Empirical Labs EL7-X FATSO

Regular price €2.650,00

€2.154,47 ex VAT
Usually delivered in 5-7 business days.

No longer the "Jr", The new Fatso introduces a new compressor ratio, as well as enhanced interface and display functions and overall reliability.

The Fatso Goes to Eleven

ELEVEN is a new compressor for the Fatso, replacing the old GP Ratio, and emulates the famous UREI 1176LN in 20:1, with the slowest attack, and fastest release. This 1176 setting has been used on countless hit records through the decades. With the slower “1176” attack, the transients keep the dynamics present, while the high ratio, can radically limit the dynamic range of any source, making it present and sitting in a nice little place in your mix. One can slam it, or just touch it with a few dB of compression. You will find it great on Vocals, Bass, acoustic guitars, drum room mikes, pianos etc.

The ELEVEN ratio took several months of experimentation, and required a rather radical attack mod to get close. It was one of those projects that Dave Derr, the designer, thought would only take a few days, but upon initial research and listening tests, subtleties emerged which required starting over several times. “I got in one of these design loops, where you would get one thing right, then change another parameter or component, and find that it changed the first thing you thought you had right. It was actually a long frustrating series of changes, that slowly spiraled towards the desired result. Any kind of math calculations or scaling seemed useless. In addition, while testing 1176’s, I discovered issues that I’m quite sure were not intended by the original designers, and probably things of which they were not even aware. But using modern digital oscilloscopes and analyzers, along with digital workstations, and our good old ears, we could see artifacts that the original designers couldn’t.” “Heck, they may have even tried to fix the little imperfections that gave the 1176 its unique character, had they the tools to see them. Thank gosh they didn’t, right?

Anyway, the design loop was frustrating, but like anything that takes you to unexpected places, hopefully you come out a little bit wiser, and with a great product. I hope our customers find the new ELEVEN ratio fun to use, and discover it can add some more magic to your music.”

New Logic and Interface Operation

The original Fatso Jr could operate quite warm. Since heat is the enemy of reliability, we decided to do what we could to cool the unit down in this re-design. By replacing discrete logic with a microprocessor, and eliminating warm running and often unreliable display circuitry, the current draw was dropped over 20%, allowing the power supply and analog circuitry to benefit from a cooler running product.

The new FATSO also has greatly improved interface operation. Holding any button in for a second will make the control step backwards, so the user doesn’t have to cycle around to go back one step in setting one parameter. In addition, the Stereo Link is improved and offers a second link method by holding in both COMP buttons. It locks the compressors and Bypass logic together, and allows either channels’ buttons to control the settings. Much more foolproof.

There is now a separate LED for the TRACK (Tracking) compressor, so that two LEDs do not have to be used, and interpreted by the user. SPANK is now a Blue LED delineated from the other compressors off to the side, to indicate that it is different and can be used in conjunction with the other ratios. Customers will find compressor selection more obvious and FUN.

Fatso's Four Types of Processing:

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!


Arguably the coolest and most unique device in the Empirical Labs arsenal, the FATSO (Full Analog Tape Simulator and Optimizer) is a digitally controlled analog device 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.

With the FATSO, recording studios and audio production facilities can enhance and soften the sound of Hardware Digital Recorders (HDRs) and Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs). Mix engineers will have the option not to have to use bulky, expensive analog tape recorders to get the warmth and sweet high end they’ve come to rely on for so many decades. Owners of DAWs and HDRs can finally put a stop to complaints about the coldness and brittle edge of their mixes and instruments. Even audiophiles can benefit from the FATSO, bringing back the warmth and ambience of LP’s and tapes to their CD players and other digital reproduction mediums.

As with most Empirical Labs products, the unit is incredibly easy and fun to use. Large Distressor-style knobs control the input and output levels. Four meticulously tweaked compression modes - including the extremely popular “Buss” setting and the legendary “Spank”, a subtle knee followed by hard limiting resembling the SSL talkback compressor - can be selected (and combined!) with the push of a button. Seven different high frequency saturation “Warmth” settings are accessed just as easily. The FATSO also features switchable transformer circuits, which can add the musical artifacts generated by classic devices like NEVE, API, etc such as low order clipping and inter-modular distortion, transient clipping... and some other very musical non-linearities. True to its name, the FATSO is rather sturdily constructed - you’ll be impressed with how well built it feels when you first lift it out of the box.

The FATSO has been the “secret weapon” of studio and live engineers for many years, allowing them to add the elusive magic of vintage gear to their sound.

Once you start using it, you’ll never want to be without it!

All prices on our website include 23% Portuguese VAT and are also displayed VAT free. If you’re buying from outside of Portugal and have a VAT registered business within the EU, you can buy directly on our store without VAT. Just add the product to your cart and go to the checkout page and there will be an option for you to enter and validate your VAT ID. If it's accepted through our system your order will be completed and fulfilled without VAT. Please note, if you use an express checkout or buy it now button the option to buy without VAT isn't available, you need to add the product to cart first and use the standard checkout procedure.

We can ship worldwide but our online store is configured to only handle orders to Europe (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom). If you want us to ship to a country outside this list just get and touch with us so we can quote you and let you know how much it would be to fulfil such order.

We have access to all the products of the brands we represent, however not all of them are listed. Please get in touch and let us know what you’re looking for, we can pretty much guarantee the best price in Europe.

We use UPS so you can expect 1 - 3 business days to get it after we ship (1-2 days if we’re shipping to continental Portugal). If the item you bought is in stock, we usually ship the same day (for orders placed until 11AM) or the next day at the latest. If we’re out of stock, we can usually get the products in 2-5 working days. Please get in touch if you have a specific deadline you have to meet before ordering. In some cases we can ship a demo unit to get you to work if the manufacturer has a longer lead time.

Bank transfer is preferred, but we take all major credit cards, PayPal, or cash if you’re picking up the gear at our shop. We don’t accept debit cards or checks at the moment.
If you’re looking for financing for your purchase get in touch as we might be able to help you with that.

According to EU law, we accept returns for all the products purchased through our online store during the next 14 days after receiving the goods, provided that the packaging is in it’s original condition. If this is not the case, we reserve the right to refuse the return or charge a re-stocking fee.
All returns need to be pre-approved by us and must be complete including accessories and documentation with original packaging.
You are responsible for return shipping costs including shipping insurance which is recommended to protect your items, as you are liable for items damaged during return shipment. Additionally, if you received free shipping on the order when we fulfilled it, we will be deducting the value of this shipping cost from your refund/discount.
We do not accept returns of the following goods: (1) Software and computers; (2) All custom or special order items; (3) Magnetic tape or other recording medium; (4) Personal use items, such as headphones or windscreens; (5) Studio furniture, racks and chairs.
After inspection of the returned goods, and providing that they meet the conditions stated above, we will issue a refund or give you credit for another purchase.

Everything we sell is covered by the manufacture's warranty, which is a least 1 year. Special conditions may apply.

Yes, we do. Please contact us to know if the software you’re looking for has an Education licence available.

We don’t through this website, but please check our Reverb store. There you can find B-Stock and Ex-Demo gear, as well as other stuff (used and new) from brands we don’t usually represent.

At Arda we try to work with only the best brands in the business, because we know how important is reliability in a professional environment. That being said, sometimes shit happens. If you run into some issue with anything you bought from us, please get in touch and we’ll try our best to take care of it ASAP. We might even be able to provide you with some sort of replacement gear in order to minimize downtime.