Universal Audio Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor
Compressor & Distortion Plugin
Get the Colorful Sound of The World's Most Popular Compressor
The only authentic emulation of the world's most sought-after modern compressor, The EL8 is perfect for radically shaping guitars, drums, and vocals with nearly infinite gain reduction variations.
The Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor is revered in studios the world over as the
modern, "must-have" compressor.
Versatile with tons of color, the Distressor picks up where the legendary UA 1176 and Teletronix LA-2A compressors leave off - giving you a modern tool that's equal parts utilitarian and creative, as heard on thousands of hit records.
- UAD Native - Runs on your Mac or PC without UA hardware (AAX, AU, VST3)
- Apollo Realtime & UAD-2 - Runs accelerated on Apollo interfaces and UAD‑2 hardware (AAX, AU, VST2)
Shape with the Only End‑to‑End Distressor Emulation
The EL8 Distressor Compressor plug-in gives you all the features and tone of the original hardware.
Simply compare other Distressor emulations for yourself, and contrast the original hardware's ultra-fast attack time to quickly hear where most plug-ins fail, and the authentic UAD Distressor succeeds.
Find the Perfect Compression Ratio
The crux of the Distressor is its staggering variations in compression - 1:1, 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, 6:1, 10:1, 20:1, and Nuke - each offering unique sounds. Use the 1:1 ratio to gently warm up synths or strings without compression, while adding musical harmonics.
Conversely, the Nuke setting gives explosive excitement to room mics or your entire mix.
Add Color with Distortion Modes
The Distressor's iconic Dist 2 and Dist 3 modes give you a wide palette of compression textures, letting you shape sources with even or combined even/odd-order harmonic distortion, from delicate thickening to burnished tape to fully saturated.
Focus Dynamics with Powerful Sidechain Controls
The Distressor's sidechain control gets rid of unwanted low-frequency pumping - perfect for drum bus processing - while Band Emphasis tames strident vocals and harsh "power region" instrument peaks.
You can also harness "plug-in only" features like Dry/Wet Mix for easy parallel compression on a mix bus or instrument group.
- Track and mix with the only authentic emulation of the EL8 Distressor - the world's most sought-after modern compressor
- Radically shape guitars, drums, and vocals with nearly infinite gain reduction variations
- Harness plug-in-only features like Dry/Wet parallel processing and Headroom for user‑customizable operating level
- Creatively color instruments and vocals with famous “Dist 2” and “Dist 3” modes
- Embellish, pump up, or destroy bass, synth, and room mics with custom detector filtering
- Mix with presets from Joe Chiccarelli (The Strokes), Vance Powell (Jack White), Jacquire King (Kings of Leon), Jimmy Douglass (The Rolling Stones), and more
- MacOS 10.15 Catalina and above
- Windows 10 and above (64-bit only)
- Intel, AMD, or Apple Silicon CPU
- Free iLok account and iLok License Manager
- iLok Cloud and iLok USB licensing methods are supported