What is your favorite 2-bus compressor?

What is your favorite 2-bus compressor?
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No. 6 for me too…its easy and presets seem to work. and free…and Klanghelm


I did a little Black Friday shopping this weekend and picked up the Waves CLA-2A and CLA-3A plugs from Audiodeluxe, on blowout for 19 bucks each. Haven’t been in the studio yet since then so haven’t checked them out, but I’ll definitely audition them both on individual tracks and on the 2…


If you get a chance, try demo-ing the Waves SSL G comp on the 2 bus…The Waves LA-2A might be a little weird. I think it would be difficult to integrate on a 2 bus. You know how with most compressors, the after the needle rises, it falls at whatever rate you set the release at? The 2A has a fixed release of about 60 ms for the first 50%, then a variable release time of 1-15 seconds for the other 50% to release. Its way too slow. I would never set a 2 bus compressor to a release any longer than 1.6 sec. I usually park my bus comps around .2 -.4 sec. with a 1.5:1 or 2:1 ratio. The LA-2A is fixed at 4:1. Another thing about the LA2A on the 2 bus, is that you have to punch it pretty hard to get it to speak. Ideal 2 bus compressors add a lot of glue with only about 2-4 db of gain reduction.

On the other hand, the 2A is fabulous for smashing and crushing vocals, drums, guitars, basses, pianos, and well…just about everything. A common trick to go 3A->2A or 1176->2A. When you get a chance to play with this thing, remember that there’s a lot going on under the hood, even when the needle is barely moving. Waves models the all the circuit noise and analog distortion, as well as the compression.


Dave…I just noticed the Waves SSL G Comp is on sale for $29. You may want to give this thing a try. This is always my first go-to when I need a compressor on the 2 bus. If you get this, you’ll probably get a lot of milage out of it. And I run into the need to sub it out for something else less than 1 out of 10 times I use it.


Hey, thanks for the input and advice @Jonathan, I know you have a ton of experience with these plugs so I’m happy to get your take. Appreciate all those under-the-hood details, particularly on the 2A’s response times. Will have a look at the SSL G, for these prices it’s not a big deal to check it out…