There are many novelties presented this past edition of the NAMM Show, but one of the most outstanding is undoubtedly “PUMP”. Originally imagined in 2014, PUMP is a single channel, 500 series rack mount compressor loaded with the kinds of features and performance you’ve come to expect from Empirical Labs. This module has serious heritage and shares family DNA with notable ELI processors including the renowned Distressor, Arousor, and Mike-E. The PUMP is destined to be a “go-to” processor for the creative audio pro that has a toolbox built around no compromise performance, quality, and value.

Starting at the top, PUMP includes controls for Input Level with a clip (BAD) indicator. There are 8 selectable compression ratios from 2:1 to 20:1 and everything in between, each with their own unique curve. Independent digitally-stepped knobs provide precise recall of Attack and Release selections – including a soft Opto-Coupler style Release. PUMP has a switchable 70Hz High Pass Filter, comprehensive Gain Reduction metering, Attack Modification (AtMod) to slow the initial onset of the attack envelope to preserve more transient content for greater overall impact – with a Bypass selection to go dry.

Attack Modification:

One of the most unique features of PUMP is AtMod, short for Attack Modification. First seen is our Arousor plug-in, AtMod is a feature never before found in a hardware compressor. AtMod gives users the ability to slow down the initial slope of the attack envelope to add just a little bit more of the transient back into the track. Whether it’s to get a little bit more snap on the snare track or more thump on the electric bass, the AtMod will let the transients through without losing your desired amount of compression.

Stereo function with the PUMP:

And as if that was not enough, two PUMPs can be linked to have a stereo function. In short, we can have two Distressors in our 500 Series rack for the price of one.

We still don’t know the release date, but we do know that its price will be around €699. More information on the Empirical Labs website.