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MF MD HG Restock Sale 10-27-14

Empirical Labs Mike-E Mic Pre with Compression and Saturation  

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Overview
  • Mic Preamplifier with super low noise and stepped-gain switching
  • Built in Direct Box, called Inst In, offers unparalleled distortion, noise, and frequency response when pre-amplifying instruments.
  • “Colored” 80Hz high-pass filter emulates the warm, low-frequency cut of our favorite vintage equalizers
Description & Specs
  • MSRP:
    $1,700.00
  • Your Savings:
    - $101.00
  • Your Price:
    $1,59900

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      Empirical Labs

      From the designer of the wildly popular Distressor, a game-changing microphone preamp with compressor and tape-like saturation.

      Empirical Lab’s Dave Derr is no stranger to creating game-changing audio processors, and his Mike-E preamp is no exception. Mike-E is a modern, digitally controlled microphone preamplifier chocked with unusual features to warm and soften sound sources, plus, it also has an excellent compressor/limiter. Mike-E, a transformer-coupled mic preamp, offers an incredible performance with a noise floor is far below any microphone’s self-noise. And, the one-of-a-kind ‘CompSat’ section is an uncompromising compressor and saturator circuit that offers versatile coloring, and classic knee compression.

      Mic Preamp Section
      The preamp section is a super low-noise transformer-input amplifier section with gain digitally controlled gain. This section comes standard with a shielded Lundahl transformer, but allows for a Jensen transformer also.

      The signal-to-noise ratio far exceeds any microphone in existence; typically over 130dB with the input shorted and 40dB of gain. Having used many mic preamps over the years, Empirical Labs has implemented a unique stepped-gain control that is impervious to the normal flakiness that age causes to pots and detented switches.

      Counting the output gain of 14dB, a total74 dB of gain is available to you with the CompSat section bypassed. Phantom power (+48V) is provided for condenser mics.

      Exclusive CompSat™ Section
      This unique circuitry is what sets Mike-E apart from all other mic preamplifiers. It has four sections:

      1) Saturator: This is a multi-stage soft clipping circuit. At lower levels, triode-type saturation affects the signal. As the level increases, a second unique clip circuit that includes germanium semiconductors starts to flatten out the peaks more severely. An LED named “BAD!” indicates harder, un-musical clipping.

      2) Compressor: This is an uncompromising compressor/limiter circuit with detented control of attack and release for easy repeatability. You adjust the amount of compression with the DRIVE knob, which determines the level going into the compressor. In ways it is like the Empircal Labs Distressor (see #501579), but has differing characteristics including a much longer available attack time and additional circuitry. Four ratios are provided; 2:1 being the gentlest with a long 20dB knee, good for subtle compression, such as while tracking or on the 2-Bus. Ratios 4:1 and 8:1 are steeper but still very smooth with long knees. “Nuke” is very steep (limiter-like) and has a different attack and release shape.

      3) Emphasis: Emphasis is actually two circuits that surround the compressor and saturator. Pre-emphasis boosts the high frequencies before the compressor and saturator (CompSat), soft clipping them sooner than normal, while a de-emphasis cuts the complementary frequencies after the CompSat. Emphasis has the added perk of improving signal-to-noise, and is the reason analog tape decks used emphasis to begin with.

      4) Mix Control: The modern recording engineer often employs the technique of mixing between the compressed and the dry (or uncompressed) signal. This can often help maintain transients and a sense of dynamic range while enhancing the low level nuances. Mike-E has a built-in mix control to submix uncompressed signal along with the compressed signal. As you rotate the MIX control from full right to full left, you goe from the full compressed signal to the full dry signal (absent of any compression or saturation).

      About Empirical Labs:
      Empirical Labs was started in 1988 and functioned mainly as a recording studio and electronics consulting firm. The founder, Dave Derr, was also employed at the time by Eventide as an audio engineer and was one of the core designers of their legendary H3000. EL's first product, the EL8 Distressor (#501578) immediately took the recording industry by storm and hardly a record has been made without it since. With a mission "to make products that work a little easier, a little better, a lot longer, and are fun to use," Empirical Labs continues to create unique and innovate products that quickly find homes among the top professionals of the audio industry (and anyone else who wants in on the Empirical Labs sound).


