Empirical Labs Distressor (#1)

Stream Real-Time Audio to a Robotically Controlled Empirical Labs Distressor (#1) Using the Analog Matrix Plugin

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Empirical Labs Distressor Overview

The Empirical Labs Distressor is a versatile and powerful compressor saturation device that offers a range of options to achieve the perfect sound for your recordings. Besides providing a wide range of control and a unique feature set, the Distressor offers a warm, vintage sound using a custom-designed gain control circuit.  It is versatile, super fast, and offers tons of color!

If you’ve turned on the radio in the last ten years, it’s almost certain that you’ve heard the distinct sound of this compressor. The Distressor has become a modern classic for its versatility – from transparent to gritty, slow compression to fast, and tons of great sounds between. There’s almost no task that the Distressor can’t handle.

This compressor is excellent for adding additional harmonic content using the distort 2 for second-order tube-like harmonics or distort 3 for third-order magnetic tape-like harmonics. Check out the Nuke mode for some intense brick wall limiting or flip the British mode switch and tweak the attack for some 1176 all buttons in style grunge. Don’t forget about using the EQ filters for even more control. There are truly hundreds of great sounds to be found from this great compressor!

Select Features of the Empirical Labs Distressor

  • 8 Unique compression curves.
  • British Mode.
  • Image Link.
  • Wide range of attack and release times.
  • DC-coupled inputs and outputs, allowing for a wide range of signal compatibility.
  • Analog Circuitry with Digital Control.

Reviews and Articles

Tape Op (F. Reid Shippen)


Equipment Manual