How many times have we heard ourselves, other engineers, and even musicians say “I like the sound of tape, it’s sooooo musical”? We hear it in recording schools, we read about it on forums, we think about it in our spare time; but seriously, who among us who isn’t on the wrong side of 40 has really experienced tape? …or enjoys the inconvenience of tape machines alignment?
Enter the FATSO “EL7” (Full Analog Tape Simulator & Optimizer), which can help eliminate the pining for the forgotten days of great big clunky analog tape machines (and ALL of their associated headaches!!). No longer did the production team have to decide between Scotch 250 or Ampex 456; no longer does the mix engineer have to decide between BASF 911 or Zonal 999 for final mixdown. No longer would engineers argue the merits of an Ampex ATR-102 vs a Studer A-80-RC because the FATSO can give you the positive attributes of ALL of these things, in an adjustable and repeatable manner, without having to stress over sticking with an initial decision!!
Over the last 20 years the EL-8 “DISTortion compRESSOR” has become synonymous with greatness. With well over 25,000 units in the field and working daily, no other compressor is as well known, or well loved as the EL-8 and EL-8X. Pretty much every recording made in the last decade plus has employed at least one, if not several Distressors during the production process, no other unit, from any other manufacturer can make that claim without lying more than a little bit.
The “Distressor” has the capability to run as clean as clean can be, or add a little “attitude” as the user determines is appropriate for the music on which they’re working. Two different “distortion” offerings are created in the analog domain while being controlled digitally for ease of use and repeatability.
Those “distortion” settings are called DIST 2, and DIST 3. When the DIST 2 function is engaged the user will find that “even order” harmonic distortion is added to the signal in a very musical manner, much like when audio is run through a tube circuit that features Triode tubes. When the DIST 3 function is engaged the user will find a fair bit of that “even order” harmonic distortion along with a helping of “odd order” harmonic distortion (like what you’d get from a Pentode tube circuit), which makes the audio a tad brighter and airier in addition to the “thick” qualities of the “even order” harmonic distortion.