EMPIRICAL LABS Trak Pak Channel Strip - Mike-E Mic Pre and Lil Freq EQ

BH #EMTRAKPAK • MFR #TRAK PAK
EMPIRICAL LABS
EMPIRICAL LABS Trak Pak Channel Strip - Mike-E Mic Pre and Lil Freq EQ
Key Features
  • Low-Noise Transformer-Coupled Mic-Pre
  • Compressor/Saturator for Wide Tonal FX
  • Compressor Based on Distressor Circuit
  • Saturator Multi-Stage Soft-Clipping
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The Trak Pak from Empirical Labs combines the Mike-E microphone preamplifier with the Lil Freq equalizer to form a powerful and flexible channel strip for professional audio engineers working in the studio or in a live sound environment. The Mike-E includes a multi-stage soft-clipping saturator circuit, a compression circuit based on the Distressor, a two-stage emphasis circuit that boosts and soft-clips high frequencies before the CompSat circuit, and a Mix knob that provides parallel compression, allowing for a blend of the uncompressed and compressed sounds.
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Expected availability: 7-14 business days
$4,199.00

Important Notice

  • This item is noncancelable and nonreturnable.
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EMPIRICAL LABS TRAK PAK Overview

The Trak Pak from Empirical Labs combines the Mike-E microphone preamplifier with the Lil Freq equalizer to form a powerful and flexible channel strip for professional audio engineers working in the studio or in a live sound environment. The Mike-E includes a multi-stage soft-clipping saturator circuit, a compression circuit based on the Distressor, a two-stage emphasis circuit that boosts and soft-clips high frequencies before the CompSat circuit, and a Mix knob that provides parallel compression, allowing for a blend of the uncompressed and compressed sounds.

The Lil Freq equalizer offers eight sections of processing including a High Pass section to remove low frequencies, High and Low Shelving to smoothly and musically boost or cut high and low frequencies, four bands (LF, Lo-Mid, Hi-Mid, and HF) of fully parametric EQ, and a dynamic EQ section that works as a de-esser and high frequency limiter. Each section offers a dedicated bypass switch, allowing the engineer to effectively A/B the effects of each section to adjust and fine-tune them.

EMPIRICAL LABS EL-9 Mike-e Microphone Preamp and Compressor/Saturator

The EL-9 Mike-e from Empirical Labs is a transformer-coupled mic preamp with compressor/saturator circuits that deliver classic knee compression, as well as versatile tonal coloring. This low noise transformer input amplifier section offers precise digital control over gain and has a signal-to-noise ratio of 130 dB. It features stepped control knobs for gain control and a "BAD!" LED indicator for alerting the user when input signal is overloading the circuit.

The front panel instrument input that allows the unit to function as an ultra-clean Direct Box. The saturator is a multi-stage soft-clipping circuit that provides triode-type saturation effects, while severely flattening out the peaks. The compressor circuit is based on the Distressor, but with a longer attack time. Preset ratios include 2:1, 4:1, 8:1, and Nuke. Emphasis improves the signal to noise ratio, while soft-clipping high frequencies before the CompSat circuit and cutting the frequencies after it.

Mix provides the parallel compression technique achieved by mixing between the compressed and the dry, uncompressed signal. This can often help maintain transients and a sense of dynamic range while enhancing the low level nuances. A stereo link connector allows two Mike-e processors to be used for stereo buss functions, while the optional send/return insert modification allows for additional processors, such as the Lil Freq EQ, to be connected between the mic preamp and compressor, forming a powerful and flexible channel strip. The Mike-e ships with a standard IEC power cord.

  • Versatile and simple microphone pre-amplifier with a deep feature set
  • Pre-amplifier section offers a transformer input. Low signal-to-noise exceeds 130 dB, well below the self-noise of any microphone
  • Super long life gain switching with 5 dB increments in preamp section and output pot for fine resolution gain setting. Sealed relays used throughout
  • CompSat section soft saturates the peaks of waveforms to warm things up and offers a world-class compressor with detented parameter selections
  • Germanium circuitry in the CompSat section to offer new warming characteristics
  • Two CompSat LED indicators, one “WARM” and one “TOASTY” LED, indicating internal saturation circuitry
  • Emphasis function tames high frequency build-up, while offering frequency dependent saturation, which enhances Mike-E’s popular tape-like tone
  • High performance high-pass filter at 80 Hz, 18 dB per octave
  • Built in Instrument preamp/direct box with auto sensing passes the signal through the input transformer for some “IRON” in its sound
  • Renowned Empirical Labs digitally controlled analog topology
  • Huge "DISTRESSOR" knobs with high resolution numbering for easy readability and repeatable settings
  • A “BAD!” hard clip LED indicates the signal is within .5 dB of hard clipping. It monitors many sections of the Preamp for internal clipping
  • Locked and calibrated output level allows speed in setting record and live mix levels
  • Extremely useful as a mixdown processor, too. Great for fitting the mixes together.
  • Discrete and integrated combination offering 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
  • Upgradeable transformer output option
  • Switchable 115/230 volt operation - Extra fuse provided inside unit
  • XLR and 1/4" phone ins and outs - XLR fully balanced design, pin-2 hot
  • No internal connectors, high reliability parts and military grade switches and relays. All contacts doubled up for maximum reliability
  • Linkable Compressor section
  • Hand wired and calibrated in USA
UPC: 854682006061

EMPIRICAL LABS Lil Freq Equalizer

The Lil Freq from Empirical Labs is a mastering quality equalizer with eight processing sections including two shelf equalizers, a high-pass (low-cut) filter, four fully parametric equalizer bands, and a dynamic equalizer section for de-essing and high-frequency limiting. The Lil Freq utilizes traditional and digitally controlled analog circuitry combined in a new topology, which offers a performance that exceeds most digital EQs in terms of distortion and noise.

