Old 01-14-2019, 03:49 PM   #1
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Default Warm Audio WA-2A, anyone use it?

Hi, I've been thinking about adding a good comp to my signal chain. I almost only record vocals, my current chain is:

Hulk 990 Mic -> Golden Age Pre-73, -> ART Pro Channel II (comp/eq only), -> Motu, -> Reaper

When mixing I'm all inside Reaper. I am using Waves CA-2A on vocals all the time, it really has the smooth sound I'm looking for, so I thought having the real thing in the signal chain might be good.

So, curious if anyone has any experience with this unit or other 2A clones, or other optos. Any drawbacks, etc?
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:29 PM   #2
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I thought about picking one up but haven't yet. I do have two WA-87 LDCs which is what turned me on to Warm Audio.
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:11 PM   #3
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How is that mic? I am happy with the mic I have now, but you know how that goes, haha.

I was also looking at Stam Audio, who makes some vintage clones of the 2A and others. Similar price, too.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:01 PM   #4
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I was looking for a set of LDCs that didn't have that airy peak in the 8-12k region which many have - this one is more flat there, possibly less flattering but more natural sounding since I already had plenty of other LDCs with that peak in the high end.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:59 PM   #5
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How do you find your WA-87's Karbomusic?

Impressed beyond reason?
Impressed?
Genuinely pleased?
Pleased?
Moderately pleased
Okay?
A little disappointed?
Disappointed?
Use them because I have them?



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Old 01-16-2019, 10:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grinder View Post
How do you find your WA-87's Karbomusic?

Impressed beyond reason?
Impressed?
Genuinely pleased?
Pleased?
Moderately pleased
Okay?
A little disappointed?
Disappointed?
Use them because I have them?



Grinder
I think the best answer is they fill a whole I didn't have in my mic collection. So I'm genuinely pleased if I'm using them for what I need them for. FWIW, those are the only mics used in these recordings which are live aka M/S config/single take about 24-30 inches back:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3tyRVmqU9k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WU_U4CDOuLM

They also don't do a bad job on drum overheads.
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:25 AM   #7
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Thanks for that Karbomusic yes you do have to try these things to know I do have some reasonable mics already.
To purchase two of these that does say something though.
Among my collection I have two Lewitt LC 650's which I am only just recently getting to know. The same can be said for my one Rhode K2.

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Old 01-16-2019, 11:27 AM   #8
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I remember hearing really good things about the Lewitts.
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
I think the best answer is they fill a whole I didn't have in my mic collection. So I'm genuinely pleased if I'm using them for what I need them for. FWIW, those are the only mics used in these recordings which are live aka M/S config/single take about 24-30 inches back:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3tyRVmqU9k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WU_U4CDOuLM

They also don't do a bad job on drum overheads.
Wow, pretty sweet dude and the mic sounds great...especially so far back from it. do you have any processing on that recording?

Also, does the mic come with that particular shock mount?
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by poetnprophet View Post
Wow, pretty sweet dude and the mic sounds great...especially so far back from it. do you have any processing on that recording?

Also, does the mic come with that particular shock mount?
It does come with those shockmounts and nice cherry wood cases.

There is some processing, some CLA-2A on the track itself but only knocking none to 1 dB off. SSL G on the master hitting a little harder maybe 3dB, reverb and there is also very light JS: ozzifier chorus and some analog delay but it is subtle. I hoped that would sound good but not too obvious.

It's a project I worked on end of the summer into the fall because I was a bit burned out on multiple takes, editing and slicing and dicing and other studio tricks, I wanted to take a break and force myself to just play and sing a song from beginning to end with no post edits. I'm glad I did it, I think I wept openly a few times by making a mistake during the last 5 seconds of an otherwise great take. That's also why "we just disagree" begins with that lo-fi accidental losing of the pick, I staged that but it was about my journey of not being able to make a mistake.
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:55 PM   #11
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very nice, dude. nice performance and sweet sounding mic, it's definitely going on my list for this year. I have the Hulk 990, which is supposed to sort of mimic the U87 as well but purposefully brighter in the top end. It makes the sweet spot for driving the preamp pretty small (without eq), and I do want something a little more versatile.

thanks for sharing!
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Old 01-17-2019, 05:22 PM   #12
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Thank you sir, and before I forget, nice to have you on board aka happy 1 year forum anniversary.
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:40 AM   #13
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ha, thanks...and thanks to a great community
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:28 PM   #14
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welllll, I changed my mind and have just preordered this from Stam Audio:
http://www.stamaudio.com/sa23aplus.html

8 week lead though but I'm excited! I'll definitely post some stuff about it when it arrives.
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Old 08-19-2019, 12:57 PM   #15
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Update! First off, screw Stam Audio. They just don't have their act together at all...I won't rant on them here but they totally lied, lied again, and again after that so I pulled my order and spent my money elsewhere.

So....I went 180 degrees with my setup, I received my Slate Digital VMS One last week and have gotten several hours with it so far. I'm very pleased with it, I'll do a thorough review of it in the near future. There's lots to say about it and the concept in general, so stay tuned for that.
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poetnprophet View Post
Update! First off, screw Stam Audio. They just don't have their act together at all...I won't rant on them here but they totally lied, lied again, and again after that so I pulled my order and spent my money elsewhere.

