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  • Writer's pictureAneeshthesia

"Unlocking the Secrets of the LA-2A: A Guide to Using this Iconic Compressor"

The iconic Teletronix LA-2A analogue compressor was first released in the early 1960s. It was created by Universal Audio and designed by James F. Lawrence, who established the company Teletronix.

The smooth and natural compression properties of the LA-2A rapidly earned it a reputation. As a result, it was appropriate for usage on vocals, bass, and other instruments requiring natural dynamics control.

The LA-2A has been used on innumerable recordings throughout the years, including several famous albums from the 1960s and 1970s. It has become a standard in professional recording studios around the world, and many prominent producers and engineers, including Quincy Jones, Brian Wilson, and Jack White, have utilised it.

Despite the fact that the original LA-2A was phased out in the 1980s, its popularity grew. Universal Audio began making a reissue of the LA-2A in the early 2000s, based on the original design and using many of the same components.

Joe Barresi, Mike Clink, and Tony Maserati are among the recording engineers who have used the LA-2A in their work. Alanis Morissette's vocals on Jagged Little Pill, Kurt Cobain's vocals on Nevermind, and Shakira's vocals on "Hips Don't Lie" were all recorded on the LA-2A. On The White Stripes' album Icky Thump, Joe Chiccarelli utilised a LA-2A to add distortion to Jack White's vocals.


To use the LA-2A, the audio signal is typically routed through the compressor via an insert point on a mixing console or via a plugin in a digital audio workstation. The Peak Reduction knob is used to adjust the amount of gain reduction applied to the signal, while the Gain knob is used to adjust the output level.

Set the Gain Knob to 32.28 (Unity Gain), then adjust the Peak Reduction knob until you obtain a satisfactory compression level, then increase the Gain knob to compensate for the loudness lost while compressing your signal.

Software Simulations

CLA 2A by waves was inspired by LA 2A.

IK Multimedia T-RackS White 2A

Native Instruments VC 2A by Softube

Overall, the CLA 2A is a versatile and powerful compressor that can add warmth and depth to any mix.

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