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bobwarren 15th March 2007 12:43 AM

Uses for LA2A Other than Vocals?
I'm considering getting one, but are there other sources it excels on like bass or guitar?

Led 15th March 2007 12:45 AM

Just using the transformer and the amp with no gain reduction can do nice things to harsh digital samples. Wouldn't want it on everything, but nice.

Jan Folkson 15th March 2007 12:47 AM

I've used em on Bass lots of times and on just about everything else at one time or another.

steins 15th March 2007 12:48 AM

Bass guitar and LA2A is a favourite at my place.

Stein Tore

walth 15th March 2007 12:59 AM

Awesome on Bass.

TanTan 15th March 2007 01:30 AM

Bass thumbsup sometimes elec guitars , sometimes brasses , sometimes just run the signal through the beast with no gain reduction and it will make you really happy ..

bobwarren 15th March 2007 01:31 AM

Thanks, guys. Bass was definately what I had in mind being a session player myself. Thanks again.

AlexLakis 15th March 2007 01:32 AM

"Uses for sex other than procreation?"

BOWIE 15th March 2007 01:37 AM

ELECTRIC GUITAR!! ****, if you haven't tried it be prepared to pick your jaw up off the ground. You don't even need to be compressing. It takes away some "fizz" and imparts a "glow" on the mids.

raal 15th March 2007 01:52 AM

good on kick. let's the click part through before grabbing. nice on pretty much anything with some low end.

bobwarren 15th March 2007 01:58 AM


Originally Posted by AlexLakis (Post 1179665)
"Uses for sex other than procreation?"

Love you too, man.

dillweed 15th March 2007 09:16 PM

+1 for the kick drum.
really handles it well for mixing

jchadstopherhuez 15th March 2007 09:31 PM

B A S S and K I C K drum here !!!

and....when i have one to use...VOCALS !! the only thing better sometimes is an LA3 or 1176...depending on how much character i need to add...the LA2 just KEEPS vocals up front and SMOOTH !!

wish i could afford on for my racks !!

btw...has anyone had experience with any la2 clones ?? I have used the adl1000 and I have a manley elop...which i love...but does not sound just like a real la-2.

has anyone used the red stripe or bloo la-2 clones ??

just curious..


Dan 15th March 2007 09:58 PM

It's a good rack space filler. It also works to impress people who care about outboard compressors.

Other than that, it's a solid compressor that works on many things you would like to squish. It's more of a question of you liking the sound than what it's good for, but I guess that answer is a little trite. oh well.

nobtwiddler 15th March 2007 10:01 PM

Love it on snare
On a good ole rock n roll kit, I love it on sanre drum...
And depending on the mic using it as a mic preamp on guitars is wonderful...

A great all around piece of kit.

drumkideric 15th March 2007 11:08 PM

I recently used 2 of them on a stereo piano track. I thought it sounded great on piano. Other than that I like it on bass, and sometimes kick.

Deleted bd1be4f 16th March 2007 02:56 PM

Yep, great on piano as well. Also try it on acoustic guitar, you might be pleasantly surprised.

bhp 17th March 2007 10:51 PM

Get a Pendulum OCL-2 instead.
I no longer have any desire for an LA-2A.

The Pendulum is much more flexible and sounds better.
You also get two channels for the price of one.

numrologst 18th March 2007 06:52 AM

i tracked some organ the other day through it.

I was at a buddies studio... The only preamps they had were their mci board desks... I was using aea r84's on the leslie... Not enough gain to get a good signal to tape... We were talking peaks at like -10 to -7vu... No outboard preamps, but they did have some nice vintage tele la2a's... Ran signal through there... Maybe a few db of reduction then enough gain to get me to 0vu peaks... Turned out fantastic

Drywsef 14th May 2010 10:36 PM

Has anyone been able to replicate LA2A-like settings on a distressor?

