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Alternative to UAD LA-2A Plug In
Old 16th January 2007
Lives for gear
john caldwell's Avatar
Alternative to UAD LA-2A Plug In

A colleague mixing one of my productions used the UAD LA-2A plug on some thick back-ground vocals and I was impressed by the silk which the plug in imparted. It is just what the piece called for. Were it not for the need for UA's card, I would gladly buy UA's LA-2A myself, but my chassis is full of HD cards. My colleague is using the TDM version of the plug in a PT6 system, but I'm in 7.

What plug in are you using as an alternative to the UAD LA-2A? Is there any hope of buying a used TDM version of UAD LA-2A that would run in 7?

Are you all buying an expansion chassis to run the UAD cards and plugs?

Many thanks,

Old 16th January 2007
Gear Nut

Check out McDsp Compressorbank, it has emulations of the LA2A, 1176, Fairchild, dbx and Neve compressors.
Old 16th January 2007
McDSP's plug-ins are definitely must-have's for any PT rig. I think you might like Channel G's SSL setting for a really smooth compressor in addition to CompressorBank.
Old 16th January 2007
Old 17th January 2007
Lives for gear

Try the Chandler TG 12413 really nice plug in
Old 17th January 2007
Lives for gear
john caldwell's Avatar

WRT McDSP and Chandler, do you think the fidelity of their LA-2A emulation rivals that of the UAD version (if you happen to have tried the UAD plug)? Of course often these things can't be said to be better or worse, just different. But any opinions? As I mentioned, I thought the UAD version really was silky with a pleasing distortion and character. I'll disqualify myself from the jury, though, as I don't have access to the real hardware for comparison.

Living in my HD cocoon, I was suprized to have UA tell me over the phone to simply buy a PCI expansion chassis in order to run their plugs. But I guess the card-based processing does make sense economically (DSP power) if the product sounds good.

Old 17th January 2007
Lives for gear
max cooper's Avatar

Originally Posted by john caldwell View Post

WRT McDSP and Chandler, do you think the fidelity of their LA-2A emulation rivals that of the UAD version (if you happen to have tried the UAD plug)?
Both you mention are quite good, but neither are close in sound characteristic to the UAD LA2A or to a hardware LA2A for that matter.

I think McDsp plugins are quite good sounding and have a nice way of clipping that's almost very musical, but again if you want an LA2A... McDsp will put a preset in an existing plugin and allude to that preset being their version of said hardware, but really, it's not usually close. That said, I think maybe they have the best sounding range of plugins. Not a bad idea to have them all.

UA actually model the plugin on the LA2A and they're really good at modelling that stuff.

The Chandler EMI is closer characteristically to UAD Fairchild.

I say don't bother with the Bomb Factory LA2A Emulation
Old 17th January 2007
Gear Guru
u b k's Avatar

Originally Posted by max cooper View Post
I say don't bother with the Bomb Factory LA2A Emulation

i say the same.

funny, i never use the uad la2a on vocals, it's too much murk and not enough locking down, and it creates unpleasant sibilance even at minimal GR. i use it all the time on guitars, though, both electric and acoustic.

Old 17th January 2007
TonyBelmont's Avatar


When I switched over to the intel Mac's, the majority of the plugins that I had been using weren't available... So, I was forced into trying new and different things in terms of plugins. That process showed me that there are quite a great number of really good plugins out there. Some many generations of development after the LA2A you have been using.

I would tell you to check out some demos for some plugins from people like Chandler, URS, Waves, PSP, Oxford, SSL, etc. You never know, one of them might end up being better for your purpose. I don't think any of them sound like an LA2A necessarily. But, they are worth trying so that you can form an opinion on them for yourself.
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