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Old 8th June 2018
Lives for gear
foldback's Avatar
LA2a style opto compressors are S L O W on the attack, it's one of the things that makes them so appealing sonically but the slowness can be a problem with extreme transient material so people resort to strange combinations.

I'd say use what works for you but for me, an LA2a style feeding another LA2a style would be very sluggish sounding.

I'd prefer the signal to drive a fast 1176 style compressor (to catch peaks) and then the slower attack LA2a with its weighty low end and sluggish attack to make up gain and make it sound level.

Back to back LA2a are not going to be faster so they still can't catch extremely fast vocal peaks, it's just a bunch of sluggish performance to my ears, I'd prefer faster compressors.

The opto panel in a T4 style compressor can only react so fast, it's a physical imitation not a circuitry design exercise. Sorting and testing can yield the fastest components of this style but even those have limitations.

Use your ears not your eyes reading spec's. I've been at this for 45+ years and I'm continually learning and adjusting but I still love a lot of analog in my mixes.

My UA LA2a resides on the bass guitar channel of my 40-channel Soundcraft/Neve mixing system. The real LA2a magic is enhanced girth along with leveling, I love that sound.

Use what works for you.

Good music to all!