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Distressor VST?



is anybody familiar with any VST application that is similar or like the Empirical Labs Distressor? I do have the UAD and some say you can achieve the same or similar effects with 1176/LA2A but isn´t the Distressor far more grittier etc?



i have 4 uad cards and 2 distressors..

if you want to have a distressor sound on your material, go and buy one.. or at least before buying, go to your local dealer and test the unit.. and if it fits your taste, you will know what to do.
it was not possible for me, to archive the sound of my distressors with plugins, sorry.
but i have also read that some peope don´t like the distressor sound...
i have to say that i love my units, and will never sell them, because in combination with my 2-610 and my neumann cmv 563 m7s the sound is fabulous, and the distressor is so flexible.

greets low


Venerated Member
I'm one of those that doesn't really like the Distressor....
It was one of those pieces of gear you hear so much about and everyone loves them... So I really wanted one and really wanted to love it...
Maybe I was using it wrong, but the 3 times I have tried to use it I've failed.
I'll give it a few more months and then try it out again.
The fk'n thing confuses me... I get the ratios but the other buttons baffle me. :?:


Thanks for the comments lowrenzo, I appreciate it.

I suspected that this was the case so yeah I hope to gather the cash for a unit. Do you have the mono or the two-pair´s? Is there only one analogue input on the mono one? I´d use it for beefing up the drums, vox for some grittier sounds (I have a focusrite red 7 and it is very clean, for the grit vox sound I suspect it´d be great), perhaps hot up the Pod Guitar/Bass sounds as well.

These Distressor units don´t seem to be well spread over here in Sweden, I hope to find a unit somewhere to testdrive it a bit, my instinct tells me I will like it.

Have you heard or used the Fatso?

Eric Dahlberg

Purveyor of musical dreams fullfilled.
Liquid Mix has the Distressor impulse model in it. The Fatso can do some wonderful things, though the Portico actually sounds more tape-like.


i tried that liquid channel on time because the guy where i bought my ua-610 send the wrong package... but man, these impule response or what ever response things may work alright for reverb, but not for compressors or mic pres..
that liquid channel sounded really awful to me. i A/Bd it with the LA-610 and that UA Unit blew away that Liquid channel.... Oh man, i was so impressed by that unit. as i use 2 mics (CMV 563 with M7) i wanted a stereo setup and decided not to change the winning team, so i bought the UA 2-610. and it was the right decision.. after i got my really flexible distressors i fell also in love with these two babies... btw. they handle the compression by adjusting the input level (as the 1176 do). and dude, i hardly use plugins for those recorded tracks anymore cause they are so fist in the face if i want them to do so.
so i have to say, that you can not go wrong with that piece of gear, but i have not tried the fatso, because my distressors can also simulate that tape sound.
greets low


Established Member
Distressor = Best Compressor Ever Made.

Yeah, I said it.

Empirical Labs should make a console.


Active Member
I heart Distressors too. I don't think they sound very similar to LA-2As or 1176s. We have a stereo pair with the brit mod deal and they definately have a vibe all their own. I don't know of any VST that sounds like a Distressor or claims to emulate it.

I imagine you could achieve a similar type of sound by tweaking the Voxengo Marquis, EQing out some bass in the sidechain, blending in distortion with the \"force\" parameter, and carefully setting up the release curve and knee. I'm not claiming this will sound the same but that compressor rocks also.
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