Speaking about the recording process for Toro Y Moi's album "Anything in Return," Different Fur Studios owner Patrick Brown says the drums often went through an Empirical Labs EL8-X Distressor, Empirical Labs EL-7 FATSO Jr., and GML 8200 EQ, "...to fatten them up, make them hit harder, make the kick really snap, and to add a little bit of softness and harmonic on the top end so they didn't sound too brittle out of Reason."more
I use this nifty little thing on my synths before it hits the interface for some boost/color or route out my drums to the distressor and back into my DAW for a bit more punch on my percussion.
Mentioned by mixing engineer Michael Brauer as being used on "Violet Hill" in this *Sound on Sound* interview about the production of *Viva la Vida & Death and All of His Friends*. It is visible in [this photo](https://dt7v1i9vyp3mf.cloudfront.net/styles/news_large/s3/imagelibrary/I/IT_Brauer_03-JjAhhW6Aa1V1Nd710Uf1hkLaQXwv2lFO.jpg) from the same interview. > Vocals: Waves Renaissance & Digidesign de–essers, AMS reverb, Zoom 1202, Lexicon PCM81, Watkins Copicat, Empirical Labs Distressor, Federal, Gates, Fairchild 666, EAR 660, Neve 1176 & Awa G7201 compressors > > "I used two Renaissance de–essers on Chris's voice that were doing different things, and then a stock Digidesign de-esser. That was it for the plug–ins I added on this session. The Sonnox Oxford and the Eoisis were not out yet at the time. > > "The analogue things I did on the lead vocal are really interesting. As I said, I initially mixed the songs on my own, because the band was in England re–recording some songs, so I knew I might have to recall each song. But on this song I pretty much nailed it, apart from that Chris wanted the vocals to be more exciting and different. In the end the vocal had some AMS non–linear reverb on it, while the main sound came from an old Zoom 1202 reverb and a Watkins Copicat delay, plus a special patch that I created in the PCM81, which is a much bigger reverb. So it's a combination of things, but you don't really notice them, all you notice is that Chris is in a very present, big room. When I had found that combination 'Violet Hill' really became a song, it really came alive, because his voice was able to fight through all the stuff that was going on and make it personable. There's no reverb on the rest of the track, which is another reason why the lead vocal sounds so huge: it's not fighting another bunch of reverbs. If you send everything to reverb, you don't hear it, but if you send only one thing to reverb, it'll be huge. > > "For the main part of the song I had a Distressor on the insert of the lead vocal, and I sent this to another five compressors: the Federal, the Gates, the Fairchild 666, the Neve 1176 and another Distressor in Nuke mode. They're all coming back individually on the board, and it was a matter of blending those compressors. As usual in my way of working, the compressors are there to give attitude and tone, and don't necessarily compress. For the end bit of the song, where it's just Chris and the piano, I used the Awa G7201 limiter/compressor. It's an Australian compressor and it has an incredible air and presence. It's a unique sound that you can clearly hear at the end, as it's the only effect on the vocal on that point. Finally, the church group background vocals are sent to the same combination of reverbs as the main vocals. No other effects, no EQ. It means that all the vocals in the main section blend together."more
Mentioned by mixing engineer Michael Brauer as being used on "Violet Hill" in this *Sound on Sound* interview about the production of *Viva la Vida & Death and All of His Friends*. It is visible in [this photo](https://dt7v1i9vyp3mf.cloudfront.net/styles/news_large/s3/imagelibrary/I/IT_Brauer_03-JjAhhW6Aa1V1Nd710Uf1hkLaQXwv2lFO.jpg) from the same interview. > Bass: EAR 660, Altec 436B, Dbx 160, Akai S612, Moog MKPE > > "The bass was interesting. I had the same bass track coming back on two channels, and on one of them I had the EAR 660 compressor, going into an Altec 436B compressor, going into my Moog MKPE three–band parametric EQ, all going via the inserts. That channel was for the low end, giving the sound its fullness. On the other channel I had a Dbx 160, crushing heavily, with the bottom end taken out. That gave the bass its punch and mid-range. I also sent the basses to an Akai S612 sampler. A friend of mine turned me on to doing this. I don't use it as a sampler, but as a distortion device. If you put the Akai in microphone mode and you overload it, you get really nice warm distortion that you don't really notice, but it sounds good. If I want something more vicious than the Akai, I'll use the [Thermionic Culture] Culture Vulture instead, which I feel is one of the best pieces of equipment for adding some attitude. It's great for when tracks are recorded too cleanly. Finally the basses, like the drums, went through Bus B in my multi–bus compression setup, which consists of Distressors going into my Avalon E55 EQ."more
Mentioned by mixing engineer Michael Brauer as being used on "Violet Hill" in this *Sound on Sound* interview about the production of *Viva la Vida & Death and All of His Friends*. It is visible in [this photo](https://dt7v1i9vyp3mf.cloudfront.net/styles/news_large/s3/imagelibrary/I/IT_Brauer_03-JjAhhW6Aa1V1Nd710Uf1hkLaQXwv2lFO.jpg) from the same interview. > Drums: Neve 1083, Urei 1176, ADR Compex, Pye & Chandler EMI compressors > > "I put some samples behind the kick and snare. I have built up a collection of a few hundred kicks and snares, so I can try many different types. This is where I spend a lot of time searching for the right sound. I may spend two hours trying to get the drum sound right. This is not to say that the original drum sounds in this track were bad, in fact they were great. So I'm building on top of them, I'm not replacing them. I can't remember the last time I actually replaced a drum sound. I just added a little bit to the kick and snare to enhance them. The snare sound is very important for a song and sometimes I vary it throughout the song, maybe downplaying one of the chorus snares in the verse, but in this particular case the snare sound doesn't change. > > "The main drum sound is coming from their snare, which I had up really loud. They had a nice overhead snare sound that already had reverb and stuff on it that was also very important to the sound. The kick and snare both went through my Neve 1083 EQs. I put the room sounds through my great, very vicious, old British Compex compressors. I also put the cymbal room sound through the Compex. The Compex compression makes the sound grainier and more aggressive. The toms, which were really well recorded, went through my stereo Pye compressors to make them more explosive, and were also sent to my stereo 1176 compressors and my Chandler EMI compressors. The 1176 and the Chandler are also explosive, so basically the tom sound was f[***]ing explosive. I maybe added a bit of compression on the hi–hats, and did very little with the mono overheads." > > (...) Finally the basses, like the drums, went through Bus B in my multi–bus compression setup, which consists of Distressors going into my Avalon E55 EQ."more
Bass tech Robert “Bucky” Huck says that bassist Jay DeMarcus’ rig comprises an Avalon 737 through a Distressor EL8-X comp and an Ampeg SVT Classic through a Distressor EL8-X comp and a Palmer PDI-03 direct box. “It starts with three Shure UR4D dual wirelesses into an Amp Gizmo custom splitter I had them design with eight ins and four outs,” Huck says. “One out goes to the Ampeg side and one out goes to the Avalon side. I also have a second rig built in the rack for our pedal-steel player, Travis Toy. He plays bass when Jay is on keyboards. His rig is completely separate on the Avalon side, but they both share the Ampeg side with the use of a Tour Supply Amp Selector.”more
We have 2 Distressors at 825 Records and I don't think a lead vocal I've mixed has not run through it since I've had them. I also use them on bass, room mics and piano. My favorite feature about the Distressors aside from a magic they possess is the detection and saturation selections.