In the last tutorial, we showed you how to use MotorTown’s built in effects to radically change the timbre of the original drum set. Today, we’re going to take this one step further with the help of Disto. As you might already know, Disto is a powerful compressor plugin that can handle even massive amounts of gain reduction with ease. Starting out with the drum sound we created in bespoke earlier session, we will crush it relentlessly with Disto and achieve a massive sounding drum loop that barely resembles the initial MotorTown set.

Here’s what the original loop sounds like:

And here’s what it sounds like with Disto engaged:

Under Pressure

In order to achieve this sound, we will use pretty much all of Disto’s features: compression, saturation, tape saturation, etc. Since we’re looking for a rather aggressive effect we choose the ‘ORIGINAL’ mode in the drop-down menu at the bottom of the user interface. Let’s take care of the compression now. We’re aiming for an average gain reduction of -6dB to -8dB. But before we dial that in using the GAIN-knob at the upper left corner of the interface we engage a high pass filter (HP2). By using a hefty RATIO of infinity:1 the drums will literally get squashed. We want to preserve the transients of the individual hits while simultaneously emphasize the rhythm of the loop. This can be achieved by choosing a long ATTACK value of 8-9 and the shortest RELEASE time possible.

Now for the saturation and distortion. The first stage where we will introduce some extra harmonics i.e. saturation is the DRIVE section next to the VOL-knob (make up gain). We go for DIST3.

The second stage is the HOTTITUDE-section in the lower left corner of the interface. We turn the control up to 4 and activate the TRAFO. Finally, we introduce some tape-style saturation with the WARMTH-knob to, er, warm things up and roll off some highs. A value of just below 3 will suffice.

The interface of Disto should now look something like this:


Below you will find the preset text for Disto. Simply select the whole text with your mouse, copy it into the clipboard of your computer, and paste it into an instance of Disto using the PRESET PASTE button at the bottom of the interface.

Disto 020001
Gain1 0.3049999774 Attack1 0.8700000048 Release1 0.0000000000 Volume1 0.7900000215
Gain2 0.5000000000 Attack2 0.5000000000 Release2 0.5000000000 Volume2 0.0000000000
Hottitude1 0.3949999809 Warmth1 0.2849999964 Hottitude2 0.0000000000 Warmth2 0.0000000000
BypComp1 0.0000000000 BypComp2 1.0000000000 BypSat1 0.0000000000 BypSat2 1.0000000000
DistMode1 0.8000000119 DistMode2 0.0000000000 Ratio1 1.0000000000 Ratio2 0.0000000000
SCMode 0.4000000060 StereoMode 0.0000000000 Transformer1 1.0000000000 Transformer2 0.0000000000
WarmthOn1 1.0000000000 WarmthOn2 0.0000000000 UK1 0.0000000000 UK2 0.0000000000
Mode 0.1000000015