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Distressor EL8-X

Empirical Labs Distressor EL8-X
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The Distressor is the product that started it all for Empirical Labs. Born of founder Dave Derr’s love of classic compressors like the 1176, LA-2A and Gain Brain (among others), the Distressor incorporates his favorite sonic characteristics of these, along with other unique and interesting features that have made it a staple for audio engineers all over the world. With over 28,000 units in the field, it’s safe to say that the Distressor is one of the best selling high end compressors of all time...
if not THE best selling. A prominent recording engineer recently wagered that there probably was not a top 40 record made in the last five years that didn’t have at least one Distressor on it.

Besides providing a wide range of control and a unique feature set, the Distressor offers a warm, vintage sound by using a custom designed gain control circuit. This “warmth” or “vintage sound” has become a major issue in the last few decades, as the super clear and linear digital technology does next to nothing to soften “harsh” sounds, nor emphasize the bass frequencies in music sources. Conversely, older analog tape, vinyl records and tube equipment could not be prevented from coloring the sound, often to the frustration of recording engineers. However, many people now realize that this coloring can be extremely pleasant and musical. Digital technology is often referred to as “cold” and “brittle” among other terms (although we prefer “unforgiving”).


Pictures Of Mic'ed Up Drum Kits In The Studio

I tried my R84 on kick. Didn't love it but, as a room mic for the drums it is excellent. I would not go so far as to say it wasn't good on the kick. More likely if I had kept using it i would have eventually gotten the tuning, damping and mic position together...

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Dbx 160A or Wa76?

The Distressor is very flexible. But for an inexperienced user, if an 1176 gives you enough rope to hang yourself, a Distressor gives you several ropes.

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