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Parker Garcia
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The Ultimate Review of Waves CLA Classic Compressors: Four Classic Compressor Models for Mac Users


Waves CLA Classic Compressors: A Review




If you are looking for a versatile and high-quality bundle of compressor plugins for your music production, you might want to check out Waves CLA Classic Compressors. This bundle is a collaboration between Waves and Grammy-winning engineer Chris Lord-Alge, who has worked with artists like Green Day, U2, Dave Matthews Band, Tina Turner, Rod Stewart, and many others. In this article, we will review the features, benefits, drawbacks, and applications of this bundle, and help you decide if it is worth your investment.




Waves CLA Classic Compressors AU VST VST3 RTAS TDM MAC OSX INTEL.rar



What are Waves CLA Classic Compressors?




The history and collaboration behind the bundle




Waves CLA Classic Compressors is a collection of four compressor plugins that are modeled after some of the most iconic and legendary compressors in audio history. These compressors are:


  • CLA-2A: Based on the electro-optical tube compressor from the 1960s, known for its smooth and natural compression curve.



  • CLA-3A: Based on the solid-state compressor from the early 1970s, known for its fast response and transparent sound.



  • CLA-76 Blacky and Bluey: Based on two revisions of the Class A FET compressor from the mid-1960s, known for their superfast attack and punchy sound.



These compressors have been used by countless engineers and producers on countless records, and have become classics in their own right. Chris Lord-Alge is one of them, and he has used these compressors extensively in his mixing career. He has also added his own personal touch and presets to each plugin, giving them his signature sound and vibe.


The four models included in the bundle




Each plugin in the bundle has its own unique characteristics and features, but they all share some common elements. Here is a brief overview of each model:



Model


Description


Features


CLA-2A


A smooth and natural sounding compressor/limiter that works well on vocals, guitars, bass, and more.


  • Compressor and Limiter modes

  • Zero latency

  • Sidechain frequency filter

  • Analog noise emulation

  • VU meter for input, gain reduction, or output



CLA-3A


A fast and transparent sounding compressor/limiter that works well on bass, drums, guitars, keyboards, and more.


  • Compressor and Limiter modes

  • Zero latency

  • Sidechain frequency filter

  • Analog noise emulation

  • VU meter for input, gain reduction, or output



CLA-76 Blacky and Bluey


A punchy and aggressive sounding compressor/limiter that works well on drums, vocals, guitars, bass, and more.


  • Compressor (ratio 4:1) and Limiter (ratio 20:1) modes

  • All buttons mode for extreme compression

  • Attack (0.8 to 80 microseconds) and Release (50 to 1100 milliseconds) controls

  • Analog noise emulation

  • VU meter for input or output (no gain reduction meter)



How to use Waves CLA Classic Compressors?




The common features and controls of the plugins




All four plugins in the bundle have some common features and controls that make them easy to use and adjust. These are:



  • Gain: This knob controls the input level of the signal going into the compressor. You can use it to adjust how much compression you want to apply.



  • Peak Reduction: This knob controls the amount of compression or limiting applied to the signal. You can use it to control how much you want to reduce the dynamic range of the signal.



  • Analog: This switch enables or disables the emulation of analog noise inherent in the original hardware units. You can use it to add some warmth and character to your sound.



  • VU Display: This switch allows you to choose what you want to see on the VU meter. You can choose between input level, gain reduction level (except for CLA-76), or output level.



  • Preset Menu: This menu allows you to access various presets created by Chris Lord-Alge himself. You can use them as starting points or inspiration for your own settings.



  • Bypass: This button allows you to bypass the plugin completely. You can use it to compare your processed and unprocessed signals.



The differences and applications of each model




While all four plugins share some common features and controls, they also have some differences that make them suitable for different applications. Here are some tips on how to use each model effectively:



  • CLA-2A: This plugin is great for smoothing out vocals, guitars, bass, or any other source that needs a gentle and natural compression. It can also add some warmth and richness to your sound. To use it effectively, start with a moderate amount of peak reduction (around 5), adjust the gain to match your input level, then tweak both knobs until you get a smooth compression without pumping or distortion. You can also use the sidechain filter to prevent low frequencies from triggering too much compression.



  • CLA-3A: This plugin is great for adding some punch and clarity to bass, drums, guitars, keyboards, or any other source that needs a fast and transparent compression. It can also add some presence and brightness to your sound. To use it effectively, start with a moderate amount of peak reduction (around 5), adjust the gain to match your input level, then tweak both knobs until you get a tight compression without losing too much transients or dynamics. You can also use the sidechain filter to prevent low frequencies from triggering too much compression.



  • CLA-76 Blacky and Bluey: These plugins are great for adding some energy and aggression to drums, vocals, guitars, bass, or any other source that needs a punchy and snappy compression. They can also add some coloration and saturation to your sound. To use them effectively, start with a high amount of peak reduction (around 10), adjust the gain to match your input level, then tweak both knobs until you get a fast compression without squashing or distorting your sound too much. You can also use the attack and release controls to shape your transients and sustain. For extreme compression effects, try using the all buttons mode or switching between Blacky (more mid-range focus) or Bluey (more high-end focus).



Why choose Waves CLA Classic Compressors?




The benefits and advantages of the bundle




If you are looking for a bundle of compressor plugins that can handle any source material with ease and quality, you might want to consider Waves CLA Classic Compressors. Some of the benefits and advantages of this bundle are:



  • You get four models of classic compressors that have been used on countless hit records by top engineers and producers.



  • You get access to Chris Lord-Alge's personal presets and settings that he has used on his own mixes.



  • You get a versatile and flexible set of tools that can work on any genre and style of music.



  • You get a simple and intuitive interface that makes it easy to dial in your desired sound.



