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User Review

moosers's review - Waves CLA-76

The Waves Ltd. CLA-76 is a compression plug-in that is modeled after the classic Universal Audio 1176, hence it's found in Waves' Classic Compressor bundle along with a number of other classic compressor emulations. Unlike the other compressors in this bundle, there is another 1176 plug-in out there that comes free with Pro Tools that is made by them through Bomb Factory. Installing this plug-in and the full Classic Compressors bundle is quite simple as long as you've got a compatible system as most should since they offer this bundle in all formats that I can think of. The CLA-76 has the same exact make up as a hardware 1176, so much so that it's kind of scary. Unfortunately I can't say the same thing about the sound, but at least it's got the same simple, familiar configuration. This configuration consists of parameters in the form of knobs for input, output, attack and release, and buttons to choose the ratio, which gives you ratios of 4:!, 8:1, 12:1, 20:1, and all in to choose from, just like the original 1176. It also has got a variety of VU metering options and two different skins to choose from.


I've currently got the Waves Ltd. CLA-76 and the Classic Compressors bundle installed and running on my Mac Book Pro lap top that has a 2.2 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 4 GB of RAM. I run the plug-ins in Pro Tools LE 8 that I run with a Digi 002R audio interface or a Digidesign Micro Box if I'm editing and/or working on the go. This plug-in won't take up much of your processing power, but of course it's still necessary to have a decent amount of processing power to begin with. I'd say that as long as you're currently able to run plug-in smoothly on your system, you should be okay, but it's always hard to tell from system to system.


While the Waves Ltd. CLA-76 sounds pretty good overall, it certainly doesn't live up to the name, nor would I ask it to. Using a real 1176 would be the only way to get that sound, but this software version still sounds pretty good and is definitely a useful plug-in to have around. I'll usually only use this to get some quick compression going, as for real mixing or tracking I'll use a real 1176 when I've got access to one. I don't know that I'd recommend buying the Classic Compressors bundle at the price they are asking, but if you have the Waves Complete bundle, the CLA-76 is absolutely worth playing around with.