Empirical Labs Trak Pak
Empirical Labs Trak Pak Empirical Labs Trak Pak

Empirical Labs Trak Pak Mike-E Preamp and ELQ Lil FrEQ

$4,699.00

Complete Empirical Labs Channel Strip!

 

This bundle includes the Empirical Labs EL9 Mike-E Mic Pre and their ELQ Lil FrEQ Strip. The Empirical Labs EL9 Mike-E is a digitally-controlled preamplifier with a slew of unique features that allow it to both warm and soften external audio signals. If that’s not enough, the unit also contains a compressor/limiter.  As with ELI’s other signal processors, the Lil FrEQ Equalizer takes a somewhat unique approach to its job. Instead of daisy chaining several equalizers and frequency processors, we combined most of the sound sculpting tools an engineer needs into a compact single rack space box, while still offering the highest performance of any design in its class.

 

Available to Demo

 

In stock

Description

Modern Digitally Controlled Preamp + Equalization Empirical Labs Style

In today’s modern age of digital recorders, DAWs and software plug-ins, Mike-E is the ultimate solution for getting a clean and strong, yet warm and musical signal into the box…and it couldn’t be easier to work – its front panel layout is so straight ahead that even inexperienced engineers will have no problem moving around on it right away.

 

When the engineering team at Empirical Labs sets out to build a microphone preamp, you can be sure it’ll deliver spectacular sound, be effortless to work, and will provide features unlike any other device in its class. To that end, we proudly present Mike-E, a high performance transformer-coupled mic preamp with a noise floor far below any microphone’s self noise, combined with a one-of-a-kind compressor/saturator circuit that delivers classic knee compression as well as versatile tonal ‘coloring’ that can replicate many of the best characteristics of vintage analog recording equipment.

 

Mic Preamp

 

The Mike-E features a super low noise transformer input amplifier section with the gain under precise digital control. The signal to noise far exceeds any microphone in existence. Having used many mic preamps over the years, we’ve implemented a unique stepped gain control that should be impervious to the normal flakiness that age causes to pots and detented switches. A “Bad!” LED indicates when the input signal is overloading the circuit.

 

CompSat™

 

The CompSat’s unique circuitry sets the Mike-E apart from all other mic preamps.

 

SATURATOR –  a multi stage soft-clipping circuit. At lower levels, a triode-type saturation affects the signal. As the level increases, a second unique clip circuit starts to more severely flatten out the peaks.

 

COMPRESSOR – based on ELI’s world famous Distressor, but with other characteristics (including a much longer attack time).  Preset ratios include: 2:1, 4:1, 8:1…and, of course, Nuke.

 

EMPHASIS – a two-stage circuit that boosts and soft clips high frequencies before the CompSat™ circuit, and then cuts the frequencies after it. Emphasis has the added perk of improving signal to noise, and is the reason analog tape decks used emphasis to begin with.

 

ELQ Lil FrEQ

 

As with ELI’s other signal processors, the Lil FrEQ Equalizer takes a somewhat unique approach to its job. Instead of daisy chaining several equalizers and frequency processors, we combined most of the sound sculpting tools an engineer needs into a compact single rack space box, while still offering the highest performance of any design in its class.

Eight Sections of Processing

 

There are eight sections of processing – what other EQ offers that? Even better – in addition to a master bypass, each of the Lil FrEQ’s sections features its own dedicated bypass switch, letting you instantly A/B the effect of each section as you adjust and fine-tune them.

 

HIGH PASS – The High Pass section is a really easy to use sharp filter that cuts all content below one of eight preset frequencies from 30-330 Hz. This filter is very steep and has a special shape that prevents frequencies from thinning out just above the cutoff point. The corner frequency is selected using up/down buttons, and indicated by LEDs that glow softly when the section is bypassed, and brightly when the section is engaged.

 

HIGH & LOW SHELVING – These two knobs function similarly to the familiar “bass and treble” tone controls found on many consumer audio playback systems; however, these are designed to a much higher performance standard, providing exceptionally smooth and musical boost and cut on the high and low frequencies.

 

 

PARAMETRIC EQ – The Lil FrEQ has four sections of fully parametric EQ (LF, Lo Mid, Hi Mid and HF), with each section featuring individual gain, bandwidth (Q) and frequency controls.  It may be the cleanest parametric EQ section ever produced, operating below .0007% THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) even at extremely high audio levels. Try finding those specs anywhere else!

 

DS (DYNAMIC EQ) – The DS section provides the highest performance, easiest to use, and possibly most natural sounding “De-esser” ever built.  This powerful tool combines tunable filters with a compressor-like circuit that can help contain and control excessive high frequency content such as sibilants or other sharp transients, especially in the absence of other lower frequency content.  It can also function as a one of a kind soft knee High Frequency limiter, which is one of the main things responsible for the Lil FrEQ becoming the go-to vocal EQ for engineers everywhere.  It has been used on many acclaimed albums and major live performances all over the world, becoming the “go to” EQ for key tracks like lead vocals, snares, and bass.  There are now dozens of hit record vocals that were processed thru the Lil FrEQ.

Tech Specs

  • ANLEY input & output transformers with nickel laminations in mu-metal cases with flat frequency response from 20Hz-25KHz

  • BALANCED INPUTS & OUTPUTS (600 Ohms)

  • Fully differential ALL-TUBE circuitry

  • Variable Gain vacuum tube: 5670 x2 Standard or 6BA6 x4 T-BAR Mod

  • Amplifying vacuum tubes: 5751 or 12AX7 x2

  • Output vacuum tubes: 12BH7 x2 current production since 4/2016

  •  Output vacuum tubes: prior to MSLC94006 use 7044 or 5687 x2

  • Side Chain Rectifier Diodes: 12AL5 x2

  • Independently regulated B+ and Heater supplies

  • Hardwire BYPASS switch

  • Stepped switch INPUT attenuator as of 10/2011. (older units use Silent dual-ganged potentiometer)

  • RECOVERY 5 steps: 0.2s, 0.4s, 0.6s, 4sec., 8sec.

  • Variable ATTACK: 25msec-70msec

  • Continuously variable THRESHOLD

  • LIMIT (4:1 to 20:1) or COMPRESS (1.5 to 1)

  • HP SC: High Pass Side Chain Filter -3dB @ 100Hz

  • Large ILLUMINATED Sifam METERS (older units before serial number MSLC61642 shipped before 12/2003 use: 26V 1.2W FESTOON LAMPS; Manley's Part Number: VAR016B) Order spare bulbs using our parts order form. (newest units after serial number MSLC61642 shipped after 12/2003 use white LED lighting)

  • STEREO LINK SWITCH

  • Several units can be linked for Surround (custom order )

  • Maximum gain: 35dB

  • Max. output: +30dBu (26Vrms) 26dB Headroom

  • <0.1% THD @ 1KHz Noise floor: -85dB typical

  • Power Consumption (120/240VAC): 80 watts

  • Unit is factory set for 100V, 120V or 220-240VAC operation for original destination country's mains voltage.

  • Operating Mains Voltage changeable with power transformer changeover switch and fuse value change.

  • Mains Fuse Value for 100~120VAC operation: replace with 1.25A as of 10/2011

  • Mains Fuse Value for 220~240VAC operation: replace with 0.6A (600mA) as of 10/2011

  • Mains Fuse Type: MDA or MDL SLO-BLO Time delay 1 1/4" x 1/4"

  • Mains Voltage Frequency: 50~60Hz

  • Dimensions: 19” x 3 1/2” x 10” (chassis occupies 2u) Power transformer protrudes 3.5" out the back of the chassis.

  • Shipping Weight: 23 lbs.