Cakewalk announced the CA-2A T-Type Leveling Amplifier plug-in (available in late January for $99), with support for VST, Audio Units, and SONAR X2 Producer’s ProChannel. Cakewalk’s expert developers meticulously modeled and crafted this vintage electro-optical tube compressor to deliver the classic, highly desirable sound heard on Platinum recordings.
Since the 1960s, professional engineers have relied on the unique characteristics of this tube-based compressor to work its magic on an array of different types of tracks. Cakewalk developers modeled this unit and originally made it available as a ProChannel module in their flagship DAW, SONAR; in late 2012, Cakewalk released the RE-2A version as a Propellerhead Rack Extension.
The CA-2A is suitable for just about any audio material, but it particularly excels on vocal tracks, promising transparent musical results, while preserving the dynamic performance. It is also designed for use with electric and acoustic guitars, including bass instruments, as well as piano, wind instruments and other tracks needing a smooth rich texture.
Depending on the incoming program material, the modeled T4 circuit uses an electroluminescent panel to determine the exact attack time (around 10 milliseconds,) and an optical photo cell to determine the release time, all while carefully modeling the amplifier’s tubes and electro-optical device, as with the original hardware unit. The CA-2A also includes a Fast Resetting Photocell Memory feature that will allow the processor to respond with more agility than the original hardware unit when needed on material such as drums and slap bass.
In addition, the compressor serves as a “soft-knee” type slope with a fixed attack time of 10 milliseconds and a two-stage program-dependent release structure which results in warm analogue character. Unlike typical dynamics processors that have a fixed compression ratio across all frequencies, the CA-2A gain reduction varies at different frequencies. It also features an R37 control, true to the original hardware, where the compressor's responsiveness to high frequencies can be adjusted. The R37 control has been a secret trick for many world-class engineers who use it as a natural de-esser on vocals.
Cakewalk states that the CA-2A T-Type Leveling Amplifier will be available in late January and includes VST, AU, and ProChannel Module formats. Customers who previously purchased the PC2A (ProChannel Module) format can upgrade for $19.99 at the Cakewalk Store.