  • You get a high-quality and faithful emulation of the original hardware units with added features and enhancements.



The drawbacks and limitations of the bundle




Of course, no plugin bundle is perfect, Classic Compressors also has some drawbacks and limitations that you should be aware of. Some of the drawbacks and limitations of this bundle are:



  • You might not need all four models of compressors in your arsenal, especially if you already have other compressor plugins that can do similar tasks.



  • You might find some of the plugins too simple or limited in terms of features and controls, especially if you are used to more modern and flexible compressors that offer more options and customization.



  • You might experience some compatibility or performance issues with some DAWs or operating systems, especially if you are using older or unsupported versions.



  • You might have to pay extra for updates or upgrades if you want to keep using the latest version of the plugins.



Where to get Waves CLA Classic Compressors?




The price and availability of the bundle




If you are interested in getting Waves CLA Classic Compressors, you can purchase it from various online platforms that sell Waves products. The bundle is usually priced at $500, but you can often find it on sale or with discounts from Waves or other authorized dealers. For example, as of May 2023, you can get the bundle for $70 from Reverb.com, $68 from Thomann United States, or $79 from Waves.com. You can also check out other websites that offer similar deals or promotions.


The system requirements and compatibility of the bundle




Before you purchase Waves CLA Classic Compressors, you should make sure that your system meets the minimum requirements and compatibility standards for running the plugins. According to Waves.com, these are:



  • Operating System: Windows 10 (64-bit) or Mac OS 10.15.7, 11.6.5, 12.4, 13.0 (64-bit)



  • CPU: AMD Quad Core / Apple M1 / Intel Core i5



  • RAM: 8 GB



  • Hard Disk Space: 16 GB



  • Display Resolution: 1024 x 768



  • Plugin Formats: AAX Native 64-bit, AU 64-bit, VST2 64-bit, VST3 64-bit



  • Internet Connection: Required for installation and activation



You should also check the compatibility of the plugins with your DAW of choice, as some DAWs may not support some plugin formats or versions. You can find a list of supported DAWs and hosts on Waves.com.


Conclusion




Waves CLA Classic Compressors is a bundle of four compressor plugins that are modeled after some of the most iconic and legendary compressors in audio history. The bundle is a collaboration between Waves and Chris Lord-Alge, who has added his own personal touch and presets to each plugin. The bundle offers a versatile and flexible set of tools that can work on any genre and style of music, and can add some warmth, punch, clarity, and energy to your sound. The bundle also has a simple and intuitive interface that makes it easy to use and adjust.


However, the bundle also has some drawbacks and limitations that you should be aware of. The bundle might not be necessary or suitable for everyone, especially if you already have other compressor plugins that can do similar tasks. The bundle might also be too simple or limited in terms of features and controls, especially if you are used to more modern and flexible compressors that offer more options and customization. The bundle might also have some compatibility or performance issues with some DAWs or operating systems, especially if you are using older or unsupported versions. The bundle might also require extra payment for updates or upgrades if you want to keep using the latest version of the plugins.


Therefore, before you decide to purchase Waves CLA Classic Compressors, you should weigh the pros and cons carefully, and consider your own needs and preferences. You should also compare the price and availability of the bundle from different online platforms, and check the system requirements and compatibility standards for running the plugins. If you are looking for a versatile and high-quality bundle of compressor plugins for your music production, Waves CLA Classic Compressors might be a good option for you.


Frequently Asked Questions





  • What is the difference between compression and limiting?



Compression and limiting are both processes that reduce the dynamic range of a signal, which is the difference between the loudest and quietest parts of the signal. However, compression does this gradually by applying a ratio (e.g., 4:1) that determines how much gain reduction is applied for every decibel above a certain threshold level. Limiting does this abruptly by applying a fixed amount of gain reduction (e.g., -10 dB) for any signal above a certain ceiling level.


  • What is the difference between CLA-76 Blacky and Bluey?



CLA-76 Blacky and Bluey are both modeled after two revisions of the same Class A FET compressor from the mid-1960s. However, they have some subtle differences in their sound and behavior. Blacky is based on the black-face revision (also known as UREI 1176LN), which has more mid-range focus, more distortion at high input levels, and faster release times. Bluey is based on the blue-stripe revision (also known as UREI 1176 Rev A), which has more high-end focus, less distortion at high input levels, and slower release times.


  • How do I use the sidechain filter in CLA-2A and CLA-3A?



The sidechain filter is a feature that allows you to prevent low frequencies from triggering too much compression in CLA-2A I'll continue writing the FAQs. and CLA-3A. This can help you avoid pumping or ducking effects caused by bass-heavy signals. To use the sidechain filter, you can adjust the HF Freq knob to set the cutoff frequency of a high-pass filter that is applied to the signal before it reaches the compressor. The higher the value, the more low frequencies are filtered out. For example, if you set the HF Freq to 100 Hz, any signal below 100 Hz will not affect the compression.


  • How do I use the all buttons mode in CLA-76?



The all buttons mode is a feature that allows you to engage all four ratio buttons (4:1, 8:1, 12:1, and 20:1) at the same time in CLA-76. This creates a very extreme and aggressive compression effect that can add some character and excitement to your sound. To use the all buttons mode, you can click on the ratio buttons until they are all lit up. You can also use the preset menu to access some presets that use this mode.


  • How do I update or upgrade Waves CLA Classic Compressors?



To update or upgrade Waves CLA Classic Compressors, you need to have an active Waves Update Plan, which is a subscription service that gives you access to the latest version of your plugins and other benefits. You can purchase or renew your Waves Update Plan from Waves.com or from authorized dealers. Once you have an active Waves Update Plan, you can use the Waves Central application to install or update your plugins.



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