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Empirical Labs Distressor EL8

Empirical Labs Distressor EL8

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Empirical Labs Distressor EL8

The Empirical Labs Distressor EL8 is a digitally-controlled analogue compressor designed to incorporate the characteristics of classic compressors such as the 1176, LA-2A and Gain Brain into a modern compressor.


The Empirical Labs Distressor EL8 packs unique feature sets and a wide range of controls suited for modern productions while offering a warm and vintage sound through a unique gain control circuit. Based around eight compression curves ranging from 1:1 to the Nuke Brickwall limiting mode the Distressor is capable of mimicking different types of compressors with each curve exhibiting its own sonic personality.


In addition to the eight curves, a central element to the Distressor is the three different modes which colour the signal even without compression happening. These have been designed to emulate some old vintage compressors and limiters by adding programmable warm harmonic distortion. In addition to the classic Distort mode, Distort 2 and Distort 3 add 2nd and 3rd order harmonics respectively to add tube or tape saturation. Two high-pass filters are included, one in the audio path and the second one in the side-chain path to avoid excessive low-end triggering the compressor.


Empirical Labs Distressor EL8 Analogue Compressor Main Features:
• Frequency response: 2Hz to 160kHz 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.
• 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: 20K ohms
• Output impedance: < 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 dependent on ratio.
• Metal chassis
• Dimensions: 1.75" H x 10" D x 19" W

Short Description Single channel harmonic distortion & digitally controlled analogue knee compression.
Demo in Store N/A
Manufacturer Empirical Labs
Old Price N/A
Dynamics Type Compressor
Valve / Solid State Solid State
Channel Count Dual Channel
Chassis Rackmount
Compression Type Hybrid
Attack 50uS to 50mS
Release .05 sec to 3.5 seconds, up to 20 seconds in 10:1 opto mode
Ratio 1:1, 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, 6:1, 10:1, 20:1 & Nuke
Threshold Variable
Digital I/O N/A
High Pass Filter No
Side Chain Input No

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The most impressive and versatile compressor I have ever used Michael Brauer - 7 times Grammy winner
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