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10 Best Waves Plugins

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20 Best Waves Plugins

 Back in the day, the only way to get your music to that pro-level was to have loads of expensive outboard gear and a high-end recording studio. Nowadays, with companies making software plugins to emulate the best hardware in the world, as well as software that takes music into the digital age, getting that pro sound is easier than it ever has been! 

Today, we want to take you through a deep dive into some of our favorite, must-have Waves Audio plugins so that you can elevate your production and mixing arsenal.

In this article we'll cover:

  • The Best Waves EQ Plugin
  • The Best Waves Channel Strip
  • The Best Waves Saturation Plugin
  • The Best Waves Plugin for Drums
  • The Best Waves Reverb
  • The Best Waves Bundle
  • The Best Waves Limiter
  • The Best Waves Compressor
  • The Best Waves Tape Emulator
  • The Best Waves Guitar Plugin

 

 

Note: This article may contain affiliate links, meaning I would receive a commission - at no cost to you - for any products you purchase

  

About Waves

 

Waves is a company that has been at the forefront of music production plugins and software for quite some time. In fact, some of the very first Waves plugins began coming out more than three decades ago!

The beauty of Waves is that the company covers just about any kind of music processing you could imagine. From emulations of classic outboard gear to modern, digital production tools for surgical work, we can’t think of a plugin that Waves is missing. 

It’s almost overwhelming! 

So without further ado, let’s go through a few processing categories and explore the best Waves plugins in each. By the way, if you're a big Waves fan, be sure to check out my 14 favorite Waves vocal plugins  (I especially appreciate time saving plugins like de-breath and vocal rider!) and here are my absolute favorite mastering plugins by Waves.  

  

Best EQ Waves Plugin - Scheps 73

 

You probably know that we’re massive fans of vintage hardware emulations if you’ve ever read any of the other articles on the site. And ‚úÖ the Scheps 73 by Waves is a beautiful emulation of one of the most iconic pieces of analog hardware around, the Neve 1073.

The Neve 1073, for those who don’t know, is a legendary microphone preamp and equalizer. It was and is famous for its fixed frequency band EQ section, which provides a musical sound and buttery saturation that is difficult to capture anywhere else. It sounds delicious on vocal tracks, drums, and all variety of acoustic instruments. 

 

 

One great thing about the EQ section is that it is incredibly straightforward. You only get a single high-pass filter and three frequency bands, all of which were chosen for their utility. The limitations here force you to use your ears to get the sound you’re after, rather than using a fancy, real-time visualizer to make your decisions. Plus, you can boost frequencies at normally outlandish levels without it ever sounding harsh or unnatural. That alone is probably the main selling point of Scheps 73. 

I often like to use the Scheps 73 as the main EQ in my mixing chain for every instrument, as it gives every instrument a similar, analog vibe, while I treat the mix as if it were coming through an analog console. But if the Scheps 73 isn't what you're looking for, though, check out my review of the best EQ VSTs. It was developed with the help of mix engineer Andrew Scheps, who is famous for working with artists like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Adele.

 

Pros of the Waves Scheps 73 EQ

  • Simple & straightforward
  • Very musical
  • Warm analog sound

 

Cons of the Waves Scheps 73 EQ

  • Limited control

 

 

 

Best Waves Channel Strip - SSL EV2

 

While I think UAD makes one of the best SSL 4000E emulations, the barrier to entry is quite high. The UAD SSL 4000E plugin is wildly expensive and requires the user has UAD hardware to run it.

So, for the majority of producers, it’s not the best option.

Luckily, Waves has an SSL 4000E emulation that is right alongside UAD’s in terms of sound and functionality. The value is much better, and the sound is terrific. I’m talking about the SSL EV2. Waves recently renewed their original emulation of the SSL 4000E, and it’s incredible!

 

 

You’ll find rich, harmonic saturation, two options for EQ curves (including the Brown and Black versions found in the original hardware), and a “mic mode,” giving users the option to introduce more extreme gain to their signals. Of course, you also get that fat SSL compression that you’re used to! There are also high-pass and low-pass filters for removing high and lower frequencies. 

There are over 600 presets to choose from, which come from some of the best producers and mix engineers in the industry. Another thing I love about the Waves SSL EV2 is that the plugin is also very easy on your CPU, meaning you can insert it on just about every channel in your mix to treat everything as if it were running through a console, unlike the UAD emulation. 

 

Pros of the Waves SSL EV2 Channel Strip

  • Lightweight
  • Incredible sound and control
  • Efficient all-in-one channel strip design

Cons of the Waves SSL EV2 Channel Strip

  • None

 

 

If the Waves SSL EV2 doesn't seem like the right choice for you, check out this review of the best channel strip plugins that includes channel strips from all designers.

 

Best Waves Saturation Plugin - Cobalt Saphira

 

There are many types of saturation plugins on the market, though none of them is quite as versatile as Cobalt Saphira. This plugin delivers an unreal level of control and musicality, perfect for those who want an advanced harmonic-shaping tool that can give their tracks glue, depth, and warmth. Plus, it works on just about any type of instrument or vocal you pair it with! Just a little bit of saturation can go a long way!

