Waves CLA-2A
Waves CLA-2A

CLA-2A, Software compressor from Waves in the CLA series.

content in English
Hatsubai 16/06/2011

Waves CLA-2A : Recensione di Hatsubai (content in English)

"Optical tube compressor"

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Waves has a series of three popular compressors that are modeled after their old school counter parts. This one is modeled after the electro-optical tube compressor that was used throughout the 60s and 70s. On top of that, they include some special presets you can test out. To begin with, this compressor actually doubles as a limiter. For those that don't know, compressors and limiters are extremely similar. The main difference between the two is that a limiter isn't as adjustable. Basically, a limiter is a compressor that has a very high ratio. This means that it won't let anything past the threshold it's set at. There is a switch on this that allows you to choose between the two, and I can't say it's the most versatile switch out there. The compressor itself isn't that versatile as you only have a gain and peak reduction knob with some different hum you can introduce for character and a toggle switch to select between the two different types of compressors (or limiters, depending on how you want to classify them). I find that this works nicely on clean to low gain guitars, but it seems to struggle with anything higher as it sounds too vintage for me.


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.


I prefer some of the other compressors on the market to this one mainly because of the style of music I play. This is geared towards those wanting a much more vintage sound. For me, I generally prefer something a bit more transparent and with a lot more versatility. If you're someone who is more on the vintage side of things, this could easily be what you're looking for.