Empirical Labs Inc. (ELI), designs and produces professional audio equipment and software. This includes equipment used in recording studios, live sound, broadcast studios and other audio production facilities etc. We also make software for digital signal processors.
Most of you are here because you have heard about or used our Distressor. This product, which is our first hardware product, was designed in 1994, tested and revised for several years, and released in early 1996. The Distressor is the first in a series of audio products from ELI that will offer original features, ease of use, long product life, and a very musical audio path.
Empirical Labs was started in 1988 and functioned mainly as a recording studio and electronics consulting firm. The founder, Dave Derr, was also employed at the time by Eventide as an audio engineer. Dave was part of the core design team for the H3000, H3500, and DSP4000. His experience at Eventide proved valuable for his later work. While working alongside Ken Bogdanowicz and Bob Belcher (both now at Wave Mechanics), Dave was exposed to great engineering and the modern world of digital signal processing (DSP).
In 1998, Empirical Labs closed the doors of the recording studio. The sales of the Distressor had flourished after a shining review appeared in the December 1996 issue of Mix magazine. Other audio trade magazines followed with glowing reviews & articles. Later that year, the company picked up and moved to a larger facility to meet their increased production requirements.