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Cakewalk has announced the CA-2A T-Type Leveling Amplifier, with support for VST, Audio Units, and SONAR X2 Producer's ProChannel. They tell us that this legendary vintage electro-optical tube compressor has been meticulously modeled and crafted by their expert developers to deliver the classic, highly desirable sound heard on countless platinum recordings.
"With the CA-2A, we are excited to bring this critically acclaimed DSP technology to a broader range of musicians," says Cakewalk Product Manager, Brian Desmond. "The response from the SONAR and Reason user base has been overwhelmingly positive, so it made perfect sense to make the CA-2A available to all VST or AU compatible DAWs."
Here's Cakewalk's press statement with all the details...
Since the 1960s, professional engineers have relied on the unique characteristics of this tube-based compressor to work its magic on an array of different types of tracks. Cakewalk developers modeled this unit and originally made it available as a ProChannel module in their flagship DAW, SONAR, and then in late 2012 released the RE-2A version as a Propellerhead Rack Extension. Now with the announcement of the CA-2A, musicians, producers, and engineers can use this highly regarded DSP technology in any VST or AU compatible DAW - at a fraction of the cost and with all the modern technological conveniences.
The CA-2A is suitable for just about any audio material, but it particularly excels on vocal tracks, producing transparent musical results, while preserving the dynamic performance. It also sounds great on electric and acoustic guitars including bass instruments, as well as piano, wind instruments and other tracks needing a smooth rich texture.
Cakewalk developers have put a great deal of effort into the research and development of the CA-2A, and the plugin gets its legendary sound from a variety of different factors. Depending on the incoming program material, the modeled T4 circuit uses an electroluminescent panel to determine the exact attack time (around 10 milliseconds,) and an optical photo cell to determine the release time; all while carefully modeling the amplifier's tubes and electro-optical device – just like the original hardware unit. The CA-2A also includes a Fast Resetting Photocell Memory feature that will allow the processor to respond with more agility than the original hardware unit when needed on material such as drums and slap bass.
In addition, the compressor serves as a "soft-knee" type slope with a fixed attack time of 10 milliseconds and a two-stage program-dependent release structure which results in warm analogue character. Unlike typical dynamics processors that have a fixed compression ratio across all frequencies, the CA-2A gain reduction varies at different frequencies. It also features an R37 control, true to the original hardware, where the compressors responsiveness to high frequencies can be adjusted. The R37 control has been a secret trick for many world-class engineers who use it as a natural de-esser- on vocals.
Cakewalk engineers have also implemented a side-chain function in the CA-2A, allowing the compressor to react to program material from one track, and apply it to another. This is an improvement that many mixing engineers will find useful for a wide variety of use cases, such as ducking or pumping of synth sounds in EDM.
Pricing and Availability:
The CA-2A T-Type Leveling Amplifier will be available in late January for $99/£79/€99 and includes VST, AU, and ProChannel Module formats. Customers who previously purchased the PC2A (ProChannel Module) format can upgrade for $19.99/£15.99/€19.99 on the Cakewalk Store. F