The EL7 FATSO is a modern digitally controlled analog device that offers many of the “musical non-linearities” exhibited by the older tube, class A discrete, and magnetic tape mediums. This two channel audio processor will musically integrate frequencies and transients and increase the apparant volume without actual increase in peak levels. In addition, two channels of famous Empirical Labs compression are provided. There are several compressor “types” with fixed attacks and releases (if you want a fully controllable compressor, you will need the Empirical Labs Distressor!).


Users can enhance & soften the sound of mediums such as modular digital multitracks (MDM’s), HD recorders, Dat recorders, Ram Recorders etc. Mixdown engineers will have an option not to use bulky, expensive, (and often flaky) analog tape recorders to get the warmth and sweet high end they’ve come to rely on for so many decades. Owners of Adats, MDM’s, RAM and modern hard disk recorders can finally put a stop to complaints about the “coldness” and “brittle edge” of their mixes and instruments with the “rounded” and “musically non linear elements” of vintage analog. Finally, audiophiles can bring back the warmth and cuddly sound of LP’s and tapes to their CD players, and other digital reproduction mediums.


Fatso’s Four Types of Processing (Available on both channels)

1. Harmonic Generation and Soft Clipper (Distortion generation)

2. High Frequency Saturation – WARMTH!

3. Transformer & Tape Head Emulation

4. Classic Knee Compression – Empirical Labs Style!





    • Freq. Response      is 2 Hz to 60 kHz in clean audio mode (+0, -3 dB).


    •  Dynamic Range      110 dB from maximum output (20%THDsoft clipping) to minimum output. Greater than 100 dB signal to noise.


    • Distortion Ranges between .06% and 20% depending on mode and settings.


    • DC coupled Input and Outputs      High quality audio caps used internally. Compressor Time Constants – Attack range 1mS – 200mS. Release range .05 sec to 3.5 seconds. Attack and Releases are fixed by the compression type selected





•  Harmonic Generation and Soft Clipper (Distortion Generation) – this class A circuit gently rounds the peaks like saturated tubes or tape.


•  High Frequency Saturation (Warmth) – a one-of-a-kind dynamic low pass filter which softens high frequencies when they “pile up” on a source.


•  Transformer & Tape Head Emulation – a simulation of the effect of input and output transformers of older devices, which adds  the low frequency harmonics that characterize them, as well as analog tape..


 Classic Knee Compression – your typical automatic leveling device found on just about every instrument and vocal track as well as on  the overall buss, done Empirical Labs compression – smooth and sweet, but in your face!




“In a word, the FATSO is a very good answer to what a lot of people loathe about digital recording. It smooths out the sharp, brittle edges to exactly the extent you choose, and fills in the hairline cracks just right. I use one on almost every mix I do. I could easily use one and quite possibly two more.” – George Massenburg


“The winner of the highly -coveted, “I’m going to write you a check right after the show award  was picked up by Empirical Labs for its FATSO processor”


– Craig Anderton, Pro Sound News


Best new Signal Processor-EQ AES Awards


“Empirical Labs Fatso took this category, despite the introduction of a variety of cool new processors. Who can resist the best aspects of analog tape combined with great compression” – EQ Magazine


 “The kick drum chain was pretty complex, and on the bass and keys, I used a variety of the old compressors, as well as six Fatso compressors chained together for the surround mix and the SSL console compressor for the 2-channel mix. They sound great; they are clean and variable and dynamic.”


– Kevin Shirley (on using the FATSO for Led Zeppelin’s recent 5.1 Live DVD)


All I know for certain is that I mixed a record through one recently, and ever since I’ve been at a loss to figure out what I’ m going to do without one.”


– Electronic Musician Magazine


 “People used to have to hunt for old, expensive gear to get the kind of sounds that the FATSO gives me.”  – Ed Cherney  (Lenny Kravitz, Dave Mathews, Eric Clapton, The Wallflowers, Goo Goo Dolls, Jackson Brown, Bonnie Raitt, Stones, etc.)


“For over a decade the FATSO Jr. has had a proven track record of adding a warm fuzzy feeling to every buss and instrument it has ridden, and I will tell you the buss compressor alone is worth the price of admission.” – Recording Magazine