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How to use LA2A Compressor
Old 17th November 2009
  #31
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RTFMPleez's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
That's not the problem with it, that's the *point* of it!

Really, I take your point, but I'm a fan of diving in, learning by mistakes, committing early, making irrevocable decisions, trusting your gut, and moving forward.


Gregory Scott - ubk
.
And I'm sure some of our favorite records were made this way!!!!! thumbsup
Old 17th November 2009
  #32
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kurt's Avatar
Always work this way too. When you know your hardware & its impact in different settings, its ease to hear what’s good & when too much.
Old 17th November 2009
  #33
Thanks alot everyone! I really like this compressor and it's obviously alot better than the stock plugins I was using with protools. I was having a really big problem with the high end shrilly sound while tracking vox--partly b/c I have a thinner voice, combined w/ an open sounding mic.

So the LA2A as I suspected does a great job of warmiing up the sound and takes away some of the pristene sound I was getting--will especially help while doubling vocals b/c layering w/o the LA2A was not sounding right. This LA2A is like a preamplifier of it's own.

One thing I am not getting: threshold and amount of gan reduction is clubbed in the same knob. So, I can't set a low threshold and hit my vocals with harder ratio?

Thanks,
Happywaters
Old 17th November 2009
  #34
Lives for gear
 
bobsandifer's Avatar
 

First off Kudos to UBK.

OP. You might consider plugging your favorite music track into the LA2A and play with the knobs. Then you can actually hear what is happening with music you are familiar with. Congrats on a great purchase. You made the right decision when it came to making the purchase. No need to buy cheap then keep swapping it out until you get what you wanted all along. Have fun.
Old 17th November 2009
  #35
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larry b's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by happywaters View Post
Thanks alot everyone! I really like this compressor and it's obviously alot better than the stock plugins I was using with protools. I was having a really big problem with the high end shrilly sound while tracking vox--partly b/c I have a thinner voice, combined w/ an open sounding mic.

So the LA2A as I suspected does a great job of warmiing up the sound and takes away some of the pristene sound I was getting--will especially help while doubling vocals b/c layering w/o the LA2A was not sounding right. This LA2A is like a preamplifier of it's own.

One thing I am not getting: threshold and amount of gan reduction is clubbed in the same knob. So, I can't set a low threshold and hit my vocals with harder ratio?

Thanks,
Happywaters
No, on the LA-2A you cannot. And here's why. It uses Universal Audio's T4 gain-reduction cell, which, in other words, is a combination of an electro-luminescent lamp and a photocell. It is what is known as a "photo-optical" compressor, in that it actually uses LIGHT given off by the electro-luminescent panel to control the degree of compression. The photocell, which you probably already know from your standard nightlight, outdoor yard light, etc, reacts to the light given off by the electroluminescent panel to cause gain reduction. So, and this is the key....the ATTACK, RELEASE, and RATIO times are SET IN STONE by the electrical properties of the electro-luminescent panel and photocell combination inside the T4 gain reduction cell.

Hence, you get two knobs on the face of the device and that's it. It's not because they just wanted it to be that way. It's because it HAS to be that way if you are using a photo-optical device to control gain reduction.

FWIW the LA-2A is actually a hybrid design, with tube input and output stages, but solid-state photo-optical compression at it's heart. This is different from a "Vari-Mu" compressor which actually uses vacuum tubes to accomplish gain reduction.
Old 16th January 2010
  #36
Gear Nut
 

im confused. i hooked my la2a to an aux send/return on my mixer. whenever i compress something through it both left and right parts of the signal get compressed. ive been told by a friend that i should get a second one, but i think im fine with the way it is as long as both left and right channels get the same compression im fine. why would i need two la2as? another question is a aux signal balanced or unblanaced?
Old 16th January 2010
  #37
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The dman's Avatar
 

The LA2A is mono
Old 18th January 2010
  #38
Gear Nut
 

yes. i know its mono. im quite happy with it
Old 18th January 2010
  #39
Gear Nut
 

i just dont understand why i would need 2 of them if both left and right channels are being compressed through an aux.
basically anything i send into the la2a comes out of the main stereo output compressed and when i record both left and right signals look identical.

