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TR-909 through a Distressor
Old 25th September 2012
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
TR-909 through a Distressor

So, I am on a tight budget & I have a Mackie 1640i mixer with a TR-909. I basically sold a good portion of my older gear in order to buy the TR-909. I just love the groove & the tones. Anyway, I am always frustrated at the way the drums sound through the mixer with just EQ. I am thinking about buying a compressor that will give the drums some character. I really admire Levon Vincent's style / sound & I know he uses a Distressor to get his drums sounding the way that they do.

So, the ultimate question is, do I buy a Distressor or get a Prophet 08 rack module? Or, do I get an Octatrack? Octatrack would be nice, but then I'd still be complaining about how the drums don't sound nice. Same with the P08...

My limit is about $1200... & its the only money I'll have to spend on new gear for a few months.

I just love analog fatness & warmth. I have a tough time working in software because it feels fake to me. Has no life to it. I feel lonely working in software.

Since Distressor is only 1 channel in & 1 channel out I would have to put it on a AUX send or a SUB bus, correct? & then just record individually into the software?

The plan would be to have my TR-909 drums running individually to the Mackie 1640i inputs 1-10. Then, I could hookup the Distressor on an AUX send.. or a SUB Buss, I guess that makes more sense. Then, launch Ableton & record the drums from the Sub bus. I know I'd have to record each drum track individually or as smaller groups, but I think the overally achieved sound is WELL worth it with a Distressor...

Am I being misled by my assumptions on this piece of gear? I want to be able to record all my sounds through the distressor into ableton & then maybe compress the master out again through the distressor...

maybe this is too complicated a process... i dont know..

alex
Old 25th September 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
kreeper_6's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've heard nothing but good things about the Distressor, its reputation is solid. I don't have any hardware processors yet but I do use UADs FATSO plugin and it absolutely kills any drum machine I throw at it. A lovely piece that I will be purchasing one day.
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kreeper_6 ➑️
I've heard nothing but good things about the Distressor, its reputation is solid. I don't have any hardware processors yet but I do use UADs FATSO plugin and it absolutely kills any drum machine I throw at it. A lovely piece that I will be purchasing one day.
what are the differences between the Fatso & Distressor???
Old 25th September 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
kevin nowhow's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hi Alex,
Since you'll be using Live to record why discard the potential of software compressors?Having to deal with auxiliaries to compress is not ideal & since you already have a 1640i that means you can sent individual tracks into the computer digitally & process them flawlessly.With 1200$ at your disposal you can buy lots of different soft dynamic processors, each with its own character & trust me that anyone will be hard pressed to tell the difference.I've heard sound files processed with a hardware 1176 vs a soft version & to my ears it doesn't justify spending 2500$ for one.If you were a studio owner, making big money out of it then it would be a different story.But you are like me.Bottom line is you need to get the job done by whatever means you have available.Soon you'll realize that you need to a compressor for this, another compressor for that, delay, reverb, gate, filters, noise-reduction...The list is vast.You can address these problems by clicking on your VST folder.There is even a distressor plugin if I'm not mistaken.If you really want to use the original then by all means go for it.All i'm saying is that software has come a loooooong way to disregard it & in the long run, you'll benefit from it.
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin nowhow ➑️
Hi Alex,
Since you'll be using Live to record why discard the potential of software compressors?Having to deal with auxiliaries to compress is not ideal & since you already have a 1640i that means you can sent individual tracks into the computer digitally & process them flawlessly.With 1200$ at your disposal you can buy lots of different soft dynamic processors, each with its own character & trust me that anyone will be hard pressed to tell the difference.I've heard sound files processed with a hardware 1176 vs a soft version & to my ears it doesn't justify spending 2500$ for one.If you were a studio owner, making big money out of it then it would be a different story.But you are like me.Bottom line is you need to get the job done by whatever means you have available.Soon you'll realize that you need to a compressor for this, another compressor for that, delay, reverb, gate, filters, noise-reduction...The list is vast.You can address these problems by clicking on your VST folder.There is even a distressor plugin if I'm not mistaken.If you really want to use the original then by all means go for it.All i'm saying is that software has come a loooooong way to disregard it & in the long run, you'll benefit from it.
Yeah, you know you're right. Maybe I should invest in a UAD FireWire unit instead...
Old 25th September 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
 
