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Distressor or Drawmer 1969?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by vtone, Oct 1, 2000.

  1. vtone

    vtone Guest

    I'd like my finished PT24 mixes to go through a nice compressor before I mix to analog tape but I can't decide between a pair of distressors or drawmer 1969. I've never used either of these and have only heard great things about them. The goal, of course, is to get that final bit of laquer on a mix, take some of the digital edge off, when going to tape.

    Anyone had experience with these?
     
  2. vtone

    vtone Guest

    ...or the CraneSong HEDD's
     
  3. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Have you considered the manley vari-mu, ssl logic, or neve 33609? How about L2? There are so many great ones out there, and they all sound so different, you should try each one before jumping on the drawmer or distressor.

    However, even if you end up with something else on the mix bus, get the distressors anyway. They're great on just about everything.


    ------------------
    --------------
    Angelo Quaglia
    AQ Productions
     
  4. I have both the Distressors (2) and a 1960.
    I believe that the 1969 just has different mic pre's from the 1960. They are both great pieces and I use them mostly for tracking and mixing. The Avalon 747sp is what we use for mix bus before HD. This really meets our needs. It sounds smooth and you can hardly make the thing pump at higher settings.

    If it wasn't for the fact that I use the Manley Vari-Mu on the drum bus (hey I'm a drummer) I would most diffently use it on the mix and if we ever get another one(wish...wish...) it would probably go on the mix as well.

    My mastering guy has the L1 and L2 they are great if you want that sqwashed in-your-face sound which I personally try to stay away from (that a whole other topic for discussion) also we use the master link, the dsp is so-so but the limiter is very good.

    BTW anyone have any experience with the Alesis MasterLink, we really do like it here and use it a lot.

    ------------------
    David L. Black
    Owner, Engineer , Producer
    Old House Recording Studio - Gastonia, NC
    http://www.oldhousestudio.com
    dbeng@bellsouth.net
     
  5. Marc Edwards

    Marc Edwards Guest

    From what I know of the distressor (I don’t own one -- so I really have no idea!), I wouldn’t have thought it to be a good choice for the 2 mix.It sound like it would rock for individual channels though. The Manley Vari-Mu would be a great choice! (hey dbeng, why not just track your drums back to PT?) Have you considered an Oram Sonicomp2 (http://), these are soooo good (Hi-Def EQ is even better!). I guess it depends on what you’re trying to do... SmartComp is great if you need some slam. Hope this helps.
    Marc.
     
  6. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Distressors kick ass. They have this new mod that runs around $100 per mod. One is called Britsh Mode, and it kinda similates a 1176 with all ratio buttons smashed in. The other is Stereo image link which basically creates a phase link when put in stereo link. Both of these might help you out. I checked them out at aes and was quite impressed.
    I used the Manley vari-mu on my Stereo bus & do a lot of mixes straight out of pt. Then use a 33609 on my background chain & a 2055 on my lead vocal (then mult the same lead track to another channel) and use a Gates level devil. I automate the Gates up in the hook & the Avalon in the verses.
     
  7. From what I understand the 1969 Mercenary edition is a complete redesign of the whole unit and much better sounding than the 1960.

    Mark Plancke
     
  8. miketholen

    miketholen Member

    I use the Distressor alot but not on my 2-mix. I have used the drawmer stuff to no satisfaction, it seems to kill all tone! I usually use a pair of PYE compressors on my 2-mix. they are amazing sounding.
    I also use a pair of TAB u73 comps.
    check out the old gear before plunking down thousands on a new computer made piece of junk!
     
  9. Originally posted by miketholen:
    I use the Distressor alot but not on my 2-mix. I have used the drawmer stuff to no satisfaction, it seems to kill all tone!

    Yeah the old Drawmer stuff was pretty much uninspiring but the 1969 is a *total* redesign and from all accounts kicks ass in a 2 mix application. The Distressors probably aren't as good in a 2 mix application and I believe that even with the stereo mod there's some issues about tracking.


    I usually use a pair of PYE compressors on my 2-mix. they are amazing sounding. I also use a pair of TAB u73 comps. check out the old gear before plunking down thousands on a new computer made piece of junk!


    Yeah, well does the phrase "rare as hens teeth" mean anything to you? You go on about your Pye comps and your Helios console and you track them all to Pro Tools fer christs sake, oh I forgot about your Studer J37. Don't forget there's lots of junk out there that gets passed off as vintage and hasn't seen any maintenance for many years. The vintage craze is largely over for me, there are lots of alternatives available that weren't available even two or three years ago.

    Witness what's happen to the prices on Urei 1176's. I remember prices in the 2500-3000 dollar range for certain revisions of blackfaced 1176's. Now you can't give em away, why? Because there's alternatives... You can buy a brand spanking new Universal Audio 1176 for less than $1700 or a Purple Audio 1176 for a little bit more, they both sound great, like a *well maintained* version of those classics.