Last edited by SteveyDubs; 18th January 2010 at 04:54 AM.. Reason: not complete
Old 18th January 2010
  #40
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Ernest Buckley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by suedesound View Post
I hate to be a prick but why the **** do you have an LA2A if you don't know how to plug it in correctly?
LMAO... I was thinking the same thing.

Not for nothing, but you purchased a $2000+ compressor and have no idea how to use it? You were also going to plug the mic straight into it, then go into the mic pre? I was new at this once too and I`m still learning but g wiz, I think you need to invest some time in learning the basics of recording, especially signal flow.

Consider getting some books or better yet, hire an engineer to give you some lessons. This is a great investment into your future and you`ll have a much wider and deeper understanding of the gear you are privileged to own.
Old 18th January 2010
  #41
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this whole thread is an epic facepalm
Old 18th January 2010
  #42
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hobson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveyDubs View Post
i just dont understand why i would need 2 of them if both left and right channels are being compressed through an aux.
basically anything i send into the la2a comes out of the main stereo output compressed and when i record both left and right signals look identical.
I think what some are trying to say is that you are summing your L&R signals when using your (1) LA2A in this fashion.. Thats why the mention of mono was brought up - and why your friend mentioned getting a second unit - one LA2a for compression of the left chan / one for right chan - that way you retain stereo independant signals in compression without summing L/R.

Did I explain that well enough?
Old 18th January 2010
  #43
Lives for gear
Big YES

Quote:
Originally Posted by kurt View Post
1.) Big NO.
Certainly not the "preferred" or proper way to do it, but plugging a mic directly into a tube compressor, especially one like the LA2A with that amount of gain on tap, is NOT unheard of.
Of course you wouldn't then go back into a mic pre........but, that compressor certainly has enough gain to drive the mic.
Maybe a bit noisier than the Focusrite, but I think it might sound pretty cool.

2-1/2 cents worth.
Old 18th January 2010
  #44
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by s34nsm411 View Post
this whole thread is an epic facepalm
Why?

Because these guys came to the forum to ask questions and learn? That is what GS used to be about.
It wasn't always a bunch of pontificating about why Digidesign sucks and how you should never, ever use a Neumann mic that costs less than $2500, because that probably sucks too.

Not everyone is already at the level of CLA or Michael Brauer, including you, the OP and myself.

Get over yourself. Let the guys learn without being ridiculed. I doubt you had a bunch of A-Holes making fun of you publicly while you were learning signal flow. You should give others the same respect.

end rant.
Old 18th January 2010
  #45
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundrick View Post
Certainly not the "preferred" or proper way to do it, but plugging a mic directly into a tube compressor, especially one like the LA2A with that amount of gain on tap, is NOT unheard of.
Of course you wouldn't then go back into a mic pre........but, that compressor certainly has enough gain to drive the mic.
Maybe a bit noisier than the Focusrite, but I think it might sound pretty cool.

2-1/2 cents worth.
Absolutely, I mean there are very few instances out there where the comp comes before the preamp, but one pretty darn fine instance comes to mind and that happens to be the topology of the Manley VoxBox. When you plug a mic in, it's hits the compressor before the preamp. Hutch apparently designed it that way on purpose to control transients before hitting the preamp.
Old 18th January 2010
  #46
Here for the gear
 

This is a priceless thread and most of you guys are all a bunch of Jerks....BUT thats why I love each one of ya LOL..Keep It Up !
Old 18th January 2010
  #47
Gear Maniac
 
Blewgrass's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
I have to be a prick, too - maybe this is only "envy" talking - since I can't afford a real LA-2A and am stuck with an UAD-1...
Sounds like you answered your own question. Bummer.

The larger question to troll posts like this would be: What prevents you from offering this user some sound advice if you had the time on your hands to throw out a negative response. I thought the OP began with a concise, well formed question, and posted a helpful image of the rear panel of his preamp. I don't see anything unreasonable here.