So....I went 180 degrees with my setup, I received my Slate Digital VMS One last week and have gotten several hours with it so far. I'm very pleased with it, I'll do a thorough review of it in the near future. There's lots to say about it and the concept in general, so stay tuned for that.
Did you check out the Sphere L22, luxurious
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Old 08-19-2019, 04:35 PM   #17
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I did, but there wasn't a way to demo it or see it in action (in person), my fear is the software emulation and the cpu/latency impact. I didn't see it talked about much anywhere, but I know how well slate digital and the vmr work when tracking. Plus I hate when they make proprietary mic connections. I had that issue with an MXL mic several years back, that thing is still in the closet because I couldn't get it repaired.

Edit: all that, and plus....CSI integration....
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Old 08-19-2019, 05:52 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poetnprophet View Post
I did, but there wasn't a way to demo it or see it in action (in person), my fear is the software emulation and the cpu/latency impact. I didn't see it talked about much anywhere, but I know how well slate digital and the vmr work when tracking. Plus I hate when they make proprietary mic connections. I had that issue with an MXL mic several years back, that thing is still in the closet because I couldn't get it repaired.

Edit: all that, and plus....CSI integration....
From what i can read/see/hear theSphere L22 is way above the Slate VMS sonically.

You should at least check out some demos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlFGW4E_1NU

It really is a cut above, IMHO.
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Old 08-20-2019, 01:10 AM   #19
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Personal recommendation:

I bought a used Rode Classic Mk1 a few years ago after using one in a friends pro studio. Blew me away in terms of bang for the buck and how good it made my voice sound.

The only other mic I have used that I liked better was a very well cared-for vintage AKG C12, wich even if you could find one is out of most peoples budget range.
I got lucky & only paid £400 (about $500 at the time) for mine.

Also, Rode`s support is second to none.

I wrote them asking if they could sell me a suspension mount for my Classic.
About 2 weeks later I got a package from Australia containing a suspension mount.
And a letter saying they never made one for the Mk1 sdo they had modified a Mk2 one & it was free with their compliments.

Wow.
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Old 08-20-2019, 11:53 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Waddington View Post
From what i can read/see/hear theSphere L22 is way above the Slate VMS sonically.

You should at least check out some demos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlFGW4E_1NU

It really is a cut above, IMHO.
the Sphere has the ability to change polar patterns and therefore also better handling of off-axis signals. So yes it has that, but for what I do (recording vocals over beats) it's really more than I'll ever use. I don't like the way vocalists sound off-axis anyway on any mic and will stop a recording if I hear it....and there's never a need for anything besides cardoid.

In terms of emulating the mics...I can barely hear a difference in the slate VMS, anything beyond that I honestly don't care, it's such a small difference is most cases.

Also what's never really talked about is the fact that the ML1 mic is actually a really good condensor mic by itself...albeit very boring, but the clarity is there, super low noise from the preamp which is very important when recording over beats which most seem to be produced in the box anyway.

long sentence lol
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Old 08-20-2019, 12:00 PM   #21
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Poetnprophet
If you are looking again for a compressor
I doubt you would want more than one AudioScape Engineering Co make.
I purchased the mastering compressor a couple of months ago and
could not be more happier.
Chris makes other types, worth a look for you.

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Old 08-20-2019, 12:56 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poetnprophet View Post
the Sphere has the ability to change polar patterns and therefore also better handling of off-axis signals. So yes it has that, but for what I do (recording vocals over beats) it's really more than I'll ever use. I don't like the way vocalists sound off-axis anyway on any mic and will stop a recording if I hear it....and there's never a need for anything besides cardoid.

In terms of emulating the mics...I can barely hear a difference in the slate VMS, anything beyond that I honestly don't care, it's such a small difference is most cases.

Also what's never really talked about is the fact that the ML1 mic is actually a really good condensor mic by itself...albeit very boring, but the clarity is there, super low noise from the preamp which is very important when recording over beats which most seem to be produced in the box anyway.

long sentence lol
Cool, just wanted to point it out in case you hadn't looked into it.
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Old 08-20-2019, 02:21 PM   #23
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always appreciate the insight!
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Old 10-14-2019, 01:34 PM   #24
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Well, after a couple of months with the VMS I have come to realize it's just not enough on its own. It is absolutely missing "something".

I was bbq-ing this weekend, using my propane system. My neighbor was also bbq'ing using a charcoal grill. His I could smell and feel, but mine I couldn't. Analog vs digital is a lot like propane vs charcoal. There are certainly some technical "things" you can attribute to the differences....but then there's also the "feeling" you get when bbq'ing on charcoal, or consuming such bbq. You don't need to know the technical side to know one is "better" than the other.

So with that said, I ended up routing the VMS back thru the analog path and then onto the digital mic system. The sound is great, and I still get the benefits of using different mic emu's, even if they aren't true I still have the function.

