For discussion about setting up your studio and advice on the gear and equipment within it.
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By psr Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:22 am
Peep this blog post my man Noble Dru wrote a couple weeks ago. Let me say I agree. I pulled the VLA out of my rack and now its sitting collecting dust. tryna find a mod for it. Check it out but im inerested to know what yall think if you've used one or own one or not.

Don’t Buy This
on May 29, 2010

Sometimes cheap gear can work out better than you think when it comes to recording music. Other times, you can get a piece of equipment for cheap and it is cheap period. The cheap gear I’m referring to is the Art Vla Pro II. If you want a hardware compressor then avoid this gear with the quickness. Its not worth the metal its its encased in. For one, it swallows up the low and high frequencies of a signal. Every sound I run thru it sounds worst than the original. Art need their ass kick for this crappy chinese assembly line junk. Why should I complain? After all, I bought a cheap piece of equipment so why expect pro results. Look, anybody starting out at recording should avoid this thing with a passion. Don’t buy this reading reviews online because its misleading. Review after review praise the compressor as best bang for buck. What complete lies. I think either some of those reviews were written by Art or some lame that doesn’t know the difference from a flash light and a light bulb. Save up for a real compressor or stick with plugins if you have a daw.

peep the rest here...

edit ----> VLA Pro II changed to Pro VLA II
Last edited by psr on Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By Darkhouse Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:58 am
i was always interested in this piece but i guess its better to save up a bit more, still art does some nice stuff
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By jonestown massacre Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:32 pm
This guy is a meathead....

Disclaimer: I work in a music store, the same company that owns the chain of music stores owns the ART line of products. I am NOT saying this to sell them, I dont give a **** about making the company money, so I am biased, but not in my opinion of the A.R.T. Pro VLA 2. (which by the way the dude who wrote the article incorrectly named.)

Okay, so....
We recorded a ton of different source material through every "recording-grade" compressor/limiter we had in stock as a way for customers to hear the difference each one made. We recorded each source at various ratios, gain reduction and makeup, all the same on each unit.

Results:
The 2 that sounded the closest were the Universal Audio 2-LA-2($4475) and the Pro VLA 2 ($315). The ONLY settings that sounded audibly different on those 2 machines were when the gain stages were both near maxed. OF COURSE the 2-LA-2 did better in that aspect, however Zen Pro Audio mods Pro VLA 2's and you could even change the cheap Chinese tubes out with some high end Electro Harmonix. The units we tested were stock....

Therefore;
Im calling this guys ****. For $315 I could def. fool A LOT of well experienced engineers. I have a degree in recording myself, my coworker is a graduate of Fullsail with a few 100 hours in paid dues behind an SSL console. Both of us were totally blown away by what we heard! I have 8 outs on my MPC and honestly, if I wanted the "2-LA-2 sound" on every output, I would buy 4 Pro VLA 2's, swap the tubes out, and still have enough money left over for preamps/eq's/converters/etc.


Its real eazy to **** on a product, but if you do, at least name it properly in your rant.

On that note, check out Zen Pro Audio: Golden Age Pre 73 (Modded) and the Square State Solid State EQ B!!! In combination with the Pro VLA 2, for well under 2 G's youre rocking a SOLID "neve-ish" signal path.
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By psr Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:24 pm
jonestown massacre wrote:This guy is a meathead....

Disclaimer: I work in a music store, the same company that owns the chain of music stores owns the ART line of products. I am NOT saying this to sell them, I dont give a **** about making the company money, so I am biased, but not in my opinion of the A.R.T. Pro VLA 2. (which by the way the dude who wrote the article incorrectly named.)


edited the name of the forum post

Interesting... jonestown i can say the the ART MPA Gold is damn good. What type of tubes would you recommend for the PRO VLA II? <------EDIT - I JUST NOTICED YOUR SUGGESTION ABOUT TUBES-----> I noticed that my VLA kinda swallows some frequencies as if there is a blanket over the sound. Maybe its the tubes i put in mine.
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By jonestown massacre Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:08 pm
Just some Electro Harmonix 12AT7's (the premium gold pinned ones)...I thought they modded em, my bad...I know the Pre 73 gets a Zen Pro mod....
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By b.read Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:32 pm
I had always heard it was a good box for the money... maybe he should check and see if he got a bad unit before bad mouthing it? Manufacturer defects do happen...
By Proj3ktDharma Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:10 am
I got an ART PRO VLA2, and I am in love with it! For the price, it sounds very good. I run a Virus TI thru it and it makes miracle. But I replace the tube in it. Before it sounded ok, but I agreed it sounded a little dark. I tried 2 telefunken, and the sound improve seriously. Now, I use Mullard CV4024, NOS, military stock. Those are cheap for NOS tube, and they sound amazing! This unit is very cool. A great sound, very transparent compressor. It's easy to use without over compressing.

I so love it, I use it when tracking my virus and on the 2 bus for mastering. I just like what the Mullard does to my sound!

And I use a T1952 tube compressor after it on my line. I dont use the compressor, just the tube coloration circuit. With my telefunken at that place, I really like the sound! I tries Philipps tube, but I prefer the telefunken, it does miracle on the high end, and thight the bass.

Yes, this is starved plate, but this is what we want. They use high voltage to avoid sound coloration and distortion. At low voltage, you ear the harmonic distortion, which is sweet, and compress the sound a little bit, in my opinion.

So, I really think it's a great unit, and it doesnt really sound like its price. It's just my opinion.


Have fun!
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By scoobylol Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:03 am
Had it, used it, sold it.

Incredibly bland sounding for running things through, and not that useful as a compressor either. I like outboard stuff to really colour the sound, with this I simply didn't get anything of use for my taste.

I didn't change the tubes like Proj3ktDharma has done in fairness, so perhaps that's the way forward if you do get one.
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By cozy Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:40 pm
scoobylol wrote:Had it, used it, sold it.


I think this compressor is pretty bad. I swapped tubes and it did make it better, but I still didn't like it. I used it on vocals, drums, synths, samples, and just really never thought that it worked. I really tried to like it, but after 2 years or so, I finally dumped it on craigslist.

In my opinion, I would look elsewhere for a compressor. I personally use older broadcast compressors and they sound great to my ears.