Overview

The ACME Opticom XLA-3 is a powerful and flexible optical compressor. The plugin has been developed in close cooperation with Brainworx.

Glorious tube sounds and opto-electric vibe, featuring steel covered military-grade components. Slap it across the drum buss for solid and seamless LA-2A style leveling. Force vocals through the input to add grit and attitude to a wimpy take.

A unique "Amp Mode" allows you to add harmonic color to your signal without even touching the dynamics.

The original XLA-3 hardware features three compression responses. Each treat sounds in a totally different way.

Brainworx faithfully emulated the XLA-3 and captured these features in plugin form, and 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 of the hardware has been faithfully captured in the plugin version.

Drive the input. Set the behavior. Level to taste. Done.

Features

  • Unique opto-electric circuit that combines the best characteristics of 3 separate compression curves in one unit - from clean to dirty!
  • Smooth and seamless ‘LA-2A’ sound plus optional even-harmonic distortion
  • In Amp Mode this becomes a “tone box” - adding color and distortion without reducing dynamics
  • Saturate with Output Gain, and attenuate to taste with the added Output Trim
  • Several plugin-only features not available on the original hardware

Audio Examples

Industry Reviews

  • Toby Pitman

    Toby Pitman

    Paul McCartney, David Arnold, Sonos

    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… Read More

  • Deniz Koyu

    Deniz Koyu

    DJ & Producer (Spinnin' Records, Nicky Romero, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike)

    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.… Read More

  • Ethan Mates

    Ethan Mates

    Engineer (Linkin Park, Red Hot Chili Peppers, J-Lo, Tupac, Tom Petty)

    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!

  • X:144

    X:144

    Producer, Mix & Mastering Engineer (Ms. Lauryn Hill, Qusai, EA Sports: Madden NFL)

    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… Read More

  • David Arnold

    David Arnold

    Composer (Casino Royale, Independence Day, Sherlock)

    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.

Customer Reviews

  • ACME XLA-3

    ★★★★★
    by Z
    I love this thing! basic comp but with lots of analog flavor. sounds good for vox tracks. It's plugins like this that make it fun to buy plugins.
  • Awesome plugin!

    ★★★★★
    by Faydit
    This compressor does, what a lot of other compressor plugins only promise. Beautiful "vintageizing" of the tone in a very positive way.
    Also works great as a bass or guitar (pre)amp,… Read More
  • BeastMode compressor

    ★★★★★
    by Keating
    If you could build a compressor out of tank parts and then turn that compressor into a plugin, it would sound like this. This plugin just sounds heavy and weighty in the most awesome way possible.
  • Opticom

    ★★★★★
    by azbest
    Beautiful sound, but for the love of all thats holy, please add a window resize option.
  • THE Vocal Compressor

    ★★★★★
    by Nokes Music
    This is my favorite compressor plug-in available from any company. I like to use a mixer channel strip to eq and compress lightly, then put this one after it for the final touch. Makes the vocal sit… Read More

Specification

Supported Plugin Formats
AAX DSP, AAX Native, AU, VST2, VST3

Supported Operating Systems
macOS 12 down to macOS 10.11
Windows 11 down to Windows 8

Mac
Intel, or Apple Silicon (except for AAX) architecture

PC
x64-compatible CPU

System Requirements
Display resolution: 1440 × 900px or 1280 × 960px or higher
Memory: 2 GB RAM

Downloads

With the Installation Manager you can select, download & install all the Plugin Alliance products. Select any and all formats you need for your system! Mac & PC.

ChangeLog

Opticom XLA-3

Acme Opticom XLA-3 - Changelog

Version 1.9.1 (Jun 28, 2022)
- General: Fixed potential blacklisting of VST2 on Windows
- General: Fixed potential crashes on Windows
- General: Fixed processing being Mono with VST2 in FL Studio
- General: Fixed value readouts not being present when clicking knob

Version 1.9 (Mar 15, 2022)
- General: added native Apple Silicon compatibility for VST3, VST2 and AU
- General: added macOS Monterey support
- General: added Windows 11 and Windows 10 21H1 support
- General: discontinued Windows 7 support
- General: discontinued macOS 10.9 and 10.11 support
- General: fixed metering behavior in block sizes of 2048 samples and higher

Version 1.8 (Mar 22, 2021)
- General: Compatibility with Logic on Apple Silicon devices via the Rosetta-2 layer
- General: Fixed possible artefacts when freezing or bouncing tracks in Pro Tools
- General: Fixed automation highlighting disappearing in Studio One
- General: Improved license dialog visibility in dark mode

