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Old 19th May 2003
The Distressor's "daddy"
Dave Derr's Avatar

Re: Re: that 10:1 ratio on the distressor, what should one use it for?

Originally posted by e-cue
Pretty much anything you'd use an LA-2A on. I love it on vocals, but if you don't get your settings right, you'll risk turning your vocal into an overcompressed pile of cleveland steamer.
<LAUGHING!> Cleveland Steamer? I don't wanna know!

Yeah the 10:1 "OPTO" ratio on the Distressor is a slow beast, thats probably best on slower moving things like Vocals and Bass or Slide Guitar... It has a very smooth knee and you wont hear the first 3 - 6 dB of compression, or even more...

Speaking of Cleveland Steamer... there is an album out there someone told me about, where the band tracked most of it themselves and had a few Distressors. They recorded lots of tracks with NUKE on them and the same attack setting. DONT DO THIS! Read it right in the manual! Rule #1, use compression "GENTLY" when tracking cuz you cant UNDO IT. Rule #2, NUKE IS NEVER "GENTLE". (You would think the name "NUKE" might give em a clue, hunh?)

The mix guy had to work around the "CHOMP" of dozens of tracks attacking 3 - 20 dB in NUKE. Holy trash compactor, Batman! Maybe we need to make our customers take a "Competence Test" before we sell them our equipment? <laughing!> Or have them send in a demo tape...

KHAI - The Opto mode is slow enough when set up with the attack on 10 and release on zero, that it shouldnt sound too crazy if you track with 3 - 10 dB on a source. But when tracking and especially when you are unsure - USE LESS COMPRESSION! Just print things HOT on your recorder, using all the bits, or all the nano-webers you can to ensure maximum signal to noise.

Most manuals (ours included) have sample settings and we guarantee that they work. Personally, I used the Distressor 6:1 a whole lot ,with the attack 4 - 6, and the release on 5 ish. It should be hard to mess up too much, unless you start putting 14 - 26 dB of compression on during tracking.

Compression is a mysterious beast Khai, and I think any engineer worth his wieght in AMPEX 456, keeps learning new ways to use and abuse it throughout his career. And like a wedding nite, just be gentle with it at first...