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The  FATSO EL7x  from  Empirical Labs  is a digitally controlled analog processor that gives musicians and engineers easy access to many of the desirable characteristics exhibited by older tube and Class A electronics and magnetic tape mediums.


This two channel audio processor musically integrates frequencies and transients, increasing the apparent volume while keeping tight control over peak levels. There are several compressor types with fixed attacks and releases. You can enhance and soften the sound of digital mediums such as DAWs, hard disk recorders, CD players, MP3s etc.

With the FATSO, recording studios and audio production facilities can enhance and soften the sound of digital recordings. Large Distressor-style knobs control the input and output levels. It features four compression modes including the Buss and the Spank settings, which can be selected and combined. Seven high frequency saturation Warmth settings are also present. The FATSO features switchable transformer circuits, which can add the musical artifacts generated by classic devices, such as low order clipping and inter-modular distortion, as well as transient clipping.
ELEVEN replaces the old GP Ratio and emulates the UREI 1176LN in 20:1 mode with a slow attack and a fast release. With the slower "1176" attack, the transients keep the dynamics present, while the high ratio can limit the dynamic range of any source.

The Features

  • Soft clip features modeled after broadband tape saturation, without the noise. Smooth clipping up to 20% THD
  • User programmable high frequency saturation, simulating the "softening" for which analog tape and phonographs are known. This is the "Warmth" control on FATSO
  • Switchable transformer circuits, which can add the musical artifacts generated by classic devices like Neve, API, etc. These artifacts include frequency "rounding", low order clipping and inter-modular distortion, transient clipping, and some other very musical non-linearities
  • Four Compression Modes: One for tracking, one general purpose, one "bus" compressor, and SPANK!; all linkable. Classic knee compressor sound that really grabs
  • SPANK!: An additional limiter that musically smashes the dynamic range, and can be used to stop clipping before digital recorders. There is a subtle knee followed by hard limiting
  • Huge "DISTRESSOR" knobs with high resolution numbering - For easy readability and repeatable settings. They also go to 10-1/2
  • Distortion indicator lights: A 0 VU LED and a "Pinned" (5%) LED. No hard clipping until a few dB past "Pinned"
  • Side-chain output and input for EQ-ing control signals
  • Locked, calibrated, output level: Allows speed in setting tape and live mix levels
  • Foolproof operation: It's almost impossible to get a bad sound
  • Discrete and Integrated Combination: The best of speed/linearity with repeatability. Hand tested & selected components. All metal film and Roederstein resistors in the audio path. Top quality components, most being high temperature military spec parts
  • Switchable 115/230 volt operation. Extra fuse provided inside unit
  • True Bypass: Know what it's really doing. All contacts doubled up for maximum reliability. No internal audio connectors
  • XLR and 1/4" phone ins and outs
  • XLR fully balanced, transformer-less design, pin-2 hot. Changeable by user to pin-3 hot
  • No internal connectors, high reliability parts and military grade switches and relays
  • Three year limited warranty
  • Hand wired and calibrated in USA


Empirical Labs EL7x Fatso Tape Simulator/Optimizer

  • Empirical Labs EL7x Fatso Jr
  • Full Analog Tape Simulator and Optimizer
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