The one thing that separates this plugin from many other saturation plugins is the level of unprecedented digital control you get. While it can certainly be nice to have saturation plugins that emulate the inconsistencies and quirks of tapes or tubes, having the ability to balance even and odd harmonics, choose between different harmonic modes, or pick from five tape speeds to add flutter and wow modulation to your tracks is awesome. 

 

 

Another unique thing about Cobalt Saphira is that it allows you to control your harmonics with or without compression. You can get all of the harmonic goodness that you get from your standard saturation plugin without compressing it to death. If you only want that slight bit of glue to make your mix sound cohesive without squashing the transients, Saphira is an excellent choice!

The only thing I'd say is experiment a lot with this plugin, because it has huge range of subtle tones that you can use to bring your mix to life!

 

Pros of the Waves Cobalt Saphira Saturation Plugin

  • Precise control
  • Uncompressed sound
  • Powerful Interface

 

Cons of the Waves Cobalt Saphira Saturation Plugin

  • Interface is a little complicated
  • No fun surprises 

 

 

If the Cobalt Saphira doesn't seem like the right choice for you, be sure to check out this comprehensive review of the best saturation and distortion plugins.

 

Best Waves Plugin for Drums - Eddie Kramer Drum Channel

 

Eddie Kramer is a legend of the mixing world for having some of the best drum tones in the industry, which is why we’re pretty lucky that he teamed up with Waves to develop a plugin that captures the essence of his tones. Whether you want that dry, pillowy sound famous in 70s rock and alternative, massive Zeppelin-style sounds with atmosphere for days, or the squashed, heavily-compressed sounds of 60s rock and roll, the Eddie Kramer Drum Channel can get you where you need to go.

The beauty of this plugin lies in its simplicity. There are tons of presets to get you started, and individual modes for different drum channels, including bass drum, toms, overheads, snare, hi-hats, and room. 

 

 

I love the fact that you only get treble and bass controls on the EQ section and compression and gate control on the dynamics section. There’s no need to deal with frequency numbers of compression parameters. It’s all about listening to the sound to see what fits best. 

While I typically like to use this plugin on individual drums, and it sounds great on kick drums, snares and overheads, it also works as a drum bus plugin to quickly dial in great tones for your entire kit. If you need some tips dialing in your tones more precisely, check out this guide on how to EQ drums.

 

Pros of the Eddie Kramer Drum Channel

  • Dead simple
  • Good sound

 

Cons of the Eddie Kramer Drum Channel

  • Too simple?

 

 

Best Waves Reverb - H-Reverb

 

There are so many types of reverb plugins you can choose from, including plate reverb, chamber reverb, room reverb, and spring reverb (here is a guide to the 7 Types of Reverb and When to Use Them). The beauty of H-Reverb from Waves is that it takes all of the best reverb sounds and sticks them into an extremely customizable piece of software for all your space-creating needs. Given its customization, it's a good idea to take sometime to familiarize yourself with all its features by experimenting with its presets.

H-Reverb might just be one of the most versatile reverb plugins on the market altogether. Waves was able to combine the best concepts of classic reverb hardware with more advanced concepts found in the world of digital processing. As a result, you get one of the most flexible and high-end-sounding reverb plugins around.  

 

 

If you’re curious, H-Reverb uses Finite Impulse Response Technology, providing rich, deep, and realistic decay times that can sit well in just about any mix. You can start by pulling up one of the hundreds of available presets and start tweaking to get the sound you need.  

The plugin comes with an EQ section, a modulation section, a dynamics section, and a timing section that allows you to adjust the decay envelopes of the reverb. It’s basically every type of processing you may add to your reverb, built into a single piece of software.

 

Pros of the Waves H-Reverb

  • Amazing sound
  • Powerful control

 

Cons of the Waves H-Reverb 

  • Overwhelming options

 

 

Best Waves Plugin Bundle - Abbey Road Collection

 

Buying plugin bundles is a wonderful way to save money and gain access to a realm of plugins that fit together in a single unit. When Waves came out with the Abbey Road Collection, it made sonic waves in the industry. 

Abbey Road Studios is arguably the most famous studio on Earth. It’s where The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, and many more, recorded some of the best albums of all time. This unique bundle, which was developed in association with Abbey Road Studios, has a lineup of top-notch plugins that were meticulously modeled after some of the gear found throughout the studio’s iconic rooms. 

 

 

Some of the plugins in the Abbey Road collection include:

  • the TG1234 consoles,
  • Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain,
  • the REDD consoles,
  • the RS56 Passive EQ,
  • the J37 Tape Machine,
  • the King’s Microphone,
  • and the Reel ADT machine.

You also get access to some pretty incredible time-based reverb plugins, including the Abbey Road Chambers plugin and the Abbey Road Plates plugin. 

Whether you’re making old-school tunes that require an analog feel or new-school tunes that could benefit from a touch of classic tone, the Abbey Road Collection is unmated in terms of versatility and tonality. 

