by Stefan Wyeth | 4,9 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes
Empirical Labs PUMP

 ·  Source: Empirical Labs


With so much flashy gear launched at NAMM 2023, it’s easy for products like the Empirical Labs PUMP to go under the radar.


This 500-series compressor module has been a LONG time coming. In fact, the idea for its design was first conceived in 2014, and it’s been 12 years since Empirical Labs released new hardware – so you can excuse us for being a little excited.

Empirical Labs PUMP

Created to be a workhorse compressor in your 500-series rack, the PUMP uses design elements from some of Empirical Labs’ popular processors like the Distressor, the Arousor, and the Mike-E.

From the get-go, the PUMP is a straightforward and clearly laid out piece of kit, with a BAD (clipping) indicator positioned right next to the input gain controls. However, there are some slightly more technical features that become apparent upon closer inspection.

It gives you eight preselected ratios each with their own unique compression curve, including 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, 6:1, 8:1, 10:1, 12:1, and 20:1 which immediately makes the PUMP a versatile tool.

The digitally-stepped Attack and Release controls allow for precise recall, and you can access the soft Opto-Coupler style Release feature.

Empirical Labs PUMP

Empirical Labs PUMP

You also have a switchable Detector HP filter, fixed at 70Hz, and a germanium diode saturation clipper circuit similar to the one found on the Mike-E.

By far one of the most interesting features has got to be Attack Modification. This unique shaping control slows the initial slope of the attack envelope in order to make the transient more pronounced.

This feature originates from the Arouser plug-in and is perfect for adding knock to your snare and bass guitar tracks without losing the amount of compression you have dialled in.

Pricing and availability:

The PUMP will be available soon from your favourite retailer, at a price of $699 MSRP.

Overall, the PUMP provides a staggering amount of value. The fact that it’s stereo-linkable means you can have two Distressors in your 500-series rack for the price of one and the transient shaping feature makes it even more worthwhile.

More about the Empirical Labs PUMP:

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Image Sources:
  • Empirical Labs PUMP: Empirical Labs
Empirical Labs PUMP

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