    Have you actually listened to a Manley V-MU or a Drawmer 1969 much less patched one in and actually worked with it?

    Sheeesh.

    Trust me, there are lots of good products being made today that in some cases sound a lot better than the old stuff. GML, Avalon, Manley, Pedulum, Crane Song, Brauner, Empirical Labs & Great River are all examples of manufacturers that make stellar equipment that is designed by people who are passionate about their craft. There are many more who I've left off this list, but hopefully you get the idea.

    Mark Plancke

    [ February 09, 2001: Message edited by: mp@soundtechrecording.com ]
     
  10. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Hi girls...this one I'm qualified to answer...the EL-8, while an exceptionally cool sounding box, doesn't link well enough [for me anyway] to put across a 2 Mix bus.

    The 1969 was almost specifically designed just for that task (and a few others, but that was my focus...the 'stereo compression aspect).

    The 'mic-pre's were a ****ing afterthought!! We spent very little time on those, it was the compression that we spent time on. For all intents and purposes, the mic-pre's are a slightly "airier" version of the Grace Design. We didn't bother to try and reinvent the wheel more than once, that once was saved for the compressor.

    As far as the details of that reinvention go...I've spewed this story lik3 150,000 times, and ain't in the mood to do it again right now...perhaps some other time.

    Now, Angelo...we've gotta work on getting you into the 21st century with 2-bus compression...I can think of 10 I'd use before any of those for my 2-bus (with the possible exception of a 'metal knobed' 33609...they rock!!!!).
     
  11. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    As far as the link option (not to sound like a 2290 feeding itself), check http://www.empiricallabs.com/Products.htm It explains how they 'fixed' the link option. If I was a fan of compressing my stereo bus, I'd definately use it before a drawmer. By the time I hear my mixes on radio or bet, my mixes are compressed like 50:1 with all these weird multi-tails. Plus, I get all the compression I need from printing to 1/2" analog. (do they still make analog tape?)
     
  12. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    e, e, e, e, e...wow. First off, I've tried the image mod. Good idea, still doesn't cut it. Second, it doesn't sound as if you've tried a 1969 [if you're talking about the 1960, I'm in full agreement, that thing sucks hampster dick].

    Just so you're straight that I'm not biased just because my company's name is on the 1969, I'm the guy that came up with the model number "EL-8" for the 'distressor'. After Dave Derr and I passed it back and forth for a really long time, I was finally 'elated' by the tone of the unit...hence "EL-8". The model number has nothing to do with Empirical Labs.

    That bit of self congratulatory back patting concluded...the fact of the matter is that a pair of EL-8's on a 2-bus, with or without the "image mod", just isn't the greatest of 'career moves'. There are at least a dozen other units, including but not limited to the FMR Audio 'RNC compressor' that I would use on 2-buslong before a pair of EL-8's with the image mod. I also haven't done a session in 5 years with out at least a pair of EL-8's,nor would I want to. They're fantastic units!!

    YMMV.
     
  13. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Originally posted by Fletcher:
    Now, Angelo...we've gotta work on getting you into the 21st century with 2-bus compression...I can think of 10 I'd use before any of those for my 2-bus (with the possible exception of a 'metal knobed' 33609...they rock!!!!).

    I suggested those, attempting to approximate the "laquer" vt was asking for, without going over ~$5,000 (ok, maybe 6k).

    But I would love to know what you are using these days. Don't dangle carrots in front of us like that... spit it out man! :)
     
  14. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Besides a single RNC on the 2-bus, might I suggest a lot of people are getting good mileage out of two in series with very moderate settings. Harvey's the one to recomend starting points, I'm still working with but one and quite happy, but I'll be augmenting it as soon as I am able. For more bucks, I hear nothing but raves about the CraneSong stuff, either linked Trekkers (probably the choice for maximum tracking and mixing versatility) or the STC-8 (good enough for *real* mastering). I've seen Mark McQuilken of RNC gush about the STC-8, so that's not a bad endorsement. Still, RNC's kill and it's best to load up before they wise up and quadruple the price.

    da Bear
     
  15. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Doing a couple of compressors in series has become a favorite of mine. I've been digging a 1969 in 'fat' mode (this filters all the bottom out of the detector path, meaning that the kick and bass don't trigger the compression, the vocals do) followed by an STC-8.

    On the STC-8, I generally stay in "A-Mod/Auto Release--fully Variable" mode. Attack around 11:00, release around 9-10:00, "Ki-Hara" switch set to the left side (I can never remember the nomenclature...whichever side the release knob is of 12:00 is where that switch goes for me...I can never keep the names straight).

