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Black Rooster Audio releases VLA-3A Dynamics Plugins
Old 12th January 2017
  #121
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Had about a week to put it to use on different sources. I had good results on bass, vocals and instrument tracks. Not so much on a drum / mix buss, unless i made my own high pass signal split. Then it really glues things together nicely. the waves one does a great job with that.

I wish the VLA-3A had a built in high pass. It's a missed opportunity because it would rock on busses.
Old 12th January 2017
  #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M2E View Post
Hmmm, when is the last time you had your unit serviced?
This emu sounds incredible. I'd love to hear a sample of your unit though.
Maybe a gtr loop?

Waves version are really good to me. Use them all the time.
I just think, VLA plugins have taken it to another level.
Adding the much needed saturation to these babies makes me smile.

I'd love to see them do a Neve 33609 or a Tube Tech CL1B.

Their take on these unit would be very interesting.
They have incredible coding skills matched with great ears.

Thx BR for these great units...

Marc
The VLA-2A are Nothing like my hardware LA-2A (lacks the same gentle second stage of the release curve/time)................

........... Are you saying that the VLA-3A is "closer" to the original (which I don't have - but have used way back)?
Or are you comparing against the Waves CLA-3A (which is great on an electric guitar bus btw - pleasing to the stereo image)?

PS. I have not demo'ed the VLA-3A yet, and no matter how close to an old original hardware or not, it can certaily be a good compressor plugin in its own right
I just think most of these "labeling" are out of place, and can hurt the renomme'/business just as much as it gains it (maybe not in these days were only a few have used the real hardware......... hmmm?)
Old 12th January 2017
  #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M2E View Post
Hmmm, when is the last time you had your unit serviced?
This emu sounds incredible. I'd love to hear a sample of your unit though.
Maybe a gtr loop?

Waves version are really good to me. Use them all the time.
I just think, VLA plugins have taken it to another level.
Adding the much needed saturation to these babies makes me smile.

I'd love to see them do a Neve 33609 or a Tube Tech CL1B.

Their take on these unit would be very interesting.
They have incredible coding skills matched with great ears.

Thx BR for these great units...

Marc
Hey Marc, looks like BM grabber kinda already said some things I would have said lol. But for me I am also tired of "the most authentic native emulations" comments that developers make. Instead of saying, hey this is a really good plugin that has a la3a vibe that saturates similarly.

Personally I use my LA3A for a few specific things bc it does it better than anything thing else I have. One of those things the waves cla can do pretty well, but I wish it was a little more non linear like the hardware, but I still use it all the time, but the VLA-3a doesn't have the same reaction. It is not my unit, bc every studio I've used a LA3a, can do it, from the Universal Audio, to the Urei and even the golden age one can with a little different color.

I suggest everyone try this plugin and make their own judgement, and don't let my opinion effect yours. For me, you know how I feel. I'm traveling right now, but when I get back from Namm, I'll send you a pm with a file.
Old 12th January 2017
  #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeep View Post
I wish the VLA-3A had a built in high pass. It's a missed opportunity because it would rock on busses.
Mind bending that a compressor released in 2017 not have:
a) blend
b) sc hpf
Old 12th January 2017
  #125
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kj.metissage's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by galaydees View Post
Mind bending that a compressor released in 2017 not have:
a) blend
b) sc hpf
It's a choice of the developer to stay true to the hardware design.

Just like UAD, Waves and IK Multimedia.
Old 12th January 2017
  #126
M2E
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dias View Post
Hey Marc, looks like BM grabber kinda already said some things I would have said lol. But for me I am also tired of "the most authentic native emulations" comments that developers make. Instead of saying, hey this is a really good plugin that has a la3a vibe that saturates similarly.

Personally I use my LA3A for a few specific things bc it does it better than anything thing else I have. One of those things the waves cla can do pretty well, but I wish it was a little more non linear like the hardware, but I still use it all the time, but the VLA-3a doesn't have the same reaction. It is not my unit, bc every studio I've used a LA3a, can do it, from the Universal Audio, to the Urei and even the golden age one can with a little different color.

