A German plug-in developer with an American-sounding name, Black Rooster Audio, have announced it will be releasing its emulation of the famous LA-2A compressor. In their own words on the Gearslutz forum they write: “the world’s finest emulation of THE opto electronic compressor of the late 1960s“. That’s very bold language, especially when they’re up against the likes of UAD, Waves and Cakewalk. Do we need yet another LA-2A style plug-in and can the VLA-2A really be any better?
Black Rooster Audio VLA-2A
The LA-2A compressor needs no introduction, being one of the most famous tube compressor/limiters in the history of audio equipment. Even in hardware form, one unit to the next can vary in ‘flavour’ immensely. This can be down to age and differing valves, or that there have been several revisions over the years. Therefore, when developers emulate the hardware they will all naturally emulate a different unit in the first place and via their own technology. Perhaps it’s great so many developers offer their own version, giving us a virtual world of different LA-2A’s? Maybe that’s an overly romantic thought.
I hadn’t heard of Black Rooster Audio until now, but it appears they must be a relatively new developer with only one other plug-in currently available on their site. Good-looking GUI’s seem to be their thing, which is cool, but it’s obviously how they sound that’s important. They’re certainly in competition with most of the well-know plug-in developers, each offering their take on the LA-2A. For what it’s worth, since Cakewalk ran a free download of their CA-2A last month, I’ve been using it a lot recently and I’m really enjoying it.
Amongst the rather meaningless promotional language about how this release is developed from the “heart”, there are some small points of interest. It appears that their technology is based around simulating each individual component from the tubes to the transformers, rather than the unit as a whole. Unfortunately the plug-in will be in VST and AU formats only, therefore leaving Pro Tools users running AAX out of the picture for the time being.
VLA-2A will be released on the 30th November with a limited time offer of 99 USD. The regular price will become 129 USD, which might not be the cheapest plug-in around, but is a bold statement that this ought to be good. Keep an eye on their website for more information as it becomes available.