    I've also alternated in a pair of Crane Song "Trakkers" from time to time, usually in 'Air-Optical-Clean' mode. Now the Crane Song Trakkers while being mono units, actually link, lock and track like a "true stereo" unit. I don't have to go lining up setting, then stand on one foot while swinging a chicken over my head to get them to follow properly. I've even used them as the third compressor in the chain.

    The Pendulum Audio ES-8 or 6386 are to die for georgeous sounding on 2-bus. Again they go into "true stereo" (one set of controls, mono detection). Between the 'fast mode' [which is scary fast...like if you see the meter move more than a 'little bit', you're overusing it!!], the "presets", and the fully variable time constant settings, you're going to find something that works like a serious charm.

    The Avalon 2044 works rather nicely on occassion, as has the 747...though the 747 takes a bit more finesse to really get it to give it up...eventually, if you have the patience to dick with it, it will.

    If you're into that SS-hel-L kinda 'squashed to crap' sound I find the Alan Smart less destructive to the overall presentation than the SSL...though definitely not a favorite for 2-bus.

    If we're going to talk about 'desk compressors'; the 33609 is another favorite, along with 33264a compressor/limiters, and the occasional 2254/E. Currently, for my money, the Daking compressors [I can never remember the model numbers...it's the only compressor they make] is a "current" version of those. It has the balls, it has the tone.

    My friend has been raving to me about the new 'Tube Tech' multi-band thing, though I haven't had an opportunity to play with one yet. Not a multi-band, but a "tube unit", the Innertube "Atomic Squeeze Box" is doing some things that I believe may indeed be illegal in as many as 7 states...at least Idaho and Utah anyway.

    The GML 8900. For the life of me I can't figure out the nomenclature. Much like the 'Atomic Squeezbox', I can't hear it work. I can see the meters changing on both the unit and the mix deck [or should I say storage medium]...but for the life of me, I've never heard one.

    The RNC also works like a charm. It doesn't quite have the cojones that some of the others have, but for $175, who would even have thought it could be mentioned in the same diatribe as a GML 8900...and have the word "competative" be contemplated as a description. The new Great River Electronics MP-2NV mic preamp will allow you to use it during mixes as a "balance box" for the RNC, should you so desire...and if Mark ever gets it finished, the RNMP (Really Nice Mic Pre) will do that as well.

    How's that for a starting point?
     
  16. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Excellent start. What are your thoughts on EAR? (Of course, you know EAW was a typo, right? hehe)

    Which comp's would you reccommend for that extra bit of "jelling together" effect that digital mixers just don't do the same way as analog ones? For that matter, why does an analog mixer instantly make things sound "mixed" while a digital system faithfully keep sounds disparate? And if there is a quantifiable electronic process going on to explain the phenomenon, why can't the digital guys get it right?

    Ladies and gentlemen of the supposed jury, does dat make sense? No, dat does not make sense!
     
  17. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Fletch, at this point I'll agree to disagree. The 1969 was hyped to me by several people as being 'warm sounding'. It just sounded dull to me (not that the distressor sounds warm either.)
    I wouldn't normally put a distressor (cool story about the el-8 name, I've always wondered about that) on a stereo bus. But, as the topic asks, if I had to choose between an pair of EL-8's or the 1969- I'd choose the distressor.
    There's a time and a place, AND a compressor and a sound for everything. I really like throwing DBX163x's on guitars, but I'd never put them on a stereo bus (although I might try it secretly.) ;)
     
  18. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Fair enough. FWIW, the last thing I was going for with the 1969 was "warm", my goal was actually 'flexible transparency'.

    I like reducing the dynamic range at the 2-bus, but I have the tones and textures I want long before I add 2-bus compression.

    I really don't want the 2-bus compressor changing tones, nor textures...just reduce the dynamic range so I can compete with 'Lord Alge's on the radio.

    As for your mileage...vary on my brother!! That's what makes this whole thing so exciting, the differences in the way we work, and the variety of tones/textures produced...on a good day, they support the musical statment. How one gets there is pretty damned irrelevant.
     
  19. Innermusic

    Innermusic Guest

    I know this is a bit off the topic of of 1969 vs. Distressor, but it is still on the topic of 2-bus compression: Isn't the Aphex Compellor really more geared to 2-bus compression?
     
  20. Innermusic

    Innermusic Guest

    Originally posted by Fletcher:
    Now the Crane Song Trakkers while being mono units, actually link, lock and track like a "true stereo" unit. I don't have to go lining up setting, then stand on one foot while swinging a chicken over my head to get them to follow properly.

    I still don't understand why the make-up gain pots don't lock when using the link feature on the 1969. Especially because there are no notches on the pots, there seems to be no way to get the make-up gain on each channel to be identical. Is this a design flaw or was there some reason for it?
     

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