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Universal Audio Releases Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor Compressor Plug-In Exclusively for UAD and Apollo Platforms

An exacting emulation of the world’s most popular compressor
is part of UAD Software v9.4

SCOTTS VALLEY, CA • November 14th, 2017 — In close partnership with Empirical Labs and its founder, Dave Derr, Universal Audio is proud to introduce the Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor Compressor plug-in for UAD hardware and Apollo interfaces as part of UAD Software v9.4 — an expert end-to-end circuit emulation of the iconic compressor that has been used on thousands of hit records.

“The UAD EL8 Distressor plug-in is significantly better in accuracy and operation than the other plug-ins that try to cop its vibe and sound,” says Distressor creator Dave Derr. “It’s the best Distressor emulation in the world and will stand the test of time as the definitive Distressor emulation.”

Introduced in 1993, the Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor is revered in studios all over the world as the modern, “must-have” compressor. Versatile, super fast, and offering tons of color, the Distressor picks up where the legendary UA 1176 and Teletronix LA-2A compressors leave off — a modern tool that’s equal parts utilitarian and creative.

The Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor Compressor plug-in provides all the features and coveted sound of the original Distressor design. UA’s team of DSP experts started with a complete circuit trace and component study of Dave Derr's selected golden unit. Simultaneously, the team analyzed three more Distressors representing the lifetime of the product — ensuring one of UA’s tightest circuit models to date.

Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor Plug-In — Key Features:

  • Track and mix with the only authentic emulation of the EL8 Distressor — the world's most popular modern compressor
  • Radically shape guitars, drums, and vocals with nearly infinite gain reduction variations
  • 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
  • Harness plug-in-only features like Dry/Wet parallel processing and Headroom for user-customizable operating level
  • Mix with presets from Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio), Chris Zane (Passion Pit, The Walkmen), Hector Delgado (A$AP Rocky, Selena Gomez) Jimmy Douglass (The Rolling Stones, Roxy Music), and more

Press Releases and Images for UAD Software v9.4 can be found at

Learn more about the latest UAD software here:

Learn more about the Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor plug-in here:

Learn more about award-winning Apollo audio interfaces here:

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About UAD Powered Plug-Ins
Powered by Universal Audio’s popular UAD-2 DSP Accelerator hardware and Apollo Thunderbolt and USB audio interfaces, UAD Powered Plug-Ins offer the world’s most authentic analog hardware emulations and award-winning audio plug-ins on Mac and PC. UAD plug-ins deliver rich, analog sound quality that would be difficult or impossible to achieve with native recording systems.

About Universal Audio Inc.

Founded in 1958 by recording pioneer Bill Putnam Sr., and refounded in 1999 by Bill Putnam Jr., Universal Audio is best known for its classic, hand-built analog hardware and advanced UAD Digital Signal Processing technology for recording, mixing, and mastering audio. Headquartered in Scotts Valley, California, UA is focused on merging the best of vintage analog and modern digital technology, following its rich recording heritage and motto, "Analog Ears. Digital Minds."

©2017 Universal Audio, Inc. All rights reserved. Product features, specifications, pricing, and availability are subject to change without notice. The "Universal Audio" name, UA "diamond" logo, "Apollo," "Apollo Twin," "UAD," "Powered Plug-Ins," and "UAD-2 Powered Plug-Ins" are trademarks of Universal Audio Inc.