Black Rooster Audio has released the VLA-FET compressor plug-in giving you another option for 1176-style FET compression. According to the developers, the emulation uses “real-time component based circuit simulation”, thereby “capturing the sound and feel of the analog unit as close as possible”.
Black Rooster Audio has been making a name for itself with releases like the VPRE-73 preamp, Blackface SC-5, Pultec EQs, and of course the VLA-2A. However, a classic FET levelling amplifier was missing in its lineup until now. The VLA-FET is stepping in to fill that void. The company says that the new compressor is inspired by the LN revision F, which features Lundahl transformers and an op-amp input stage.
Black Rooster Audio says that all of the original’s “crucial parts” have been faithfully modelled. The VLA-FET features controls for input, output, attack, and release (with “super-fast” times), and a side chain high pass filter. There are four buttons for the ratio settings, with additional options for the “all buttons in” mode, and a 1:1 mode. The developers claim that the plug-ins “linear phase Dolph-Chebyshev polyphase design” effectively attenuates aliasing artefacts.
According to Black Rooster Audio, its newest plug-in lets you manipulate audio in an “intuitive but intense manner”. This happens to be one of the main reasons why 1176-style compressors are so popular. If the VLA-FET sounds good and delivers on this promise, it could become a serious competitor to plug-ins like the Slate Digital FG-116, IK Multimedia Black 76, Arturia’s new UREI 1176, or Softube FET, to name just a few.
Compatibility and price
The Black Rooster Audio VLA-FET is available for Windows (VST, AAX, 32/64 bit) and macOS (VST, AU, AAX). Its user interface supports high pixel density / Retina displays on both operating systems.
The VLA-FET is now on sale for USD 69. The regular price is USD 99.