FG-Stress Professional Audio Comparisons

The FG-Stress is an authentic replication of the Empirical Labs Distressor. In order to demonstrate how precisely we matched the hardware, we had some hardware Distressor users process some files with their hardware, and then we matched it using the FG-Stress. The files below are comped between the hardware and software files, and as you’ll hear, the transitions are so seamless that it’s difficult to hear when one stops and the other starts.

It’s important to note that in the examples below, we had the hardware Distressor users follow a strict calibration procedure to align the gain reduction precisely with the software. This is crucial, because even 1db of gain reduction discrepancy will make even two hardware units sound very different. We then carefully matched the timings and output, and due to component tolerances differing, sometimes the hardware setting was slightly off from the software settings. For instance, a user’s attack at 5 could equal the software attack at 4.7, and yes, this very small difference is audible on this unit! If you’d like to match your own hardware Distressor, please download our calibration file package and then follow the calibration directions in this video HERE.

Full Mixes

*Full mix offered to demonstrate detail, not for tasteful compression.*

Eric Hill

Hardware Settings: Ratio-10:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5.5, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-10:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-6, Attack-0, Release-8.9, Output-5.6

Rob Ruccia

Hardware Settings: Ratio-2:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-2:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5.9, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-4.2

Todd Barriage

Hardware Settings: Ratio-NUKE, Detector-HP, Audio-Off, Input-6, Attack-0, Release-0, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-NUKE, Detector-HP, Audio-Off, Input-4.3, Attack-0, Release-0, Output-6.1

Vocal Mixes
Dan Morrell

Hardware Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-HP, Audio-HP/Dist 3, Input-5.3, Attack-10.5, Release-5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-HP, Audio-HP/Dist 3, Input-5.2, Attack-10.5, Release-5.3, Output-3.9

Jesse Zito

Hardware Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5.8, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5, Attack-0, Release-10.4, Output-5.8

Nathan Mcdonough

Hardware Settings: Ratio-NUKE, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5, Attack-5, Release-0, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-NUKE, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-4.1, Attack-5.3, Release-0, Output-5.1

Note: Due to the difference in converters, this user’s interface was much brighter than the interface we used for our tests. Because of this, CS-EQ was added before the FG-Stress to emulate the bright characteristics of his converters, achieving a perfect match.

Drum Mixes
Andy Sneap

Hardware Settings: Ratio-20:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Dist 2, Input-5.75, Attack-5, Release-5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-20:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Dist 2, Input-5, Attack-4.6, Release-4.1, Output-3.4

Dan Flynn

Hardware Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Dist 2, Input-4.8, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Dist 2, Input-5, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-4.5

Todd Barriage

Hardware Settings: Ratio-20:1, Detector-Mid, Audio-Off, Input-6, Attack-0, Release-0, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-20:1, Detector-Mid, Audio-Off, Input-4.4, Attack-0, Release-0, Output-6.2

A, B, C Comparisons

*Full mix offered to demonstrate detail, not for tasteful compression.*

The order of the following audio examples has been randomized in order to ensure an unbiased listening experience.

Andy Sneap – Vocal Mixes

Hardware Settings: Ratio-NUKE, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5.7, Attack-0, Release-0, Output-5

Slate Hardware Settings: Ratio-NUKE, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5, Attack-0, Release-0, Output-8

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-NUKE, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5, Attack-0, Release-0, Output-2.9

Todd Barriage – Full Mixes

Hardware Settings: Ratio-NUKE, Detector-HP, Audio-Off, Input-6, Attack-0, Release-0, Output-5

Slate Hardware Settings: Ratio-NUKE, Detector-HP, Audio-Off, Input-4.3, Attack-0, Release-0, Output-7

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-NUKE, Detector-HP, Audio-Off, Input-4.3, Attack-0, Release-0, Output-6.1

Rob Ruccia – Drum Mixes

Hardware Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-5

Slate Hardware Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5.1, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-9.6

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-4.5

Todd Barriage – Drum Mixes

Hardware Settings: Ratio-20:1, Detector-Mid, Audio-Off, Input-6, Attack-0, Release-0, Output-5

Slate Hardware Settings: Ratio-20:1, Detector-Mid, Audio-Off, Input-4.5, Attack-0, Release-0.1, Output-8.2

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-20:1, Detector-Mid, Audio-Off, Input-4.4, Attack-0, Release-0, Output-6.2

Dan Morrell – Full Mixes

Hardware Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-HP, Audio-HP/Dist 3, Input-5.3, Attack-10.5, Release-5, Output-5

Slate Hardware Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-HP, Audio-HP/Dist 3, Input-4.75, Attack-10.5, Release-5.25, Output-6

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-HP, Audio-HP/Dist 3, Input-5, Attack-10.5, Release-5, Output-3.7

A, B Comparisons – Drum Mixes

*Full mix offered to demonstrate detail, not for tasteful compression.*

The order of the following audio examples has been randomized in order to ensure an unbiased listening experience.

