Empirical Labs Fatso EL7x

2-channel Analog Tape Simulator and Compressor
Empirical Labs Fatso EL7x image 1
Empirical Labs Fatso EL7x image 1
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Empirical Labs Fatso EL7x
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This is What's Missing from Your Mix

The Empirical Labs Fatso EL7x adds even more sonic goodness to the original Fatso analog tape simulator, one of the most popular "sweetening" processors we've used at Sweetwater. This version of the Fatso packs a new compressor model based on the classic Urei 1176LN, plus an improved interface, more stereo link functions, and cooler operating temperature. Whether you're tracking drums, creating electronic music, or finalizing a full mix, you'll soon be addicted to adding smooth analog saturation and compression to your tracks with the Empirical Labs Fatso EL7x analog tape simulator.

Empirical Labs Fatso EL7x Analog Tape Simulator and Compressor at a Glance:
  • Add harmonic richness to your audio with four different processing modes
  • "Eleven" compressor setting emulates the classic 1176LN
  • Updated design lowers the noise floor, and the operating temperature
Add harmonic richness to your audio with four different processing modes

Engineers worldwide love the Fatso for adding analog tape vibe to warm up digital tracks, and you've got a lot of sonic flexibility with the Fatso EL7x. The Harmonic Generation and Soft Clipper modes use a Class A circuit to gently round-off the peaks of your audio, just like saturated tubes or tape would. The High Frequency Saturation mode employs a clever dynamic high-cut filter, which reduces HF energy only when it piles up beyond a certain point. And a favorite among Sweetwater engineers is the Transformer and Tape Head Emulation, which simulates the effect of input and output transformers of vintage gear and sounds fantastic on just about anything you run through it.

"Eleven" compressor setting emulates the classic 1176LN

While it doesn't give you extensive parameter control like a dedicated compressor does, the Fatso EL7x's compressor modes give you smooth dynamics and undeniable character that you'll want to use on every track. This updated Fatso includes the "Eleven" compressor mode, with a slow attack, fast release, and high ratio that nail the sound of the classic Urei 1176LN.

Updated design lowers the noise floor, and the operating temperature

The sonic gurus at Empirical Labs knew that the original Fatso ran just a bit warm, so they set out to find a way to cool things down with the Fatso EL7x. Long story short, a happy side effect of the re-design is that the current draw dropped over 20 percent, which considerably lowered the noise floor. You still get the awesome sound that made the Fatso a worldwide hit, just lower noise and less heat in your rack.

Empirical Labs Fatso EL7x Analog Tape Simulator and Compressor Features:
  • Add the richness, depth, and harmonic enhancement of analog tape to your audio
  • Ideal for smoothing harsh high frequencies, adding depth and body, controlling dynamics, and more
  • Updated "Eleven" compressor mode is based on the Urei 1176LN with slow attack, fast release, and high ratio
  • Works magic on stereo buses and full mixes, but it's also perfect for tracking
  • Processing modes include Harmonic Generation and Soft Clipping, High Frequency Saturation, Transformer/Tape Head Emulation, and Classic Knee Compression
You'll never want to mix without the Empirical Labs Fatso EL7x!

Additional Media

Fatso EL7x Cue Sheet
Fatso EL7x User Manual
Signal Processing Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Number of Channels 2
Controls Input, Output
Ratio 2:1 to 20:1
Frequency Response 2Hz-60kHz
Side Chain Inserts Yes
Inputs 2 x XLR, 2 x TRS
Outputs 2 x XLR, 2 x TRS
Sidechain I/O 2 x 1/4"
Rack Spaces 1U
Weight 13.25 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number EL7X

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
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You can't have too many Fatsos

This my third Fatso, and the first of the EL7x. My two original Fatso's have been in service on every mix I've done since they were first introduced. I've enjoyed the revisions on the EL7x so much that I'm getting my old ones modified by Empirical Labs. As I've always said, a Fatso is "tape without the hiss". Keep in mind, I'm one of those people that don't miss analog tape. The only thing that was cool then was the saturation, so its brilliant that I can have that in a box. The Warmth, Tranny and Spank buttons add so much, and the combinations you can try allow the Fatso to be exceptionally versatile. I can't say enough about the Fatso, other than when I may be adding a fourth one. They are THAT good. Highly recommended
Music background: Producer/Engineer/Mixer

The Final Touch...

This is truly a great box. Over the past 5 years, I've tried a number of methods to "warm up" my recordings including vintage outboard pres, compressors, eqs, and even a few old German mics. All of these additions have made my recordings better and less sharp around the edges. And the new Fatso is the perfect end to my signal chain before ad conversion during tracking and mixing, providing that last amount of subtle character that gives everything its own space within a mix. The warmth circuit is really great paired with a good condenser mic hitting 0VU on most peaks. (It's addicting, so be careful not to overdo it... 3-5 db is usually plenty.) Really provides the final touch on vocals, drums, bass- maybe even on your whole mix depending on the genre. The new compressor presets also improve upon the many ways one can utilize this box (the new 1176 in 20:1 mode in particular). In short, I really love this box and it's one of my favorite pieces. Like everything else in the audio world, it works best when the rest of your chain is also of high quality. And although I'm completely against the whole philosophy of one item improving an entire signal chain, this is the closest thing I've come across to a "magic box" that will improve your recordings immediately (albeit in a subtle but very pleasing way).
Music background: Engineer, Musician
See also: Compressors, Empirical Labs, Empirical Labs Compressors / Limiters, Empirical Labs Exciters / Enhancers, Empirical Labs Compressors / Limiters, Empirical Labs Exciters / Enhancers