The Opticom XLA-3 is a clean and super useful compressor with all the squash and punch that you’d expect from an Opto like this. The Wet/Dry mix makes it really easy to get great parallel effects and I love the fact that you can just use the amp section on it’s own. I’m finding I rarely get past the letter ‘A’ in the plugin list!
I really like the three curve settings on this compressor. No matter what material you’re dealing with, one of the three curves always gives you the response you’re looking for. Especially on drum busses it achieves such a great punch with perfect transients when I set the response curve to slow. I also love the harmonic distortion when you start pushing the input, and having the option to use only that feature without the gain reduction section is awesome!
This plug has vibe for days! The attitude and grit I was able to pull out of some drably recorded vocals was amazing. Don’t sleep on Amp Mode either!
Flavor. That’s what we ask for in this digital realm. The Acme Opticom has it. The moment you insert it on a track it makes itself known without applying gain reduction. The fact that you can bypass the compression “circuit” and drive the amp to give you that added size and…..well….flavor, that alone had me sold. I don’t usually run to optical compressors for bass, but I do now…and it’s the ACME.
The Opticom XLA-3 has been all over my drums and bass and some live brass too... acts very much like its real life hardware counterpart and gives punch, depth and character.
Totally dig this compressor on vocals. There’s delicious color and texture without any artifacts or affected “saturation.” It has become a go-to vocal compressor for me.
This has been a big surprise; usually vintage comps have one or two great settings, but the XLA-3 surprises with a variety of flavors that are very, very good, and should be on everyone's shopping list.