Version 1.7 (May 27, 2020)
- General: Qualified for use with the Windows 10 May 2020 Update
- General: VST3: Fixed potential hangs in a DAW upon loading
- General: Fixed logical issues in undo / redo behavior
- General: Fixed UI resizing issues in Ableton Live on Windows
- General: Fixed audio processing initialization issues on amp and delay products
- Fixed quirk in PT automation highlighting of mono variant

Version 1.6 (Nov 06, 2019)
- General: Qualified for use with macOS 10.15 Catalina
- General: Qualified for use with Windows 10 November 2019 Update
- General: Fixed plugin validation in Logic under macOS Catalina
- General: Fixed preset name restore in Logic when reopening a session
- General: Fixed opening authorization dialog triggering automation
- General: Improved instantiation times for plugins
- General: Improved license functionality and branding for subscription
- General: Removed 32-bit support on macOS and Windows
- Fixed gain reduction meter getting stuck in Logic Pro

Version 1.5 (Jul 10, 2019)
- General: macOS 10.14.5 Update compatibility
- General: Windows 10 1903 Update compatibility
- General: Fixed activation issue in Windows hosts set to non-English language (e.g. Cakewalk)
- General: AU: Fixed issue with increased CPU and memory on reopening UI
- General: VST3: Fixed issue with adapting to host knob mode, and now prioritizing linear
- General: VST3: Fixed issue with VST3 preset permissions
- General: VST3: Improved synchronization between parameter states and some UI functions, e.g. toolbar reset
- AU: Fixed potential audio burst on first buffer

Version 1.4 (Nov 16, 2018)
- General: macOS Mojave compatibility
- General: Windows October 2018 update compatibility
- General: adding Windows High DPI support for VST2/3 plugins
- General: Fixed potential crashes in Cubase and other VST2 / VST3 DAWs
- General: Fixed potential CPU spikes and audio dropouts
- General: Fixed rendering in Pro Tools on the start of a session
- General: Fixed missing presets in Wavelab and other VST3 DAWs
- General: Improving keyboard control, fixing issues with catched keys preventing it from passing through to DAW
- General: Fixed parallel use of host sessions (e.g. with Live)

Version 1.3 (May 24, 2018)
- General: Microsoft Windows Redstone 4 compatibility
- General: Added computer keyboard control for plugin parameters
- General: Fixed Mouse scroll wheel not working in Windows 8
- General: Fixed an issue where plugins will not validate or load after a certain amount of plugins have been loaded (Windows)
- General: Fixed visual GUI freezes when adjusting DAW parameters, meters, analyzers (Mac)
- General: Fixed possible issue with Pick Pack licenses
- General: Small licenser stability fix

Version 1.2 (Oct 23, 2017)
- General: Mac OS High Sierra compatibility
- General: Fixed possible crash on online activation (Mac OS High Sierra)
- General: Fixed Logic Pro X not validating AU plugins (Mac OS High Sierra)
- General: Fixed CPU spikes and crashes with Cubase (Windows)
- General: Fixed bug that could lead to "AAE -6 error" in ProTools (Windows)
- General: Fixed crash with FL Studio
- General: Fixed crash when cross-opening plugins in various hosts
- General: Fixed crash when using mixdown in Audition
- General: Fixed crash in Final Cut Pro
- General: Fixed delayed parameter handling and crackling issues in Cubase with VST3
- General: Fixed bug where plugin settings were not saved in Harrison Mixbus
- General: Fixed bug that led to AAE error -9317 in ProTools when instantiating plugin
- General: Fixed bug where plugins did not render properly when "x ray" option is enabled in Sonar
- General: Modifications to factory presets were lost when reopening session
- General: Fixed mouse wheel behaviour with second monitor setup (Windows)
- Some plugins: Value labels do not appear every time when clicking on parameter in UI
- General: Faster instantiation time for plugins (Windows)
- General: Adding support for automation highlighting in Presonus StudioOne
- Fixed noise level automation line value not updating in UI in ProTools

Version 1.1.1 (Dec 20, 2016)
- General: Mac OS Sierra compatibility
- General: Fixed automation issues in AU and AAX
- General: Fixed license dialog use of special characters
- General: Improved AU preset support
- General: Performance improvements
- Fixed bypassed processing in AAX DSP with Dry/Wet mix setting below 50%

Version 1.0 (Apr 1, 2016)
- Release version