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CLA Classic Compressors

Dynamics (Compressor / Limiter) Plugin by Waves
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CLA Classic Compressors CLA Classic Compressors CLA Classic Compressors CLA Classic Compressors
CLA Classic Compressors by Waves is a Virtual Effect Audio Plugin for macOS and Windows. It functions as a VST Plugin, an Audio Units Plugin, a VST 3 Plugin, an RTAS Plugin and an AAX Plugin.
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CLA Classic Compressors is a collaboration between Waves and Chris Lord-Alge that brings you models of four compressors considered true classics by audio engineers the world over: CLA-2A, CLA-3A, CLA-76 Blacky and CLA-76 Bluey.

Over the course of a career spanning almost three decades, Chris Lord-Alge has worked alongside artists including Green Day, U2, Dave Matthews Band, Tim McGraw, Brian Setzer, Peter Frampton, Tina Turner, Rod Stewart, Steve Winwood, James Brown, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five and many others.

CLA-2A - Compressor / Limiter
Modeled on the legendary electro-optical tube compressor, the CLA-2A emulates the original's smooth, frequency-dependent behaviors that have made it a favorite of engineers everywhere. Like the mid-'60s classic, the CLA-2A sounds great on guitars and bass, and really shines on vocals, according to Waves. It's topped off with Chris Lord-Alge's personal presets.

Features:

  • Compressor and Limiter modes.
  • Zero latency.
  • Sidechain frequency filter.
  • Up to 24-bit 192kHz resolution.
  • Mono and Stereo components.

Controls:

  • Gain 0 to 100.
  • Peak Reduction 0 to 100.
  • Compressor Mode Comp, Limiter.
  • HF Freq 0 to 100.
  • Analog Off, 50Hz, 60Hz.
  • VU Display Input, Gain Reduction, Output.

CLA-3A - Compressor / Limiter
Based on the early '70s solid-state unit known for its unique and highly transparent compression curve, the CLA-3A delivers the quick response and the subtle harmonic distortion for which the original is world-renowned. And just like the original, the CLA-3A is the bomb on bass, as well as on guitars and vocals, according to Waves.

Features:

  • Compressor and Limiter modes.
  • Zero latency.
  • Sidechain frequency filter.
  • Up to 24-bit 192kHz resolution.
  • Mono and Stereo components.

Controls:

  • Gain 0 to 10.
  • Peak Reduction 0 to 10.
  • Compressor Mode Comp, Limiter.
  • HF Freq 0 to 100.
  • Analog Off, 50Hz, 60Hz.
  • VU Display Input, Gain Reduction, Output.

CLA-76 Blacky & Bluey - Compressors / Limiters
Inspired by two highly-desirable revisions of the famed mid-60s Class A line level limiting amplifier, both versions of the CLA-76 ("Blacky" and "Bluey") offer the superfast attack (as quick as 50 microseconds) that made the originals studio legends. With an exclusive "ALL" control that recreates the original's explosive "All-Ratio-Buttons-In" mode, plus modeled pre-amp distortion for that extra edge, the CLA-76 delivers some of the most powerful drum sounds imaginable (according to Waves, natch).

Features:

  • Superfast attack.
  • Exclusive ALL control.
  • Pre-amp distortion modeling.
  • Zero latency.
  • Up to 24-bit 192kHz resolution.
  • Mono and Stereo components.

Controls:

  • Input Inf to 0.
  • Output Inf to 0.
  • Attack 1 to 7 (1 millisecond to 50 microseconds).
  • Release 1 to 7 (1 second to 50 milliseconds).
  • Ratio 4:1, 8:1, 12:1, 20:1, ALL.
  • Comp Off Comp On, Comp Off.
  • Analog Off, 50Hz, 60Hz.
  • VU Display Input, Gain Reduction, Output.

{See video at top of page}

CLA Classic Compressors

Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 5.00 from 2 reviews

CLA Classic Compressors
Reviewed By RobertSchulz
August 21st, 2022

CLA-2A and CLA-3A are very special and one of my favorite compressors. They are not suitable for every sound, but proof their strength when its about to make something more clear (CLA-2A) or thick (CLA-3A), where a standard compressor simply isn't enough.

