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The ECM-519 from Empress is a feedback FET compressor with personality, that can excel where plug-ins fall short and seamlessly integrate with your DAW to add some often needed analogue warmth. The pleasing FET harmonic distortion, and some transformer saturation options really help to add character.
This compressor is extremely versatile, great on aggressive time settings and applying a lot of gain reduction, but can also be extremely transparent. The auto modes engage two completely separate side-chain circuits that change the way the compressor behaves, giving you sounds that aren't possible with conventional attack and release settings.
True bypass switching makes meaningful comparisons against the original signal quick and easy, and parallel compression is only a knob twist away. Squishy!
All Analogue Signal Path
Selectable Output Transformer - Use the active balanced output for a pristine signal path or engage the output transformer for some added warmth. Load down the output transformer for even more old school analog character and some pleasant saturation.
3 Ratios - 3:1 gives great transparent compression for evening out dynamics. 6:1 gives great control and can be pretty aggressive when doing lots of gain reduction. 12:1 is approaching limiting and can be very useful when you need to sit something in the mix or hit it hard for tons of character.
Super Fast Attack Speeds - Dial in attack speeds down to 50 microseconds! Great for controlling transients, and the beauty of FET based compressors.
Mix Knob for Parallel Compression - Blend in dry signal for New York style compression.
10 segment LED Gain Reduction Meter - The very responsive meter lets you know what the compressor is doing.
Sidechain HPF - High pass the sidechain at 120 Hz or 220 Hz so the compressor doesn't react to the really low frequencies.
Auto Modes - These two modes employ completely separate sidechains. They both have two detectors that work together; one with really fast time constants at a higher threshold that reacts primarily to peaks, and a slower detector, with a lower threshold to smooth the overall signal.
This allows the auto modes to provide extremely transparent compression that isn't possible with traditional attack and release controls.
Stereo Link - connect two units and link them as a stereo pair using either the link pin on your rack or the supplied link cable.
Analogue Warmth - Engage the transformer and set the mix for 100% dry to use the ECM-519 for adding warmth without using the gain reduction circuit.
True Bypass - The Empress ECM-519 employs true bypass, so you can be sure that it's not affecting the signal when disengaged.