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Product Code: 900270

High quality analogue AGC Compressor

£1,746.00 (INC VAT)
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  • Description
  • Reviews

The EL8XM is similar to the standard Distressor EL8 but includes the British Mode and Stereo Image Link option.

The Distressor is an automatic gain (or volume) control device (AGC in engineering terms) designed for pro audio (music) applications. Basically, it electronically controls the volume of just about any source in a very pleasing, and "musical" manner - adding fullness, intelligibility, and especially in the Distressor's case - excitement. This type of device is often called a "limiter" or "compressor" by audio industry people. Its most probable uses will be in recording studios, live sound situations, movie sound production, and radio broadcast production.

Unlike most analog compressor/limiters the Distressor is a digitally controlled audio device and actually incorporates several products into one by utilizing digital controls to switch totally different circuits in and out. Years of beta testing and redesign went into the Distressor as will be the case with all Empirical Labs products.

Besides offering a wide range of control and unique features, the Distressor offers a warm, vintage sound by using a custom designed gain control circuit. This "warmth" or vintage sound has become an important issue in the last 15 years, as the super clear and linear digital technology does very little (or nothing) to soften "harsh" sounds nor emphasize the bass frequencies in music sources. Older analog tape, vinyl records and tube equipment on the other hand, could not be prevented from coloring the sound, often to the frustration of recording engineers. However, many people have now realized that this coloring can be extremely pleasant and "musical".The current digital technology is often referred to as "cold" and "brittle" among other terms, although we prefer the term "unforgiving" to describe the negative side of the "linearity".

The Distressor offers several modes that color the signal, even without compression (or gain control). These extended modes were designed to allow emulation of some very old and some very expensive vintage gain control units (compressors & limiters) and deliver a classic "knee" sound all its own.

Key Features

  • Classic knee sound - Delivered with modern noise specs in an indestructible, digitally-controlled, single-height box.
  • 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 (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.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 most valued) "light- controlled" devices, such as the LA2A. Manual provides complete setting instructions for emulating other compressors of old. Its like getting several totally different compressors in one.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.All metal film and Roederstein resistors in the audio path - Top quality components, mostly military grade.Unique "Binary Stepped Interface" - Provides hundreds of options with very few controls.

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