LA-2A Tube compressor - Free DAW plugin - Final day

Hi all you folks , I’ve been talking to a few people over the last few days about DAW’s and doing a great deal of reading. One thing I read from justin was this

“Using light compression on the way in, is generally a good idea and will stop any accidental peaks in volume. I usually start with a 3:1 compression ratio, 250-300ms release time and 5-10ms attack setting and go from there. If I have the choice I will go for an 1176 or LA2 compressors. Overly compressing the signal on the way in is a very bad idea because it can’t be changed later, so start small and then add more compression at the mixing stage if you need to.”

Anyway my reading lead me to here this morning…

The Plugin is here if you think it’s any good !


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A small (off topic, but relevant) PSA:

I know this quote was from Justin, but a small point of clarification: using a compressor plugin on input isn’t in any way a substitute for for proper gain staging and allowing headroom. I’m guessing that’s not what Justin was suggesting, but it could be interpreted in this way.

A hardware compressor unit placed before the input to the audio interface could be used in this way, but a plugin compressor cannot.

Conventional audio interfaces have a maximum input level. If you exceed this, the input will hard clip which will irreversibly damage the recording. Placing a compressor plugin after the input won’t help in any way.

So always gain stage your signal to allow plenty of headroom for peaks. 12-14dB is usually a good figure to aim for.



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Ah yes, this one passed on my media as well. reminds me I still have to download it but it was via some kind of their tools and I’m always a bit wary of having to install separate tools to use something in another tool.

Thanks for sharing (and reminding)
Will check this later today.

Since my latest Window+DAW install, I use reaper and FREE plugins only.

  • less costs
  • you learn to work with what you have
  • you learn that more plugins doesn’t make it better
  • if at some point, i really run into a limit, I know the “problem” well enough in order to seek a paid and fitting solution. Up till now: no issues.
  • I once again confirm that better source material is always the best plugin :smiley:

To complement @Majik
Besides proper gain staging, compressors should not be used to cover up a bad technique where your volume dynamics are all over te place :wink:


I thought there was a way to actually , and I’ll use the word “remap” that so to speak in a DAW. I don’t really know , as you know I’m just in the throws of DAW choise.

Thank you though for the clarification. :slight_smile:


I think what you maybe looking at is the ILok manager for authourisation purposes, its fine. The Ilok licence manager shows a PC and a plugin , from there you can activate or de-activate.

It will also handle trial items like the MEA-2 you can see


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If by “remap”, it’s possible to place plugins in different places in the production chain within the DAW. For example, you can place a plugin “pre-fader” or “post-fader” and where you place it will have an effect on it’s operation.

Here’s an example of some plugins in Ardour on the mixer strip. Generally the flow of signal is top to bottom. This is a relatively complex example with several plugins plus a send to a reverb bus (probably too complex a discussion for this thread). The Fader is indicated in blue, with the pre-fader plugins in red, and the post-fader plugins in green.


This is a clipped section from this screenshot, for reference.

Generally speaking, you will place any plugin that depends on the signal level before the fader. If you (for instance) place a compressor after the fader then the compressor operation will be affected by the fader level.

But the only way to counter clipping issues on audio interface inputs is to place the compressor before the input, and the only way to do that is with a separate hardware compressor physically connected in front of the AI.



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Sorry for second reply, it seems they have there own plugin manager but I cant see anywhere to activate it in there., looks more like a list app.

You’ll also need to add a new plugin path as they do not use the standards VST path, pain !

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