from Empirical Labs is a modern digitally controlled Microphone Preamplifier
chocked with unusual features to warm and soften the source, along with an
offers an incredible performance transformer-coupled mic preamp, whose noise
floor is far below any microphone’s self noise.
one-of-a-kind ‘CompSat’ section is an uncompromising compressor and saturator
circuit that offers versatile ‘coloring’, and classic knee compression.
Section – This is a super low noise transformer input amplifier section, with
the gain digitally controlled. This section comes standard with a shielded
Lundahl transformer, but provides for a Jensen transformer also.
to noise far exceeds any microphone in existence, typically over 130 dB with
the input shorted and 40dB of gain. Having used many mic preamps over the
years, we have implemented a unique stepped gain control that should be
impervious to the normal flakiness that age causes to pots and detented
the output gain of 14 dB, a total 74 dB of gain is available to the user with
the CompSat section bypassed.
A 48 Volt
Phantom power is provided for condenser mikes.
CompSat™ Section - This unique circuitry sets the Mike-E apart from all other
mic preamplifiers. It has four sections:
Saturator – This is 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 that includes Germanium semiconductors starts to more
severely flatten out the peaks. An LED named “BAD!” indicates harder un-musical
Compressor – This is an uncompromising compressor/limiter circuit that allows
detented control of attack and release for easy repeatability. You adjust the
amount of compression with the DRIVE knob, which adjusts the level going into
the compressor. In ways it is Distressor-like, but has other 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 Buss. 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 & release shape.
- The Emphasis is actually two circuits that surround the compressor and
saturator, as shown in the block diagram. The Pre-emphasis boosts the high
frequencies before the compressor and saturator (CompSat), soft clipping them
sooner than normal, while a de-emphasis cuts the frequencies complementary
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.
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 in the uncompressed
signal to the compressed signal. As the user rotates the MIX control from full
right to full left, he goes from the full compressed signal to the full dry
signal (absent of any compression or saturation).
Preamplifier with super low noise & stepped gain switching.
- Built in
‘Direct Box’, called the ‘Inst In’, offers unparalleled distortion,
noise, and frequency response when pre-amping instruments.
- ‘Colored’ 80Hz High pass filter emulates the warm low frequency
cut of our favorite vintage equalizers.
Switch to invert the audio signal 180 degrees.
offers both a musical Compressor/Limiter and a unique tape-like
high-frequency emphasis system softens high frequency
‘pile-ups’ and further the creamy color of the Mike-E.
Control allows the blending of the Compressed/Saturated signal with
the clean unprocessed “Dry” signal.