Waves CLA Classic Compressors
Waves CLA Classic Compressors

CLA Classic Compressors, Software compressor from Waves in the CLA series.

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tarrtime 28/12/2012

Waves CLA Classic Compressors: Produktbewertung von tarrtime (content in English)

"All the essentials in one bundle"

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Waves CLA Classic Compressors is bundle a software plug-ins to be used in a DAW. The compressors was modeled off of the actually hardware compressors owned by Chris Lord-Alge. This plug-in actually contains four different models, two different 1176 models - a black-face (most popular model), and a blue-stripe (less common), an LA-3A, and an LA-2A.

Waves plug-ins are easy to install and authorize. Version 9 of their plug-ins has moved away from using an iLok. Now any USB stick can be used as the dongle, or the authorization can be done without a dongle if your computer connects to the internet.


Each of these compressors have different applications, and it is hard to imagine mixing without any one of them. The 1176 is the 'go-to' compressor for drums. It definitely adds character to drums, and helps them punch. I have read that Chris Lord-Alge swears by the CLA blue stripe for vocals. The LA-2A is the best compressor for smoothing out levels for many instruments in a mix - bass, piano, acoustic guitar, strings, etc. The LA-3A is great for electric guitars. However, I have also found that I like what the CLA-76 black-face does to electric guitars. I recommend getting the entire bundle and experimenting.


Compressors are the most essential tool in music production/mixing (Eq might also be equally as important). The most popular compressors from the past 50 years have been the 1176, LA-3A, and LA-2A. They all sound a little different and are useful for different reasons. Unless you can afford a rack of these compressors in the hardware form, the software models offer a useful alternative. Waves models have been around for a while, and I would love to see them release updated versions of these plug-ins since their modeling technology has (hopefully) advanced since the release of this bundle. Universal Audio has released new models of the 1176 compressor for their UAD-2 platform, however they require the use of their DSP chips. For native plug-ins, the Waves models are better sounding than the other ones I own (Native Instruments/Softube, IK Multimedia, Bomb Factory).