ELI-173's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I would always suggest buying an inspiring instrument over a dynamics processor (or eq). Chances are it will have more impact on your creativity.
Old 25th September 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 
JSt0rm's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
A 909 needs processing to come alive.
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by vizon ➑️
So, I am on a tight budget & I have a Mackie 1640i mixer with a TR-909. I basically sold a good portion of my older gear in order to buy the TR-909. I just love the groove & the tones. Anyway, I am always frustrated at the way the drums sound through the mixer with just EQ. I am thinking about buying a compressor that will give the drums some character. I really admire Levon Vincent's style / sound & I know he uses a Distressor to get his drums sounding the way that they do.

So, the ultimate question is, do I buy a Distressor or get a Prophet 08 rack module? Or, do I get an Octatrack? Octatrack would be nice, but then I'd still be complaining about how the drums don't sound nice. Same with the P08...

My limit is about $1200... & its the only money I'll have to spend on new gear for a few months.

I just love analog fatness & warmth. I have a tough time working in software because it feels fake to me. Has no life to it. I feel lonely working in software.

Since Distressor is only 1 channel in & 1 channel out I would have to put it on a AUX send or a SUB bus, correct? & then just record individually into the software?

The plan would be to have my TR-909 drums running individually to the Mackie 1640i inputs 1-10. Then, I could hookup the Distressor on an AUX send.. or a SUB Buss, I guess that makes more sense. Then, launch Ableton & record the drums from the Sub bus. I know I'd have to record each drum track individually or as smaller groups, but I think the overally achieved sound is WELL worth it with a Distressor...

Am I being misled by my assumptions on this piece of gear? I want to be able to record all my sounds through the distressor into ableton & then maybe compress the master out again through the distressor...

maybe this is too complicated a process... i dont know..

alex
Yeah I like Levon's sounds too. Cheers to the good taste.
Why not spend $200 on some cheap processing and $1K towards and Octatrack or P08. That way you get an instrument and some processing for your 909.


[QUOTEvizon;8292363]what are the differences between the Fatso & Distressor???[/QUOTE]

+1K give or take. Most likely you give, they take!!!
Old 25th September 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
A mono compressor would annoy me. Get something with two channels so you can use it on the drum bus.
Old 25th September 2012
  #10
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Ossicle's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
If you like Levon's sound and feel, don't invest on software!

I can't comment much on the Distressor since I've never used it. I considered it once but were never convinced that it would sound 1500 euros better than software.

Distressor - still worth it?

I would consider a colourful (= tubes, transformers etc.) buss compressor if I were you. The Shadow Hills Dual Vandergraph looks very tempting for a drum buss comp.


Ps. In the UQ gang I think Dj QU has the best sounding drums but Levon probably the best music overall.
Old 25th September 2012
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Barfunkel's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'd check out the Overstayer compressors, if you're located in the US. Supposedly very good for the drum bus, and they're much cheaper than pretty much every other compressor that's good for the drum bus.
Old 25th September 2012
  #12
Lives for gear
 
MrTechno's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
As you know all 909's are processed and there are many ways to do this.

I own both the 909 and the Distressor and it does amazing things to drums, especially the kick and snare. I only use my mono distressor on the Kick and snare, all the other drum parts are sent to a stereo drum bus.

You need to decide what is more important to you. You could of course run all your drums in mono and use the distressor but this may not be ideal.
Think about the stereo distressor for the drum bus.
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
MrTechno's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ossicle ➑️
If you like Levon's sound and feel, don't invest on software!

