Hardware and software manufacturer Empirical Labs released the Arousor LT, a carefully trimmed version of its Arousor Classic Knee Compressor plug-in. The stripped-down user interface is easier for novices, and the same goes for the price. But the sound of the full version stays. So it all makes for a straightforward take on the versatile, but somewhat tricky Distressor by the company that manufactures it. For many, that’s all the Distressor action they actually need.
Empirical Labs Arousor LT compressor plug-in
The manufacturer approached Arouser LT with all the care and attention you’d expect. The ratios available in the plug-in were carefully chosen to deliver a wide range of usable sounds with a variety of audio source. The 1:1 ratio is also present to let users drive the saturation without compression.
If you are familiar with the Arousor plug-in, you’ll notice the LED bar graphs for AtMod and Saturation have fixed settings in the Arousor LT. Upgrading to the full version unlocks control over these parameters. You can see and hear it in action from the video below:
AtMod stands for Attack Modification, which slows the attack envelope’s initial slope to let a bit more transient attack back into the track. In the Arousor LT, this is a fixed parameter set to 3. The Arousor has its default setting at 2 and is also switchable. Likewise, the Saturation parameter lets you add vintage-style harmonic distortion and soft clipping.
Also included is a 110Hz high-pass filter used to remove low frequencies from the sidechain signal triggering the compression detector.
All in all, the Arousor LT is a viable Distressor redux. It’s also an affordable slice of the full Arousor version’s potential along with an upgrade path for users who want to explore it.
Price and availability information
The plug-in is available now from Empirical Labs, priced USD 49 down from USD 79 for the introductory period. Activation is handled via iLok. A free 15-day trial version and the user manual can be downloaded from the website. The plug-in works on recent Windows and macOS computers in the usual 64-bit formats (VST, AU, AAX).