Congradulations on the gear and for stepping up to get some advice. I think these types of questions are some of the most useful threads on the forum. Why not go a step further and offer some killer settings to get a "pumped" sound from a mix, vocals, or an instrument, or some advice on how to learn more fundamentals of tracking or mixing with compression and which compressors best suit different applications.

Peace
Old 18th January 2010
  #48
Gear Addict
 
s34nsm411's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundrick View Post
Why?

I was able to let the initial question slide... but the mono thing broke the camel's back for me
Old 18th January 2010
  #49
RiF
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RiF's Avatar
Even with all the rants and envy, I would swap roles immediately with the OP, if I'd end up having a real LA-2A!
Old 18th January 2010
  #50
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Msilver84's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveyDubs View Post
i just dont understand why i would need 2 of them if both left and right channels are being compressed through an aux.
basically anything i send into the la2a comes out of the main stereo output compressed and when i record both left and right signals look identical.
Because this isn't true stereo. You're sending the 2 signals to be compressed and getting one in return. Basically your summing your stereo signal into mono. Actually dual mono. Your taking the sum of a stereo signal, compressing it and then sending it to a master bus, which is stereo giving you the result of a dual mono signal. I think I said that right. Please feel free to chime in if I explained that incorrectly.
Old 18th January 2010
  #51
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Red Mastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by happywaters View Post
Hey Everyone,

I've been making some slutty purchases over the past few weeks. I just recently bought an LA2A compressor to go along with my ISA One preamp and M16 MKII microphone.

My current problem is a basic one which all the experts would laugh at--but sorry have no choice but to ask for your help:

1. Should I be plugging in my microphone directly into the LA2A and then going out into the mic input of my ISA One preamp?

Or
2. should I be connecting my mic into the ISA One and going out via send (ISA ONE) to the input of LA2A and taking LA2A output back into the return of the ISA One?

In option 1, I can clearly hear the gain impact, but doesn't look like the compression is really working--the VU meter remains stuck no matter how I toggle the peak reduction. I am having a hard time hearing the compression--I have my preamp up loud so that I can really hear the gain reduction. I have my headphones plugged into my ISA One headphone jack for monitoring.

Can any of you veterans help me out on this please? Any insight will much appreciated.
if I were you, i would record 2 channels at once (compressed and clear)
for my knowledge isa got stereo a to d converter and you can feed 2 separate channels at once (can you ?) I got isa 430 kmk1 and I do it all the time
so plug mic into isa pre and then set MONO rec to DAW via isa a/d
you got clear recording, via pre, then a/d, no compression
then via send - go out to la2a and back to free channel for a/d (another one)
remember to setup in DAW another MONO channel (compressed signal)
I think it should work, because isa's got similar routing (as mine 430 mk1)
and it's best of both words, because you got 2 different recordings


all the best
Old 18th January 2010
  #52
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enroper's Avatar
 

O hai guyz, I just bought a studer 24 track tape machine. how do i hook it up to my mbox?
Old 18th January 2010
  #53
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FireMoon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by enroper View Post
O hai guyz, I just bought a studer 24 track tape machine. how do i hook it up to my mbox?
To go back to the car analogy, there are dot squllion Americans who wouldn't have a clue how to even get a car moving using a clutch. They can all drive though, no problems.

I got started in all this cos. A band member, bought a one inch 8 track and borrowed a desk. None of us *knew* actually how to do it, but being the vocalist, the band could record without me, so i was elected to engineer. Through a modicum of common sense i managed to sort it all out. However, there seems to be people suggesting, we should never have bought our own 8 track.. After all, rather than a TAC desk and Klark Technic's 8 track we could have bought a portastudio.

Particularly amusing given that, many of the remarks come from those who live in a society where the concept of designing a car that can, *actually driving round corners*, is still pretty much a novelty.heh
Old 18th January 2010
  #54
Lives for gear
 
Surbitone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
That's not the problem with it, that's the *point* of it!

Really, I take your point, but I'm a fan of diving in, learning by mistakes, committing early, making irrevocable decisions, trusting your gut, and moving forward.


