I would like to write about VLA-3A, a compressor emulating LA-3A by Black Rooster Audio. It is surprisingly useful for a wide range of sources and is recommended.

About VLA-3A

VLA-3A is a compressor plug-in sold by my favorite developer, Black Rooster Audio.

As the name suggests, it is a product that emulates the famous vintage comp called LA-3A.

The emulation plug-in of LA-3A is released by each company, but VLA-3A is especially recommended because it is a product of Black Rooster Audio which has a reputation for quality and sometimes sells for less than half price.

Black Rooster Audio VLA-3A
created by Rinker

About LA-3A

What kind of comp is LA-3A, the original model of such VLA-3A?

An optical compressor released by UREI (now Universal Audio) in 1969.

Prima facie but had come out is used to, truly It is quite a price…

The actual machine is a real machine, and it seems that reprints and copy + modern version update products are appearing frequently.

So, what kind of comp is there is a model called LA-2A that existed before this, and I think that it is good to recognize that the circuit of this LA-2A was changed from a vacuum tube to a transistor, LA-3A.

Perhaps because of cost reduction, but this resulted in a different character from the LA-2A.

The LA-2A has a slow attack and release and works gently, while the LA-3A has a fast attack and release, and the transistor’s solid feeling makes it a bit creeper.

Another famous vintage comp is the Pakipaki 1176, but the LA-3A seems to be an intermediate character between the LA-2A and the 1176.

By the way, both LA-2A and 1176 have emulated plug-ins from Black Rooster Audio ^^

How to use VLA-3A

The usage is very simple, just determine the gain (input amount) and the reduction amount by looking at the middle meter and flicking the left and right knobs.

The basic setting is to keep the volume unchanged, so that the GR meter can swing from -3db to -6db. With -6db, it takes a rather strong image.

It would be nice to be able to use it in a simple way and leave it to the character of the equipment to some extent, instead of trying to adjust the settings in detail. That’s not the case with digital comps.

The sound has a nice feeling of density

It sounds like the VLA-3A, but it sounds pretty good.

From the middle to the low mid, a sense of density comes out and the sound becomes “deep”. If the band around here is a delicate source, it feels like a push-out feeling.

According to the feeling that I checked, the high range seems to come out with the actual machine, but in the VLA-3A, there is no change in the high range. It feels dark around the middle.

The VLA-3A was applied to the guitar in the official video of Black Rooster Audio, but I think that the density of this middle suits well with the guitar.

However, although it is faster than the LA-2A, it is never a fast attack, and its release is quite slow, so I think it’s a good rule to apply it shallowly to sources like guitars that want to keep the dynamics constant. If you hang it deep, it will be weird.

It’s also good that the vocals are glossy. I guess this area is like a big brother.

Extra: How to use with LA-2A

Big brother LA-2A and younger brother LA-3A, I would like to introduce a little about how to use these two.

The LA-2A is extremely slow in attack and release, so it is good for loose and smooth sources such as ballad vocals. Since it is a vacuum tube, it has a very glossy finish.

The LA-3A feels like an ordinary boy who is a little more naughty than a super gentle brother. Since the middle punches out, the vocals are also effective for powerful sources such as rock. Attack release is not as extreme as your big brother, so you can use it for a wide range of sources that are relatively general, including those that your big brother couldn’t handle. Overseas, it is a standard or a general-purpose comp.


We introduced Black Rooster Audio VLA-3A.

Although it is a relatively new plug-in, I think it is an early classic plug-in along with VLA-2A in terms of Black Rooster Audio.

Compared to LA-3A comps made by other companies, the fine and glossy appearance of the middle comes out well and I think it is a comfortable comp.

The list price is 129 $ and it is not that cheap as a standalone plug-in, but Black Rooster Audio has the image that you will do less than half price such as 70% OFF several times a year including Black Friday, so when you buy it I think it is good to aim for a sale.

If you are looking for a high quality comp, it is a plug-in that you want to be included as an option.

Product information

Black Rooster Audio VLA-3A
created by Rinker