Empirical LabsEL7x FATSO Analog Tape Simulator


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Empirical Labs EL7x FATSO Analog Tape Simulator

The Empirical Labs Fatso EL7x is an analog tape simulator and optimizer with two channels, a brand new compressor ratio, a redesigned interface, and unique display functionality. Think of the unit as an analog device under tight digital control that yields sonic characteristics similar to those of older tubes, class A electronics, and magnetic tape mechanisms. 

The Fatso is a surprisingly-unique audio processor due to its effective integration of frequencies and transients, as well as tight control over peak levels. The module’s new compression ratio, Eleven, emulates the UREI 1176LN for a 20:1 ratio. Using this setting with a slower attack allows the transients to keep the dynamics present, while using it at a higher ratio can drastically eliminate dynamic range. This makes the module quite useful for vocals, pianos, acoustic guitars, and other sources that require their own etched presence in a mix. 

The Fatso also excels at enhancing the sound of HDRs and DAWs. Rather than relying on the DAW or HDR itself for the quality of the mix, why not outboard the signal to the Fatso for decadent lathering in vintage tone? This method can also be particularly beneficial to audiophiles looking to incorporate some analog warmth into their digital media experience.

EL7x FATSO Features

  • A new ratio “ELEVEN” which emulates the favorite classic UREI 1176LN compressor setting
  • Harmonic Generation and Soft Clipper (Distortion Generation) - this class A circuit gently rounds the peaks like saturated tubes or tape
  • High Frequency Saturation (Warmth) - a one-of-a-kind dynamic low pass filter which softens high frequencies when they “pile up” on a source
  • Transformer & Tape Head Emulation - a simulation of the effect of input and output transformers of older devices, which adds  the low frequency harmonics that characterize them, as well as analog tape..
  • Classic Knee Compression - typical automatic leveling device found on just about every instrument and vocal track as well as on  the overall buss, done in Empirical Labs styled compression – smooth and sweet, but in your face!
  • Switchable transformer circuits, which can add the musical artifacts generated by classic devices like NEVE, API, etc. These artifacts include frequency "rounding", low order clipping & intermodular distortion, transient clipping... and some other very musical non-linearities
  • Four Compression modes including the extremely popular “Buss” setting, the legendary “Spank” setting, a subtle knee followed by hard limiting resembling the SSL talkback compressor, and “Track” setting for tracking
  • SPANK! - An additional limiter that musically smashes the dynamic range, and can be used to stop clipping before digital recorders – There is a subtle knee followed by hard limiting
  • Distortion indicator lights - A 0 VU LED and a "Pinned" (5%) LED – No hard clipping until a few dB past "Pinned"
  • Sidechain output and input for eq-ing control signals
  • Locked, calibrated, output level - Allows speed in setting tape and live mix levels
  • Discrete and integrated combination - the best of speed/linearity with repeatability – Hand tested & selected components – All metal film and Roederstein resistors in the audio path - top quality components, most being high temperature military spec parts
  • Switchable 110/220 volt operation - Extra fuse provided inside unit
  • True bypass - Know what it's really doing – All contacts doubled up for maximum reliability – No internal audio connectors
  • XLR and 1/4" phone ins and outs - XLR fully balanced, transformerless design, pin 2 hot – Changeable by user to pin 3 hot
  • New Two Color Front Panel
  • Improved Logic
  • Separate TRACKING LED, more intuitive display
  • Backwards stepping when a front panel button is held
  • New extended stereo link functions. More choices of how to lock compressors
  • Cooler running Logic Circuitry, resulting in an overall cooler operating temperature
  • Improved overall noise floor, due to lower logic power consumption
  • Interface and features found nowhere else
  • Hand wired, calibrated in USA
  • Frequency Respons: 2 Hz to 60 kHz in clean audio mode (+0, -3 dB)
  • Dynamic Range: 110 dB from maximum output (20%THDsoft clipping) to minimum output. Greater than 100 dB signal to noise
  • Distortion Ranges between .06% and 20% depending on mode and settings
  • DC coupled Input and Outputs
  • High quality audio caps used internally
  • Compressor Time Constants - Attack range 1mS - 60mS, Release range .05 sec to 3.5 seconds; Attack and Releases are fixed by the compression type selected
Empirical Labs EL7x FATSO Analog Tape Simulator Reviews