guess you're gonna need to buy a good preamp too then... and for beats / synths etc. you probably want two distressors.

So in my opinion you're probably gonna end up purchasing more than that one distressor! But if you can spare the cash for that i would do it!
Old 16th June 2006
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Igotsoul4u's Avatar
I think its great. It has a huge range of very detailed controls which allows you to emulate alot of other compressor reactions. It can be colorful if you start to play with the distortion settings. I always track vocals with dist 2 on. I suggest reading the manual on the empirical labs website. Its definetly the swiss army knife compressor, but not in a jack of all trades master of none way. I love it and can use it on everything if need be.
Old 16th June 2006
  #21
Lives for gear
 
PhonoquO's Avatar
 

Disco D has raved alot about the Empirical Labs Fatso, maybe have a listen to that. I think it might find more uses than the distressors in your situation. (drum buss, full mix etc)
Old 20th June 2006
  #22
Here for the gear
 

thanks for ya'll answers =)

here's a sample of a song unprocessed (only pluginprocessed):
http://www.x-lon.se/gearslutz/unprocessed.wav

and here's my sound engineer's mix:
http://www.x-lon.se/gearslutz/processedmix.wav

another question: what would be best: buying a pair of distressors and wait with a better audiointerface/soundcard or buy a cheaper one, or should I buy a expensive but great audiointerface and wait to get the distressor? i've got 3000 $ to spend..
Old 20th June 2006
  #23
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblotted
better samples goes a long way.
EXACTLY!

glad someone said it,


i love reading this board, but people seem to think that buying great gear is going to magically solve your problems. You should learn to use what you have well enough to get the results, 'cos you know the saying, you cant polish a turd.

ok rant over
Old 21st June 2006
  #24
Here for the gear
 

I took a listen to both of those snippets it doesn't sound bad, I would probably just spend more time on your mixes to get the thump,etc that you want. You said you had a UAD-1 along with Logic Audio that's some pretty good gear/software you should be able to at least get close to what you want. Work on your mix, not saying it's bad but that's what I focus on to improve my sonic quality etc. I know people that's just using Cubase with a couple plugins and getting excellent sound quality and good mixes, the distressor is def very good and it will make your job easier but learn to work with what you have now I think you can get the quality you want. If you need to purchase anything I would get better sound card (RME is what I'm using) better monitors, and better samples.
Old 21st June 2006
  #25
Gear Nut
 

Since I suggested that you post the files, I feel a responsibility to follow up and respond! So...

I agree with Architect in that you can probably get there with what you have. What I hear in the processed file could be done with a fairly decent software equalizer. I've been using Hydratone a lot lately, and I'm sure I could easily get something similar with it. I've never used the UAD-1 variety of EQs, but reputation suggests that they could do the job. Do you know what your sound engineer uses for EQ?

I don't have Slipperman-quality ears (and never will), but I hear at least three basic EQ differences between the two files. In the processed files, there are boosts in the lows (50-60 Hz center?), the low mids (200 Hz center?) and in the highs (6K on up?). It could possibly be considered as a variation on the smiley curve except that the low mids have been enhanced - it has "warmth."

I don't hear compression as a factor in this difference. The Distressor can certainly "warm" things up under the right circumstances, but there is a lot more to the difference in the files than just that. I've never used a Fatso.

I can't do better than that, especially as I'm listening through home stereo speakers attached to my computer, and I'm not what you would call "golden-eared."

If I were you, I would take those two files and try to make the unprocessed file sound like the processed one using just EQs. You could use my observations above as a starting point if it suits you (I think they would get you pretty close). It would be great ear training if nothing else. Give it a try, and let us know how it turns out, post a file of your attempt when you get it (and I know you can). Good luck!

-Naren
Old 21st June 2006
  #26
Lives for gear
 
proxy's Avatar
 

Another approach might be to get one used Distressor and save the rest for some other things. Using a great outboard comp might unlock some things about how you are using your current sofware comps.

It would be useful for tracking and you could bounce certain sounds through it when you want its unique color. Even doing New York Style compression could still be achieved with the squashed (Distressored) drums being returned in Mono.

Then, if you dig it and want more of the same, you could just get another one. If it covers the ground you were looking for, then some of the other suggestions might be the way to go... conversion, monitoring, even a comp of a different flavor for variety.

Hope that helps,

- proxy
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