Add vintage optical compression to your mixes

The U2A is a unique LA-2A-style opto compressor plugin. It retains all the tone, bold minimalism, and beautiful nonlinearities that made the LA-2A famous while providing the control and flexibility that are necessary for modern music production. NEOLD’s U2A is great for vocals, bass, drums, and stereo buses.

Blend between different eras of optical compressors

Analog LA-2As can sound substantially different from one another depending on age, components, and condition. Everyone has their favorite era; while some 2A plugins try to address this by offering alternate models, the NEOLD U2A takes it further. Thanks to the unique “Aging” knob, you can continuously vary the character from that of a freshly serviced unit with a new opto cell to an age-old vintage device in its original, unaltered state.

Apply LA-2A style compression to more sources than ever

The U2A compressor modernizes the classic 2A design by adding a "Recovery" control for adaptable release times. It also features a "Drive" knob, which independently adjusts saturation, allowing for precise coloration without affecting the amount of compression applied. This makes the NEOLD U2A more versatile and easier to use than a classic LA-2A, catering to a broad range of sound sources.

Control your mix with advanced digital features

In addition to these unique features, the NEOLD U2A offers features that no plugin rendition of an LA-2A would be complete without. There’s an R37 sidechain filter control for adjusting the frequency emphasis of the compressor, a Mix knob to help you find the perfect blend of compression, A/B/C/D comparison options, and an extensive library of factory presets.

Get the sound of a hardware compressor in the box

Everything else about the U2A offers exactly what you’d expect from a real hardware LA-2A. The component-level modeling from NEOLD nails the gorgeous character and smooth response of the original HA-100x input transformer, T4B opto cell,  and 12AX7 and 6AQ5 vacuum tubes. Whether using it for gentle compression, hard limiting, or just a bit of drive, the U2A provides the character you want with the flexibility you need.


  • Warm and open optical compression sound
  • Toggle between compression and limiting
  • Adjust the compressor’s frequency emphasis
  • Blend between a freshly serviced and beautifully aged unit
  • Adjust recovery time for added versatility
  • Control saturation separately from compression
  • Apply parallel compression using a single knob

Audio Examples

Industry Reviews

  • Joe Carrell

    Joe Carrell

    Mix / Recording Engineer

    I like the idea of reimagining a classic to be better and even more usable. That’s what I find in the U2A. It does exactly what I would want and expect, but with the twist of newer fresher… Read More

  • Tom Van Den Heuvel

    Tom Van Den Heuvel

    Mixing Engineer

    When the organic tone of the most iconic opto compressor meets such levels of flexibility you enter a new world of musical possibilities, and that's what makes the U2A priceless!

Customer Reviews

  • Great for fatten up your project

    by BluelagoonStudios
    I use the U2A since it came out, very easy to use, and paired with a black Box HG-2 a great combination, if you like a saturated sound, I even have a setup where I use the Opticom XLA-3 together with… Read More
  • oh my god

    by Pexou
    A very usefull compressor so undless mojo when you put it hard
  • U2A is ThE WAY!

    by Kenok
    This is my absolute FAVORITE Opto compressor at the moment!! I'm in LUV with it's lush, thick but freely-customizable sound! It's effortless!... I used it for mastering a debut track recently and it… Read More
  • very accurate

    by Sergio Frias
    So i just tested this one to the uad LA-2A (silver) using plugindoctor and i can match the same curves ,theres only a slight difference at the 100 hz area , r37 is also a match, i left the… Read More
  • Spectacular

    by Mario Blankenberg
    NEOLD did it again. A sensational box that makes for a larger than life sound. The "Aging" function gives me a crystal clear and beautiful analog tilt towards the low-end.


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

Supported Operating Systems
macOS 14 down to macOS 11
Windows 11 down to Windows 10

Intel or Apple Silicon architecture

x64-compatible CPU

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




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NEOLD U2A - Changelog

Version 1.1 (Mar 6, 2024)
- Fix: Black Boxes around the Plugin GUI in VST3 in Cubase on Windows
- Remove 32-Bit support on Windows
- Add double click -> reset to default feature
- Add mouse sensitivity item to main menu

Version 1.0 (Apr 27, 2023)
- Initial released version