This week for More Gear Monday I’ll be showing off our recently purchased Distressor EL8 made at Empirical Labs. This analog compressor is a game changer! Now that its been a couple months since we got this beautiful piece I can share with you some of my thoughts on it. First off the Distressor is fundamentally an analog compressor. It prevents your signal from peaking by pushing down the louder parts, but it also does so much more. Unlike its digital plugin relatives the Distressor excites and changes the audio, fattening up the harmonic content of the sound source. And it sounds awesome!
The Distressor is so versatile that I have not yet had a reason to use half of its capabilities. It first impressed me while using it on some guitars and drums on a project I’m working on with Patrick Scott (an up and coming singer, seriously watch out for this kid. He has a voice like you wouldn’t believe). For the most part I have been using the Distressor a lot for vocals. It really kicked some ass on a track I recently recorded with Family Affair and Angelo Cortez called Lay Down. We recently did a remix version featuring Tef Poe… so dope. I couldn’t have done it without the Distressor. I should probably also give a shout out to Sound Toys Decapitator here.
I used to think that plugins were just as good as outboard gear for simple tasks like compression, but having spent a few weeks mixing with the Distressor I’ll admit that I was dead wrong. Even though the price tag on the Distressor was way higher than any plugin out there (even though we found a decent deal for one) you get what you pay for. Here at Suburban Pro Studios we cut no cost to provide the highest quality records possible. We may not have all the money in the world (yet) but over the years we have been able to obtain a lot of great (expensive) audio gear. The constant reinvestment into our studio is one reason why Suburban Pro Studios is the best recording studio in St. Louis.