I suggest everyone try this plugin and make their own judgement, and don't let my opinion effect yours. For me, you know how I feel. I'm traveling right now, but when I get back from Namm, I'll send you a pm with a file.
Sounds good my friend. Have a good time at Namm!
Old 12th January 2017
  #127
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Lesha's Avatar
I think this is a pretty good review of the VLA-3A

Old 12th January 2017
  #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kj.metissage View Post
It's a choice of the developer to stay true to the hardware design.

Just like UAD, Waves and IK Multimedia.
If Waves jumped off a bridge, would you?
Old 12th January 2017
  #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kj.metissage View Post
It's a choice of the developer to stay true to the hardware design.

Just like UAD, Waves and IK Multimedia.
A very simple point, and I agree!

If you want a hpf & Sidechain, etc - then simply use a plugin that has those features

kj.metissage, Ignore the trolls - this is not the first time I've seen this kind of comment from this GS member
Old 12th January 2017
  #130
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Yutaka's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BM Grabber View Post
The VLA-2A are Nothing like my hardware LA-2A (lacks the same gentle second stage of the release curve/time)............
You said you have a reissue - the reissue has a reissue T4B opto cell. BR has modeled a one from '68 with origianal T4A. Do you think they should sound the same?

Teletronix T4A T4B T4C Electro-Opto-Attenuator Info

About the release characteristic, have a look at this article as it mentions what effect aging can have on T4 cells - they do degrade over time :

UA WebZine "Compression Obsession" July 03 | Long Live the T4 Cell!
Old 13th January 2017
  #131
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galaydees View Post
If Waves jumped off a bridge, would you?
Let me think...
Hum...
Wait for it...
No yet...
Almost there...
Here we go !!!

Of course you silly ! Bungee jumping is fun !

But let me remind you first that Waves would have fallen from it. Not as classy as my heroic jump with its lovely scream !

Waves' like :



That said, I was just stating the philosophy of the developer. I wasn't implying whether I agree or disagree. Not my opinion, just a straight fact.

I'm just a mere plugin user like you, so maybe you should ask the developer yourself if he'd like to jump off something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frellin' Smesh View Post
kj.metissage, Ignore the trolls - this is not the first time I've seen this kind of comment from this GS member
Thanks for the support. Glad to see there are people that still care for others on this forum.

Unfortunately as the idiot I am, I fell into the trap.
Old 13th January 2017
  #132
M2E
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM Grabber View Post
The VLA-2A are Nothing like my hardware LA-2A (lacks the same gentle second stage of the release curve/time)................

........... Are you saying that the VLA-3A is "closer" to the original (which I don't have - but have used way back)?
Or are you comparing against the Waves CLA-3A (which is great on an electric guitar bus btw - pleasing to the stereo image)?

PS. I have not demo'ed the VLA-3A yet, and no matter how close to an old original hardware or not, it can certaily be a good compressor plugin in its own right
I just think most of these "labeling" are out of place, and can hurt the renomme'/business just as much as it gains it (maybe not in these days were only a few have used the real hardware......... hmmm?)
Hey BM,

No, I can not confirm or deny how close it sounds to the LA-3A Hardware but I can confirm that's it's better than the Waves version.

I really love both of them. They both sound totally different with different saturation stages and to me, the LA-3A has a more forgiving or my I say, slower ramp up saturation that to me, is more gentle and dare I say messages the saturation around your audio. Very nice touch.

JusMyOpinion of course....

Marc
Old 13th January 2017
  #133
M2E
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galaydees View Post
Mind bending that a compressor released in 2017 not have:
a) blend
b) sc hpf
Yeah, I could see a HPF but not a Mix knob on these.
Either the VLA-2A or the VLA-3A.
Their more smooth/softer pieces that add color and stability but not edgy peices to me enough to have a mix knob.
The HPF, I agree.

Don't know, what do you guys think?

