A unique tube-driven electro-optical attenuator system allows instantaneous gain reduction with no increase in harmonic distortion — an accomplishment at the time, still appreciated today. Painstaking care has been taken to ensure that every new LA-2A provides the performance characteristics of the original. Each unit is point-to-point hand-wired and built in Scotts Valley, California, with every component carefully evaluated for authenticity. Each unit is hand-built and hand-wired in-house at UA with each component being carefully evaluated for authenticity.
No expense has been spared to guarantee that this LA-2A will bring that classic sound to your recording. Demand the original. Accept no copy. Features True to the original in design, manufacturing and performance Lag free, distortion free optical attenuator system Distortion less than 0.
Model Behaviour: LA-2A Emulations vs Hardware
The best gear advice always comes from those who use it the most. That's where you come in! Once you submit your review, please check your email and verify your address to have it posted.
How do you rate this product? Whether it's going into the booth with nothing written down or pairing with a collaborator you've never worked with bef Best known for her work with Anne-Marie, Melanie Martinez, and Andra Day, Decilveo brings soulful sounds and vintage textures to every pr Virtually every modern recording uses compression somewhere in the chain of tracking, mixing, and mastering.One of the key growth areas in music software over the last decade has been the market for emulations of classic hardware.
And by emulations, we really mean painstakingly accurate modelling of the behaviour of those classic units — a huge step up from some of the lacklustre imitations passed off as emulations over the years.
There are, of course, still countless plugins which take that approach, but over the last decade a much more authentic type of emulation has emerged.
When Universal Audio announced three new emulations of the classic Teletronix LA-2A compressorit raised a few questions. How many emulations of subtly different versions of the same unit are necessary? Is emulation now so accurate that it really warrants this kind of approach? Then, to compound matters further, software development veterans Cakewalk released another new LA-2A emulation in the form of their CA-2A plugin.
And still an old nagging doubt played on our minds: are emulations of year-old analogue units really the best tools for dance music production?
We realised it was time to call in a self-confessed LA-2A fan whose all-round knowledge of production and engineering, compression, analogue hardware and audio software development is second to none: Gregory Scott of Kush Audio. The brief? Not a traditional review as such, but an invitation to go into some serious detail about the various LA-2A models, teach us a few things about compression and discuss some of the strengths and weaknesses of modelled compressors in general.
A feature written by a competitor of the product being tested? I was intrigued! So I invite you now to join me as I recount my journey of rediscovering an old familiar friend and learning that, while many of my doubts about using this tool for dance music were justified, many were not, and depending on the kind of music you make and sounds and textures you favour, these plugins could be an indispensable and inspiring part of your toolkit.
The simplest answer to that question is: a compressor — a signal processor that reduces the dynamic range of a signal. A compressor, viewed from a more artistic perspective, is a tool we can use to change, among other things, the movement, energy, intensity, focus, size, density, depth, and tone of a sound. This optical mechanism was simultaneously crude and ingenious, and to this day it produces some of the most natural, pleasing, easy-to-use compression anywhere. And of all the opto compressors past and present — I can count at least 20 different brands and models off the top of my head — the LA-2A is undeniably one of the most famous, most ubiquitous and for some of the vintage units that are older than I am most coveted pieces of high-end analogue gear in existence.
The LA-2A is undeniably one of the most famous, most ubiquitous and most coveted pieces of analogue gear in existence. Author Gregory Scott 28th October, Great review, loved the bass examples. Can really feel the punch on the hardware version. Perhaps you should offer a Kush modded LA2A…. Great review, great piece of insight given by the author and backed up by solid pieces of audio.Forum Rules.
Universal Audio LA-2A Electro-Optical Classic Compressor
Remember Me? Results 1 to 5 of 5. Anyone bought the Clone gear? PLugIn comparisons would be appreciated to I bit on this deal. Theres some decent reviews. Free Headphones tossed in, make it a decent deal. Attached Thumbnails. The Impedance is something I could hear change tones. Theres a very nice soft-power up and down, excellent detail. Its all discrete, with 3qty transformers, the overdrive distorts in analog way, no digital clipping even when hitting the red limit.