Andy Sneap

Hardware Settings: Ratio-20:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Dist 2, Input-5.75, Attack-5, Release-5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-20:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Dist 2, Input-5, Attack-4.6, Release-4.1, Output-3.4

Dan Flynn

Hardware Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Dist 2, Input-4.8, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Dist 2, Input-5, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-4.5

Dan Morrell

Hardware Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-HP, Audio-HP/Dist 3, Input-5.3, Attack-10.5, Release-5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-HP, Audio-HP/Dist 3, Input-5.1, Attack-10.1, Release-4.5, Output-3.8

Eric Hill

Hardware Settings: Ratio-NUKE, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5.5, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-NUKE, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5.2, Attack-0, Release-9.9, Output-5.5

Jesse Zito

Hardware Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Dist 3, Input-5.8, Attack-0, Release-0, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Dist 3, Input-4.7, Attack-0, Release-0.4, Output-5.8

Nathan McDonough

Hardware Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-HP, Audio-Dist 3, Input-5.5, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-HP, Audio-Dist 3, Input-4.4, Attack-0.3, Release-9.3, Output-4.2
*Note: Due to the difference in converters, this user’s interface was much brighter than the interface we used for our tests. Because of this, CS-EQ was added before the FG-Stress to emulate the bright characteristics of his converters, achieving a perfect match.

Ryan Fonseca

Hardware Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-4.5, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-4.8, Attack-0, Release-10.1, Output-3.8

A, B Comparisons – Full Mixes

*Full mix offered to demonstrate detail, not for tasteful compression.*

The order of the following audio examples has been randomized in order to ensure an unbiased listening experience.

Andy Sneap

Hardware Settings: Ratio-4:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5.7, Attack-10.5, Release-10.5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-4:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5.2, Attack-10.5, Release-10.5, Output-3.4

Dan Flynn

Hardware Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Dist 2, Input-4.8, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Dist 2, Input-5, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-4.6

Eric Hill

Hardware Settings: Ratio-10:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5.5, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-10:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-6, Attack-0, Release-8.9, Output-5.6

Jesse Zito

Hardware Settings: Ratio6-:1, Detector-HP, Audio-HP, Input-5.8, Attack-10.5, Release-0, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-HP, Audio-HP, Input-4.6, Attack-10.5, Release-0, Output-5.7

Nathan McDonough

Hardware Settings: Ratio-2:1, Detector-HP, Audio-Off, Input-5.5, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-2:1, Detector-HP, Audio-Off, Input-4.4, Attack-10.5, Release-0.3, Output-5.1
*Note: Due to the difference in converters, this user’s interface was much brighter than the interface we used for our tests. Because of this, CS-EQ was added before the FG-Stress to emulate the bright characteristics of his converters, achieving a perfect match.

Rob Ruccia

Hardware Settings: Ratio-2:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-2:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5.9, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-4.2

Ryan Fonseca

Hardware Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-4.5, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-4.7, Attack-0, Release-10.1, Output-3.8

A, B Comparisons – Vocal Mixes

*Full mix offered to demonstrate detail, not for tasteful compression.*

The order of the following audio examples has been randomized in order to ensure an unbiased listening experience.

Dan Morrell

Hardware Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-HP, Audio-HP/Dist 3, Input-5.3, Attack-10.5, Release-5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-HP, Audio-HP/Dist 3, Input-5.2, Attack-10.5, Release-5.3, Output-3.9

Eric Hill

Hardware Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5.3, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5, Attack-0, Release-9, Output-5.5

Jesse Zito

Hardware Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5.8, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5, Attack-0, Release-10.4, Output-5.8

Nathan McDonough

Hardware Settings: Ratio-NUKE, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5, Attack-5, Release-0, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-NUKE, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-4.1, Attack-5.3, Release-0, Output-5.1
*Note: Due to the difference in converters, this user’s interface was much brighter than the interface we used for our tests. Because of this, CS-EQ was added before the FG-Stress to emulate the bright characteristics of his converters, achieving a perfect match.

Rob Ruccia

Hardware Settings: Ratio-4:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-4:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-5, Attack-0, Release-10, Output-4.5

Ryan Fonseca

Hardware Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-4.5, Attack-0, Release-10.5, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-6:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Off, Input-4.4, Attack-0, Release-10, Output-3.9

Todd Barriage

Hardware Settings: Ratio-4:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Dist 2, Input-6, Attack-0, Release-0, Output-5

FG-Stress Settings: Ratio-4:1, Detector-Off, Audio-Dist 2, Input-4.7, Attack-0, Release-0.1, Output-6.1