It’s been 20 years since Empirical Labs released its first compressor, The Distressor. From those early days on, Empirical Labs has been bombarded with requests for a great compressor plugin for those working in the box… and it had to be one with the creamy sound and ease-of-use of our own award winning hardware compressors. We are sure you will find the 20-year wait worth it!
For many years, processing speed, sample rates and copy protection were limiting. Things have changed. Digital Technology can now come very close to having all the wonderful non-linearity and “warts” of the best analog gear. We say “close” because most of Empirical Labs’ analog gear will pass 150KHz easily, and that is something that is impossible with current digital technology. But hey, who hears above 20KHz? ::Spock Eyebrow Raise:: But it is difficult getting everything right up to that 20KHz, especially at sample rates of 48KHz and below.
As this plug-in does all kinds of non-linear stuff, we had to employ a variety of techniques to minimize common digital artifacts found in almost all digital compressors/limiters etc. Unfortunately, these techniques are costly as far as processing, and one has to streamline certain DSP processes for less CPU load without sacrificing any audio quality. Ironically, sometimes stuff that is hard in Analog is easy in Digital, and sometimes stuff that is hard (or impossible) in Digital is easy in Analog.