Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor - I had a coupon, there was a sale, UAD made me do it

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
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KVRAF
2294 posts since 9 Dec, 2011 from falling

Post Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:09 pm

With a June coupon on top of the 60% storewide in The UAD Half-Yearly Sale, the Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor was too good to pass up.

I felt myself being sucked into a black hole of acquisition syndrome and I couldn't resist.

I had to confess my sins. Well, at least this one.

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KVRian
836 posts since 20 Apr, 2005

Post Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:29 pm

billcarroll wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:09 pm
With a June coupon on top of the 60% storewide in The UAD Half-Yearly Sale, the Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor was too good to pass up.

I felt myself being sucked into a black hole of acquisition syndrome and I couldn't resist.

I had to confess my sins. Well, at least this one.
Do you like it?

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

2294 posts since 9 Dec, 2011 from falling

Post Wed Jun 16, 2021 5:39 am

_leras wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:29 pm
billcarroll wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:09 pm
With a June coupon on top of the 60% storewide in The UAD Half-Yearly Sale, the Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor was too good to pass up.

I felt myself being sucked into a black hole of acquisition syndrome and I couldn't resist.

I had to confess my sins. Well, at least this one.
Do you like it?
I do so far :) I have yet to do any attempts at a shootout between plugins, but I find no fault with the UAD Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor so far. I'll use it heavily in my current project to see how I really feel about it.

I also have the Slate version, but I have a hard time getting over how long it takes for VMR to load. Offloading processing to my Apollo and not paying a subscription kinda hits a sweet spot for me.

KVRist
68 posts since 1 Jul, 2020

Post Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:20 am

Its a great tool IMO. Very glad i bought it.

You'll be using it for years to come

KVRAF
7170 posts since 7 Mar, 2003

Post Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:48 am

I'm not even gonna beat about the bush - it is my favourite plugin. 
My Youtube Channel - Wires Dream Disasters :: My Band - Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster
Disclosure: I'm an audio engineer, product owner, and content developer working for inMusic Brands

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KVRAF
1790 posts since 6 Jul, 2013

Post Wed Jun 16, 2021 11:48 am

Out of interest, how close does it sound to the Fatso? (just comparing the compression characteristics, where they are similar)

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KVRian
836 posts since 20 Apr, 2005

Post Thu Jun 17, 2021 9:13 am

billcarroll wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 5:39 am
I do so far :) I have yet to do any attempts at a shootout between plugins, but I find no fault with the UAD Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor so far. I'll use it heavily in my current project to see how I really feel about it.
Lifes too short to do a shoot out if you already bought it :hihi:

I think it's pretty epic results on Kicks and Snares.

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

2294 posts since 9 Dec, 2011 from falling

Post Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:48 am

_leras wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 9:13 am
billcarroll wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 5:39 am
I do so far :) I have yet to do any attempts at a shootout between plugins, but I find no fault with the UAD Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor so far. I'll use it heavily in my current project to see how I really feel about it.
Lifes too short to do a shoot out if you already bought it :hihi:

I think it's pretty epic results on Kicks and Snares.
Yesssss, Kicks and Snares!

I'll never end up doing a shootout. Way too busy :)

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

2294 posts since 9 Dec, 2011 from falling

Post Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:51 am

beely wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 11:48 am
Out of interest, how close does it sound to the Fatso? (just comparing the compression characteristics, where they are similar)
Dave Derr himself has answered this, referring to the hardware


Dave Derr
The Distressor's "daddy"

distressor vs. fatso - same compressor?

Someone we all know asked me to get on this thread and give my take on the differences between the Fatso AND Distressor. First, to be a smart ass and use a Geoff Daking Joke... the difference is about $1000 dollars. However, you do get two channels in the Fatso for that difference. The Fatso does have a compressor based on Distressor TECHNOLOGY, AND it does offer two settings that you cannot get in the Distressor.

The Distressor is a dedicated compressor with full control over attack and decay, plus some soft clipping options. We don't think there is a smoother more versatile compressor available, that offers all the options and extreme reliability that the Distressor offers. It's main design goal was to offer a great compressor that could also emulate some of the wonderful classic compressors from the 60's and 70's, but offered its own sound, along with better noise than the old guys.
Our customers have used this compressor on every type of source and written us about its "Swiss army knife" versatility. So if its a really fun, versatile compressor/limiter you want, the Distressor is the way to go, as opposed to the Fatso.