      Empirical Labs Users:
      Aerosmith - Joe Perry (8 Distressors)
      Al Schmidt
      Alanis Morrisette
      Angela Piva - Mary J Blige, Naughty by Nature, Janet Jackson
      Ashes dIvide
      Billy Howerdel
      Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, Niacin, David Lee Roth)
      Bob Clearmountain - Journey, Bryan Adams, Stones, Springstein, etc, etc, etc!
      Bob Dylan
      Bob Powers
      Bon Jovi
      Brendan O'Brien -Producer Mixdown Engineer
      Bruce Calder - (Electric Lady Studios, Degeneration)
      Butch Vig
      Cher
      Chimera
      Chris Lord Alge
      Chuck Ainlay
      Clair Brothers
      Cold Play
      Craig Melvin (Gloria Estefan)
      Creed - Eight Distressors on their 2003 tour
      D & D Studios NYC
      Daniel Lanois (U2)
      Dave Hewitt - Remote Recording Services
      Dave Matthews —
      David Kahne
      Death Cab for Cutie
      Disturbed
      Dolly Parton
      Don Was
      Dust Brothers (John King)
      Ed Cherney -
      Ed Kowalcyzk - Live
      Eddie Kramer (JimiHendrix)
      Effanel Remote recording - Randy Ezratty, 2003 Grammys
      Elton John
      Eminem
      Eric Schilling - Gloria Estefan, John Secada
      Finn Halle - Germany
      Fiona Apple
      Five Towns College (6 Distressors)
      Fleetwood Mac
      Fletcher
      Full Sail School for the Recording Arts
      George Massenburg
      Goo Goo Dolls
      Greg Calbi - Sterling Sound
      Gungi Patterson
      Hole
      Jason Slater - Snake River Conspiracy
      Jay Baumgartner - NRG Studios
      Jay Gordon - Producer, Lead Vocalist of Orgy
      Jerry Harrison - Live, Verve Pipe, (12 Distressors)
      Jerry Only - The Misfits
      Joe Berisi
      Joe Chicarelli - Hole, Beck, U2, etc!
      Joe Satriani
      John Agnello - Producer, Engineer, Mixer
      John Kurzweg - Creed
      John McBride at Blackbird Studios - 8 Distressors, 4 Fatsos, 2 Lil FrEQs
      John Paterno
      John Patterson —
      John Sicket
      Josh Abraham (Orgy, Staind, Korn, Limp Bizkit)
      Judy Saiya
      Julien - K
      Kevin Killen
      Kip Winger
      Kooster McAllister - Record Plant Remote
      Linkin Park
      Marc Costanzo, Len
      Mark Anthony
      Mark Plati - David Bowie
      Maroon 5
      Matt Wallace
      Megadeth
      Metallica
      Michael Bienhorn
      Michael Wilton (Queensrych)
      Micheal Brauer - Sony Studios NYC
      Mick Gazauski — (Mariah Carey, Boyz 2 Men, Toni Braxton, etc.)
      Mick Hughes - Metallica FOH Engineer
      Mike Keating (Sting, Bush, Springstein live)
      Mike Shipley
      Millbrook Sound
      Mitch Goldfarb
      Mutt Lange
      N SYNC
      Natalie Merchant
      Nate Kunkel
      Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue)
      Nine Inch Nails
      Outsmarting Simon
      Paul Tennebekk (Norway's Midwest Audio)
      Peter Denenberg
      Phil (the Buther) Nicolo (The Stones, Amy Grant, Sting, Aerosmith, Judy Saiya)
      Phil Ramone/John Patterson
      Rammstein
      Real World Studios - (Peter Gabriel's facility in England)
      Ricky Martin
      Roey Shamir - Information Society, Al B Sure
      Ross Hogarth - (Jewel, Coal Chamber, Grade 8)
      Ryan Hewitt - Engineer Extraordinare
      Scott Anthony - Dessau recording, Beastie Boys
      Seal - on tour
      Sean Beresford (3rd Eye Blind)
      Shania Twain
      Sheryl Crow
      Sound Kitchen
      Staind
      Sting
      Stone Temple Pilots
      Sue Shoemaker - Blues Traveler
      Tchad Blake - Sheryl Crow, Richard Thompson, Crowded House, Pearl Jam, Bonnie Raitt
      The Academy Is
      The Police
      The Voyager Remote Truck in Paris
      The Who
      Tom Lord Alge
      Tony Levin
      Wheatus
      Whitney Houston
      Woodland Studios - Robert Solomon

      Features
      • Mic Preamplifier with super low noise and stepped-gain switching
      • Built in Direct Box, called Inst In, offers unparalleled distortion, noise, and frequency response when pre-amplifying instruments.
      • “Colored” 80Hz high-pass filter emulates the warm, low-frequency cut of our favorite vintage equalizers
      • Phase Switch inverts audio signal 180 degrees.
      • CompSat offers both a musical compressor/limiter and a unique tape-like saturation circuit
      • High-frequency emphasis system softens high frequency “pile-ups” and furthers the creamy color of the Mike-E
      • Mix Control allows the blending of the compressed/saturated signal with the clean unprocessed “Dry” signal
      • Transformer-coupled input
      • Active and transformer outputs available

      Track with clarity or color - control your sound source on the way in to your DAW with Mike-E. Order today!

       

      Mike-E Mic Pre with Compression and Saturation Specifications:

      • Frequency response: 3Hz - 200kHz (No CompSat); with CompSat: 3Hz – 150Khz Optional transformer output: 6Hz–80kHz
      • Signal-to-Noise: 130dB signal-to-noise at 40dB gain, maximum output +28dBu
      • Distortion: Ranges between .0006% and 15% depending on mode and settings
      • Input impedance: 600 ohm
      • Output impedance: Less than 38 ohm
      • Attack/decay ranges: - .9 – 100mS attack, .15 – 1 sec. decay
      • Power consumption: 15 watts max.
      Customer Reviews
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