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Empirical Labs Releases Rev 3 of AROUSOR

Empirical Labs released AROUSOR Rev 3 — the latest development of its flagship compressor plug-in, introducing more tones based on its Distressor hardware counterpart. The hardware counterpart was one of the best-selling high-end compressors of all time as the product that started it all for the professional audio signal processing equipment designer and manufacturer/plug-ins producer, with the addition of two Opto (and B) compression modes, as well as two additional (6:5:1 and 7:1) ratios for even more dynamic possibilities, available for free to existing owners of AROUSOR.

We did review the older release, see our Arousor Review – a Distressor Compressor by Empirical Labs for more information.

Arousor applies phenomenal character compression and saturation. Arousor is very close to the Distressor and added many features and continues to add more that are not available in the raw model it is built after.

Thorsten Meyer – StrongMocha

Being borne out of ELI founder Dave Derr’s love of classic compressors like the 1176, LA-2A, and Gain Brain (amongst others), the Distressor incorporates his favourite sonic characteristics of outstanding outboard originally released way back when with other unique and interesting features that have made it a staple for audio engineers all over the world as one of the best-selling high-end compressors of all-time. It is inevitable that such a popular product would one day receive the plug-in treatment, taking the soul of the company’s professional audio signal processing equipment hardware and applying it to the wonderful world of ITB (in the box) workflow within a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), albeit AROUSOR is the only native Distressor plug-in produced by ELI itself. As a new and improved (EL8-X) version of the Distressor increased its tonality with the addition of new features, so AROUSOR™Rev 3 — the ultimate evolution of ELI’s flagship compressor plug-in — introduces more tones based on its Distressor hardware counterpart.

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New in Rev 3 of AROUSOR

  • Two OPTO Modes based on the time constants of a classic and a modern LA2A
  • Soft Clipper Expert Panel that allows for introducing more second harmonic distortion and the ability to place the compressor input before or after the soft clipper circuit.
  • Detector Sidechain EQ now includes a listen mode to hear what frequencies are affecting the compression detector.
  • Two new ratios (6.5:1 and 7:1) can now be accessed by enabling “ALT” mode in the ratio section.
  • The GUI can now be enlarged to double its original size for more comfortable editing.
  • iLok Cloud activation is now available rather than just iLok USB activation.

Kicking off with two Opto (and B) compression modes based on the time constants of a classic and a modern LA-2A compressor that many existing owners of AROUSOR have been waiting for — it is, after all, a much-loved Distressor feature, noteworthy new additions to AROUSOR™Rev 3 also include a SOFT CLIPPING expert (e) panel — allows for introducing more second harmonic distortion and an ability to place the compressor input before or after the soft clipping circuit; a Listen mode — to hear what frequencies are affecting the DETECTOR SIDECHAIN EQ’s compression detector; additional 6:5:1 and 7:1 ratios (accessible by enabling ALT mode in the RATIO section) — for even more dynamic possibilities; and an enlargeable GUI (Graphical User Interface) — to double its original size for more comfortable onscreen editing.

ELI’s classic knee compression with proprietary high-resolution detector modelling remains at the heart of everything AROUSOR™Rev 3 does so well, with 12 unique compression ratios, including the famous brick wall — RIVET mode in AROUSOR-speak — for maximum gain reduction. Remaining features well worth highlighting here are an adjustable broadband SOFT CLIPPING control — for introducing warm saturation; a unique AtMod ATTACK MODIFICATION control — to change the shape of the initial attack; an advanced high-pass/band-pass DETECTOR SIDECHAIN EQ — for fine-tuning compression detector response; and Mix knob with (panel-enabled) Dry Level Trim — for parallel compression.

As the update existing owners have been waiting for, AROUSOR™Rev 3 has brought the legendary tone of ELI’s analog hardware into the digital realm with even more possibilities as an ITB game-changer… just ask Jacquire King, whose work with the likes of James Bay, Kings of Leon, and Shania Twain has received 30-plus GRAMMY® Award nominations to date!

Pricing and Availability

AROUSOR™ Rev 3 is available for purchase as an AAX-, AU-, VST2-, and VST3-supporting 64-bit effect plug-in for macOS (10.7 or higher) and AAX-, VST2-, and VST3-supporting 64-bit effect plug-in for Windows (7 or higher) for a time-limited introductory promo price of $129.00 USD for the first 10 days — rising thereafter to an MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) of $199.00 USD.

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