thread: FATSO / HEDD
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Old 10th May 2003
OK to deal with your question I need to roll my sleeves up and get a little nasty, but bear with me at the end I give you my answer to the question..

"Jules, you don't consider tape and valve simulation to be different forms of 'character'?"

No, I see them as effects, not responsible for generating a sound, but enhancing an 'existing' one.

"While mics, pres, boards, etc. all have character, we're missing a step."


"It's often the TUBE mic's design that gives it character, and that's gotta be true for tape machines and consoles as well (considering there are both tube and solid state driven types of each)."

I define character of a sound differently, I dont always attribute recording equipment as in control of all, or even a major part, of a recorded sounds character...

"The FATSO and HEDD share a few 'coloration' features that are relevant to their reason for existing."

An awkwardly constructed sentence, but I think I understand you as follows, both units are made to give sounds an analog, er... 'character? And both have knobs to vary the amounts of their effects on a signal.

"I think that goes beyond "clipping off the HF transient edge" and over to realm of character (if tubes etc. are considered 'character' enhancing implements). Make sense?"

Well not really, on one hand you ask a question, but on the other you feel you already know the answer.. I think you are making presumptions, or pre judgments.

"With that in mind,"

Your mind only!

"my question is more or less aimed at how these two boxes compare to each other within those 'colorizing' functions"

Very different, perhaps an irritating answer but none the less true IMHO.

"I expect the FATSO to be more over the top, because that's what EL is known for. "

Hmmmmmm, you "expect" eh? Well, you are presuming again. The Fatso IMHO doesn't offer the dynamic 'mangling" the EL8 does, and nor is it advertised as delivering such.

"It would be cool to figure out which of the boxes is more useful for adding character to tracks/mixes. "

I personally find the Fatso's effect best for tracking and the Hedd is best across the whole mix. (although running vocals one more time via the Fatso and perhaps another thing like acc gtr with the other channel is priceless during digital mixdowns)

"If they're both doing basically the same thing"


"and the FATSO just has a few more distortion modes than the HEDD"

It doesn't have distortion written anywhere on the box!

"I would only go for the HEDD if it sounds more 'refined'."

OK whatever, you really need to drive / fly somewhere to spend a while tweaking these things.. You will go nuts trying to decide between em via audio forum opinion..

I have to add that I havn't spent much time at all with the Fatso across a mix, so I could be talking total b*llocks!