I can't comment much on the Distressor since I've never used it. I considered it once but were never convinced that it would sound 1500 euros better than software.

Distressor - still worth it?

I would consider a colourful (= tubes, transformers etc.) buss compressor if I were you. The Shadow Hills Dual Vandergraph looks very tempting for a drum buss comp.


Ps. In the UQ gang I think Dj QU has the best sounding drums but Levon probably the best music overall.
ha ha it does sound 1500 Euros better than software each and every time I use it.
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Ossicle's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTechno ➑️
ha ha it does sound 1500 Euros better than software each and every time I use it.
The thing is, I can't disagree with that since I've never used it.

Would you (or anyone else) consider doing a big favor for many of us and post some examples of 909 processed with the Distressor? U know, wet/dry, mild/aggressive etc.
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
MrTechno's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ossicle ➑️
The thing is, I can't disagree with that since I've never used it.

Would you (or anyone else) consider doing a big favor for many of us and post some examples of 909 processed with the Distressor? U know, wet/dry, mild/aggressive etc.
I would indeed do this for you however it would have to wait 2 weeks or so as I am on vacation currently and away from the studio.

However I would PM Schmuck he has a 909 and a distressor I believe.

He recently put up a 909 audio file on the Elysia Mpressor thread I started. He passed the 909 through this so I am sure he would do this for you.

He is a great guy, not 100% sure has a distressor though.
I am sure is Schmuck dont do this some other great guy on here with a 909 and a distressor will.

I know what you mean you need to hear it.
Let me know in 2 weeks time if no one has provided you with an audio file and I will do this for you.
Old 25th September 2012
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I had actually made a joke about Mr.V posting a guess the compressor game a while back. If I recall correctly he had posted a 909 through an SSL G-series comp. It was quite impressive. I was really hoping he would do it. His response was only real studio nerds would be able to tell the difference... thought I was posting at GS.... But yeah I would like to hear a 909 through several different compressors as well. Just for reference, you know so I can pick the most expensive one and then pine for it for the next year!!!
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSt0rm ➑️
A 909 needs processing to come alive.
no it doesent.. but to have a more original sound from it you need processing.

distressor is a bit pricy.. some cheaper compressors do a nice job too
Old 25th September 2012
  #18
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cdog's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Get a UAD and a P08
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #19
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JSt0rm's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioconsult ➑️
no it doesent..
Is that opinion or fact?
Old 25th September 2012 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSt0rm ➑️
Is that opinion or fact?
It's an opinion but I whole heatedly agree, there's plenty of tunes made with just 909 but unless your willing to sample it and run software fx over it (might as well use samples?), your other option is to change the sound before you record it.

I've sort of come to the point of accepting a lack of funds for processing right now, the cost of a 909 plus dynamics plus fx is too much for me, I sold my 909 as it was in perfect condition, I've kept my 808 (which I don't use that much ) because its in great condition. Samples, machinedrum, soft synths (maschine) is enough, maybe one day I can afford everything I want but today is not that day.

Good luck OP, I think distressor will do you well, check out the golden age stuff and have think about 500 modules, that probably the way I'd go for drum machines dynamics, that and some eventide fx (black hole & older racks), DP4 and eurorack
Old 26th September 2012
  #21
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schmuck's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
To be honest I cannot imagine that having a drum machine and then recording every single source separately through an aux of a mixer with a HW processor is more fun than just putting a nice plugin on single AND the drum bus and tweak them until it is right.

If sw is an option, I really would recommend the mpressor plugin for this application.

I like the overstayer fet for electronic drums too. Distressor I don't know (haven't got one..) but I am sure it will do the job ;-)
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
  #22
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MrTechno's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmuck ➑️
To be honest I cannot imagine that having a drum machine and then recording every single source separately through an aux of a mixer with a HW processor is more fun than just putting a nice plugin on single AND the drum bus and tweak them until it is right.

