The Empirical Labs EL8X Distressor is an automatic gain control device designed for pro audio (music) applications.
The Empirical Labs EL8X Distressor 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. Even though there are 384 possible settings (not counting knob settings), it’s almost impossible to get a bad sound. Keep all knobs on 5 or 6 (around middle) with ratio at 6:1 and you won’t go wrong.
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 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”.
- Frequency Response: 2 Hz to 160 kHz in clean audio mode (+0, -3 dB). Response is shaped in distortion modes (Dist 2, Dist 3).
- Dynamic Range 110 dB from maximum output to minimum output in 1:1 mode. Greater than 100 dB signal to noise in distort 3 mode.
- Distortion Range: .02% to 20% depending on distortion mode and release times set on front panel.
- DC Coupled Output High quality input caps.
- Input Impedance: 20K Ohms
- Output Impedance: < 75 ohms
- Time Constants: – Attack Range: 50uS – 50mS, – Release Range: .05 sec to 3.5 seconds, normal modes and up to 20 seconds in 10:1 opto mode. Time constants are dependant on ratio.
- Dimensions (H x W x D): 1.75 x 19 x 10 in.
- Weight: 11.25 lbs.
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