Empirical Labs Mike-E Channel Strip Preamp Compressor  From Empirical Labs

Channel Strip from Empirical Labs!

Empirical Labs

$1,699.00

Retail:  $1,900.00

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Manufacturer's Description from Empirical Labs

When the engineering team at Empirical Labs sets out to build a microphone preamp, you can be sure it’ll deliver spectacular sound, be effortless to work, and will provide features unlike any other device in its class. To that end, we proudly present Mike-E, a high performance transformer-coupled mic preamp with a noise floor far below any microphone’s self noise, combined with a one-of-a-kind compressor/saturator circuit that delivers classic knee compression as well as versatile tonal ‘coloring’ that can replicate many of the best characteristics of vintage analog recording equipment.

 In today’s modern age of digital recorders, DAWs and software plug-ins, Mike-E is the ultimate solution for getting a clean and strong, yet warm and musical signal into the box…and it couldn’t be easier to work – its front panel layout is so straight ahead that even inexperienced engineers will have no problem moving around on it right away.

Mic Preamp

This is a super low noise transformer input amplifier section with the gain under precise digital control. The signal to noise far exceeds any microphone in existence. Having used many mic preamps over the years, we’ve implemented a unique stepped gain control that should be impervious to the normal flakiness that age causes to pots and detented switches.  A “Bad!” LED indicates when the input signal is overloading the circuit.

CompSat™

The CompSat's unique circuitry sets the Mike-E apart from all other mic preamps.

SATURATOR -  a multi stage soft-clipping circuit. At lower levels, a triode-type saturation affects the signal. As the level increases, a second unique clip circuit starts to more severely flatten out the peaks.

COMPRESSOR - based on ELI’s world famous Distressor, but with other characteristics (including a much longer attack time).  Preset ratios include: 2:1, 4:1, 8:1…and, of course, Nuke.

EMPHASIS - a two-stage circuit that boosts and soft clips high frequencies before the CompSat™ circuit, and then cuts the frequencies after it. Emphasis has the added perk of improving signal to noise, and is the reason analog tape decks used emphasis to begin with.

MIX - provides “parallel compression” technique achieved by mixing between the compressed and the dry (or uncompressed) signal. This can often help maintain transients and a sense of dynamic range while enhancing the low level nuances.

Other features include a front panel instrument input that allows the unit to function as an ultra-clean Direct Box and stereo-linking capabilities. Mike-E can also be combined with an EQ (such as the ELI Lil FrEQ), transforming it into one of the most powerful, flexible and complete channel strips on the market.

Mike-E’s Seven Circuits

1. Mic Preamplifier with super low noise and stepped gain switching.

2. Built in ‘Direct Box’, called the ‘Inst In’, offers unparalleled distortion, noise, and frequency response when pre-amping instruments.

3. ‘Colored’ 80Hz High pass filter emulates the warm low frequency cut of our favorite vintage equalizers.

4. Phase Switch to invert the audio signal 180 degrees.

5. CompSat offers both a musical Compressor/Limiter and a unique tape-like saturation circuit.

6. Emphasis high-frequency emphasis system softens high frequency ‘pile-ups’ and further the creamy color of the Mike-E.

7. Mix Control allows the blending of the Compressed/Saturated signal with the clean unprocessed “Dry” signal.

Empirical Labs

About Manufacturer

Empirical Labs Inc. (ELI), designs and produces professional audio equipment and software. This includes equipment used in recording studios, live sound, broadcast studios and other audio production facilities etc. We also make software for digital signal processors. Most of you are here because you have heard about or used our Distressor. This product, which is our first hardware product, was designed in 1994, tested and revised for several years, and released in early 1996. The Distressor is the first in a series of audio products from ELI that will offer original features, ease of use, long product life, and a very musical audio path. Empirical Labs was started in 1988 and functioned mainly as a recording studio and electronics consulting firm. The founder, Dave Derr, was also employed at the time by Eventide as an audio engineer. Dave was part of the core design team for the H3000, H3500, and DSP4000. His experience at Eventide proved valuable for his later work. While working alongside Ken Bogdanowicz and Bob Belcher (both now at Wave Mechanics), Dave was exposed to great engineering and the modern world of digital signal processing (DSP).

Specifications

• Freq. Response is 3 Hz to 200 kHz on (No CompSat). CompSat is 3Hz – 150Khz. Optional Transformer output is 6Hz–80kHz.

• Signal to Noise - 130 dB signal to Noise.at 40dB gain. Maximum output is +28dBu.

• Distortion Ranges between .0006% and 15% depending on mode and settings.

• Transformer coupled Input, Active and Transformer Outputs available. High quality audio caps used internally.

• Input Impedance is above 600 Ohms at all frequencies, transformer coupled. Output impedance is less than 38 ohms.  Instrument In Impedance is 332K Ohms.

• Attack/Decay Ranges - .9 – 70mS attack. .15 – 1 Sec.

• Power Consumption – 15 Watts Max.

Downloads

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Mike-E Owner's Manual