Empirical Labs EL8X Distressor with British Mod and Image LinkItem ID: ELI8XM
Single-channel Analog Distressor with Harmonic Distortion, 8 unique curves, and sidechain EQ
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A Great-sounding Distressor with a Tough British Side!The Empirical Labs Distressor EL-8XM single-channel analog compressor adds some distinctive British flavor to an already outstanding unit! The EL-8XM provides the aggressive "all buttons in" characteristics obtained from the classic LN1176, courtesy of an onboard British Mode switch. While the Distressor can function very smoothly and transparently, the addition of the British Mode allows it to take on a very "un-subtle" character, giving you the best of two compressors in one! If you want the functionality of a Distressor plus aggressive "British" vibe, choose the EL-8XM!
Empirical Labs Distressor EL-8XM Single-channel Analog Compressor with British Mode at a Glance:
"All buttons in"
The original concept of the "British Mode" came from an unusual setting on the classic UREI LN1176 limiter. The unit was designed to have only four ratios, each ratio being engaged by selecting one of four buttons. However, as early as 1980 (or before), renegade recording engineers, always on the lookout for something a little more "over the top", found that you could make all four buttons stay "in" if you pressed them just right. What resulted was a very, very aggressive sound that had some elements of the units 20:1 ratio, but with an unusual knee and new envelope shape. Somewhere along the line, someone called it a "British Mode" and the name has stuck. It is also called "all buttons in" and some other intuitive names.
As aggressive as you want it to be
The Distressor has the advantage of being able to apply this "aggressive" nature not only to the new British ratio (1:1) but also to all the ratios since a separate switch is installed, which can be enabled with any ratio. One should keep in mind however, that an attack below 3 or 4 is required to maintain the LN1176 character. If you go above an attack of 3 you will also incur a rise in some grunge (distortion) and see the THD indicator lites come on a lot more. The Distressor will no longer behave smoothly, nor like an 1176.
Using the British Mode
Put the unit in the 1:1 ratio and turn on the British Mode Switch (flip it up and the LED should be lit). That enables it. To sound like the 1176 the only constraint is to keep the attack well under 4 on the Distressors - their attack can go much longer than the 1176. Now you will find that the unit has a new attitude! The attack and release will generally be more aggressive and the unit will get in and out of the way very quickly. Interestingly, the unit will be slightly less colored when not compressing. Use this ratio to "skim" peaks. This means that most of the time it may not be doing anything, but when it does "hit" the signal, it will smoothly push back the signal and then get right out of the way again. If you are hitting the Gain Reduction all the time with the British mode on, you are going to be really "squashing" the signal. On the other hand, the Distressor will sound fairly subtle when compressing all the time in 2:1 mode, especially with a slower attack (>6).
The Emprical Labs Distressor is a unique analog compressor that allows the user to add 2nd or 3rd order harmonic distortion to the signal, emulating tape saturation and the classic tube compressor sound of the '60's and '70's. The Distressor also offers advanced sidechain EQ, eight unique curves and Empirical Labs' exclusive "Binary Stepped Interface" providing hundreds of options with just a few control settings.
Empirical Labs Distressor EL-8XM Single-channel Analog Compressor with British Mode Features:
The Empirical Labs Distressor EL-8XM gives you smooth Distressor performance, plus aggressive British vibe at the flip of a switch!
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Reviewsbased on 4 reviews
Buy one, two or maybe three!
by from Rio de JaneiroThis is not a one trick pony! Great piece!
March 20, 2012
Music Background: Recording Engineer
The Studio I Go To Just Recorded a engineered a Platinum Hit, and used this.
by Tony Martin from Hartford, CTI'm an intern and client at a studio in Hartford, CT . I always sit in live on sessions and see the engineer turn these knobs and just make the signal a amazing in a matter seconds ... If you know how... read more [+] to use these they can be a valuable asset to any professional / home studio.. close [-]
November 5, 2011
Music Background: Recording Engineer, Hip-Hop Artist , Producer
The Secret Weapon!
by I-C from Miami, FL USA / Los Angeles, CA USA / Bogota, ColombiaI am a fan of the Distressor, it's extremely versatile and has a great personality.
November 2, 2011
Music Background: Recording Engineer, Mixing Engineer, Producer and Arranger
Must have for any producer
by Brandon from SoCalI had been "borrowing" one of these from a fellow studio owner for over a year, both as a front end compressor, and for mixing... then my friend took it back! I felt like I had lost my left leg. So, ... read more [+]I bought one for myself. This compressor is very versatile, and has become one of my studios "must have" pieces of gear. Works superb on all sound sources. I would highly recommend reading up on some typical settings for this compressor. (Some are given in the manual). You're ears will thank you for using the Empirical Labs Distressor close [-]
October 21, 2011
Music Background: Music Producer / Music Composer
Jordan, Marquette, MI
Empirical Labs EL8X Distressor with British Mod and Image Link
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