Empirical Labs Arousor Video Walkthrough

A First Look At The Empirical Labs Arousor Plug-In

Here at Pro Tools PC We are very proud to be able to bring you this first look at Empirical Labs' new Arousor plug-in.
This is the first plugin developed in house by Empirical Labs and it quite understandably takes it's roots from the legendary Distressor hardware unit, BUT its not a Distressor its an Arousor !

As opposed to the Distressor the Arousor adds:

  • 1.5:1 and 8:1 Ratio's.
  • Instead of the Distressor's "NUKE" it gets "RIVET".
  • Attack Modification.
  • Soft Clipping with "Warm" (0.5% THD), "Hot" (3% THD), "Toasty" (8% THD), "Pinned" (14% THD) with a saturation control knob.
  • A Side Chain Detector High Pass Filter and EQ.
  • A mix "Blend" knob to balance between dry and compressed/effected signal.
  • But no Opto or British modes as yet.

In this first Video Steve gives an overview of the plugin and its features he also makes a good job of matching the plugin to his pair of hardware Distressors as we are sure that's going to be one of the biggest requests, For us it does a superb job of getting "that" sound.

In this Second Video Steve moves on to take a look at the new soft clipping feature and variable detection circuit.

In all we are very impressed with this new plug-in and think Dave Derr and Empirical Labs have done a fantastic job in bringing a legendary sound into the software world and at the same time expanding its features in some incredibly useful ways.
Dave has said the plugin will continue to develop with new features over time time so it will be really interesting to see what comes next.

We at Pro Tools Pc would like to thank Dave Derr at Empirical Labs and Gil Griffith at Wave Distro for inviting us to be involved in the testing of such and awesome product and we wish them every success once its released they really deserve it !

Here are full details of the soon to be released plugin from the Empirical Labs website here:


It’s been 20 years since Empirical Labs released its first compressor, The Distressor.  From those early days on, Empirical Labs has been bombarded with requests for a great compressor plugin for those working in the box… and it had to be one with the creamy sound and ease-of-use of our own award winning hardware compressors.  We are sure you will find the 20-year wait worth it!
For many years, processing speed, sample rates and copy protection were limiting.  Things have changed.  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 150KHz easily, and that is something that is impossible with current digital technology.  But hey, who hears above 20KHz?  ::Spock Eyebrow Raise::  But it is difficult getting everything right up to that 20KHz, especially at sample rates of 48KHz and below.

As this plugin does all kinds of non-linear stuff, we had to employ a variety of techniques to minimize common digital artifacts found in almost all digital compressors/limiters etc.  Unfortunately, these techniques are costly as far as processing, and one has to streamline certain DSP processes for less CPU load without sacrificing any audio quality.  Ironically, sometimes stuff that is hard in Analog is easy in Digital, and sometimes stuff that is hard (or impossible) in Digital is easy in Analog. The first implementation of this plugin is “skeuomorphic”, i.e tries to imitate the look and feel of real world stuff. In this case, it is the look and feel of Empirical Labs hardware.  But in Digital, whole universe opens up with interfaces.  Suddenly things you could never do in the hardware world become simple.  It’s a wonderland. The best part of getting this plugin now, is that more features are coming, including new processing and interface changes, but… the plugin will be backwards compatible.  Get in on the special Initial Offering deal on our AROUSOR Plugin, and get these updates for free until 2020!


• Empirical Labs Classic Knee Compression in a Plugin… Finally!
• Foolproof operation – It is almost impossible to get a bad sound.
• Empirical Labs Famous White Knobs, with parameter readout and direct entry.
• Proprietary Empirical Labs Detector modeling.  High resolution.
• Broadband Saturator, controllable by user.  A novel approach was used to allow amazing control over peaks.
• 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 Sidechain EQ
• BP Sidechain EQ
• Rivet, a brick wall ratio great on room mics, and for skimming peaks.
• Linkable with the stereo version.
• BLEND Control – Mix in the dry signal with the compressed one.
• Mix “Dry  Level” control. Adjust this control so that full WET and full DRY have the same apparent level.
• 20 Lock n Load Presets, finely tuned and named intuitively.  More coming down the line.
• Backwards compatible features coming.


Windows 7 or higher
iLok 2 USB key and PACE iLok License Manager

Mac OS X 10.7 or higher
iLok 2 USB key and PACE iLok License Manager
32/64-bit AAX (OSX and Windows)
64-bit VST2 (OSX and Windows)
64-bit VST3 (OSX and Windows)
64-bit AU (OSX)AAX system minimum requirements are Pro Tools 10.3.5 and OSX 10.7 or higher; Windows 7 or higher.
AU may function on earlier systems, but will only be qualified for and supported with system minimum requirements of OSX 10.7 or higher.
Logic 9 is the reference AU host used for testing and verification.
VST may function on earlier systems, but will only be qualified for and supported with system minimum requirements of OSX 10.7 or higher;
Windows 7 or higher.
Cubase 6 is the reference VST host used for testing and verification.Price $349

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