Marc
Old 13th January 2017
  #134
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doom64's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by M2E View Post
Yeah, I could see a HPF but not a Mix knob on these.
Either the VLA-2A or the VLA-3A.
Their more smooth/softer pieces that add color and stability but not edgy peices to me enough to have a mix knob.
The HPF, I agree.

Don't know, what do you guys think?

Marc
I'm just happy to save about $2,600 off the price of the hardware: https://reverb.com/item/3727551-pair...od1XgJGQ&pla=1
Old 13th January 2017
  #135
M2E
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
I'm just happy to save about $2,600 off the price of the hardware: https://reverb.com/item/3727551-pair...od1XgJGQ&pla=1
Haha, me too. Good times we are in for sure.

Marc
Old 13th January 2017
  #136
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BM Grabber's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yutaka View Post
You said you have a reissue - the reissue has a reissue T4B opto cell. BR has modeled a one from '68 with origianal T4A. Do you think they should sound the same?

Teletronix T4A T4B T4C Electro-Opto-Attenuator Info

About the release characteristic, have a look at this article as it mentions what effect aging can have on T4 cells - they do degrade over time :

UA WebZine "Compression Obsession" July 03 | Long Live the T4 Cell!
Let's take the LA-2A discussion in another thread (maybe the VLA-2A thread), but I also have the limited LA-610 SIGNATURE EDITION (serial 23/500), which include NOS parts.

Have you ever owned a LA-2A, or even used one? No offense, just curious

Of corse they shouldn't sound the same, but much closer IMHO............... And yes, original hardware change over time (and same does the release curve, according to how long it has been in compression/limiting settings)........ And NO, no plugin has so far reach THAT level of authenticity, yet............ But....

.... But back to the VLA-3A: How is it compared to an original unit?
Maybe a more relevant question is: How is it compared to the Waves CLA-3A (which is actually very good on electric guitar busses)? Edit: I got some valueable info from M2E
Old 13th January 2017
  #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M2E View Post
Hey BM,

No, I can not confirm or deny how close it sounds to the LA-3A Hardware but I can confirm that's it's better than the Waves version.

I really love both of them. They both sound totally different with different saturation stages and to me, the LA-3A has a more forgiving or my I say, slower ramp up saturation that to me, is more gentle and dare I say messages the saturation around your audio. Very nice touch.

JusMyOpinion of course....

Marc
Thanks............. Very valuable

I have no hardware version of the LA-3A my self, but have used a couple during my time. I have always liked them best on electric/dist guitars (mostly relatively small GR's on the electric/dist guitar bus mainly).
That's may also be the reason I like the Waves one on the same application.... Because in that instance I probably don't need/or miss the good old saturation stage as much.

Thanks again........... I may try out the VLA-3A based on your new info
Old 13th January 2017
  #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM Grabber View Post
Let's take the LA-2A discussion in another thread (maybe the VLA-2A thread), but I also have the limited LA-610 SIGNATURE EDITION (serial 23/500), which include NOS parts.

Have you ever owned a LA-2A, or even used one? No offense, just curious

Of corse they shouldn't sound the same, but much closer IMHO............... And yes, original hardware change over time (and same does the release curve, according to how long it has been in compression/limiting settings)........ And NO, no plugin has so far reach THAT level of authenticity, yet............ But....

.... But back to the VLA-3A: How is it compared to an original unit?
Maybe a more relevant question is: How is it compared to the Waves CLA-3A (which is actually very good on electric guitar busses)? Edit: I got some valueable info from M2E
Hey BM,

Actually the discussion is somewhat relevant here because I've already posted this in the VLA-3A thread earlier :
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yutaka View Post
BTW, are there anyone who know the history of LA2A and LA3A well? I somehow feel that the GR characteristic of VLA-3A is very close to the vintage silver face LA-2A units at the studio I used to work at many years ago. Did they share the same T4 parts at some point? Even the way it handles a fairly dynamic vocal track with very high GR in some spots feels very very familiar. Obviously, the color is completely different - I'm talking about just the GR characteristic.
To which, I got a following reply :
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercado_Negro View Post
If I'm not mistaken both the LA-2A and LA-3A use T4B cells. At some point the LA-2A used T4A cells but they were later changed for T4Bs. Also, if my memory doesn't fail I think there are two types of T4Bs: slow and fast. I'm not sure which one used the LA-3A, though (maybe the fast drip one? It might be the case because timings are faster in the LA-3A).

