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User Review

Class A compressor - Reviews Waves CLA-76

This is the third and final compressor in the CLA compressor series, and this one is actually two compressors in one. On top of that, it's the most versatile of them all. The plugin is modeled after the famous '60s Class A compressors that were called Blacky and Bluey. They have a fast attack that made them extremely popular back in the day. The coolest feature with this is that they have an "All" feature. This recreates that famous sound when you push all of the buttons in on the original compressor. It creates this crazy, edgy sound that can really push a mix and give it some unique character. Most people tend to use this on vintage sounding drums, and I especially like this on the snare, as well as the kick at times. I don't really use it on guitars as it's not as transparent, but it could work nicely on vocals at certain points if you're using automation.


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.


Being Class A, this isn't exactly the most desirable compressor for guitars. It may work, but most people prefer something a bit more transparent. Instead, this works great on drums, and it can even work quite nicely for vocals. The price over the overall CLA bundle isn't too bad when you consider what you're getting, so it's not worth going out and downloading them, in my opinion.