Too much choice

Computer Music - - Reviews | Universal Audio Empirical Labs El8 Distr -

With three truly ex­cel­lent Distressor plu­g­ins now avail­able, how does the hap­less in-the­box pro­ducer choose be­tween them?

First of all, we can em­phat­i­cally state that if 100% flaw­less em­u­la­tion is your pri­mary con­cern, UA’s EL8 Distressor is the one to go for… as­sum­ing, of course, you’re pack­ing the nec­es­sary DSP hard­ware: an Apollo or UAD-2 in­ter­face. If you’re not, you’ll need to fac­tor in at a min­i­mum of £590 on top of the price of the plugin.

For those who pre­fer to keep things na­tive, FG-Stress runs in Slate Dig­i­tal’s Vir­tual Mix Rack plugin and stands as a cheaper but near-in­dis­tin­guish­able-in-the-mix al­ter­na­tive.

Arousor is now a bit of a puzzler. It adds a few new fea­tures to the Distressor core, in­clud­ing the bril­liant At­tack Mod­i­fi­ca­tion pa­ram­e­ter and vari­able soft clip­ping, but feels rather less like the hard­ware be­cause of it. Per­haps that one should be viewed as the next gen­er­a­tion of Distressor.

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