Anyways, the biggest difference between a 2A and a 3A I think is the 2A uses a tube to drive the EL panel while the 3A uses solid state. I think that's why the 3A is way more transparent than a 2A.
...and that was what led me to look for those info on T4 cells. I think it is an interesting subject. (BTW, did you actually read those articles?)

As my previous post indicates, I haven't used LA-3A enough to know it well. I have used LA-3A in a few occasions, but that's it. I remember the Waves had a mid accentuation that worked well on electric guitars, but VLA-3A is a lot more natural sounding there. I like VLA-3A - it works great on nearly everything effortlessly, really easy to get things to sit.

I have already posted my impression of VLA-2A in the appropriate thread, and I did say it sounds and reacts very differently from the LA2As I remember, which I suspect all had T4B. T4A was not suitable for volume production, so I don't think many of us have come across the units with such a cell.
Old 13th January 2017
  #139
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Even though I do think those who have gotten the closets to the original hardware........ is Universal Audio themselfs with their hardware LA-2A Re-issue

Otherwise that unit wouldn't see the light of day

10-15 years ago you got a LA-3A for around $350. Before "vintage" or "retro" were cool................ I wish I bought a bunch of them
Old 13th January 2017
  #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM Grabber View Post
10-15 years ago you got a LA-3A for around $350. Before "vintage" or "retro" were cool................ I wish I bought a bunch of them
Don't we all. Haha.
Old 14th January 2017
  #141
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Yutaka's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BM Grabber View Post
Even though I do think those who have gotten the closets to the original hardware........ is Universal Audio themselfs with their hardware LA-2A Re-issue

Otherwise that unit wouldn't see the light of day
I guess you missed my point - the reissue has T4B, which was designed to be faster and more versatile than T4A which is older and slower design. They are two different things, and should sound different - that's all I've wanted to say. I'm sure UA did a good job recreating the unit they had in mind - I didn't say otherwise.
Old 14th January 2017
  #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
I'm just happy to save about $2,600 off the price of the hardware: https://reverb.com/item/3727551-pair...od1XgJGQ&pla=1
Ugh... Were you shopping for outboard and then this plugin dropped?

Come on. man!



... This sounds pretty ok so far. Just had a few minutes to play gtr through it. Look forward to playing with it more this weekend.
Old 14th January 2017
  #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M2E View Post
Yeah, I could see a HPF but not a Mix knob on these.
Either the VLA-2A or the VLA-3A.
Their more smooth/softer pieces that add color and stability but not edgy peices to me enough to have a mix knob.
The HPF, I agree.

Don't know, what do you guys think?

Marc
I really can't see why a software dev can't add filters and mix knobs.... It's fun to say that a dev modeled the circuit faithfully and thus there was no need to put an mix knob/filters. But, frankly, I just think that's lazy. Why wouldn't you add modern features? You can do anything you want as a dev in a hyper competitive market.

I bet they don't model the "oh crap I have to retube or recap this piece of gear" or aging OPs...

To the poster who said if you want a hpf or mix knob find a comp that has those features.... Stop.

Adding features is what makes this stuff innovative and fun to use... GAP for instance added a few common mods to their LA3A and it makes it that much cooler to use.

Also, if you've never used the HW or owned it, commenting that this sounds better than Waves' version is silliness. The point is, does this thing stand on its own as an emu of the LA3A, not if it's the greatest sw comp you've ever heard...

