How To Listen: LA-2A Edition

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The Teletronix LA-2A Optical compressor is one of the most venerable pieces of outboard gear in recording history. It has a compression behavior, tone and character that have made it an essential staple for engineers since its release in 1962.

In this puremix exclusive video, world renowned mixing engineer and producer, Fab Dupont, explains what makes the LA-2As compression behavior special, how to listen to the idiosyncrasies of the box, and demonstrates some lesser known features.

Learn how to listen to the Teletronix LA-2A compressor with A/B examples between different plugins and a hardware unit, and discover how to get the most out of this classic in your sessions.

See how Fab Dupont:

  • Explains how optical compressors work
  • Breaks down the controls of the LA-2A
  • Discusses the unique release time characteristics of the LA-2A
  • Explains the difference between the compress and limit modes
  • Compares different Universal Audio Plugin emulations to his hardware LA-2A
  • Explains the emphasis knob and how to use it
  • Compares the LA-2A with an Oxford compressor to show the differences of an LA-2A
  • Demonstrates the tone of simply running through the LA-2A without compression
  • Shows how to use an LA-2A as a 2-bus compressor
Equipment & Software


  • Teletronix LA-2A


  • UAD Teletronix Gray
  • UAD Teletronix Legacy
  • UAD Teletronix Silver
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Fab Dupont

Fab Dupont is an award-winning NYC based record producer, mixing/mastering engineer and co-founder of

Fab has been playing, writing, producing and mixing music both live and in studios all over the world. He's worked in cities like Paris, Boston, Brussels, Stockholm, London and New York just to name a few.

He has his own studio called FLUX Studios in the East Village of New York City.

Fab has received many accolades around the world, including wins at the Victoires de la Musique, South African Music awards, Pan African Music Awards, US independent music awards. He also has received Latin Grammy nominations and has worked on many Latin Grammy and Grammy-nominated albums.


David Crosby

Queen Latifah

Jennifer Lopez

Mark Ronson

Les Nubians

Toots And The Maytals

What do you have to say?
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2022 Jun 30
I found this very interesting and useful, but I think there's an error in the video - when Fab compares the LA-2A with the Oxford the LA-2A is set to Limit, which as Fab pointed out earlier is a 10:1 ratio, but when trying to match the settings on the Oxford he sets it to 4:1. To get as much GR on the highest peak he has to set the threshold lower, so no wonder the Oxford compresses lower parts of the signal. So, if I understand correctly, the comparison is void as far as compression is strictly considered. The other differences apply. Thanks for a great lesson!
2022 Apr 10
Amazing trip on LA-2A comp/limiter !!! I enjoy it a lot…Inlove to see the hardware in action! Merci ;)
2022 Feb 09
Wow I feel like I hear more low end and warmth in the hardware. Seems like the Legacy is the most "unbiased" or clean. Then the silver is prob my fav plugin.
2021 Dec 22
Can you please discuss stereo vs. dual mono compression on the mix buss? I am working on a percussion track with lots of independent instruments in the stereo field. dual mono makes is really different feel. Would be great to get your take on it.
2021 Nov 09
Simply exceptional...thanks FAB!
2021 Nov 04
Subtítulos en español por favor!!!
2021 Nov 01
spanish please !!
2021 Oct 29
please add the Spanish sub
2021 Oct 26
How long will it take to have the subtitles in Spanish?
2021 Oct 25
Good Videos !!! attention quand tu compares le LA2A avec le comp Oxford, le LA2A est en mode limiter ;-)
2021 Oct 23
How To Listen is my favorite series of a phenomenal platform. Thank you Fab!
2021 Oct 21
Love this series, thanks Fab!
2021 Oct 21
Trop bien !
2021 Oct 21
Ha! I loved the sound of the smashed bass. LOL
2021 Oct 21
Very I own the UA plugin, but this explanation help out even more, thanks
Castor X
2021 Oct 19
Fab is back. Thanks for this wonderful and educational video. Please even more nerdy knowledge. Greetings from Germany.
2021 Oct 18
Thx !
2021 Oct 18
LOVE the hair by the way.
2021 Oct 17
Finally Fab is back. Thx you! :)
Ken Matsuda
2021 Oct 16
Thanks for making this video! It is really helpful to follow what you are pointing out to listen to and then to hear the sound of the hardware and different versions of plugins. When you pointed out the connection between the vocals and the bass and drums with the gray version, I was surprised to hear it so clearly.
2021 Oct 16
Your timing on this was perfect. I was just thinking "I have all these LA2A's from UA, but I always use the same one. I wonder what the others sound like?" I was playing around first, and then saw your video and compared. Great great stuff. Thanks!
2021 Oct 15
Thanks Fab, good stuff!
2021 Oct 15
I use the emphasis knob, but I didn't really know how it worked. I move it slightly off of flat and notice it will leave alone some of the low freq transients. Now that I know how it works, I can use this trick better (or maybe not at all).
2021 Oct 15
Oleeeee, Welcome back Fab, i'm in love with this series!
2021 Oct 15
Does the LA2 A more a Tonal compressor when use with the 1176?