Single-channel optical compressor that artfully combines vintage Scandinavian compression with modern control, expertly recreating the musical warmth of tube-optical technology. Inspired by classic circuits favoured by renowned producers like Chris Lord-Alge and Rick Rubin, the WA-1B captures the coveted "forgiving" musical compression of tube-optical circuitry while providing contemporary speed and precision. This compressor has played a significant role in shaping the sound of iconic vocal performances by artists such as Adele, Dr. Dre, Lenny Kravitz, and many more. Meticulously handcrafted with premium components and custom transformers from Lundahl, Sweden, the WA-1B offers transparent compression, harmonically saturated tones, and precise dynamic control. Its front-mounted meter-adjust control and ability to link multiple units make it a versatile and highly sought-after tool for producers and engineers.
At a glance
- Accurately recreates world-class Scandinavian compression with smooth tube-optical warmth and precision controls.
- True-to-spec 270 volt, 100 per cent discrete analogue signal path with hand-wired through-hole components
- Transformer-balanced fully floating input and output using custom-core large transformers from Lundahl in Sweden
- Equipped with 12ax7 Tung-Sol and JJ 12au7 tubes
- Two bus connectors for connecting multiple sidechains
- Meter (VU) options for input, output, or compression amount
- Offers infinite 2:1 - 10:1 ratios, variable threshold, fixed/manual/combined attack & release, and multiple metering options
- Dual sidechain bus connections
- Linear, low-noise power supply with toroidal power transformer
The Warm Audio WA-1B is a single-channel optical compressor that faithfully recreates world-class Scandinavian compression. It seamlessly combines the smooth warmth of tube-optical technology with precise controls, offering a unique blend of vintage tone and modern performance. This compressor draws inspiration from the classic circuits favoured by renowned producers and engineers like Chris Lord-Alge and Rick Rubin. The WA-1B captures the revered "forgiving" musical compression associated with tube-optical circuitry while providing the speed and control typically found in modern dynamics processing.
Handcrafted with precision and authenticity, the Warm Audio WA-1B employs carefully selected components to recreate a sought-after compression style that remains elusive for many. The use of select tubes achieves the perfect balance between vintage warmth and contemporary performance. Custom, large-core transformers from Lundahl, Sweden ensure the faithful transfer of rich, articulate analogue tones from the tubes to the signal path. The optical attenuator in the WA-1B delivers "transparent" compression, making it the ideal choice for vocals, instruments, and dynamic audio sources that require precise control without compromising tone. Every crucial component is hand-wired using through-hole soldering in a genuine 100% analogue 270-volt circuit. Following Warm Audio's commitment to authentic, premium sound, every WA-1B compressor undergoes meticulous hand inspection and testing at Warm Audio Headquarters in Austin, Texas.
Many of the most iconic vocal performances in the music industry have been shaped by this compression style, including those of artists like Adele, Dr. Dre, Lenny Kravitz, Norah Jones, The Black Keys, and many more. With premium components and meticulous circuit design, the WA-1B captures all the characteristics of celebrated compression that marries vintage tones with modern control.
The WA-1B compressor delivers a signature Scandinavian compression style renowned for its exceptional analogue performance with modern features. It offers pristine, transparent compression that preserves audio source clarity and can produce rich, harmonically saturated tones when the tubes are driven to saturation. The compressor features key controls, including threshold, ratio, attack, release, and makeup gain, allowing for precise dynamic control and tone shaping without sacrificing vintage tube-optical warmth. The adjustable attack time and program-dependent release controls contribute to the compressor's forgiving character. The dedicated sidechain bus selector offers three positions (Off, Bus 1, Bus 2), enabling the seamless interconnection of up to 10 WA-1B compressors in your signal chain. The front-mounted meter adjustment control eliminates the need to disrupt your creative flow during a session to reset the VU meter to zero. The WA-1B brings the sought-after Scandinavian tube-opto compression to producers and engineers without needing a waitlist.
The WA-1B stands out with its premium components, elite build quality, and superior sound. It utilizes name-brand tubes to infuse analogue warmth into the makeup gain stage, ensuring a dynamically balanced signal without compromising tone. Custom large-core transformers from Lundahl Sweden are crucial in maintaining the rich analogue tone and signal transfer required for smooth compression with precise control.