Waves CLA-2A – Compressors and automation

Author: sleepfreaks

Keeping gain reduction in mind and recording automation


Compressors even out peaks in sound, and even out the difference between loud/quiet sounds.
Because of this, you can create stable volumes in your songs.

Most tracks need compressors especially during the mixing process.
What we need to look out for here is setting up compression for tracks with large differences in dynamics.
This is especially true with bass/vocal tracks.

A common problem that occurs is when the compression applies to heavily to louder sounds,
and creates an unnatural sound overall.

To fix this problem, we will look at some automation/compression settings.

Tutorial video

Here we will use a vocal track as an example.

Waves CLA-2A – Parameters

Waves CLA-2A

  • 1「Compressor Mode Selector」→「Ratio (2 types)」
  • 2「Gain」Adjust output level
  • 3「Meter」VU DISPLAY(INPUT/GR/OUTPUT)displays selected setting
  • 4「Peak Reduction」adjust compression level(works like threshold)
  • 5「VU Display」select parameter you want to see from INPUT/Gain Reduction/OUTPUT
  • 6「Analog」noise simulator(when OFF the noise is off)
  • 7「HiFREQ」
    When turned to HiFREQ, the compression becomes less sensitive to low end sounds, and reduces the overall compressed feel
    By adjusting this knob, you can adjust vocals with too much air and control high frequency sounds
  • 8「FLAT」
    When turned to FLAT, the compression is applied equally across the frequency spectrum

Insert slot and input signal flow


This is also in DAWs, but automation is applied on the sound after going through an effect.
Because of this, even with automation applied, the compressed amount wont change.

As is, the compressor will be over applied to the loud areas.


Because of this, use a plugin to adjust the volume of sound going INTO the compressor,
and automate this data instead.


We will apply automation to the EQ gain that is set before the compression.
Because of this, you can optimize the sound going into a compressor.

If you are experiencing this problem, give this method a try!