The high-pass section offer eight preset frequencies covering 30 to 330 Hz to remove low frequency content, while the high and low shelving sections offer musically smooth boost and cut on high and low frequencies. The fully parametric EQ section covers 4 overlapping frequency ranges (LF, Lo-Mid, Hi-Mid, and HF) with complete control over frequency selection, cut or boost, and bandwidth. The DS or dynamic EQ section combines tunable filters with a compressor-like circuit that can help control excessive high frequency content, such as sibilants or other sharp transients. The circuit also functions as a soft-knee high-frequency limiter.

There are both XLR and 1/4" / 6.35mm line-level inputs, each being DC coupled. The XLR output includes a Class-A transformer, which offers isolation from ground loops and hum with soft saturation and a beefy low end often associated with vintage gear. Additionally, there is a 1/4" / 6.35mm instrument input on the front panel, which effectively turns the Lil Freq into an instrument DI for studio recording and live performance applications. The Lil Freq is hand-wired in the USA and ships with a standard IEC power cord.

  • Eight sections of processing
  • Two shelving equalizers, special 3rd order HP (Low Cut) section with 8 selectable frequencies, 4 fully parametric bands, and one dynamic equalizer section
  • Dynamic section that can be used for de-essing and high frequency softening
  • Movable dynamic section allows de-esser to be before or after EQ
  • High audio performance with the total harmonic distortion typically below .0006% with all EQ bands engaged
  • Built in Instrument Preamp/Direct box – Just plug a guitar or bass into the front panel and engage the instrument switch, and you have the high performance direct box. Distortion is below .0007% on the instrument preamp, 114 dB dynamic range
  • Three Outputs, including a Class-A transformer output to give you an isolated output with soft saturation and beefy low end often associated with vintage gear
  • Traditional and digitally controlled analog combined in new topology
  • Huge "DISTRESSOR" knobs with high resolution numbering offers easy readability and repeatable settings
  • A “BAD!” Hard Clip Indicator light that lets the user know they are within 1 dB of hard clipping. It monitors every section of the EQ for internal clipping
  • Locked and calibrated output level allows  for speed in setting tape and live mix levels
  • Discrete and integrated combination offering the best of speed/linearity with repeatability. Hand tested & selected components. All metal film and Roederstein resistors in the audio path with top quality components, most being high temperature military spec parts
  • Switchable 115/230 volt operation - Extra fuse provided inside unit
  • True EQ bypass
  • XLR and 1/4" phone ins and outs.  (XLR fully balanced design, pin-2 hot. Changeable by user to pin-3 hot)
  • No internal connectors, high reliability parts and military grade switches and relays. All contacts doubled up for maximum reliability
  • Limited three year warranty.
  • Hand wired, calibrated in USA.
UPC: 854682006054

EMPIRICAL LABS EL-9 Mike-e Microphone Preamp and Compressor/Saturator Specs

Frequency ResponseNo CompSat: 3 Hz to 200 kHz
CompSat: 3 Hz to 150 kHz
Optional Transformer Output: 6 Hz to 80 KHz
Signal to Noise130 dB at 40 dB gain
Maximum Output: 28 dBu
Distortion Range0.0006 to 15% depending on mode and settings
Input / OutputTransformer coupled Input, active and transformer outputs available
High quality audio caps used internally
ImpedanceInput Impedance: 600 ohms at all frequencies, transformer coupled
Output Impedance: less than 38 ohms
Instrument Input Impedance: 332 kOhms
Attack0.9 to 70 msec
Decay0.15 to 1 sec
Power Consumption15 W maximum
Dimensions(1 U) 1.7 x 19.0 x 10.0" / 4.3 x 48.3 x 25.4 cm
Weight11 lb / 5 kg

EMPIRICAL LABS Lil Freq Equalizer Specs

Frequency ResponseTransformerless Inputs and Outputs (-3 dB points): 3 Hz to 180 kHz
Transformer Output: 6 Hz to 100 kHz
(Measurements with EQ "In" but 8 sections "Out")
Dynamic RangeMaximum Output: 122 dB (0.5% THD soft clipping) to minimum output
Transformerless Noise Floor: -95 dBV typical
Distortion Range.0005% and .005% depending on mode and settings
Inputs and OutputsInput: XLR and 1/4" / 6.35 mm
Instrument Input: 1/4" / 6.35 mm
Output: XLR and 1/4" / 6.35 mm
DC coupled input and outputs and one transformer coupled output
Input Impedance20 kOhm
Output Impedance< 38 ohms
De-EsserD-S Dynamics Time Constants:
Attack Time: >1 ms
Release Time: .04 sec, fixed internally
Power ConsumptionMaximum: 34 W Typical: 16 W
Dimensions (W x D x H)19.0 x 1.8 x 10.0" / 48.3 x 4.4 x 25.4 cm
Weight12.0 lb / 5.4 kg
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