Nothing like a distressor, though, but very flexible in its own right. It’s got a very specific fuzziness to it that I absolutely love. ...but a pair of Distressor will be about 2000€... SK Note and it's Hardware is just dreadful, those PWM Compressors were bloody Junked Kits then ask Quinto about Hardware he's in to software come a Trade Show Hardware again, then software - Crap stuff! OTT. Dave Derr, whom I had the privilege to talk to for this article, is the creator of the Distressor. For mid-range distorted basses, I’ve yet to find anything better for added color and weight. I've heard it called mini distressor or poor man's distressor or some similar thing. With six vintage pre amplifier algorithms, two analog tape saturation algorithms, and two transformer core saturation algorithms – this is one powerful little plugin. VCA compressors tend to be medium grab speed, FET - fast grab, Optical - slow grab. A lower used cost VCA type compressor that I personally like that has some range of use (the Distressor is known for its range of usage) is the Urei LA-10 / LA-12 / LA-22 (single channel / dual channel / dual channel with sidechain EQ filter included). This is pretty much the most incredible plugin deal in the entire industry because you are getting the entire Sound Toys Bundle for roughly the cost of just one Sound Toys plugin. So you want a copy of a copy, because you used emulation of a copy. The Saturn has some really powerful presets emulating some crunchy amps and tape saturators. Have no idea about it being like a Distressor, but is a wonderful sound shaper. FMR PBC-6A. The Distressor is a VCA circuit type compressor. This is pretty much the BEST saturation plugin in the game. Absolutely love the bass amps in there. Set a low-pass around 600hz, and then apply the UAD Raw – keep the distortion very low, but turn up the filter and the volume. However, if you happen to write a cool ambient melody, try recording your voice 3 times (keep one take in the middle, pan one hard left, pan one hard right), and apply the Redopter on the group with plenty of reverb. Turn up that input gain and listen as your production comes to life. Its quite an annoying myth and interesting how it can be seeded. No, indeed it isn't either of those. Well, what's already been said - if you want Distressors, get Distressors. If so, what is it? By the way, Hyperbits Masterclass students can receive the academic Sound Toys discount and get 50% off the entire Sound Toys suite. Works ninety-percent of the time, every time. Instead, dial in some subtle drive (maybe 3-4), switch the style to the EMI (E) setting, set the mix between 70-80% and listen to your vocal gain new clarity, edge, and brightness as it starts to cut through the mix. So this plugin isn’t JUST a saturator, but man is it beautiful. Fabfilter Pro-C 2. And the fact that it is a multi-band saturator makes it one of the most malleable, tweak-able distortion units out there. Grab a deep-house sounding bass from Reaktor’s Monark. Use these two together in small amounts, and you have a very versatile plugin. Other times, it needs some extra dirt to sit right in a mix. The Sausage Fattener is actually part saturator, part compressor, part limiter. 21st June 2016 #2. Another freebie, but this thing is great. Keep the Maserati on the clean setting, and try generously dialing in the presence – this should add some crisp, guitar-like over-tones to an otherwise digital synth layer. You can try other VCA compressors to see if it fits your budget / needs but they will still have their own voicing. By Xfer Records. Select ‘Drive – Smooth Overtones’ and turn up the drive knob liberally, up to 50%, and then turn down the mix knob to taste (I usually end up between 5-15%). So with that in mind, here are my favorite 20 saturation and distortion tools, paired with a real-mix-example which demonstrates how I might use each plugin. When you buy products through links across our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Sometimes, a sub can sound great completely clean. Very classy sounding piece. Real Mix Example: The OP was asking for something that is Distressorish, but more flexible. The Dragon can get pretty close to that Distressor saturated sound. I had a couple of fmr pbc06a once. I have a FMR PBC6A and love it. Most producers, at some point in their production journey, come across the revelation that is saturation and distortion. The people I saw likening them to distressors on gearslutz