Empirical Labs Lil FreQ

The Empirical Labs Lil FreQ like most Empirical Labs products offers something unique among it's peers, in this case 8 processor sections.

Empirical Labs Lil FreQ

As with ELI’s other signal processors, the Empirical Labs Big FreQ Equalizer takes a somewhat unique approach to its job. Instead of daisy chaining several equalizers and frequency processors, we combined most of the sound sculpting tools an engineer needs into a compact single rack space box, while still offering the highest performance of any design in its class.

There are eight sections of processing – what other EQ offers that? Even better – in addition to a master bypass, each of the Empirical Labs Lil FrEQ’s sections features its own dedicated bypass switch, letting you instantly A/B the effect of each section as you adjust and fine-tune them.

Empirical Labs Lil FreQ 1

Details

High Pass
The High Pass section is a really easy to use sharp filter that cuts all content below one of eight preset frequencies from 30-330 Hz. This filter is very steep and has a special shape that prevents frequencies from thinning out just above the cutoff point. The corner frequency is selected using up/down buttons, and indicated by LEDs that glow softly when the section is bypassed, and brightly when the section is engaged.

High and Low Shelving
These two knobs function similarly to the familiar “bass and treble” tone controls found on many consumer audio playback systems; however, these are designed to a much higher performance standard, providing exceptionally smooth and musical boost and cut on the high and low frequencies.

Parametric EQ
The Empirical Labs Lil FreQ has four sections of fully parametric EQ (LF, Lo Mid, Hi Mid and HF), with each section featuring individual gain, bandwidth (Q) and frequency controls.  It may be the cleanest parametric EQ section ever produced, operating below .0007% THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) even at extremely high audio levels. Try finding those specs anywhere else!

DS (Dynamic EQ)
The DS section provides the highest performance, easiest to use, and possibly most natural sounding “De-esser” ever built.  This powerful tool combines tunable filters with a compressor-like circuit that can help contain and control excessive high frequency content such as sibilants or other sharp transients, especially in the absence of other lower frequency content. 

It can also function as a one of a kind soft knee High Frequency limiter, which is one of the main things responsible for the Empirical Labs Lil FreQ becoming the go-to vocal EQ for engineers everywhere.  It has been used on many acclaimed albums and major live performances all over the world, becoming the “go to” EQ for key tracks like lead vocals, snares, and bass.  There are now dozens of hit record vocals that were processed thru the Empirical Labs Lil FreQ.

Specifications

Released: 2005

Frequency Response:

  • 5Hz – 140kHz in transformerless mode.
  • 10Hz – 110kHz in transformer mode.

Dynamic Range: 120dB
THD: 0.0056%

Dimensions: 482.6mm x 44.45mm x 254mm

Plug-In Options
Empirical Labs Big FreQ
Inspired by the precision and warmth of Empirical Labs Lil FrEQ parametric equalizer, BIG FrEQ introduces superior fine tuning controls for surgical tone shaping and a unique FINISHER section for adding organic harmonic distortion.