The Fatso, on the other hand, has several fixed compressors in it, but it does not have the extreme adjustability of the Distressor. It does however include other wonderful processing not available anywhere else! The compressor is actually only one of four types of processing. These include:

*** 1)* Soft clipping/saturation - emulating tape saturation
*** 2)* A high frequency effect called Warmth that controls hi frequency buildup and "plasticky" edges.
*** 3)* A low Frequency effect called Tranny that actually engages a customized transformer circuit that adds harmonics to sub frequencies, making the low end more audible.
*** 4)* And finally the Compressor section which offers four, fixed compressors we spoke of above. They are a varied lot of compressors ranging from an LN1176 sounding "Tracking" compressor, to a very slow attack "Buss" compressor.

*** The Fatso stands for Full Analog Tape Simulator Optimizer, and it's main design goal was to offer many of the "sweet" characteristics of analog tape to the modern world of digital recordings. By offering shaping of the low frequencies, high frequencies, and soft clipping, the user will find his signals quickly gain some of the warmth they may be missing without their analog tape.

*** For more detailed information on both the Distressor and the Fatso, please visit our website at EmpiricalLabs.com.

Hope this answers your questions about the differences between the Distressor and Fatso. The best thing to do is to sell your gas guzzling car and use the money to get both a Distressor AND a Fatso. That's just an unbiased opinion of course.

https://gearspace.com/board/showpost.ph ... ostcount=4

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KVRAF
1790 posts since 6 Jul, 2013

Post Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:53 pm

Thanks - I know the hardware units, and the differences between them, and have read that posting from Dave Derr over a decade ago before.

I'm interested in the experiences of people using the plugins, specifically Fatso users who have just started using the Distressor plugin. I've had the UAD Fatso since more or less when it was released, I'm just interested if Distresssor plugin owners feel there are significant advantages in that over what you can do with the Fatso (especially because Fatso Sr contains more adjustable compressor parameters than the regular Fatso), or if they are for typical use cases in the ball park of each other, compression wise...

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

2294 posts since 9 Dec, 2011 from falling

Post Thu Jun 17, 2021 1:36 pm

beely wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:53 pm
Thanks - I know the hardware units, and the differences between them, and have read that posting from Dave Derr over a decade ago before.

I'm interested in the experiences of people using the plugins, specifically Fatso users who have just started using the Distressor plugin. I've had the UAD Fatso since more or less when it was released, I'm just interested if Distresssor plugin owners feel there are significant advantages in that over what you can do with the Fatso (especially because Fatso Sr contains more adjustable compressor parameters than the regular Fatso), or if they are for typical use cases in the ball park of each other, compression wise...
Ahhh, it appeared you were asking a general "how close does it sound to the Fatso."

I have the UAD Fatso and the UAD Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor, but I haven't compared them.

I think Greg Scott kinda captures it though in the same thread, and I trust his option. The plugins should do the same.
Completely different animals imho.

Distressor pulls things forward, brings them into focus, and adds bite.

Fatso pushes things back, blurs them out, & softens.

Distressor is infinitely more flexible with compression.

Fatso is infinitely more flexible with coloration and texturization.

They're not in the least bit interchangeable, at least not to my ears.


Gregory Scott - ubk

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KVRAF
1790 posts since 6 Jul, 2013

Post Thu Jun 17, 2021 1:53 pm

billcarroll wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 1:36 pm
Ahhh, it appeared you were asking a general "how close does it sound to the Fatso."
Sorry, I should have been more specific. I probably figured this is KVR which has a plugin bias and would assume I'm talking about the plugins, and likely few people here have direct experience with the hardware. If it was GS, it could go either way..!
billcarroll wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 1:36 pm
I have the UAD Fatso and the UAD Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor, but I haven't compared them.
If you do get around to it, it would be interesting to hear your feedback. I'm pretty much off the UAD platform, and the only really unique tool I still use it for is the Fatso...
billcarroll wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 1:36 pm
I think Greg Scott kinda captures it though in the same thread, and I trust his option. The plugins should do the same.
Thanks. I'll give the Distressor a demo at some point too I'm sure, just not at the moment... I know the comps in the Fatso are based on the Distressor comps, and with the Fatso SR's ability to tweak attack/releases times etc, I'm just wondering how close the comps sound (this will differ to the hardware comparison as the hardware Fatso is more limited in the compressor tweakage than the plugin).

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KVRian
836 posts since 20 Apr, 2005

Post Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:02 pm

I've never found the FATSO to be perfect for a tape replacement per se. The softening part gets a bit wooly if you take it too high. But the compressor is really pretty good.

The transistor part of it give a real solid touch to audio though, and I love using this in parallel as it can really give some extra weight to parts. Especially good on a parralel drum bus.

The Snr version of FATSO gives better access to the compressor and transistor controls - but it's not always needed.

I pretty much only use it as a parallel, but occasionally bounce a track down through it and print it to audio.

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