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MLA-2 Mastering Stereo Compressor

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Item: D15-1062

Availability: In stock

MLA-2 Mastering Stereo Compressor
MLA-2 Mastering Stereo Compressor MLA-2 Mastering Stereo Compressor



The MLA-2 is a stereo or 2-channel compressor with stepped drive (input gain), ratio, attack and release time and output gain controls. For optimum transparency and freedom from noise the MLA-2 employs a non-VCA design.


Top recording and mastering engineers still use some analogue signal processing equipment, finding the familiar correlation between sound and control better to work with. However, most analogue compressors have either continuously variable controls, making precise adjustments difficult, or just a few coarsely-stepped controls. Many fail to meet the standards of audio performance consistent with digital media. The MLA-2 provides fully-stepped controls for precision and repeatability for ALL parameters.

The MLA-2 is extensively used in mastering but also works well on an insertion point in recording or mixing. The MLA-2 has a rear-mounted range control switch that adjusts the threshold range to suit either mastering or recording/mixing applications.

The MLA-2 is a compressor that can provide effective dynamic control with minimal side-effects - it is designed to provide a very transparent signal path.


The MLA-2 is a very special Compressor that has been designed to provide effective but subtle compression. It uses the principle of a fixed threshold, with adjustable drive (or input gain). This makes for more intuitive operation than an adjustable threshold - turn the drive control clockwise and increase the compression depth.

The progression into the compression region is gradual and changes as the ratio is increased. Minimal output gain make-up adjustment is needed as the threshold is slightly modified running through different ratio settings. This creates a consistent gain point with about 2-3dB of compression across the ratio range.

Control of release time is always an issue and special attention has been lavished on this feature. The MLA-2 intelligently adjusts its release time based on the front panel setting for the most musical result. In addition, a modified release decay has been used rather than the conventional exponential curve.

The MLA-2 IMAGELINK system provides a stereo side-chain link that allows the gain of the two channels to track so avoiding the risk of stereo image shifting when only one channel is controlled. However, transients that are placed to the extreme right or left can result in a slightly un-natural ducking of the other channel, so the stereo link is controlled to avoid this.

The MLA-2 achieves excellent results with speech and other highly dynamic sources, as well as instruments such as piano, saxophone or drums. It has a distinctive character, discernable both sonically and in the unique shape of its progressive compression curves. It provides the warmth, punch or air you need with a minimum of effort and without compromising the signal path. There's no easy way to describe it though, so contact us now to arrange a demo. Great sounding compression is right behind the controls!

Ideal companions for the MLA-2 are the MEA-2 Equalizer, the AD-2 Stereo A/D converter and the DA-2 Stereo D/A converter.


  • Easy to operate with input gain controlling compression depth (drive)
  • Minimal gain adjustment needed when changing ratio
  • Optical gain element for smoothness and freedom from noise
  • Dynamically-controlled attack and release to minimize pumping
  • Precision stepped controls
  • "ImageLink" Intelligent dynamic stereo linking system
  • Output gain make-up
  • Switchable gain reduction or signal level (VU) metering
  • Low noise
  • Extended headroom with maximum input amplitude of +28dBu
  • Extended frequency response
  • Low distortion
  • Electronically balanced inputs and outputs

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  • Maximum input amplitude : +28dBu
  • Output noise: Compressor out: <-100dBu; Compressor in: <-90dBu
  • Frequency response : + 0.1, -0.4dB, <1Hz to > 50kHz
  • -3dB points: 0.03Hz to >350kHz
  • Crosstalk: less than -100 dB, 20 Hz to 20 kHz (undriven input terminated 150R)
  • Dynamic range (measured at -32dBu): Compressor out: >125dB; Compressor in: >107dB


  • The analog inputs are on a three pin XLR connector with positive and negative signal polarities on pins 2 and 3 respectively, and ground on pin 1. Pins 2 & 3 have a high impedance path to the chassis earth.
  • Differential input impedance: 27kR (pin 2 to pin 3)
  • Single-ended input impedance: 27kR (pin 1 to 2 or 3)
  • Coupling impedance to chassis: 1.0MR (chassis/pin 1 to 2 or 3)
  • Common-mode range: 10 Vrms (note: I/P is not floating)


  • The analog outputs are on a three pin XLR connector with positive and negative signal polarities on pins 2 and 3 respectively, and ground on pin 1.
  • Differential output impedance: 62R (pin 2 to pin 3, balanced)
  • Single-ended output impedance: 31R (pin 1 to 2 or 3, unbalanced)

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