Published by Ward Pike on 6th March 2012
Universal Audio dual LA2a (2LA2)
The LA2a is renowned as one of the most loved compressors in our field of work. There are many variants that hae come along over the years but most of the variants offer cosmetic and branding differences and not actual fundamental changes in sound or usefulness.
The (presently and hopefully temporarily) discontinued 2LA2 is a dual channel (linkable for stereo) LA2a that represents everything we love and find useful in an LA2a. The controls are simple... leveling amount (peak reduction) and make-up gain (gain) in two large knobs with switches for choosing limiting and compressing, true bypass, stereo linking and meter monitoring.
I am quite familiar with many vintage LA2 comps and this unit is no slouch. I use it regularly to control the levels of vocals, bass, guitars and even keys during tracking. Not only does it provide great dynamic control but improves the tone of anything that passes through it. It's like it inserts a glue into an audio program that allows it to gel with anything else in the mix.
As for technical details? Get them from the website...or other sources.
I highly recommend this dual channel tube compressor and couldn't work without it to the same results.
By KennaOkoye on 20th March 2012
I am just getting into the analog world, and really understanding what I need as opposed to what is popular and famed. I will say though that this to my ear lives up to it's reputation. I haven't found a compressor to track female lead vocals better than this revision of the dual LA2A other than single teletronix version. I will say this doesn't give me as much icing on the cake on higher frequencies like the older revision.
I'm a preset guy and I like to build from there on, so fixed attacks and releases are REALLY attractive to me lol. I know I shouldn't think like that but I like to trust what I use and then add my flair. This is the part where I slightly buy into it's historical fame.
I find it really useful when leveling stratocasters with single coil pickups, and female vocals because I like what it doess to higher frequencies. Some compressors give sounds the strong gels where you know a guitar is in the mix, but it sounds just lifeless. This compressor almost make me feel professional. Like, I actually know what I am doing.
Sometimes I do feel the need to want to compress something at it's transients, I think about it and then realize I can't. As a musician on a budget, I don't think this is the move if you are trying to do a million things. If you are that guy who just wants to track something smooth, add that character I was talking about before and to make your life easier mixing in the box, then this is the move. I can stress enough, but this is angel butter for female or high male vocals. I like other compressors for male vocals better. This does the trick for guitars. Also it is useful if you can track analog synth pads through it! I wish I could afford the older revision, because I like what it's got going on! Smooth and easy.
I have never used the newer revision of this.