Empirical Labs Distressor EL8 Compressor/Limiter
The Empirical Labs Distressor EL8 is the Swiss-army-knife of compressors. Capable of emulating classic vintage designs like the 1176 and the LA-2A, this digitally controlled compressor is a modern studio workhorse. Packed with innovative tone-shaping features, the Distressor delivers an array of desirable sounds: digital, analog, tape, tube and more.
CLASSIC ANALOG SOUNDS
At first glance, the Distressor may seem like your average compressor, but with a little know-how, you can emulate the sound of some of the most iconic compressors of all time. Dial in a classic “Over E-Z” VCA-style sound, recreate five classic 1176 settings including “all-buttons in mode”, or simulate the sound of classic optical compressors like the LA-2A to find the perfect sound for any situation.
Choose from eight digitally-selectable ratios, each with their own unique compression algorithm. From the 1:1 mode that simply warms up signal with low-order harmonics, to the unmistakable NUKE setting — each curve has its own personality, and release shape. With fully-variable attack times ranging from 50 microseconds to 30 milliseconds, and release times ranging from .05 seconds all the way up to 20 seconds, the Distressor is capable of everything from fast, punchy peak limiting to slow, gentle bus compression.
The Distressor is a lot more than just a pretty compression curve, it’s also packed with advanced features for controlling dynamics and coloring tracks with harmonic distortion. While the Distressor is capable of clean, digital-style compression, it’s also equipped with two dedicated distortion generators. Engage Dist 2 to give your tracks a smooth tube-type distortion, rich in second-order harmonics. Or turn on Dist 3 to generate third-order harmonics and emulate the sound of tape compression.
The Distressor also features advanced filtering options for both the side-chain and audio circuits. Aggressively compress bass-heavy tracks without causing pumping using the high-pass filter on the detector circuit. Boost the midrange to keep a dynamic vocal in check. Or use both for a truly one-of-a-kind compression curve!
- Freq. response is 2 Hz to 160 kHz in clean audio mode (+0, -3 dB)
- Response is shaped in distortion modes (Dist 2, Dist 3)
- Dynamic range 110 dB from max. output to min. output in 1:1 mode
- Greater than 100 dB signal to noise in distort 3 mode.
- Distortion ranges between .02% and 20% depending on distortion mode and release times set on front panel
- DC coupled output - high quality input caps
- Input impedance is 20K Ohms, output impedance is < 75 ohms
- Time constants - Attack range 50uS - 50mS
- Release range .05 sec to 3.5 seconds, normal modes and up to 20 seconds in 10:1 opto mode
- Time constants are dependant on ratio
- Metal chassis - single height 1.75" high, 10" deep, 19" wide
|Tube or Solid State||Solid State|
There is a reason you see Distressors in every studio - it is an indispensable piece of gear. Really no need to chase vintage compressors, as you can dial up almost any form of squish in this box, along with some other interesting tricks. For VoiceOver, the built-in HP side chain function is magic on deep, resonant voices. I’ve used a lot of different compressors over the years, should have bought a Distressor out of the gate rather than waiting but better late than never.
Most versatile compressor ever made period!
This compressor just kicks ass. It can take vocals that are flat and lifeless and bounce them up to slice through upfront in the mix with vocals that pop and shine.
I'm mad at myself for waiting so long to get a Distressor. It is absolutely fantastic at making recordings sound more "like a record" right off the bat. I opted for the standard El8 because if its good enough for Eric Valentine, i think it will be fine for me.
I awesome piece to my studio love this
Great customer service
If you are having a hard time picking a specific compresor; Fet vs. Opto vs. VCA.. grab a Distressor - this is the Swiss Army knife of compressors, a literal Chamelean that can give you all of the above. From Gentle to Agressive this compressor gives you it all and that is why it has become a staple in studios today. (Don't for get the harmonics and the NUKE button - fun for days!!!!)
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