NSFW Best Waves Plugs?

Discussion in 'Windows Recording' started by deeaa, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. deeaa

    deeaa Well-Known Member

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    What would be the top five Waves plugins you use and love? Much as I hate the Waves system of trying to force buying expensive updates, they sure make some great easy to use plugs. So if you have ideas for plugs that could replace the following at least, I'd like to know. Just so that if I might some day get rid of Waves, I could imagine doing so without huge changes in how I roll. Right now it just seems they manage to get into every mix I ever make.

    Here's mine in no particular order:

    - Scheps OmniChannel. Scheps is just a damn good sounding mastering or bus channel strip. Just opens up and clarifies any track or bus while warning and evening it up pleasantly. Used to use Vitamin back in the day, replaced by Ozone later, and then Scheps.

    - Maserati GRP. For quick and awesome eq and compression of any bus, even a master bus that needs lots of tweaking, this is just a great tone shaper and booster in one easy package with great presets.

    - Abbey Road Plates. Can't find another reverb quite as complex and warm with plenty of character instead of just a replication of space. Sounds absolutely stellar especially on acoustic guitars, but also vocals.

    - CLA vocals. While it's perhaps not the best available, it never fails to be the first stop for tweaking vocals. Basically just drop in and choose a rather dry slightly effected preset like StartMe Up Dry and you're already pretty good with the vox track.

    - GregWells Voice Centric. One of those plugs you just need to finish up a vocal track that needs just a bit more sparkle at late stages of mixing. Also use the Aphex Exciter for the same need, but GW is more subtle.

    There are many other Waves plugs that I use constantly, such as sslE and even GTR and Kramer master tape, ButchVig vox, to name just a few, but these five are always on my mixes. Also many classics still hold like MaxBass, Renaissance comp, Axxess, Ultramaxinizer plus, Z-Noise, what have you...

    Damn, I think I'm just forever stuck with Waves. I do have a lot of great plugs from other makers as well that I always use, but Waves seems the most prominent in my projects.

    It just sucks they lure you in with $29 plugs and when you'd want to update them to a new version, it would cost literally thousands to update them all. That really bugs me. But then again...they work as is too, so maybe I'll just be content with the system as it is now and never update them again. I'm at Cubase 10 and 100% 64bit plugs and audio engine as well so I suppose there should be no need to update things for many many years to come.

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  2. SustainerPlayer

    SustainerPlayer Well-Known Member

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    I stopped using Waves plugins a little while ago. I too don't like their "business-plan". The most stupid thing about it is, that it is actually the second time I stopped using them. So yes - I've been lured more than once.

    What I use instead:

    The plugins from Tokyo Dawn: https://www.tokyodawn.net/tokyo-dawn-labs/
    Some of them are in two versions. Where the paid versions (GE or Gentlemans Edition) have a little extra. But the free version are still top notch. I eventually ended up buying them all. But they are comparable in quality to stuff like Fabfilter. And I actually think they surpasses Waves. But try out the free versions. If you want to buy the paid ones - then look around for deals on them in places like https://www.pluginboutique.com and https://www.jrrshop.com. They are frequently on sale around -50%. The Kostelnikov is one of the best compressors around. Check out mastering engineer Holger Lagerfeldt's review here:



    I use Kostelnikov, SlickEQ M and TDR Limiter 6 GE for all my mastering. You can also check out Dan Woralls youtube channel. He has a lot about the Tokyo Dawn stuff.

    For reverb I mostly use Eventide UltraReverb https://www.eventideaudio.com/products/reverb/reverb/ultrareverb which almost "does it all" and SP2016 Reverb https://www.eventideaudio.com/products/plugins-reverb/reverb/sp2016-reverb when I'm going for that 80's sound.

    My go-to delay is The Replika XT from Native Instruments. I have often tested it against the competition - and for me it always wins: https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/effects/replika-xt/

    For coloring compression I often use the Lindell 354E from Plugin Alliance: https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/lindell_354e.html

    I also use the HG-2 plug a lot: https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/black_box_analog_design_hg-2.html Check out this video about the hardware:



    the plugin is very close in quality to the real deal.

    For vocals I often use the Tokyo Dawn Nova GE - and I often also use the LA2 into a 1176 trick using the plugs from Native Instruments https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/effects/vc-2a/ and https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/effects/vc-76/

    For a more processed vocal sound I sometimes use the Noveltech Vocal Enhancer from Plugin Alliance: https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/noveltech_vocal_enhancer.html

    I switched from Cubase to Studio One Pro some years ago - and there is a lot of good plugs in Studio One. I use their Pro EQ for all "standard" EQ and their Multiband Dynamics for multiband comp also.

    I do have a Cubase Pro license so I can access my older projects. You could try and revisit some of Cubase's own plugins. Sometimes when you "been around the block" you find that many of the build in plugins are indeed very good.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
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  3. deeaa

    deeaa Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, will have to check out those suggestions. The aggressive update policy of Waves sure is annoying so it'd be good to steer away in the long run.

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  4. Manodano

    Manodano Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I like the Abbey Road Plates a lot, but I like the Abbey Road Chambers a lot more. I highly recommend the Chambers program, the presets are really great and the program is very versatile.

    I have CLA Mixdown - meh - and the Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain, which has some good presets and sounds pretty good.

    I bought 'em all on sale via the Don't Crack site. There are others I'd like to try, I think the Waves stuff is fine for my needs. I pick and choose when blow-out sales come along, and they come along all the time.
     
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  5. deeaa

    deeaa Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I don't think I ever bought anything off Waves for anything close to retail "price" they have so many specials that it's more like the normal price is $29 per plug. Plus you can easily find 20% off on top of everything even reduced price, and then combine with group buy of 2nd plug at certain percentage off and third more and fourth basically free or something. I have like a couple of dozen of their plugs and I think all in all I've paid more like $5-10 per plug.

    The thing with Waves is not that they sound the best possible necessarily, many of them do sound real good or even great, but, it's more that they're so easy to use with good presets to start with. One can easily find a great sounding compressor and a combo of real good plugs even from free offers but it's just so quick and easy to use those Waves ones you're familiar with, in some cases from decades back even, and get a great sounding track just by presets even.

    I'm usually quite limited by time when working on audio and it's so easy when you actually just listen to a track and can instantly think like "this needs Aphex Exciter Preset 3" off the top of your head and just drop it in. They're so clearly recognizable and have that certain effect to sound you are familiar with, it's damn sight harder to start scouring for a similar effect elsewhere. That's the biggest problem.

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  6. Manodano

    Manodano Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I know the presets are good when I can recognize the sounds from records I'm familiar with.
     
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  7. deeaa

    deeaa Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, exactly!

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