The FG-Stress is an official recreation of the Empirical Labs Distressor. It's in its last stages of development and is coming soon to Slate Digital!

The Distressor is one of the most iconic studio compressors in the pro audio business. When it was first introduced in the 90’s, it was one of the most innovative concepts the industry had ever seen. It could sound like so many other classic compressors, but at the same time, it was also unique with it’s own musical character. You cannot go into a professional recording studio without seeing a Distressor sitting in the racks. And because of this incredible prestige, the Distressor has also been one of Slate Digital’s most customer requested plugin emulations. 

The Slate Digital DSP team, led by our cofounder Fabrice Gabriel, worked hard to ensure that every single detail of the hardware was perfectly recreated, from the subtle harmonic tones to the precise timing characteristics, and even it’s special modes like the Opto mode and Nuke mode. 

The FG-Stress, like its hardware counterpart, is capable of an extremely wide variety of tones that will work on all kinds of material. 

You will be able to get this wonderful processor along with thousands of dollars worth of other great pro audio plugins in the Slate Digital Everything Bundle starting at only $14.99, or buy it in the Slate Digital Webshop (it will intro at $149, then regular price $199). So don’t stress about plugin compression, and happy mixing!





Dear Audio Professional,

I can't believe it's summer again. The years are starting to fly by so fast. But this makes me reflect on how important it is to wake up and make every single day count. Lately I've been trying to break out of my usual routine and explore new things.

I started experimenting with new musical styles, including a new track that fuses jazz with some heavy electronic elements. I’ve also started to take a weekly hike in one of the many Los Angeles hike trails.. something I’ve not really taken advantage of in the past. And finally, I’ve been staying off the bacon and eating more vegetables. Just kidding I’m not doing that last one because bacon is awesome and vegetables are gross.

This has been an incredible year at the Slate Companies with so many fantastic success stories that would not be possible without you guys. Virtual Microphone System is the top selling microphone in its class. It’s being used in both pro and home studios, and has recorded artists like Snoop Dogg, Sting, Lala Hathaway, El Debarge, Seal, and more! Check out this clip of Snoop trying the mic. After he heard it, he ordered three of them for his studios.


This past Winter, we announced the Virtual Recording Studio and the ML-2 instrument modeling mic, and I’m proud to say we are getting ready for our first production run that should be shipping at the end of summer. I’ve already recorded an entire session with the VRS and it was one of the most fun sessions I’ve had in a long time! Being able to scroll through different mics to find the perfect match for the song is just a blast. And then in the mix you can change mics or add a few more by copying tracks and making hybrids!

I'll also admit, this year was not without its hardships. And some of those hardships have been very STRESSful. The FG-Stress, an emulation of the famous Distressor compressor has been severely delayed due to unexpected complications in the modeling process. Let me explain what happened. When we first started to model the Distressor, we used techniques that we have used in the past that have produced amazing results. But we learned late in the game that there were some really funky things happening in the Distressor. Almost every control interconnects with another. For instance, the attack affects the release, the release affects the attack, and the input level affects both!! As we discovered more anomalies in the circuit, we kept putting bandaids in the code, until it looked like more bandaids than code!

Finally, we had a meeting and realized that if we are going to give our customers the most 100% authentic emulation of the Distressor that they deserve and expect, we had to take drastic measures. We stripped off the bandaids, created new techniques from the ground up, and started to create a model that took into account all that we’d learned. And now this algorithm is ON FIRE. So I’m not going to be foolish enough to ever give a release date of a plugin until it’s in beta (like what we did with the new Virtual Tube Collection), but I am going to say that we apologize to you all about the delay, and we promise we are on the right track and that it will indeed be worth the wait!

Furthermore, while our FG-X plugin is still being used by top mastering facilities around the globe, we did promise a version 2 quite some time ago, and it has still not arrived. We’re not making excuses about this one, and we apologize about our poor ability to predict its development time. The problem here is that there is no “FG-X Hardware” to use as a reference in the coding process like many of our other plugins.  All of the new FG-X 2 code is coming directly from Slate Digital CTO, Fabrice Gabriel’s brain. And to make this algorithm even better than the currently available limiters is certainly taking a lot of time and focus. But again, there is progress each week, and when it is finally out, I’m confident that it will be an extremely effective mastering processor.

But back to some brighter topics, the Virtual Tube Collection that we released last week has been one of our most praised releases to date. The feedback has been absolutely mind blowing and we really appreciate it! And there is plenty of more great plugin releases in store that I think will be received equally as well…  although my lips are sealed for obvious reasons! :)

So last, I’ll leave you with a Q&A where I answered seven customer submitted questions, from my favorite music style to why I apparently never blink. Enjoy the start of your summer, spread some love, make some inspiring music, and we’ll talk again soon!

Wanna chat? Join the Slate Audiophiles Facebook Group where I hang every day:


Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request



Article is closed for comments.