The ability to get a huge signal into the DAW was impressive. I just ran the Output into the Line In on my interface. Nothing else in the loop. The 24 DC was a line lump, which was very decent with 3 -prong ac going to the stepdown, then the 24vdc cable going to the unit. No problem and quiet. The mfg Alctron did foundry for many companys and once they learned the designs soon put out their own competing version.
That might have rubbed some wrong I guess they can complain to Rupert Neve about designs being copied?? The history reading gets out of control as miniscule parts weren't even consistent with the original let alone the obsoleting of parts etc Besides parts alone, adding cost, in general, I'll bet the sounds and units are pretty close.
So which clone do you buy? It makes my dry and plain interface IC sound sterile, which is why these outboard boxes exist. They do sound better. It gets to splitting hairs here. Im starting to get a pile built up again, Aphex's and Alctrons Very admirable online option for test driving gear. Sometimes stupid stuff like ergonomics of a desktop or Rack is a deciding factor. The Great River and this have the same "large" layout, of 10" deep!
I compared those specs too. There is a very nice something going on in discrete component land with transformers. Pulled up my Neve Plugin and the Hardware sounded much better to my ears.
Seems every time I use RealTime plugins my mind wants to go through the Latency exercise check, maybe because in solo rabbit hole silence I hear the darth vader phaser sound a tiny bit I doubt a young band playing energetic music would suffer over it.
The unique warmth of its compression, especially on the human voice, has made it one of the most popular designs ever made. The complex physics of how it compresses an audio signal is matched only by the complexity of all the revisions it has undergone since its creation. Thanks to several changes in ownership, the LA-2A has seen a large volume of refinements in its basic design. This has made it extremely difficult to know the differences between the various versions that have been released over the years.
Here at Vintage King, we have serviced and sold a multitude of units, and have seen every variety possible. Read on to better understand the nature of each particular unit and learn more about one of the greatest compressors in history. The original amplifier of this type was designated the LA-1, invented by Jim Lawrence, an electrical engineer and founder of the Teletronix Engineering Company in Pasadena, California in Teletronix made radio broadcast equipment, and the original limiting amplifier was intended to level out the audio signal for broadcast.
Its innovation lay in using an electro-optical sensor designated the T4 to detect signal changes that would trigger compression or limiting. It was a simple design of which maybe a hundred were made before improvements led to the second design, the LA This version used an improved photo sensor, the T4A, and the unit became popular in radio stations across the country. Starting with the first revision, there have been seven major iterations of the LA-2A. These different designs include the two main versions, two sub-versions, and two reissues.
Finally, there is the current resurrection of the design that is still being manufactured by Universal Audio. All of the major technical and cosmetic changes are detailed below. Sorry, no products are currently available. Fill out this form to get on the waiting list and we will notify you as soon as one is available.
It stands to reason that the official Universal Audio LA-2A reissue is the closest to the original spec that one could hope for, utilizing a custom copy of the original transformer, as well as the T4B opto-cell from the 60s. If you're looking for something for your Series rack, the brand also makes a smaller version called the Opticom XLA that still features a tube in its design.
The Doublewide from Retro Instruments is a compressor that gives off LA-2A vibes, but its small size also allows it to fit into your Series rack. Unlike other Retro products, this one is designed completely from scratch and features four tubes hidden inside and two timing modes for a wide range of compression options.
This compressor has truly become a favorite in the modern studio setting as it is being used on hit records in the worlds of hip-hop and pop every single day. It's design features two time-controllers, a gain-reduction element and a tube-based push-pull amplifier.
Only registered users can write reviews. Please, log in or create an account. It is hard to make things so bad with the LA-2A. The tone and level control of this unit is just superb. How can a unit, any kind of unit, turn a good sound into a better sound? To me it is not logic, but I have to admit, the LA-2A d o e s a marvellous job, even at spoken text. Why not offer a Volt version, straight forward to the EU-Market?
This compressor is one of the Best things I use every time when I record Vocals. Also this piece comes handy for Bass or Guitar while mixing them up. I also tested this particular one with Waves emulation and I have to say that UAD version has some kind of analog flavour on it, so for me this is the Best weapon out there. Even though it is the new and not the vintage version I heard so much about referencing the versions.