CLA-2A brings a muddy vocal immediately in front of the mix. Anything you feed into it, in an instant becomes clear and present. But be aware, don't feed already clear sound or sound material with a tendency to having a certain kind of harshyness (for example by hard S's or T's) into it or it will ruin the sound. Tip: Gain-stage/Lower the volume clean before this plugin; the input parameter of CLA-2A could alter the sound in a non-linear way.

CLA-3A is less aggressive and "thickens" more the sound than its sibling the CLA-2A. I use it in cases CLA-2A would be too harsh. Very good and characterful compressor on its own.

Now for my own honest opinion and as fascinated as I am about the CLA-2A and CLA-3A, as double-minded I am about the CLA-76. Despite being the most feature sibling and probably the most popular one of the bundle, the sound of it simply does not convince me 100%.

For generic appliance, I always want to use it more often and every once in a while I give it a try, but the sound isn't there for me and I choose a different compressor of my collection because of better flexibility or sound.

Bluey mode is the way I prefer, clear and present. Blacky mode makes the sounds too muddy and dark for my taste.

If you need the super-fast attack time of down to 50 microseconds(!) and you might want to use some kind of transient shaping, it can be very useful. Other compressors might produce clicks by compressing that fast, but CLA-76 is known to handle it. I like Bluey mode, with ALL or 4:1 Ratio and fast attack times for that purpose. Apply it on some drums and it really excite the sound and make it more punchy.

Also keep in mind that the input gain control can be important for the harmonic distortion and the tone you will get. It usually works best to feed the signal in rather harshly and compensate the output thereafter.

You don't have to share the same opinion about that, but that is just my feeling for it.

I highly recommend you getting them on sale (or even free with the 'purchase 1, get 1 free' sale), if you are interested to acquire a few or all of them, by the way.

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CLA Classic Compressors
Reviewed By MadAnthony81
April 7th, 2014

Real awesome. Sounds like most radio hits that have that big deep sound. I suggest you go demo them. It's easy to setup and install with Waves.com.

Add these on the master track. The La-2a and La-3a that is. ANd you have what the pro's have been using for decades.

These sound, probably better than the authentic analog versions people have. I heard it from the top producer Chris Lord and Nick Alge too. I saw it on an interview.

I hope you can enjoy the quality culmination of many authentic la-2a amp compressors la-2a being wrapped up into one single vst. The La2a is a tube model. And the la3a is a solid state model. They work well in conjunction with one another but they do not need to be.

The La2a gives your vocals that Frank Sinatra sound if your a man, and a woman would sound equally as amazing as that too. The la2a has a slightly rough presence in the mids and lows but is very rough in the highs. It rather goes from slightly rough in the lows, to increasingly girttier as the frequency increases to the higher ranges.

The La3a has a smooth sound; much less distorted. It can easily give a big and tall, wide sound payne but so can the La2a when done right.

Widely usable and totally accepted among professionals are these models. These Waves plugins La2a and La3a are certainly widely accepted by me. Anthony. ALso so certainly easily used. The knobs so afr I have found only moves at small to medium amounts. Perhaps those are the sweet spot zones. It certainly seems decently cooperative to find the right setting. CHeers! hahahahaha

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Comments & Discussion for Waves CLA Classic Compressors

Discussion
Discussion: Active
poshook
poshook
9 April 2014 at 10:05pm

Have you ever tried McDSP 6030 Compressor LA2A emulation? It is much smoother. By the way LA2A on master bus is too slow for most of situations in rock, pop mixes.

MadAnthony81
MadAnthony81
10 April 2014 at 1:27am

No I haven't tried McDSP, but I have heard some of it. I don't like it's smoothness. Sounds more macintoshy. I like the Waves la2a, to me its everything I heard on the radio with the la3a prior to the mid 90's. Sounds radio and authenticly genuine. Chris Lord "LORD of the mix" uses them I believe. He the best! HE say's all the best of the best analog la2a's hes used have been combined to make one awesome VST. To me it was worth my 100 dollars to say the least. I feel I have a precious diamond. Like Jesus.

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