Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor

$40 / Weekend $88 / Month

Key Features:

  • Classic knee sound with modern noise specs and improved performance. The Distressor really grabs.
  • Programmable analog distortion/warmth helpful in the pristine but unforgiving digital world. Three audio modes provide user-programmable, warm harmonic distortion. Emphasized tube-like, 2nd harmonic in clean and Distort 2 mode. In Distort 3 mode, the distortion becomes dominated by 3rd harmonic, more similar to tape.
  • Distortion indicator lights A 1% LED and a "Redline" (3%) LED. No hard clipping until a few dB past "Redline."
  • Advanced built-in sidechain EQ High mid band emphasis prevents harsh, edgy guitars or vocals from hurting innocent ears. Low cut keeps the low "sum & difference" frequencies from pumping the upper frequencies of source material.
  • Foolproof operation Even though there are 384 possible settings (not counting knob settings), it's almost impossible to get a bad sound. Keep all knobs on 5 or 6 (around middle) with ratio at 6:1 and you won't go wrong.
  • Eight unique curves from the 1:1 mode that simply warms up signal with low order harmonics without intentional compression, to the "Nuke" setting -- a brickwall limiting curve that shines on live drum room mics. Each curve has its own personality, and release shape. Most exceptional is the 10:1 "Opto" ratio which uses separate circuitry to emulate the oldest (and valued) "light controlled" devices, such as the LA-2A etc. See manual to emulate other compressors of old.
  • Discrete and integrated combination the best of speed/linearity with repeatability.
  • Hand tested & selected components.
  • Huge knobs with high resolution numbering for easy readability and repeatable settings. They also go to 10 and a half.
  • Locked, calibrated, output level Allows speed in setting tape and live mix levels.
  • Stereo Strappable