The Arousor™ is the only Distressor plugin made by the makers of the Distressor themselves, Empirical Labs Inc. It’s been well over 20 years since Empirical Labs released its first compressor, The Distressor. From those early days on, Empirical Labs has been bombarded with requests for a great compressor plugin for those working in the box… and it had to be one with the creamy sound and ease-of-use of our own award winning hardware compressors. We are sure you will find the 20+ year wait worth it!


NEW - Bypass Anything

There are some great features available on the Arousor, but sometimes you don’t want to use all of them. As of Rev 2.2, you can bypass any parameter to closely monitor the changes you are making or achieve a higher level of transparency. Click here to download the latest Rev.

Rivet Mode

Get maximum gain reduction with the Rivet mode along with all of the ratios you know and love from the Distressor. Modeled after the Distressor’s Nuke Ratio, Rivet provides the steepest compression ratio a compressor plugin can provide to slam room mics and more.

Attack Modification

Fine tune the attack curve of the compression envelope with AtMod. The attack modification knob slows 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.

Colorful Saturation

Add some vintage-style harmonic distortion to any track with the soft clipper. Whether you are looking for subtle or extreme amounts of total harmonic distortion, the soft clipper knob merges both of the distortion settings on the Distressor to grant the user complete control of total harmonic distortion without having to adjust the input level of the Arousor.

Advanced Detector Sidechain

Dial in exactly where you want the compression to trigger with 2 bands of sidechain EQ. This advanced detector sidechain EQ expands both of the preset detection filter circuits on the Distressor into a controllable hi-pass and parametric sidechain. Control the exact point on the frequency spectrum where you want compression to be triggered without losing any low-end.

Blend Expert Panel

Sometimes, you need just the right amount of parallel processing. Click the “e” button in the Blend section of the Arousor to open the Expert Panel where you can precisely match the dry level to the processed signal level.

What's new in Rev 2.2

  • Bypass for all sections of the Arousor.  Click on the Section Title Text to Bypass that section.
  • Backwards Compatible with Rev 1.0 – Rev 2.1 and won’t “break” your past mixes.
  • Graphic and Interface Improvements – New graphic elements including the Big White Knobs, and 3d Depth.
  • Fixed compatibility problems with newest Apple Operating Systems and various DAWs including Pro Tools 2018, and Logic Pro X.
  • Improved Support for some control surfaces.
  • Added an “X” button on the Help menu to close the Help Menu a second way.
  • Bug fixes for various DAWs and operational improvements.
  • New Presets to get you started.

Try It

Try the Arousor for Free for 15 days.

• Download the Arousor Installer at the link the link below.
• Install the Arousor and click “TRY” the first time it is opened.
• An iLok USB Generation 2 or higher is required to use the Arousor.


Own It

Buy the Arousor on our store.

• When you purchase the Arousor from our online store you get 2 Perpetual Licenses when you redeem your activation code.
• Get free upgrades and support.
• An iLok USB Generation 2 or higher is required to use the Arousor.



Pay Monthly or Annually.

• Subscription services are provided by Gobbler.
• When you subscribe, Gobbler will provide you one Subscription license.
• An iLok USB Generation 2 or higher is required to use the Arousor.

$4.99/month or $49.99/year

Hear the Difference

↳ Drums - Dry

↳ Drums - Default Preset (5-8 dB Gain Reduction)

↳ Drums - PUMMELED KIK SN Preset (10-15 dB Gain Reduction)

↳ Drums - RIVET EXTREME Preset (20 dB Gain Reduction)

↳ Drums - RIVET EXTREME Preset (Blend set to 2)

↳ Drums - Only Saturation (Soft Clipper set to 8)



Join the Community

Share presets, tips, experiences, and more on our forum

Follow the Arousor Thread on Gearslutz


Upgrades are free! All you have to download the newest version from the downloads page and install it.

Nope! The Arousor is backwards compatible thanks to our text based presets.

When you purchase the Arousor from our online store or another online retailer, the activation code you received contains 2 perpetual licenses for you and you only. This is in case you have multiple iLok USBs or multiple systems. Keep an Arousor at home and take one on the road with you, put one in Studio A and the other in Studio B, or whatever you want!

Only customers who have purchased the Arousor at full price get 2 perpetual licenses. Subscriptions and demos only provide 1 expiring license. Some online retailers, such as AVID, do not supply 2 licenses. If you have purchased the Arousor at full price and did not receive 2 perpetual licenses, contact