The Universal Audio LA-2A compressor/limiter needs no introduction. It’s probably one of the most emulated pieces of analogue hardware, with most plug-in manufacturers having a go. Cakewalk are offering their take on this famous compressor/limiter and now I’ve had a chance to use it, I am impressed. Get your copy of the CA-2A now, before this special offer ends!
Cakewalk CA-2A T-Type Levelling Amplifier Plug-in
We all love a bit of LA-2A-style compression on certain elements in a mix. Just as there are several revisions of the hardware, the various plug-in simulations differ also. I have, or should I say had, my favourites which I use from time to time. With this free offer from Cakewalk however, I might just have a new addition to my favourites list. This has to be one of the best giveaways this year. You really should try it now.
To my ears, the CA-2A is a very pleasant emulation of the famous compressor/limiter. It doesn’t have the ‘line-noise’ that some others try to reincarnate, which I personally believe 90% of the time detracts from the benefits of working digitally. The character of the compression also meets my experience of the real thing surprisingly closely. Although the LA-2A famously has fixed parameters such as attack and release, the compression behaves very differently depending on the source signal. During the little time I’ve spent with the CA-2A, it seems to emulate this very well, too.
There are two features I’m really pleased to see that Cakewalk have included. Firstly there’s the ‘R37’ HF Pre-emphasis control, which can be really useful when switching between vocals and bass for example. I also found the ‘photocell reset‘ modes in the drop-down menu really powerful. The ‘Fast Reset’ mode really helps the compressor perform in a more uniform manner irrespective of changes in the source behaviour.
To learn more about Cakewalk’s emulation of this all-time favourite compressor/limiter, see the webpage here. More importantly, see this link to download your free copy of this great plug-in. It shouldn’t matter which DAW you use as the CA-2A comes in VST, AU and AAX formats.
This is quite an old video now as it was published around the time the CA-2A was originally released. However, it’s still relevant except it doesn’t mention the AAX version that’s now available. If you haven’t used an LA-2A in a hardware or in a ‘plugin-ware’ form before, then this is also a great introduction to this highly-respected compressor/limiter. This video is from the Cakewalk Software YouTube channel.