Too much choice
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.