DONNX 14th May 2010 11:03 PM

Bass, kickdrum, vocals. thumbsup

jmikeperkins 15th May 2010 12:47 AM

Other than vocals, the LA-2A is great on bass, acoustic guitar, acoustic and electric piano. Sometimes it works on kick drum and guitar amps. Its almost ALWAYS good for vocals and for everything else it just depends on the source and the arrangement of the song. For jazz and acoustic based music its more likely to work on most everything. For rock, you would probably want an FET based compressor (dbx 160VU, 1176) on some things, like electric guitars, and the LA-2A on others (vocals). Also, with rock, you can get great results using an LA-2A for tracking vocals and the if you need more compression when mixing you could use an FET based compressor for that.

tapehiss 15th May 2010 12:50 AM

one of the best kick comps IMO

Drywsef 15th May 2010 01:08 AM

A distressor can't mimic the LA2A any any way?

Sonic Onion 15th May 2010 04:18 AM

I use the 10:1 ratio on the distressor exclusively for vocal compression

I have a vintage LA2A and I use the distressor in 10:1 mode all the time for vocal compression, rarely needing another compressor on my vocal track to control the dynamics and sit my vocal front and center in the mix.

My feeling about the distressor in 10:1 mode vrs the LA2A for vocals is this:

Same smooth action
Less noise
Better dynamic control
Less obvious pumping and breathing artifacts if you set the attack and release right
Easier to sit the vocal front and center, right where you need it in your mix
Less high frequency harmonic distortion
A more even and linear frequency response, making words and vocal phrases more consistent and inteligable.
Less need to insert another compressor to help out with evening dynamics
Less character, more natural

The bottom line is this: The LA2A will be more musical than the distressor, but only when a vocalist that has an incredible voice and control of that voice is standing in front of your microphone and has amazing mic technique to control the dynamics by moving the head close and away from the mic while they sing.

Bono is good at this with dynamic mics. Bono's vocal chain in earlier U2 records is an Neve 1066 into an LA2A. Later on the album "All that you can't leave behind" the vocals were compressed using a distressor in 10:1. Tim Palmer was the engineer and he swears by the distressor for everything, especially vocals.

Celine Dion is the master of mic technique on large tube mics. Celine's is a 1073 into an LA2A.

Chrisitina Aguilera is a more modern day singer who has amazing vocal mic technique. She sings into an Averil cloned API 312 preamp and then into an Anthony Demaria Labs 1000 compressor which is an LA2A take off. She also sings into an Esoteirc Audio Research compressor if the ADL isn't doing for her.

Almost all of Jerry Finn's productions (Green Day, Blink 182, Sum41) are done with the vocal mic going into a Martech preamp and then into the distressor in 10:1 mode.

I would say that it's safe to say that the distressor is the vocal compression sound of early 2000's pop and rock music. The distressor was widely used as the main vocal compressor on many top selling pop and rock records between 1999 and 2008. Just ask the Lord Alge brothers.

The distressor is most definitely a vocal compressor and one of the best.

Hope this helps! jkthtyrt

dandeurloo 15th May 2010 04:34 AM

It would be easier to ask what it doesn't work on. I use mine a ton. Partly because it sounds so amazing. Just running stuff through it for the tone is amazing.

It almost always sound amazing on vocals, bass. It also works on some electric guitars and acoustic guitars.

thethrillfactor 15th May 2010 04:57 AM


Originally Posted by Sonic Onion (Post 5404370)

Celine Dion is the master of mic technique on large tube mics. Celine's is a 1073 into an LA2A.

Modded Telefunken Elam 251, mastering lab mic pre, DBX 160Vu.

foldback 15th May 2010 06:30 PM

As others have said, just passing your audio through an LA-2 without even hitting it for gain reduction can add girth to the low frequency area in a very pleasing way.

The LA-2 has a relatively slow attack so if you're using it on content with extreme dynamic swings you really need to listen carefully to what you're doing or else some "overs" can slip through and you will hate it when you later discover them.

For smoothing and adding some weight to a recorded track the LA-2 is a great tool. One of my favorite vocal chains is API 312 mic pre into the LA-2, then right into the Apogee converter.

To add perspective, these days I mainly do heavy sounding rock.

Good luck

themaidsroom 15th May 2010 06:49 PM

i have two and have often used them mildly on the stereo buss or
on a submix buss. i want more.

JPeters86 15th May 2010 10:11 PM

I was in Abbey Road recently for a live recording which was immediately mixed down. We used an LA2A for the snare and it sounded amazing. Fairchild on the kick. What more do you want...