The Empirical Labs EL9 Mike-E is an analog channel strip that consists of both a mic preamp and a compressor. The unit has both 1/4 inch and XLR connections and is generally pretty user friendly. It is indeed a rack mountable piece of outboard gear and will take up only a single space in a traditional rack.
The make up of the Empirical Labs EL9 Mike-E isn't too hard to follow overall. It is easy to use and has parameters that are ubiquitous across most mic pres and compressors, so those with previous experience with channel strips like this one should be able to adapt to this rather quickly. In the mic pre section, you've got parameters for plus or minus gain as well as a phase button and a phantom power button. The compression section has parameters for drive, comp mode, ratio, attack, release, and mix. There is also an overall output level knob that is in its own section. I haven't seen the manual for the EL9 so I can't say too much about it.
The all around sound quality of the Empirical Labs EL9 Mike-E is very impressive. The mic pre is quite accurate and has a sound that can be described as fat and wide. The compressor is probably the most impressive part about this unit, however. Since compressors are their specialty, the compressor in this channel strip has an incredible sound. It has a variety of parameters that make it possible to get all sorts of different tones. For this reason I find it easy to use the EL9 in tandem with just about any type of instrument or voice as it can adapt to all sorts of different situations.
I've been using the Empirical Labs EL9 Mike-E for about a year and it has become one of my favorite pieces of gear made by Empirical Labs, which is saying a lot considering their impressive line of gear. I would definitely recommend it as a top choice for those looking for a top tier channel strip with a great sounding pre and an even better sounding compressor. While the price isn't exactly cheap, it is reasonable and is aimed at those professionals looking for great tone regardless of the price. All in all the Empirical Labs EL9 Mike-E is a very impressive unit that should be looked into by any professional engineer interested in new and exciting channel strips.
Superb preamp, based CompSat great, I siturai compressor between a Distressor and a fatso.
Y'aurai an eq in addition it would be better, but hey I stop complaining!
Superb use parallel compression useful
Soniorités several possible thanks to CompSat, rather simulate a tube preamp or germanium, it can do everything
It's great I love it! especially the compressor section which is the heart of the machine. Only concern we immediately wants a second for stereo.
Some small reliability problems, but the excellent Cedric in Marion Jukebox me set it smoothly and quickly