Little Labs LL2A
The simple smooth effortless compressor limiter.
I’ve always tried to make Little Labs products original creations. Making another compressor made no sense to me; there are so many compressors out there, and most are knock-offs of the classics. They all used FET, Opto-Cell, VCA, or Vari-Mu designs. Little Labs wanted something genuinely new and original.
When I met Dave Amels in the mid-2000s, I had known him as the Bomb factory guy who did all the math to make some of the first popular audio Plugins. I know he put considerable effort into the math to emulate some of these vintage devices; the math involved is incredibly complex.
But later, which I think was absolutely brilliant and very misunderstood, Dave took the same math and used devices called linear analog multipliers; he put this math to work again. Not for plugins but for making analog computers, and actual hardware using this modern component to recreate these vintage devices with all their odd non-linear anomalies, but using this state-of-the-art component. It’s a bit like the movie the FLY, where Jeff Goldblum’s machine is creating a synthetic version of the object rather than the object itself.
But what piqued my interest was not to recreate a vintage device but to create a state-of-the-art gain reduction element using this AD633ARZ four‑quadrant analog multiplier that reacted smoother than anything out there. Dave Amels, the mathematical genius, made it happen, and I am truly grateful. This new technique allowed Little Labs to birth a new original compressor.
Using a single AD633ARZ in the audio path and the same output driver I use on the Little Labs Monotor, I believe Little Labs had made the shortest audio circuit path compressor ever. Some say the LL2A sounds like you’re just riding a fader, and that’s true, but you can’t ride a fader that fast!
LL2A FEATURES INCLUDE
Two-knob fast setup, with high quality, stepped, resettable threshold and gain controls.
Fast 400-microsecond attack, 0.9-second release soft knee compression. Also,
a 2400-microsecond attack, a 4.9-second release for bass, is available in stand-alone mode.
Minimalist zen differential circuit topology utilizing only two active components in the audio signal circuit path.
Unique linear voltage multiplier gain reduction, a voltage-controlled attenuation (not amplification) unlike any other commercially available compressor.
True VU ballistic, accurate, fun neon Nixie tube metering.
Internal state-of-the-art super low noise linear voltage regulation, providing full current/ voltage for active audio components and a 1MHz low noise high voltage supply for the Nixie tube.
Linkable for two LL2A compressor stereo balanced use, or a single LL2A can be used for unbalanced stereo!
Rear panel TRS balanced side chain insert, TS link jack, XLR, and TRS balanced mono i/o jacks, stereo unbalanced use TRS (tip-left, ring-right), or XLR pin 2-left pin 3-right.
Rack-mountable: Up to 2 LL2A compressor limiters fit in a 1u space.
Made in California, USA.