Empirical Labs Inc. is a company that designs and produces professional audio equipment and software for creative professionals in the audio recording industry.  Their most notable product is the Distressor, a compressor/limiter which adds gain reduction to a signal in a highly ear pleasing and musical manner while adding fullness, excitement and intelligibility.

Another product from Empirical Labs that has gained popularity among audio engineers is the DerrEsser, a multi function dynamic filtering device in an API 500 series module format.  By using a Voltage Controlled Amp (VCA) to turn down comparatively high or harsh frequencies, one would use the DerrEsser to tame the sibilance in a vocal recording or soften the pick and squeaky noises on an acoustic guitar track or attenuate some of the brightness on a crash cymbal or a drum overhead track.  It does so in a highly musical manner, instantly making the signal sound more analogue while inducing warmth.  The DerrEsser can also be used as a filtering device, either as a LPF (rolling off the top end) or a HPF (cutting out the low frequencies).  This can be a useful tool to remove certain frequencies from a signal, allowing other instrumentation to breathe more in a mix.  The Empirical Labs DerrEsser is an extremely versatile tool in which any engineer could benefit from.  It is also found in many mastering facilities, used as a device to soften certain frequencies in a final mix.

Check out the video we created, providing a tutorial and demonstration on the Empirical Labs DerrEsser at House Recording Studios, explaining its various functions and applications and how it has proved to be a successful tool in our audio arsenal. (