The Acme Opticom XLA-3 is a powerful and flexible optical compressor with glorious tube-powered, triple optoelectric, cold-rolled steel covered military-grade componentry. Slap it across the drum buss for solid and seamless LA-2A styled leveling. Force vocals through the input to add grit and attitude to a wimpy take. Use Amp mode to add harmonic color to a guitar or bass line without even touching the dynamics. The Opticom XLA-3 is a bombproof beast of an optical compressor, and thanks to Acme’s cooperation with Brainworx, it’s now available in plugin form to tame and/or soothe any sound you throw at it.
The original XLA-3 hardware features three compression responses that each treats sounds in a totally different way, affecting spectral regions with varying envelope behaviors and distortion characteristics. On top of that, an Amp mode allows for gain boosting without dynamics reduction. Whether using the Fast, Normal or Slow setting, optical CdSe (Cadmium Selenide) photocells will always leak a perfect little transient through while allowing you to smash sounds to oblivion, or simply tame your peaks. Brainworx faithfully emulated the XLA-3 and captured these features in plugin form, right down to the Light History behavior exhibited by light-dependent resistors when returning from a resting state, or being constantly assaulted with input. Additionally, several new features were added to the plugin version, including a parallel mix knob, an output trim control, and an adjustable noise floor. All of the complex and sonically beautiful behavior has been faithfully rendered in the plugin version.