Waves CLA-3A
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Waves CLA-3A

CLA-3A, Software compressor from Waves in the CLA series.

Hatsubai 06/15/2011

Waves CLA-3A : Hatsubai's user review

« Solid state compressor »
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This is Waves' second plugin in the line of their three main famous compressors out there. This one is modeled after the famous '70s solid state compressors that were much more transparent than the tube counterparts. Because of that, this one tends to work a bit better on guitars and vocals than the CLA-2A. The compressor itself is fairly easy to use as it only has a Gain knob, Reduction knob, a switch to select between limiting/compression and some buttons to introduce some of that characteristic hum that was associated with these units.

SUITABILITY/PERFORMANCE

Waves plugins are pretty well renowned in the business as being some of the most stable and popular plugins in the audio world. For one, they're cross platform. That means Mac users like me can use pretty much every single one of their plugins without a problem. Granted, they run at 32 bit instead of 64 bit, but Logic kindly provides a nice application that allows them to run without harming the 64 bit environment. I've never once experienced a crash that was directly correlated with inserting a Waves plugin on a buss. They're extremely stable, and I can't say enough about them. The biggest issue would be the overall cost as they cost a ton of money. I've never read the manual, so I can't really comment on that. These plugins are super easy, and the only main hurdle is figuring out what the names mean.

OVERALL OPINION

This compressor is a lot better for guitars and vocals because it's much more transparent. On the other hand, you kind of lose that famous tube sound that those compressors had. It's all a trade off, so you really have to experiment and see what's best for the mix you're currently mixing. If you ever get the chance to check out some of these Waves plugins, I highly recommend giving them a go. There's a good reason why they cost so much. Also, please don't support piracy.