Stereo Linking Back to top
This is one of the most common areas of questions we get: "How do you use two Distressors in Stereo? "
First, lets clarify something, there is not a stereo Distressor at this time - it is a "stereo pair", or two Distressors. Usually these are shipped together and are consecutive serial numbers, although any two Distressors should work just fine together.
This section describes the original phase linking shipped with Distressors.
Stereo operation requires only two things:
1) That you hook up two (preferably) short 1/4" phone (guitar) cables plugged from Stereo Link input of one unit to Link output of second unit and vice versa
2) the unit has the Link function selected on the front (the RED "Link "LED in the Detector Mode should be lit) on both units.
(Umm - I mean 3 things!)
3) You should match all front panel settings on the two "left and right" units to maintain imaging. Using a calibration tone (such as 1 Khz) into both channels can help ensure level and G.R. matching. However, unlike most units, the user has the option to treat the left and right channels differently.
An example of this may be when one channel has a heavy low frequency source (such as a tom drum) that is causing both sides to pump. You could put the side without the L.F. source into DET HP mode to prevent that side from excessively modulating, allowing you to set the release a little faster on the side with the boomy tom.
Sometimes for room mics, keeping the units unlinked actually makes them sound more stereo. This is due to unique left and right ambient envelopes widening the stereo image.
NOTE: Empirical Labs now has a second link type - a more standard "Image Linking" that locks both channels to the same G.R. This requires a hardware change at the factory. Once installed, you have three methods of linking.
Click here for more info - Image Link Option & the British Mode option.
Why don't I hear Distortion in the Dist modes? Back to top
The type of distortion the Distressor produces isn't supposed to be heavy guitar amp type distortion. It was designed to sound like the somewhat grungier circuits from the early days of audio, when designers had to kick and scrap to get 1% THD (Total harmonic distortion) out of a tube or transistor. Whereas today, a 30 cent op amp IC today can get .002% THD without even trying! However, the old tube and Class A transistor distortion often had this pleasing "bite" or urgency to it. Our goal with the distortion circuits in the Distressor, was to allow the user to recover some of this vintage "bite".
There are ways however to make the distortion more obvious. First, slowing up the attack will let the peaks hit harder and soften the compression, allowing hotter operating levels around the distortion generators. Quickening the release can sometimes do the same thing since it "sucks" up the signal back to hot levels after it is done compressing a signal.