Video: UA LA 2A vs NI Softube VC 2A Shootout

Both the Universal Audio LA 2A and NI's Softube VC 2A are modelled on the original LA2A hardware compressor. Paul Bissell puts both to the test in this video review shootout.  
The VC 2A and LA 2A stack up very well against each other.

Der VC 2A und LA 2A stapeln sich sehr gut gegeneinander.

Als Eigentümer und tägliche Nutzer des Universal-Audios LA610 Mic Pre (610 mic pre, LA2A Kompressor Combo) Ich habe den Sound LA2A gut verwurzelt in meinem Kopf. Ich habe auch die UAD Plug-in LA2A als erste Anruf go-to in vielen Vocal-Ketten. Mit Native Instruments und Softube Freigabe einer nativen (nicht-Hardware beschleunigt) Version, war ich gespannt, wie es sowohl mit der Hardware, und Universal Audios eigenen digitalen Emulation vergleicht.

Während UA behielten ihre LA2A Emulation ganz getreu dem Original-Unit, fügte Softube einige zusätzliche Funktionen. Der VC 2A (VC = Jahrgang Compressor), enthält eine Mischung / Blend Regler so dass für parallele Kompression, einem Sidechain Schaltung für Ducking oder Effekte und ein Hochpassfilter in den Detektor-Schaltung. Dies hält der Kompressor reagieren negativ auf niedrige Frequenzen.

Stacking Up - LA2A und VC2A

Und wie haben die Softube Emulation stapeln? Wirklich, wirklich gut. Beide erhalten Sie diesen Sound. Sie können sehen und hören Sie die Audio-Schießerei zwischen den beiden unten und machen Sie Ihr eigenes Urteil. Aber es gibt ein paar Dinge, die Sie brauchen, um im Auge zu behalten. Keine zwei Original-Hardware LA2As sind jemals genau die gleiche sein. Wenn also die Hardware-Einheiten unterschiedlich sind, dann wird die emulierte oder modelliert Plug-Ins werden, anders zu sein als gut, und das ist genau das der Fall.

Paul has being teaching music technology since 1992. He's exhausted and getting older by the minute... His compositions have been published for a mixture of ensembles and solo instruments, and as a performer, Dr. Bissell has played with a variety of orchestras and ensembles. You can hear him on the Spy Kids 2 soundtrack and Eric Jo... Read More


Hi paul,

What about the waves plugin? I think is waves cal 2a?

I know the topic is little sensitive and depending on such factors as taste, sound... And asking which one is the best might sound a little bit strange, but which one you would pick?

How does the waves compare with the others?

Best regards,
Paul Bissell
Hi Leonard,
The simple answer is that I don't have the Waves version :)
I just did a quite Google search for "UAD Waves LA2A" and I see many. many posts about this already. Softube and NI are pretty much new comers, and so to be honest, I thought it would 'sound like a compressor' and that would be that. I was surprised how it captured the vibe - which is what you want in the end - well, what I want at least. The polarity invert / sum to cancel thing was just to give some kind of objective measure to my subjective opinion.
There are quite a few LA2A emulations - or at least plug-ins that compress and put a "two knobbed, simple silver interface" on the front. Therefore, the comparisons and shootouts could go on and on.

I don't mean to push back on your question, but honestly, the term "best" is one that is completely contextual, and since the context is so different in every song it is pretty much impossible to quantify.
The LA2A does 'that thing' which could be characterized as a smooth, silky, and warm - BUT it also exacerbates sibilance in vocals and leads to a front end bump that can be so "wrong" in many situations. A fast attack 1176 wouldn't have those same issues - but would have its own.

My article was written to say that these plug-ins by Softube/NI that come as a part of the larger Komplete 9 Ultimate package (which is mostly about sample instruments - not plug-ins!) are of similar quality to those of UAD - who in this case also make the hardware units of this model. Waves is native as well so that would be another kind of shootout I guess, and then there are the CLA versions which have their own thing...Bombfactory.....etc

Paul Bissell

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