ART Pro VLA II Review


The ART Pro VLA II is a compressor. It’s very high-quality, reliable, and heavy duty. Professionals rely for their compression needs on the VLA II, which is an updated version of the original best-selling ART Pro VLA. In our ART Pro VLA II review, you will find what makes the VLA II an absolute beast and a preferred choice of the best in the field.

So, sit tight and get ready.

Why do you need a compressor?

A compressor essential compresses audio and makes it ready for others to hear. Before a piece of audio can be turned into music and played through other speakers and hi-fi sound systems, it must go through a compressor, otherwise, the audio output will be uneven or even irritating.

What a compressor basically does is compress the loud sounds and amplify the quiet sounds. A lot of times, only one of the process runs. This reduces the overall audio signal’s active dynamic range. You will find professional sound compression equipment in all recording studios and broadcasting studios. Artists also use dynamic range compression when producing their own songs. So a device like the ART Pro VLA II finds its usage in artist studios. And also in personal recordings, sound mixing, sound design, and sound production as well.

Details and specs

art pro vla ii review

The ART Pro VLA II is undoubtedly one of the best compressors out on the market since a very long time. It’s not too high-end, meaning it’s probably not used in bigger rigs like full recording studios — but people love to use it nevertheless.

VLA II is transformer-based, meaning the humming sound of mechanical and electrical instruments is automatically reduced. It can later be further corrected.

The gain reduction metering of the VLA II is extremely accurate. It is something not everyone appreciates, but we loved it. The ten segment LED metering is spot-on and works as a nice way to reference lots of different things about the audio signals.

You can transform the VLA II from a compressor to a mastering tool by the flipping of one button. When you flip to the stereo link mode, the first channel becomes the master output level while the second channel becomes the balance control between the two by itself. This turns the VLA II into a mastering tool.

All the generic tools that you need in a compressor are there. But these tools have seen active development over years of research and they still receive overhauls and regular updates. So, all these functions like ratio and output controls, variable threshold, audio signal path stages, mastering quality, and opto-compression design elements are state of the art, you can be sure of that (or state of the ART?).

The compressor is on Vactrol, which gets more respect among professional artists for its maintaining of quality.

Wrapping up the ART Pro VLA II review

The ART Pro VLA II is not for everyone. If you need a compressor for your own work, only then you should go for it. A compressor (and a mastering tool) like the VLA II can be confusing to handle. Especially if you don’t know much about compression and using compressors.