The Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor AGC device designed specifically for use with pro-audio applications. The unit’s compressor electronically dictates the volume of almost any audio source in a characteristically musical manner.
The Distressor utilizes a custom gain control circuit to lend a fundamental warmth to any external sound, freeing them from the tyrannical linearity of modern digital processing. Here, the unit offers different means of coloring the sound, even without compression. Each of these modes was inspired by vintage compressors/limiters from yesteryear.
EL8 Distressor Compressor Features
Classic knee sound - With modern noise specs and improved performance. Really grabs.
Programmable analog distortion/warmth - helpful in the pristine but unforgiving digital world. Three audio modes providing 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.
Fool proof 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 brick wall 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 LA2A 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 1/2 .
Locked, calibrated, output level - Allows speed in setting tape and live mix levels.
Switchable 110/220 volt operation - Extra fuse provided inside unit.
Over design power supplies - Runs cool, allowing cabinet to be sealed - without heat vents. Long life components.
Single height and light weight - Classic sound in a small, extremely reliable package.
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!
All metal film and Roederstein resistors in the audio path - top quality components. Many mil spec. parts.