Logic Pro 1176 and LA2A Compressor Emulations

There are a lot of expensive plugin emulations that you can buy from Waves, UAD, or other plugin developers to recreate the classic sound of the beloved 1176, and LA2A compressor units.  Each of those developers have worked really hard to emulate the best characteristics of these coveted units, and they work really well.  If you have the money, and tend to like the plugins from a particular developer, by all means, get their emulation and use it to your hearts content.

Apple Logic Pro X Digital Audio Workstation

If you happen to be a Logic Pro user, it is worth noting that the compressor plugin included with Logic has both 1176, and LA2A compressor emulation modes.  This may or may not be as perfect an emulation as the ones by Waves or UAD, but it will definitely get you in the ball park.

The three modes worth noting on the Logic Pro compressor plugin are:

  • FET – (Field Effect Transistor) This setting is emulating an 1176 which is perhaps the most famous FET compressor, and people like to use them to get that punchy drum sound.
  • Opto – This is emulating the LA2A,  optical compressor. It is a little slower on the attack, and doesn’t react as quickly to the audio signal. It works really well for parallel compression since it’s always pumping away in the background, not just when the signal reaches the threshold.
  • VCA –  As well as being a fast compressor, the VCA model is also cleaner and more transparent.  This kind of compressor doesn’t color the sound as much as the other models, so it is ideal when you want your compression to go unnoticed.

Logic Pro VCA compressorIf anyone has already, or ever has the time to compare the specific performance of the Waves UAD and Logic Pro emulations against each other with a spectrometer showing the harmonic response of each, I would be really interested to hear about it.  Feel free to post your comments or findings here.