Ever wonder how an Empirical Labs console would sound? Trak Pak has your answer and it’s an emphatic, hell yeah. Introducing the Empirical Labs Trak Pak channel strip expansion for Console 1. In partnership with Dave Derr, the mastermind behind ELI, Softube expertly modeled two killer hardware units: the intensely punchy Lil FrEQ de-esser/analog equalizer and the hairy, fat-sounding Mike-E saturator/compressor. Turns out, these two get along like gangbusters.
Combined and configured for mixing, this pairing stuffs obscene amounts of power, punch, character, and analog warmth into a single channel strip. With the highly valued Console 1 workflow and bone-deep ELI sound, Trak Pak is unique for Console 1 and unlike anything on the pro audio market today. Drop exceptional analog sound and the perfect amount of vintage mojo onto your ecosystem with the Empirical Labs Trak Pak.
- The punchiest strip in the Console 1 ecosystem
- Created in partnership with the one-and-only Dave Derr and Empirical Labs
- The closest thing yet to an Empirical Labs console
- Featuring Lil FrEQ’s EQ/de-ess and Mike-E’s comp/sat on the Console 1 sections
Coming outshining: the ELI sound
Masterfully recreated in cooperation with Dave Derr and Empirical Labs, Trak Pak is a channel strip unlike any other in Softube’s catalog. It combines the signature ELI sound with the myriad workflow benefits that Console 1 is known and loved for. It’s the nearest thing to an ELI console going.
Between the Eyes: Mike-E’s compression and distortion
The Mike-E compressor is that flawless blend of compression and distortion that modern production tracks demand. To make it more versatile, Softube split its functions into two Console 1 sections: Compressor and Drive. Compressor handles the pure compression side of things while Drive administers the gritty and warm distortion that Mike-E is famous for.
Smashing punches: Lil FrEQ’s EQ, filters, and De-ess section
The four-band parametric EQ, with the LF and HF sporting the now-classic fixed-frequency shelving filters. Added non-stepped high- and low-cut. The De-esser/HF Limiter in the Shape Section, making for some truly original sounds when combined with Mike-E’s impressive Compressor and Drive sections. The heart and soul of Lil FrEQ have been transplanted into Trak Pak. And it’s giving us life.
Temple of ELI
Based on components from the precisely-modeled Empirical Labs Lil FrEQ and Mike-E units, Trak Pak is Softube’s punchiest-ever channel strip for Console 1. Configured for mixing pros and optimized for the Console 1 workflow, Trak Pak features Lil FrEQ’s High-Pass filter and a newly designed Low-Pass filter in the Input Section, Lil FrEQ’s De-esser/HF Limiter in the Shape Section, and Lil FrEQ’s parametric EQ and High/Low Shelving in the Equalizer Section.
Mike-E makes his mark in the Compressor Section. Trak Pak’s Compression Section is the compression section from Mike-E’s CompSat, which is based on the famous Distressor. Coming straight from the “sat” in Mike-E’s CompSat, Trak Pak’s Drive Section offers full-on, retro-flavored distortion. If you’ve ever been curious about how a Mike-E/Lil-FrEQ supergroup would sound, check out Trak Pak.
Raised by a family of engineers, Dave Derr has gone from a chance encounter at Radio Shack to having his gear used in every major studio and on thousands of records. A rocker in his own right, his name is now synonymous with analog warmth, but he’s not resting on his laurels. On the contrary. The humble genius behind Empirical Labs continues thinking and tinkering and incrementally improving on the already amazing array of products he’s gifted the music industry. Products like Fatso, DerrEsser, and Distressor. It’s that work ethic and empirical spirit that has made ELI so well-regarded in the pro audio sphere. Its products are real-world tested and built to get the better of obsolescence. Softube couldn’t be prouder to be part of the Dave Derr and Empirical Labs legacy with their authentic emulations of their modern analog classics: Mike-E, Lil FrEQ, Trak Pak, and the Empirical Labs Complete Collection.
The anatomy of the Trak Pak channel strip
Consisting of the high-pass filter from the Lil FrEQ, and a newly designed low-pass filter that was created using the high-pass circuits. It features that sweet bump that gives the cuts a nicely defined sound.
This is not your dad’s gate or shape section. It’s the De-esser/HF Limiter from the Lil FrEQ. In HF Limiter mode it will work as a limiter for all frequencies above the cross-over frequency and is excellent for taming hard transients as well as emulating analog tape. In de-ess mode (with the HF Limiting turned off) it’s a level-independent de-esser that can turn down comparatively high or harsh frequencies in an extremely musical man n er.
The heart and soul of the Lil FrEQ transplanted. It’s a four-band parametric EQ in which the LF and HF have the classic, fixed-frequency shelving filters of Lil FrEQ. Softube also added a non-stepped high- and low-cut, based on the circuitry in the Lil FrEQ.
Compressor and Drive Sections
To make Mike-E’s near-perfect compressor even more versatile, Softube split the functionality into two Console 1 sections: Compressor and Drive. The compressor is the pure compression side of things, with continuous attack and release times as well as a classic Threshold control. Drive imbues Mike-E’s warm and toasty distortion that is famous for adding glue and control to the track. The Drive Character knob has the same type of brighten-or-darken functionality as seen in the SSL SL 4000E strip.
- Based on components from the precisely-modeled Empirical Labs Lil FrEQ and Mike-E units
- Optimized for the Console 1 workflow
- Sound and performance equivalent to the hardware counterparts
- The celebrated Empirical Labs sound
- ELI available for the first time as a channel strip
- Created in collaboration with the authority, Dave Derr of Empirical Labs