Gregory Scott - ubk
.
+1. Also, there is enough juice from the la2a to boost a mic signal (obviously not 48v) but thats another story. Sing / play instrument into mic at appropriate distance, move gain into 'sweet spot', run output of pre into input of comp, compress to taste - the more invisible the better in the majority of cases, it adds magic / shimmery depth at even the smallest GR, output la2a to AD or channel feeding tape. Happy days!
Old 18th January 2010
  #55
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by s34nsm411 View Post
I was able to let the initial question slide... but the mono thing broke the camel's back for me
It's funny how you answered the "why?" and probably didn't even bother to read the rest of my post.

I wish this wasn't typical........but, oh well.

Good luck buddy.
Old 18th January 2010
  #56
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tazman's Avatar
 

It's called peni$ envy

Quote:
Originally Posted by FireMoon View Post
To go back to the car analogy, there are dot squllion Americans who wouldn't have a clue how to even get a car moving using a clutch. They can all drive though, no problems.

I got started in all this cos. A band member, bought a one inch 8 track and borrowed a desk. None of us *knew* actually how to do it, but being the vocalist, the band could record without me, so i was elected to engineer. Through a modicum of common sense i managed to sort it all out. However, there seems to be people suggesting, we should never have bought our own 8 track.. After all, rather than a TAC desk and Klark Technic's 8 track we could have bought a portastudio.

Particularly amusing given that, many of the remarks come from those who live in a society where the concept of designing a car that can, *actually driving round corners*, is still pretty much a novelty.heh
Old 18th January 2010
  #57
Lives for gear
 
larry b's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveyDubs View Post
im confused. i hooked my la2a to an aux send/return on my mixer. whenever i compress something through it both left and right parts of the signal get compressed. ive been told by a friend that i should get a second one, but i think im fine with the way it is as long as both left and right channels get the same compression im fine. why would i need two la2as? another question is a aux signal balanced or unblanaced?
Quote:
Originally Posted by The dman View Post
The LA2A is mono
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveyDubs View Post
yes. i know its mono. im quite happy with it
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveyDubs View Post
i just dont understand why i would need 2 of them if both left and right channels are being compressed through an aux.
basically anything i send into the la2a comes out of the main stereo output compressed and when i record both left and right signals look identical.
So you know that the LA2A is mono, but you don't know why you would need two of them for a stereo signal, because yours is apparently compressing things in stereo.

Well, i hate to break the news but not only is the LA2a not doing that for you, but you also have some serious issues concerning your understanding of signal flow.

Without knowing your setup and how you have things wired up it's hard to say what is happening with your LA-2A.

But there is zero chance that you wouldn't need to use a pair of them together for actual LA-2A compression on both a Left and a Right signal.

I would say maybe do some studying on the web of signal flow as it relates to audio recording equipment or maybe purchase a book such as "Modern Recording Techniques". This book is basically the standard audio textbook in recording courses around the english-speaking world.

Modern Recording Techniques, 7th Edition - Welcome


Also, in answer to your question about "aux signals" being balanced or unbalanced....

Are we talking about an Aux Send from a recording console/mixer, are we talking about an Aux Input or Output in a DAW as it relates to a DAW interface, or are we talking about a piece of hardware processing gear with an Aux input?

There are lots of types of Aux "signals". Most of them would be balanced (meaning 3 electrical connections, +, - and shield [ground] and with a nominal operating voltage of +4dBV), but there are some low budget mixers and other pieces of audio gear with unbalanced, -10dBu nominal connections.
Old 25th January 2010
  #58
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Msilver84 View Post
Because this isn't true stereo. You're sending the 2 signals to be compressed and getting one in return. Basically your summing your stereo signal into mono. Actually dual mono. Your taking the sum of a stereo signal, compressing it and then sending it to a master bus, which is stereo giving you the result of a dual mono signal. I think I said that right. Please feel free to chime in if I explained that incorrectly.
much more understandable. to be honest though. i am happy with the sound i am getting. im not trying to produce a grammy winning track. i do mainly electronic music and can not afford another la2a. hell, i couldn't afford the one i have but got it anyway because i hate to buy things only to regret it afterwards, so i coughed up the money and got something i knew would not disappoint me and would be easy to use while mixing. do you guys think it is ok to record this way at least till i actually start making money of of music? most nightclub sound systems are set up in mono arent they?
Old 25th January 2010
  #59
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by larry b View Post
So you know that the LA2A is mono, but you don't know why you would need two of them for a stereo signal, because yours is apparently compressing things in stereo.

