The Ultimate Software Collection of the Most Revered Optical Compressors in History.
The Teletronix LA-2A Leveling Amplifier rivals only the Universal Audio 1176 as one of the most revered compressors ever created. With its gentle, program dependent optical compression and meticulously designed tube amplifier, the LA-2A is the go-to compressor for professional mixers around the world — especially for vocals.
In 2001, Universal Audio set the standard in analog emulation with the original UAD LA-2A plug-in. Since then, advances in processing power and a decade of analog emulation experience enabled UA’s engineers to redesign the legendary LA-2A with luxurious, obsessive detail. For the new LA-2A Classic Leveler Plug-In Collection, Universal Audio painstakingly modeled the entire electronic path of three of the most sought-after LA-2A units — “Silver,” “Gray,” and the original LA-2 model – creating the most authentic emulations ever of this iconic compressor.
Teletronix founder Jim Lawrence first used photocells for controlling audio gain in the early 1960s. His ingenious optical compression design was a technological breakthrough, far surpassing the stability and transparency of earlier tube detector circuits. Universal Audio founder M.T. ”Bill” Putnam later purchased this patented technology, continuing to manufacture the LA-2A for years to come.
Universal Audio still hand-builds the original LA-2A hardware to this day at our headquarters in Scotts Valley, California. Decades of experience manufacturing these units provides UA with unique, in-depth understanding of the complex interactions of the LA-2A — particularly its unique T4 photoresistor and luminescent light source behaviors. The result is easily the world’s most accurate DSP model of the LA-2A as a UAD plug-in, right down to its transformers, amplifiers, and distinctive photo cells.
Three Historical Units
The Teletronix LA-2A Leveler Collection puts three of the most coveted incarnations of the iconic Teletronix processor at your fingertips. As with the hardware, the LA-2A Silver, LA-2A Gray, and LA-2 models offer distinct variations in time constants, compression knee, headroom, distortion, program and frequency dependence, and more.
LA-2A Silver & Gray
With a brushed aluminum panel and original T4B gain reduction module, this cherished late-1960s “Silver” version of the LA-2A, manufactured by Bill Putnam, is perhaps the most flexible of the three plug-ins in the collection. Its fast time constant makes it suitable for the widest variety of program material, including transient-rich sources like drums and percussion. Jim Lawrence’s original mid-1960s “Gray” version the LA-2A maintains a more average time constant, providing a range of “medium-speed” compression.
The Original LA-2
The exceptionally rare, early 1960s LA-2 unit preceded the LA-2A by several years. It provides the slowest response and a unique “mellowed” sound due to 50 years of luminescent panel aging inside the T4 module. Use the LA-2 with legato tempos and vocal sources for a transparency and sublime mood unlike any other compressor.
How different are the Teletronix LA-2A Classic Leveler Collection plug-ins from the original UAD LA-2A plug-in that came before?
The plug-ins in the Teletronix LA-2A Classic Leveler Collection benefit from the additional processing power afforded by the UAD-2, plus more than 10 years of UA’s evolving sophistication designing plug-ins. While our original LA-2A plug-ins compression behaviors remain an excellent rendition of the hardware, the new Teletronix LA-2A Classic Leveler Collection plug-ins add tube amplifier modeling, improvements to the T4 gain reduction nonlinearities, and superior time constant behaviors. Hands down, these are the most musical and authentic Teletronix plug-in emulations ever created.
How are the three units you've modeled different from each other, sonically?
The Teletronix Levelers have seen different revisions, reissues and product variants in their 50+ year history. As with the hardware, the LA-2A Silver, LA-2A Gray and LA-2 models in the Teletronix LA-2A Classic Leveler Collection offer distinct variations in T4 time constants, compression knee, headroom, distortion onset, distortion structure, program dependence, frequency dependence, and more. This provides an expanded palette within the LA-2A sound, just like a professional studio might have with various Teletronix hardware units on hand.
Does the Teletronix LA-2A Classic Leveler Collection replace the "old" LA-2A plug-in?
No, the original LA-2A plug-in will continue to be included in the “Analog Classics” bundle, which is provided with the purchase of any UAD DSP product. The LA-2A remains useful, in that it consumes less DSP, and is less sonically “colored” — which may be desirable in some instances.
Can I still purchase the “old” LA-2A plug-in?
For the few UAD customers who do not already own the legacy LA-2A plug-in, they will get it as a fourth plug-in title with the purchase of the new Teletronix LA-2A Classic Leveler Collection.