I think were dealers. If you are looking for some extra loudness in your overall mix, slap the sausage on your master, and don’t touch it again. This tweet might be more significant than we realize, since his next release was his breakthrough track “Wayfarer”, signed to Anjunabeats. Most avid UAD users will likely talk about how great it sounds on guitars, but the warm, crunchy distortions I’ve been achieving in my bass sounds is what makes this thing so special. In short, saturation is THE most effective way to add analogue edge and warmth to your music – often meaning the difference between sounding digital, flat, & dead, versus analogue, warm & alive. What you might be left with is a very Anjunadeep sounding bass. Or, play around with the super powerful presets. I am a happy owner of a pair. Pick ONE element in your mix that needs some attention. When it comes to saturation and distortion, you’ll want to save this preset. Apply liberally to anything and everything. Buying used will stretch your budget the furthest and will let you "kick the tires" of canidates with likely only losing shipping costs if you decide to resell a unit that is not right for you. Maybe that’s because it emulates the classic hardware Minimoog almost perfectly. It can be very useful to thicken up a sound and squash it just right when used it in subtle amounts! What makes the Twin-Tube unique is the dual knobs – one for Saturation and one for Harmonic overtones. There are much better, less metallic distortion and fattener plugins out there, but at this price, it can’t be beat. If that is the sound you like, why do you want an alternative? I know this sounds crazy but…no drive, no color, nothing. If the Sound Toys Decapitator had a younger brother (aside from the Radiator) the URS Saturation tool would take the cake. SKnote releases "Vastaso" - Stereo multimode compression/distortion with sidechain. The Drawmer 1978 might be worth a look. Try this baby on lead sounds – synths, guitars, saxophones, vocals – whatever. Well, I have a Dragon and a couple Distressors. Slap on the Saturn, select the preset ‘Best Of – Back in the Day’, set the mix somewhere between 20-30%. … Not much to explain here – just turn the knob way up until you reach the desired effect. Hendyamps. I'd like to have another for a stereo pair. The entire point of the Reviver is to retain a very clear, un-smashed signal when pushing, saturating. At the end of the day, this plugin is great for subtle drive and weight on a master or group channel. In mid 2011, a then relatively unknown music producer named Audien tweeted “Why have I never used distortion?”. When building your Audien style super-saw stack, isolate a single note lead playing the main melody. Thanks ! This is pretty much the BEST saturation plugin in the game. I haven't found one yet and if you are looking for a piece of hardware that replaces the plugin you are using of a Distressor, then I'd probably just get the Distressors. Apply on a drum bus for ultimate punchiness. That said, this plugin really is amazing, and super affordable. If it's just to save money, see post above. Next time your vocals are falling flat in your mix, don’t reach for an EQ. Ever throw some drum fills into your mix and find they just sound dead, dull and boring? Is there a certain setting on the Distressor you like? Don’t over think this plugin btw – if it sounds great, use it. Real Mix Example: Hey there! Just insert it on your master channel before the limiter and leave it alone. Real Mix Example: It's mix feature simplifies parallel comp setups for busses. Tweak the multi-band parameters to taste. This thing sounds great on vocals – the next time you want that distorted vocal effect in your track, try the One Knob Driver. With another simplistic interface, don’t over-think this plugin. Most of us don’t sing well enough to add our own vocals into a song. If you’d like to learn more about saturation and distortion, here is a free recording of a live, in-depth workshop I’ve given on the topic. Turn up band #3, the ultimate ‘3rd Order Harmonics’ – also referred to as added ‘punch’ or ‘detail’ in a mix. First prototyped in 1994 and officially released in 1996, the Distressor was the first of several pieces of top-end studio gear to come out of Empi… Before founding Empirical Labs, Derr was an engineer at Eventide, where he helped to make the H3000 Ultra-Harmonizer, a multi-effects unit that, incidentally, also became a mainstay in pro studios.