ACME Audio Opticom XLA-3 review

A world-class optical compressor

  • $299

MusicRadar Verdict

Every DAW set-up needs at least one compressor that inhabits this world, and this is one of the best we have ever tried.


  • +

    Fantastic emulation.


  • -


MusicRadar's got your back Our team of expert musicians and producers spends hours testing products to help you choose the best music-making gear for you. Find out more about how we test.

The XLA-3 has optical circuitry with three compression responses that treat sounds in totally different ways, each of them highly usable.

Add to that the ability to push the input into focused harmonic colouring and beyond into powerful sounding distortion, and you have a compressor/limiter capable of everything from subtle warming of a signal to full-on cranked mayhem.

The emulation sounds fantastic, adding colour and texture.

You can unlink it in stereo, plus there is a mix control. Like the original you can also use it just as an amp without the compression circuit.

Future Music

Future Music is the number one magazine for today's producers. Packed with technique and technology we'll help you make great new music. All-access artist interviews, in-depth gear reviews, essential production tutorials and much more. Every marvellous monthly edition features reliable reviews of the latest and greatest hardware and software technology and techniques, unparalleled advice, in-depth interviews, sensational free samples and so much more to improve the experience and outcome of your music-making.