This plug-in succeeds in bringing the legendary Empirical Labs EL8-X compressor to your digital workflow. Slate Digital FG-Stress Compressor is a licensed (as in, endorsed by creator Dave Derr), 1:1 digitization of this incredible piece of studio hardware, pieced together from characteristics of several Distressors out in the wild. Squash room mics into pulp. Smooth and excite vocal performances. Infuse guitars with tubelike distortion. Even if you already own and love a hardware EL8-X, the Slate FG-Stress gives you unlimited channels of that distinct Distressor character and allows you to stay completely in the box as you track and mix.
From smashing drums to smoothing vocals and fattening bass guitar, the Empirical Labs Distressor EL8-X has earned a place among classic studio-standby compressors. Eight compression curves and a wide selection of tubelike harmonic enhancement empower this unit to be the only compressor you need to shape a rock or pop mix.
FG-Stress isn’t based on a single Distressor sitting in a lab. It’s been carefully modeled using calibrated customer Distressors — including units from producers Andy Sneap and Rob Ruccia —to tap into the Platonic ideal of this incredible piece of hardware.
The Empirical Labs Distressor EL8-X has proven notoriously difficult to model. From the 1:1 warming mode to the all-buttons Nuke setting, each of the EL8-X’s ratios, curves, and characters are distinct. Steven Slate and his team carefully analyzed each setting and built it into FG-Stress — effectively giving you eight different compressors in a single plug-in.
The Slate FG-Stress faithfully injects the EL8-X’s distortion generators and detection filters into each curve. Users can now implement their favorite Distressor tricks into their digital workflow: like high-passing a bass into the 10:1 circuit with a fast release time for a thick bottom end.
Despite its complexity under the hood, FG-Stress is remarkably simple to use. Even if you’re new to compression as a concept, you can start with one of several presets created by top industry mixers and use your ears to tweak to taste. This fast, efficient workflow is one of the reasons why mix engineers at Sweetwater stand behind plug-ins like FG-Stress.