Universal Audio Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor

Compressor & Distortion Plugin

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Universal Audio Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor
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  • Regular price
    $299.00
    USD
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    Cloud

    Digital Products


    Digital Products are delivered electronically either via your order status page, or via email.

    No physical product will be shipped to you!


    In most cases, the product you purchase from us is a serial number/license code/activation code to register the product with the manufacturer and download directly from them. This ensures you receive the latest version of products, and the best support when necessary.

    After purchase, your license code and relevant links will appear on your order status page, or they will be sent to you by email.

    For detailed instructions on the registration/download process, you can visit our dedicated page by clicking here: Install Instructions.

Education Proof

Products with education pricing are for students & teachers only. To prove your education status we require that you upload proof in the form of an image/PDF.


Types of proof

Student

Student ID Card, Letter of enrollment, or similar

Teacher/Lecturer

Teacher ID Card, Lecturer ID Card, Payslip, Letter from the school/college

Education proof is submitted to the manufacturer and is accepted at their discretion.


The Basics

iLok is a copy protection method used by many of our brands.

It has 3 types of activations, iLok USB, iLok Machine, and iLok Cloud.

Different brands/products will offer different iLok methods. iLok USB is always an option, but the availability of iLok Cloud and iLok Machine methods is at the discretion of the software developer.


iLok Account

For all iLok protected products, you will need an iLok account. You can create one for free here: ilok.com/#!registration


iLok License Manager

To manage your iLok licenses, there is a dedicated app called iLok License Manager. This app is used to register, activate, and move your licenses between locations.

You can download the latest installers from the iLok website: ilok.com/#!home


iLok USB Key

iLok USB

This activation is stored on an iLok 2 or 3 USB key.

It is the best option for portability, if you frequently move between multiple machines, and offline use.


iLok Machine ID

Machine ID

This activation is stored locally on your computer.

While this is a convenient way to work offline, and does not require the additional cost of an iLok USB, there is the risk of a license being lost in the case of a drive failure.

This option also requires extra care when you upgrade to a new computer, the license(s) must be deactivated on your old machine first to ensure you do not lose them.


iLok Cloud

iLok Cloud

This activation is based online, and requires a "cloud session" using the iLok License Manager.

It requires an active internet connection for the entire time you use the plugin(s).

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.


Included Versions

  • 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.


Features

  • 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

System Requirements

  • 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

Plugin Formats

  • UAD Native: AAX Native, AU, and VST3
  • Apollo & UAD-2: AAX Native, AU, and VST2
  • Crossgrade Proof

    This crossgrade is for owners of a competing DAW. To prove your DAW ownership, we require that you upload proof in the form of an image/PDF.


    Types of proof

    A copy of your purchase receipt for the original license or the most recent update/upgrade

    A screenshot of your product registration

    A photo of your package (either CD/DVD or printed manual), with the unique serial number included in the photo.