What is the most iconic compressor of all time? Of course, this is the legendary optical compressor based on Teletronix LA-2A lamps. Regardless of whether it is the original Teletronix 60 pendant module, the virtual version of Universal Audio, or any of the many excellent VST plug-ins modeled on hardware, it has been trusted throughout the history of music mixing, thanks to its transparent, smooth and musical dynamics. With a fixed attack and release time, there is no easier compressor management than LA-2A.
In this article, we list some of them that we consider to be the best LA-2A plugins and emulations that are worth checking out. In truth, the legacy of LA-2A is so wide that dozens of plug-ins are really very close in sound, features and design. We summarize the main and most often used by mixing engineers in the work!
Avid – BF-2A
Avid BF-2A is available as part of the classic Avid compressor kit. The user interface design may seem a little outdated compared to more modern versions of the plugins, but don’t let this dissuade you, the BF-2A, like the BF-76, are great instruments with a distinctive sound. Avid BF-2A is only available for Pro Tools AAX, Audiosuite, RTAS and, fortunately for HDX, AAX DSP users. Visit the official Avid website for more information.
Cakewalk – CA-2A T-Type Leveling Amplifier
Cakewalk handed out CA-2A (a consonant title to the original) completely free, which allowed many to get a license for an unlimited amount of time. Unfortunately, the company stopped updating, selling and supporting the plugin. However, its frequent use has earned a place on this list. We hope that new product owners will continue to add and refine this tool. Read more on the Cakewalk website.
IK Multimedia – White 2A
IK Multimedia is well known for developing great plugin audio emulations, one of which is White 2A. It is available in T-RackS 5 Deluxe packages, and in Studio MAX 2. White 2A offers a cool M / S mode not found in the original hardware … because the original device was single-channel. Visit IK Multimedia for more information.
Softube / Native Instruments – VC 2A
Softube is also one of those plugin developers who can model equipment in accordance with strict standards. Instead of Softube developing their own product under the LA-2A brand, they collaborated with Native Instruments to produce the VC 2A, which provides parallel mixing control that was not originally introduced on the equipment. Read more about the plugin on the Native Instruments website.
Universal Audio – UAD LA-2A
Is there any other developer more suitable for modeling LA-2A other than Universal Audio? This is not for us to decide. Two LA-2A variants are available for the UAD2 platform, both sounds are great, and both are probably the closest to a real compressor. Many tests and comparisons are proof of this. Visit Universal Audio for more information.
Waves – CLA-2A
Waves partnered with legendary engineer Chris Lord-Alge to create a set of plug-in emulations based on three well-known studio compressors. One of them is LA-2A, which was named CLA-2A. Chris has an excellent reputation for creating compressors and his precise knowledge, along with the capabilities of Waves, have given yet another LA-2A emulation, widely loved by musicians.