If sw is an option, I really would recommend the mpressor plugin for this application.

I like the overstayer fet for electronic drums too. Distressor I don't know (haven't got one..) but I am sure it will do the job ;-)
Funny that, no Distressor. Look further up the thread and I was suggesting the OP contact you.
Old 26th September 2012 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
schmuck's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTechno ➑️
Funny that, no Distressor. Look further up the thread and I was suggesting the OP contact you.
I know I saw it. Poor me not even having a couple of distressors haha ;-)
Old 26th September 2012
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
FakeOnMercy's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
poor poor boys

have a distressor pair, please send your 909 to me and I'll run her sound thru those beauties (well actually they look ugly, but the sound is nice) and maybe... just maybe will send the 909 back

all kidding aside, I would be happy to process some of your 909 loops, so you get a bit of a feel how it sounds, just let me know if I can help you
Old 27th September 2012 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
MrTechno's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmuck ➑️
I know I saw it. Poor me not even having a couple of distressors haha ;-)
Schmuck I am surprised you own no Distressor?

Well prior to the Elysia this was my fav comp.
I won 4 of them, ha ha ha ooopss own 4 of them, I wish won!!!

love em, I use on everything. I mean everything.
Old 27th September 2012 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
MrTechno's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by FakeOnMercy ➑️
poor poor boys

have a distressor pair, please send your 909 to me and I'll run her sound thru those beauties (well actually they look ugly, but the sound is nice) and maybe... just maybe will send the 909 back

all kidding aside, I would be happy to process some of your 909 loops, so you get a bit of a feel how it sounds, just let me know if I can help you
Really I love the look of the Distressor, sure not as good looking as My Elysia or API's but the Distressors have the most fattest looking Knobs.
They bad!!
Old 27th September 2012
  #27
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
i came here for a dl link
Old 27th September 2012 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
FakeOnMercy's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTechno ➑️
Really I love the look of the Distressor, sure not as good looking as My Elysia or API's but the Distressors have the most fattest looking Knobs.
They bad!!
What I dont like about the Distressors is the lettertypes they used. They look cheap.

I have a Rockruepel Comp One on demo at the moment... the Mpressor looks like a kids toy compared to the Comp One... omg... it's looks really bad ass sub marine torpedo launcher blah blah

Wait!!! What??? You have 4 mpressors?!?!?!?
Old 27th September 2012 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
schmuck's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTechno ➑️
Schmuck I am surprised you own no Distressor?
I am sure I would like the distressors but the excess has to stop somewhere (for now). Actually, I think today I would buy a pendulum limiter before a pair of distressors...just to push the main bus that went through outboard into the limiter a bit before going back into the DAW...(so back to excess again


Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTechno ➑️
I won 4 of them, ha ha ha ooopss own 4 of them, I wish won!!!
I constantly *win* stuff on ebay
Old 27th September 2012 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
ionian's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by FakeOnMercy ➑️
I have a Rockruepel Comp One on demo at the moment... the Mpressor looks like a kids toy compared to the Comp One...
You have to see one in person. The high end Elysia stuff blows away anything I've seen when it comes to industrial design in gear! It may not look like WW II gear, which is what's hot for a lot of gear at the moment, but if you're into forward thinking sleek looks, their high end stuff is hard to beat.

The faceplate is this gritty, textured matte colored steel. It's 1/4 inch thick, which is fat as hell for the faceplate of a rack unit. I have a MuseQ which has the same textured faceplate and when I first took it out of the box, I didn't think my rack screws were going to be long enough to hold it in!

The knobs on the Mpressor are metal, which just adds to the whole sleek look. Weighs a ton, probably because of all the steel.

If all you've seen is the xpressor or the nvelope, don't go by that. Their high end stuff totally looks like and feels like what you've paid for it.

That being said, I do like the little Vargas girl VU meters on the Rockreupel. They add a nice kitsch factor that's missing from gear these days.

Regards,
Frank
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