I'm likely to change my mind again lol. I'm so lame
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Old 12-24-2019, 07:52 AM   #25
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So, curious if anyone has any experience with this unit or other 2A clones, or other optos. Any drawbacks, etc?
Guys I know that have all of their stuff (and the real deal) like it, although one says the input is finicky.
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Old 12-24-2019, 09:02 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poetnprophet View Post
Hi, I've been thinking about adding a good comp to my signal chain. I almost only record vocals, my current chain is:

Hulk 990 Mic -> Golden Age Pre-73, -> ART Pro Channel II (comp/eq only), -> Motu, -> Reaper

When mixing I'm all inside Reaper. I am using Waves CA-2A on vocals all the time, it really has the smooth sound I'm looking for, so I thought having the real thing in the signal chain might be good.

So, curious if anyone has any experience with this unit or other 2A clones, or other optos. Any drawbacks, etc?
I have the Stam SA-2A. It's very good. If I were buying today, I'd go with the Audio-Scape's LA-2A clone. A little more expensive than Warm ($999 vs $899), and larger, but I think you'd be happier based on everything I've heard about the Audio-Scape unit. I've got their Bus Compressor (SSL clone) and love it.

Audio-Scape builds their products in the USA in small batches. There's a few drops each week, and they post on social media the day of, and the products go on sale at 8PM Eastern Time and will generally ship the next day. No year-plus long waits like Stam, but you may have to try a few times or wait a few weeks to catch the product you want.
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Old 12-24-2019, 01:05 PM   #27
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I have the Stam SA-2A. It's very good. If I were buying today, I'd go with the Audio-Scape's LA-2A clone. A little more expensive than Warm ($999 vs $899), and larger, but I think you'd be happier based on everything I've heard about the Audio-Scape unit. I've got their Bus Compressor (SSL clone) and love it.

Audio-Scape builds their products in the USA in small batches. There's a few drops each week, and they post on social media the day of, and the products go on sale at 8PM Eastern Time and will generally ship the next day. No year-plus long waits like Stam, but you may have to try a few times or wait a few weeks to catch the product you want.
Thanks, I will check them out after the holidays. Lucky you got a Stam unit, I wouldn't mind the wait if they were more forthcoming, but the way they keep delaying is too frustrating.
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Old 12-24-2019, 01:15 PM   #28
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The more I use my AudioScape Buss Comp the more trusting
I get to feel on my logic when purchasing unused.

great builder

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Old 12-24-2019, 01:58 PM   #29
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hmm, I do need a buss comp pretty badly, this may be my next investment...if I can catch one.

thank you
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Old 12-24-2019, 02:23 PM   #30
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Yep... Love their pultech, 2A, Neve etc. They have a nice line
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Old 12-29-2019, 09:31 AM   #31
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I remember hearing really good things about the Lewitts too
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Old 02-14-2020, 01:57 PM   #32
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Well.....I didn't get the WA-2A, but I just got my Comp-2A from Golden Age Project. so now my whole signal chain is GAP, haha.

I just got it connected yesterday and barely had a lot of time with it, but so far so good!
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:50 PM   #33
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going in with a tracking opto doesnt leave the correction ability as does the ITB method of tracking. Ive flip flopped on this approach and it seems most that track with comps do it sparingly as someone else mentioned.
sounds like a great strip with the gap pre and gap-LA....its a classic combo.
Ive not done the WA2A...but the original JoeMeek VC1 OEP transformer + opto comp is great and have the LA610 opto comp...but too much going in might not sound so good days later, while light touches control without issues. of course cranking it for fx is fun too....i dont have any answers
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Old 02-15-2020, 03:05 AM   #34
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2:1 for tracking is fine, especially with a good opto.

3:1 is pretty extreme. Whatever works, sure, but subtle goes a long way. Most singers need to be compressed even with skillfull distance meddling.
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Old 02-16-2020, 05:03 PM   #35
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I think the OP made the right decision. You can drive yourself insane looking for "Mjolnir" with outboard. If you can find something that fits your needs and budget, then you've won.

It's really important to learn as much as you can before buying. There's as much cork-sniffing as there is low end junk.

In the end, if it works for you, it's an excellent piece of gear.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:51 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by coolcat View Post
going in with a tracking opto doesnt leave the correction ability as does the ITB method of tracking. Ive flip flopped on this approach and it seems most that track with comps do it sparingly as someone else mentioned.
sounds like a great strip with the gap pre and gap-LA....its a classic combo.
Ive not done the WA2A...but the original JoeMeek VC1 OEP transformer + opto comp is great and have the LA610 opto comp...but too much going in might not sound so good days later, while light touches control without issues. of course cranking it for fx is fun too....i dont have any answers
I hear you. I have been tracking with another opto (ART Pro Channel II) for almost a year now, I gradually increased the amount of GR from about 2db (barely any) to a modest amount, maybe 5-10db depending on who and what. I personally like the sound and it's just less I have to dig into during mixdown. Right now I'm only doing up to 5db GR, it's working pretty well. The color of this thing is pretty sweet and definitely better than the ART unit.
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