Well, i hate to break the news but not only is the LA2a not doing that for you, but you also have some serious issues concerning your understanding of signal flow.

Without knowing your setup and how you have things wired up it's hard to say what is happening with your LA-2A.

But there is zero chance that you wouldn't need to use a pair of them together for actual LA-2A compression on both a Left and a Right signal.

I would say maybe do some studying on the web of signal flow as it relates to audio recording equipment or maybe purchase a book such as "Modern Recording Techniques". This book is basically the standard audio textbook in recording courses around the english-speaking world.

Modern Recording Techniques, 7th Edition - Welcome


Also, in answer to your question about "aux signals" being balanced or unbalanced....

Are we talking about an Aux Send from a recording console/mixer, are we talking about an Aux Input or Output in a DAW as it relates to a DAW interface, or are we talking about a piece of hardware processing gear with an Aux input?

There are lots of types of Aux "signals". Most of them would be balanced (meaning 3 electrical connections, +, - and shield [ground] and with a nominal operating voltage of +4dBV), but there are some low budget mixers and other pieces of audio gear with unbalanced, -10dBu nominal connections.
serious issues really?tutt

i might not be a genius when it comes to signal flow but i do have ears and know what i hear. i have learned everything on my own without 1 day of schooling or engineering courses. im not saying i do not study and ask people for advice. i am constantly asking and questioning everything i know about audio, midi, signal flow, mixing, etc.
so. what are my ears telling me? they are telling me that when i send a bass drum, synth , drum machine via aux which is on my hardware mixer to the la2a and back into the mix it comes out louder fuller and overall much better sounding then it did before i sent it and it does this for both left and right channels in the main mix, you might be right maybe its not compressing anything, but i think i will trust my ears over your word in this case. But thank you very much for the long patronizing response.

Stereophonic sound, commonly called stereo, is the reproduction of sound using two or more independent audio channels through a symmetrical configuration of loudspeakers in such a way as to create the impression of sound heard from various directions, as in natural hearing. It is often contrasted with monophonic, or "mono" sound, where audio is in the form of one channel, often centered in the sound field (analogous to a visual field).
Old 25th January 2010
  #60
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larry b's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveyDubs View Post
serious issues really?tutt

i might not be a genius when it comes to signal flow but i do have ears and know what i hear. i have learned everything on my own without 1 day of schooling or engineering courses. im not saying i do not study and ask people for advice. i am constantly asking and questioning everything i know about audio, midi, signal flow, mixing, etc.
so. what are my ears telling me? they are telling me that when i send a bass drum, synth , drum machine via aux which is on my hardware mixer to the la2a and back into the mix it comes out louder fuller and overall much better sounding then it did before i sent it and it does this for both left and right channels in the main mix, you might be right maybe its not compressing anything, but i think i will trust my ears over your word in this case. But thank you very much for the long patronizing response.

Stereophonic sound, commonly called stereo, is the reproduction of sound using two or more independent audio channels through a symmetrical configuration of loudspeakers in such a way as to create the impression of sound heard from various directions, as in natural hearing. It is often contrasted with monophonic, or "mono" sound, where audio is in the form of one channel, often centered in the sound field (analogous to a visual field).


What im guessing is really going on is that you are sending a mono signal to your LA-2A, and then after this signal returns to your mixer, DAW, console, whatever, you have it panned to the center. Therefore, your compressed (mono) sound winds up coming out of both monitor speakers.

And what i am right about is that your LA-2A is not stereo. Look on the back of it. Does it have a Left and a Right input and output? I didn't think so.

Oh and thanks for the definition of stereophonic sound, i wasnt sure what that was until now. Clears that up nicely for me.
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