SA76 Public BETA Applications Open

SA76 Limiting Amplifier BETA

Sonic Academy is proud to drop our latest plugin: SA-76 Limiting Amplifier.

This highly-anticipated plugin accurately captures the vibes and behaviour of the classic hardware compressor/limiters, which has been used on countless hit records over the years.

These compressors are known for their fast attack, punchy sound, and ability to add density and sustain to a wide range of audio sources. SA-76 not only captures these classic characteristics but its got a range of modern features and controls to take your sound to the next level.

With the ability to adjust threshold, ratio, attack and release times, as well as an external sidechain input using the classic style interface, we have also added a stereo width control to allow you to adjust the stereo width of the processed audio, and a mix control to blend the dry and wet signals.

The sidechain input also includes a high pass filter, and a drive control allows you to add saturation to the signal after it hits the compressor.

Registration is now open for the Public BETA at the link below


Hi! I’m not sure if the gain reduction meter is showing the correct values. It reaches only about -5dB when I push the input knob to the max.

Also, would be nice to see the frequency value on the HP knob. Or indicating the maximum value in the manual would suffice as well.

The plugin sounds amazing though. I’m testing it against Softube FET mkII and Acustica Audio Nickel. I can push it really hard and there’s no noticeable signs of aliasing. Nice job Sonic Academy!


think the meters may be off - taking a look at this

we will be adding tool tips for that

Also Testing it! Would be nice to see generally the value of the mix, HP. drive and so on…to see how much i am really using the dry or wet signal. The font size is hard to read on my system - ultra wide screen 34, but normal HD quality , not 4k resolution.

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I’ve the 76 from NI and that’s one of my go to compressors. I gave this thing half an hour of testing, on a vocal loop and on a drumloop. Here are my takes:

  1. I’m really excited to see the “drive”, “mix” and “width” knobs.
  2. The gui wastes a looot of screen space. Tip: reduce the emptyness between and next to the controls, because on a 14" macbook screen space is a very expensive resource.
  3. The gui looks fancy though.
  4. It’s really hard to see what’s goin on with the little knobs under the meter. Imo those should be much easier to read. Especially for such a huge window.
  5. I can get it to sound very similar to the NI, but no matter how hard I try (for 10 minutes) I can’t get it to sound the exact same (afaik you probably couldn’t even get two actual hardware 76s to sound the exact same, so that’s in line with my expectations, not that I ever had the hardware)
  6. On drums I prefered the SA to the NI probably because of the different distortion
  7. On vocals I prefered the NI it somehow sounds more natural. I can get more compression out of it, the SA sounds pushed and squashed sooner. It might just be a workflow thing.
  8. When they sound the closest to each other to me, the knobs on one unit relate to the other, but they’re not in the same position. If I set them visually to the same positions they sound different.
  9. For heavy, intentionally audible compression of vocals I again prefer the SA. The drive button also shines here. To achieve the same effect with the NI I have to throw a saturation plugin after it.
  10. Overall if I could only have one, I’d chose the SA, overall sonically I don’t think that my finished mixes would sound meaningfully different, but the workflow is better because of the extra features (which might indirectly contribute to better mixes in the end).

That’s it.


we’ve some changes to the metering in the next build so the knob positions between this and the NI plugin should be more similar :+1:

Hello ! When I do a sidechain with the SA76 in Ableton Live I have the sound of the kick on the bass that appears slightly but obviously at high level it is really heard. I tried all the parameters of the compressor but I always have the sound of the kick in the background of my bass. More than other compressors, Khs compressor for example. Have a nice evening !

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the sidechain input uses the same internal sidechain circuitry of the 1176 model which has a very fast attack which is what you are hearing there rather than the actual kick leaking through