Until March 19th 2019 you can save 35% on powerful compression getting the Arousor compressor plug-in from Empirical Lab for just $129 instead of the regular price of $199. But hurry this offer is only valid until March 19th, 2019.
It’s been 20 years since Empirical Labs released its first compressor, The Distressor. From those early days on, Empirical Labs were bombarded with requests for a great compressor plug-in for those working in the box.
It had to be one with the creamy sound and ease-of-use of Empirical Labs’ own award-winning hardware compressors. Things have changed since the Distressor came out. 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 150 kHz easily, and that is something that is impossible with current digital technology.
What We Think About Arousor From Empirical Labs
James Ivey chose Arousor as his one 3rd party plug-in in the fun series we ran other the Christmas break…
The Arousor is every bit as great as the hardware it is based on. I can get heavy guitars to sound fat. Banks of distorted guitars to sound thick and glued together and kick and snare drum just come to life in a rock track when you hit them hard. It’s also amazing when you really want to pull a room sound together. The Arouser can make even the smallest drum room sound epic and thunderous. And then there is all the new stuff which Dave and the team at Empirical Labs crammed into the plug-in which is not available on the hardware.
The new Attack Modification control allows you to chance the curve of attack of the compressor, making it easier to get more bite out of the material you are feeding it with. This works really well on drums, especially toms where you want to keep the body of the sound but promote the initial transient where the stick hits the head.
The other new feature I really love is the Soft Clipping section. Which allows you to really add some grit in the form of lovely 3rd order distortion. Meaning even the cleanest of guitar parts can be warmed up in a very natural way without it actually sounding like it’s distorted unless you really want to go to town and even then the saturation is not over the top. It sounds natural.
I think you can tell I like this plug-in for two reasons. 1, It’s a very useful, great sounding compressor. It sounds like I expect a Distressor to sound and 2, The Arousor is also a great tone shaper and saturation unit, so I’m kind of getting 2 bites of the cherry from one plug-in. I really hope that’s not cheating.
Check out our review of the Arousor by Mixer and Producer Greg Wurth. Greg dives into some of my favourite features of the Arousor including the Soft Clipping and Saturation setting.
Empirical Labs Arousor Features
DSP for Mac and Windows, and a new VENUE version, qualified by Avid
Greater efficiency, especially in Pro Tools AAX; 1/3rd of the CPU usage
Greatly increased Bargraph accuracy—Makes matching a Distressor sound much easier
Preset Sharing Function—Works across all platforms and makes it easy to share
Backwards Compatible with Rev 1.0, won't "break" your past mixes
Graphic and Interface Improvements—New colors, and 3d Depth
Our first "Expert" Button appears for the BLEND Section—Offers Dry Lvl Trim, below
New Dry Lvl Trim control, allowing perfect Dry and Compressed level matching
Even more Presets, some from Famous Engineers
Refined markings for matching Distressor Detector settings
Higher resolution readout on Det BP BW—Reads to .01 places
More support for Control Surfaces, including new Avid VENUE systems, like S3L and S6L
Empirical Labs' Famous White Knobs, with parameter readout, and direct entry
Proprietary Empirical Labs' Detector modeling—High resolution
Broadband Saturator, controllable by user
Unique AtMod™ Attack Modification Control changes the shape of the initial attack, and can lengthen attack times in a different manner than the ATTACK control
HP/BP Sidechain EQ
Empirical Labs Arousor System Requirements
Windows 7 and later
Mac OS 10.10.x and later
Max Sample Rate 192 kHz