The Empirical Labs Distressor EL8 is a digitally-controlled analogue compressor designed to incorporate the characteristics of classic compressors such as the 1176, LA-2A and Gain Brain into a modern compressor.
The Empirical Labs Distressor EL8 packs unique feature sets and a wide range of controls suited for modern productions while offering a warm and vintage sound through a unique gain control circuit. Based around eight compression curves ranging from 1:1 to the Nuke Brickwall limiting mode the Distressor is capable of mimicking different types of compressors with each curve exhibiting its own sonic personality.
In addition to the eight curves, a central element to the Distressor is the three different modes which colour the signal even without compression happening. These have been designed to emulate some old vintage compressors and limiters by adding programmable warm harmonic distortion. In addition to the classic Distort mode, Distort 2 and Distort 3 add 2nd and 3rd order harmonics respectively to add tube or tape saturation. Two high-pass filters are included, one in the audio path and the second one in the side-chain path to avoid excessive low-end triggering the compressor.