I get when folks are excited about a new toy and they want to be super supportive to the dev, but if you don't have the experience to answer specific inquiries, why bother?
Old 14th January 2017
  #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yutaka View Post
I guess you missed my point - the reissue has T4B, which was designed to be faster and more versatile than T4A which is older and slower design. They are two different things, and should sound different - that's all I've wanted to say. I'm sure UA did a good job recreating the unit they had in mind - I didn't say otherwise.
No they were NOT designed for the re-issues to be more faster and more versatile than the T4A........... For the re-issue they even used the same manufactoring tools, and made it to be as close as it gets.

Have a read here: A History of the Teletronix LA-2A Leveling Amplifier - Blog - Universal Audio

Anyway, I do trust Universal Audio on the subject more than others.
And if they had chosen otherwise, the re-issue wouldn't be the success that it has become..... selling more LA-2As now then ever (again according to UA).

All I can say, is that I LOVE my LA-2A

Sorry................. again. Back to the VLA-3A...
Old 14th January 2017
  #145
M2E
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
I really can't see why a software dev can't add filters and mix knobs.... It's fun to say that a dev modeled the circuit faithfully and thus there was no need to put an mix knob/filters. But, frankly, I just think that's lazy. Why wouldn't you add modern features? You can do anything you want as a dev in a hyper competitive market.

I bet they don't model the "oh crap I have to retube or recap this piece of gear" or aging OPs...

To the poster who said if you want a hpf or mix knob find a comp that has those features.... Stop.

Adding features is what makes this stuff innovative and fun to use... GAP for instance added a few common mods to their LA3A and it makes it that much cooler to use.

Also, if you've never used the HW or owned it, commenting that this sounds better than Waves' version is silliness. The point is, does this thing stand on its own as an emu of the LA3A, not if it's the greatest sw comp you've ever heard...

I get when folks are excited about a new toy and they want to be super supportive to the dev, but if you don't have the experience to answer specific inquiries, why bother?
Yeah, I agree with some of this.
Like I said though, don't know if a mix knob will be worth it on these to be quite honest.
The releases are not fast enough for me to warrant a mix knob and do hyper compression to mix with the original. These are more smooth babies just like the hardware.

Have I used the hardware? Yes, back in the early/later 90's.
If I'm not mistaken, I used the LA3A for the percussions and some bgv's on the Destiny's Child record I mixed but, don't quote me. That was a long time ago.
Also, rented 2 of them along with an LA2A and the SSL 384 bus compressor for the Honeys Remixes back in the later 90's/Early 2000's. A song called "Love Of A Lifetime" from the Honeys, a UK group, I did some remixing for that hit record "Love of a Lifetime" (Live at Club Avenue Mix) and "Love of a Lifetime" (Yearning 4 Your Love Remix) and I used the LA3A's on the rhodes and LA2A's on the BGV's (some of them) and used the SSL 384 on all of the mixes.

I've been using the LA2A's since the early 90's.

Marc
Old 14th January 2017
  #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M2E View Post
Yeah, I agree with some of this.
Like I said though, don't know if a mix knob will be worth it on these to be quite honest.
The releases are not fast enough for me to warrant a mix knob and do hyper compression to mix with the original. These are more smooth babies just like the hardware.

Have I used the hardware? Yes, back in the early/later 90's.
If I'm not mistaken, I used the LA3A for the percussions and some bgv's on the Destiny's Child record I mixed but, don't quote me. That was a long time ago.
Also, rented 2 of them along with an LA2A and the SSL 384 bus compressor for the Honeys Remixes back in the later 90's/Early 2000's. A song called "Love Of A Lifetime" from the Honeys, a UK group, I did some remixing for that hit record "Love of a Lifetime" (Live at Club Avenue Mix) and "Love of a Lifetime" (Yearning 4 Your Love Remix) and I used the LA3A's on the rhodes and LA2A's on the BGV's (some of them) and used the SSL 384 on all of the mixes.

I've been using the LA2A's since the early 90's.

Marc
To Marc... Just for clarity's sake, I wasn't referencing you regarding no outboard experience!