The LA2A is plain magic. Just try to compress a voiceover with a low male voice, and compare the hardware vs.
You'll see Same goes to electric bass And if anybody tells yoou that optos are not for drums, try it on bassdrum just once, and the judge on your own!
This is the plug you want to get out the gate when you start UAD. It's utility. The others are as well but this will truly show you the epitome of UAD sound and power.
Just a magical little plug. The way way the vocals. Sound so warm and the way they melt on a record is Extra ordinary, I run my neaumann mic thru my Avalon to he LA2a and the results are very impressive.
I don't think I could ever record anything with out it. I adds that extra element to every recording it's a must buy if you want that radio sound and clarity. I can't imagine recording a voice without that compressor. I used it with a preamp neve and a sony cg microphone I have used this compressor in many studios and in all kinds of stiles all over the years, but only now I had the chance to by one of my own an I have no words to describe how happy I am.Both have been re-issued by Universal Audio and continue to sell well today, while vintage Teletronix LA-2As and Urei s go for a pretty penny on the secondhand market.
This odd duck was half the size of an and downright diminutive compared to the massive 3U LA-2A. Still two rack-spaces high, but only a half rack in width, the LA-3A seemed designed to be sold in pairs, as indeed it often was.
Released inthe LA-3A - like its tube-based papa - derived its response characteristics from the legendary T4b opto-isolator, which consisted of an electro-luminescent panel paired with a photo-sensitive resistor.
The Teletronix LA-2A Optical Limiter
The louder the signal coming in, the brighter the electro-luminescent panel. The photo-resistor reacts to this light and the signal gain is reduced. While the attack for small transients will be similar to the older model, the LA-3A reacts much more quickly to larger transients, due to the solid-state components driving the luminescent panel. Vintage units had a switch around the back to toggle between compression and limiting - a common mod brings this switch up to the front panel, more often than not accompanied by a bit of Dymo tape labelling.
The LA-3A parts ways with its predecessor by ditching the valve-based circuits for a then-modern solid-state design that shares some similarities with the This results in a much less coloured signal than that of the LA-2A, but also one that works wonders on the lower-midrange frequencies, making it a favourite for electric guitar and male rock vocals.
The LA-3A was something of a sleeper - it was sold for well over a decade, being quietly discontinued in Recently, Universal Audio re-issued it for what turned out to be a limited time. Prices of secondhand units are now steadily climbing as engineers across the globe are rediscovering the delights of the dynamics dynamo.
If you want a killer copy, go to the source - assuming you have a UAD-2 or Apollo interface, that is. Bundled with clones of the LA-2A and as part of the Chris Lord-Alge Classic Compressors bundle, this is a meticulously modelled emulation of the original LA-3A that aims to meet the demands of the producer who lent his name to the collection.Warm Audio WA2A Teletronix Shootout
As with the real thing, you get compressor and limiter modes. This cross-platform clone of the LA-3A promises to capture the entire circuit path of the LA-3A, including the all-important T4b opto-isolator cell.
Recreations of vintage analog recording gear for your studio
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I already have a spare clean boost for electric guitar as well as overdrive pedals that would probably do the trick with the gain set low but I decided that a compressor would be perfect for this because there are a wide variety of acoustic guitar techniques with interesting tonal characteristics that also have a wide range of dynamics -- finger picking versus light picking versus heavy picking versus snapping the strings back, etc.
If you are doing a solo performance, it's cool to let the dynamics of these techniques ring out in their individual brilliance but if you are playing with a backing band or even just as an acoustic duo, you need to it to sit on top of all this when you are doing an important melody line or solo. The problem with most electric guitar compressors is that they tend to be more of an audible effect than a true, transparent, studio quality compressor.
They also tend to be very noisy. While I have not had the pleasure of using the hardware version of one of these, I've used various DAW plug-in emulators and this is my go-to compressor for pretty much any track type and I knew that a true LA-2A would be perfect for this application.
I didn't realistically believe that you can take a multiple thousand dollar rack unit and squeeze it into a mini pedal at this price point but at least the thought that it was inspired by these design characteristics made me interested so I figured I'd give it a shot. Long story short -- awesome pedal! Accomplished exactly what I wanted.