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#1683184 - 07/17/05 06:31 PM Compression confusion. . . Waves Renaissance versus The Distressor
umkcprof Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/05/04
Posts: 158
Loc: Kansas City
Hi all. . .

I tried to place an order for a Distressor yesterday (stereo, image link, British mode) and was DISTRESSED that the place I found the best price for it didn't have one in stock! Taking this as some sort of "sign," (no, I don't believe in signs, but it did give me a moment to pause) and being one to read reviews whenever they are available, I found a Rip Rowen review of my Waves Renaissance compressor (henceforth, WRC) (BTW, it is installed on my Y96K card). He claimed in that review that the WRC was every bit the equal of the best stand alone compressor units. Indeed, he clearly loved the doggone thing.

Now, the question, since I am DISTRESSED and hurting for expertise (in everything but economics, understanding women, and art), and the Distressor is $3000, I have to ask:

What does a $3000 Distressor buy me that my Waves card doesn't allow me to do now? I'm more than willing to fork over the cash (after all, why stop now?) for a Distressor, but I'd love to know the advantages of each unit over the other, if there, indeed, any at all. If it really six of one, half a dozen of the other, I'd rather not buy one.

So, members of the Fellowship of Gear, what shall it be? You have yet to steer me wrong. . .

Sincerely,

Steve
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#1683185 - 07/18/05 01:08 AM Re: Compression confusion. . . Waves Renaissance versus The Distressor
bdbklyn Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 04/04/01
Posts: 1035
Loc: Los Angeles,CA,UNITED STATES
I don't remeber paying near $3k for a Distressor.
Try Andy Grad @ West L.A. Music 310-477-1945.
Tell him I told you to call.

I've found many highly rated plugins less than stellar sounding compared to the hardware versions. I was less than impressed when the "British mod" came out for the Distressor as well.

Having a harware version of the Distressor would allow you to have it in the
recording chain while recording before your converters. That might be pretty useful.
Bill Dooley
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#1683186 - 07/18/05 01:15 AM Re: Compression confusion. . . Waves Renaissance versus The Distressor
Groove Team Productions Offline
Member

Registered: 02/28/03
Posts: 7
Loc: New York, NY
I owned a Y56 and currently own Waves Platinum, 3 UAD-1 cards, and various other software compressors. I also have a rack of outboard compressors including distressor, focusrite, avalon, dbx, and RNC. Although, I will admit that the software compressors work well and sound great in most applications, the distressor and one or two others seem to provide a little smoother sound. I do not believe any software compressor can truly equal the sound of the very high end hardware compressors or eq's. The software compressors have presence but seem to be a little harsher, a little too much edge. They are close in most applications, but I would suggest going to the hardware for lead vocal tracks in the mix, all vocal tracking, and sometimes during mastering if you are not getting what you want from software. Also, generally even if you got the distressor and decided you did not want to keep it, they are usually very easy to sell. Good Luck.

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#1683187 - 07/18/05 04:33 AM Re: Compression confusion. . . Waves Renaissance versus The Distressor
Philip O'Keefe Offline
10k Club

Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 17674
Loc: Riverside,CA,UNITED STATES
Steve, FWIW, I own Waves Ren Comp, and while I really do like it a lot, I still plan on getting a pair of Distressors (with stereo link and Brit Mods of course)... so if that tells you anything... ;\)

BTW Bill, Steve is considering a STEREO Distressor... \:\)

And while I agree that $3K is a bit too much for it, it's still going to cost more than a single / mono channel, and closer to $3K than to $2K. I'd estimate about $2.5-2.6K with no mods, and closer to $2.7-2.8K for one with the Brit mod.
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#1683188 - 07/18/05 07:41 AM Re: Compression confusion. . . Waves Renaissance versus The Distressor
umkcprof Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/05/04
Posts: 158
Loc: Kansas City
So let it be written. . . do let it be done. . .

Thanks, gentlemen. . .

I'll place that order today. . .

:-)
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#1683189 - 07/18/05 07:42 AM Re: Compression confusion. . . Waves Renaissance versus The Distressor
umkcprof Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/05/04
Posts: 158
Loc: Kansas City
Actually, I see that I botched my Yul Brenner quote. Let's try it again:

"So let it be written. . . SO let it be done."
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#1683190 - 07/18/05 07:48 AM Re: Compression confusion. . . Waves Renaissance versus The Distressor
where02190 Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 5402
Loc: Weymouth, Ma. USA
The Distressor is worth the wait.
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#1683191 - 07/18/05 08:41 AM Re: Compression confusion. . . Waves Renaissance versus The Distressor
Lee Flier Offline
10k Club

Registered: 09/13/00
Posts: 15398
Loc: Atlanta,GA,UNITED STATES
There is really no comparison between a software compressor and hardware, although a lot of people will try to tell you otherwise.

That doesn't mean software compressors don't have their uses. A lot of them work well in their own right, but geez. I normally like Rip Rowan but I don't see where he gets off saying the Ren Comp is the equal of the Distressor. Even if each of them could get all the same sounds as the other (which they can't), there are still applications where you want to use a hardware compressor over software. For instance if you want to compress during tracking, in order to hit your converter with a nice strong signal, you don't have a whole lot of choice but to use hardware now do ya? \:D

In any case... I've used both for a long time, and I don't have much money, but when I do an important session I generally rent a Distressor or two (or something comparable). I wouldn't go spending my hard earned dough on that if I could get the same quality from my Waves comps. Nuff said.
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#1683192 - 07/18/05 10:23 AM Re: Compression confusion. . . Waves Renaissance versus The Distressor
alcohol_ Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 06/18/00
Posts: 3457
Loc: Boston, MA USA
I have the MCDSP software compressor, adveritsed as every compressor ever made, touted to be equal or superior to the Waves Renaissance compressor.

I use it a lot but it has never been able to get me the sounds I get with the Distressor.

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#1683193 - 07/18/05 05:48 PM Re: Compression confusion. . . Waves Renaissance versus The Distressor
umkcprof Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/05/04
Posts: 158
Loc: Kansas City
Okay, okay. . . I'm sold. . .

Where in the heck do you guys suggest I find a STEREO Distressor with image link and British mode for $2700??? Phil??? Any suggestions?

I can't find it anywhere for anything less than a millimeter under $3000.

Thanks again. . .

Steve
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#1683194 - 07/18/05 08:09 PM Re: Compression confusion. . . Waves Renaissance versus The Distressor
bdbklyn Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 04/04/01
Posts: 1035
Loc: Los Angeles,CA,UNITED STATES
What did Andy say?
Bill
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#1683195 - 07/18/05 09:02 PM Re: Compression confusion. . . Waves Renaissance versus The Distressor
HiRoller Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 401
Loc: Portland, OR USA
here it is for $2850.
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#1683196 - 07/18/05 09:36 PM Re: Compression confusion. . . Waves Renaissance versus The Distressor
Philip O'Keefe Offline
10k Club

Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 17674
Loc: Riverside,CA,UNITED STATES
http://www.mercenary.com/empiricallabs.html Ask for Fletcher. Without the Brit mode, they want $2,600, and $2,850 with it. I highly recommend the Brit mod. BTW, the stereo units have the linkage already installed stock IIRC. \:\)

Check with Andy at W. LA Music (See Bill's post above).

Also Sweetwater carries them... they have the price listed a bit higher than Mercenary, but they might be willing to haggle a bit... I dunno. \:\)

All of the above are "good people" and will treat you well. And if they don't, please drop me a note - I only recommend good people who I've dealt with before. ;\)
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Phil O'Keefe
Sound Sanctuary Recording
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