Also... Coming from analog (and being old) the whole concept of a mix knob is relatively new to me.. Being that in spent 20 of my first years as a musician/writer before daw world. That being said, while I don't know that if use a mix knob on an la3a I think it and some basic SC is a gotta have on anything these days... Like, a dev's basic architecture should just include it. IMO
Old 14th January 2017
  #147
M2E
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM Grabber View Post
No they were NOT designed for the re-issues to be more faster and more versatile than the T4A........... For the re-issue they even used the same manufactoring tools, and made it to be as close as it gets.

Have a read here: A History of the Teletronix LA-2A Leveling Amplifier - Blog - Universal Audio

Anyway, I do trust Universal Audio on the subject more than others.
And if they had chosen otherwise, the re-issue wouldn't be the success that it has become..... selling more LA-2As now then ever (again according to UA).

All I can say, is that I LOVE my LA-2A

Sorry................. again. Back to the VLA-3A...
Nice read. I'll be honest, I never cared what was in any of these unit until now.
I just loved the sound, the feel and the vibe.
I like to read about it now.

Man, the first LA2A/3A I ever touched and actually used was in a studio that I used for a year straight and was working with Billy Beck of the Ohio Players and a Rap group from Danville that ended up getting a deal (Polydor) on Oprah (first and only rap group to do so). This is bring back old times/memories.
Dam, now I feel old as sh_t!

Alright, enough....

Anyway, these units (plugins) are really good but, don't take my work for it.
Try it out. Do the trick I mentioned with the LA-2A. Good times.

Marc
Old 14th January 2017
  #148
M2E
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
To Marc... Just for clarity's sake, I wasn't referencing you regarding no outboard experience!

Also... Coming from analog (and being old) the whole concept of a mix knob is relatively new to me.. Being that in spent 20 of my first years as a musician/writer before daw world. That being said, while I don't know that if use a mix knob on an la3a I think it and some basic SC is a gotta have on anything these days... Like, a dev's basic architecture should just include it. IMO
I didn't take it as that bgood!

Mix knob is new. Parallel compression is old or somewhat.
I don't think it got really popular until the 90's Hip Hop.

I do agree that a HPF/SC would be nice.

I think most dev's/plugin designers are so focused on getting it to be exactly like the hardware/unit that, when someone comes around and says "Hey, what about a SC/Mix Knob/Separate Output knob etc, oh yeah, I guess I could have added that.

I just happy at this point to use these babies.
I don't feel slighted, or undercut as I think these are thee best that are out now.
Mind you, I have not used the UAD so I can not comment on those.

Marc
Old 14th January 2017
  #149
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Yutaka's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BM Grabber View Post
No they were NOT designed for the re-issues to be more faster and more versatile than the T4A........... For the re-issue they even used the same manufactoring tools, and made it to be as close as it gets.
Sorry, I'll just do one more post on this -

I meant the vintage T4B itself, is a faster and more versatile design than T4A. Here's a quote from UAD LA2A collection on silver face LA2A :
Quote:
With a brushed aluminum panel and original T4B gain reduction module, this cherished late-1960s “Silver” version of the LA-2A, manufactured by Bill Putnam, is perhaps the most flexible of the three plug-ins in the collection. Its fast time constant makes it suitable for the widest variety of program material, including transient-rich sources like drums and percussion.
What I've been trying to say is, there's older Jim Lawrence's design which is different. Since it doesn't say anything about what T4 cell, I would assume it was still T4A :
Quote:
Jim Lawrence’s original mid-1960s “Gray” version the LA-2A maintains a more average time constant, providing a range of “medium-speed” compression.
Teletronix® LA-2A Classic Leveler Collection

Black Rooster's unit is from '68, so it's after Bill Putnam acquired Teletronix brand in '67. I couldn't find any info on when T4B started to appear.

I was just trying to point to the fact there were slower ones in the history - that's all.
Old 14th January 2017
  #150
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Mercado_Negro's Avatar
I like the VLA-3A quite a lot and it definitely takes me back to my mixing days with two UREIs. Probably not as dirty but it does do that "thick mids and smooth dynamics" trick I loved about it on vocals, guitars and bass.
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