 

Pros of the Abbey Road Bundle

  • Incredible value
  • Instant analog emulation
  • Wide range of plugins

 

Cons of the Abbey Road Bundle

  • None

 

 

Best Waves Limiter - L2

 

The L2 is one of the company’s most iconic plugins and is probably why Waves made a name for itself in the world of limiting plugins so long ago. All of the plugins in the L Seris are known for their ease of use and punchy qualities. The L2 is no exception.

One thing I love about the L2 is that it has an intuitive interface that allows you to dial in the perfect amount of limiting in a matter of seconds. There are noise shaping and dithering controls built into the plugin as well, giving users more control over the final output. To help keep limiting as smooth as possible, Waves added Automatic Release Control to the plugin. 

 

 

Yes, the L2 is certainly not the most transparent limiter on the market today, but the unique sound that it provides can help deliver a punch to gutless mixes, no matter what genre you work in. 

One other feature present on the L2 Limiter is the Waves IDR (Increased Digital Resolution) technology. This unique technology preserves the resolution of your mix, even with heavy limiting. 

If you’re in the market for an inexpensive, easy-to-use limiter that can bring your mixes to life, the L2 is what you’re after. If you're looking for a more modern sounding limiter, here are the 7 best limiter plugins around.

 

Pros of the Waves L2 Limiter

  • Easy to use
  • Punchy

 

Cons of the Waves L2 Limiter

  • Limited controls
  • Not very transparent

 

 

 

Best Waves Compressor - API2500

 

API is a company that long ago created one of the most iconic VCA compressors around. The API 2500 from Waves emulates the original sound of this classic hardware rack compressor down to a T. As per usual, Waves did an excellent job at emulating the power and versatility of this hardware compressor at reasonable prices, which is perfect for buss compression on a variety of instruments. 

One unique thing about the API 2500 is that it uses a dual-channel design, meaning it can act on stereo single or two separate mono signals. The left and right channel have their own VU meter for monitoring and is controlled with easy-to-use compression settings. 

 

 

You get all of the standard functionality you could ask for in a compressor, including seven different ratio options, an adjustable threshold between -20dB and +10dB, and variable attack and release times. There is even an auto-makeup gain button, which helps maintain steady output levels as you adjust the attack and release settings, which is extremely helpful.  

Beyond that, this VCA compressor can be switched between a modern, feed-forward compression circuit and a vintage feedback compression circuit, depending on the sound you’re after. It even has a handy Thrust control, which allows you to reduce low-end frequency compression to maintain punch and power while controlling high-end frequencies. 

It’d be so difficult to fit everything great about this compressor into a single article, meaning it’s one you simply need to try for yourself. This is truly one of the best compressor plugins around and is the secret weapon in many producers arsenals, which is why you'll find it in my round up of the best compressor VSTs.

 

Pros of the Waves API 2500 Compressor

  • Amazing sound
  • Soooo punchy
  • Versatile 

 

Cons of the Waves API 2500 Compressor

  • More complicated than others

 

 

Best Waves Tape Plugin - J37

 

The J37 is a tape saturation plugin made in conjunction with the team at Abbey Road Studios. It’s a unique, virtual recreation of the iconic Studer Tape Machine that the studio built back in 1965. This particular tape machine was used to record many artists during that time, though the Beatles was arguably the most popular act. 

You can find my full review of Waves' J-37 here.

When I'm going for a retro vibe, I like to load an instance of the J37 on all my individual tracks and dial in the input signal on each track for just the right amount of saturation.

You’re not going to find many fine-tuning controls on the J37, which we suppose is the beauty of it. However, you will find many unique modification controls, including Satin, Bias, Flutter, Wow, and Noise Level. You can choose the tape speed as well, which affects the overall fidelity and "weight" of the sound. 

Tape delay is available as well, which you can use if you’re looking for a warmer, mellower delay sound for your tracks. From ping-pong to feedback to slap delay models, you can pick from several unique delay circuits, each with its own unique flavor, and can use this as a standalone tape delay plugin.  

 

 

Beyond all of that, you can test out three tape formulas, including the 888, the 811, and the 815. They each have unique characteristics of the era, great for dialing in warm, modern, or edgy sounds.  

To apply this plugin effectively, you need a steady hand and some good judgment. However, if you’re looking to impart a bit of retro flavor on your mixes, the J37 is one of the best plugins around.

 

Pros of the J37

  • Great analog sound
  • Add warmth and saturation

 

Cons of the J37

  • Need good judgment

 

 

 

Best Waves Plugin for Guitars - Chris Lord-Alge Guitars

 

Chris Lord Alge is undoubtedly the king of modern rock and alternative mixing, which is why it makes sense that he has a killer plugin for guitars. Even if you don’t mix rock or metal music, this guitar plugin can help you dial in some of the most recognizable tones of the past few decades. 

There aren’t often plugins that deliver a level of instant gratification like CLA Guitars thanks to its straightforward user interface. You can find the full CLA Guitars review here.

 

 

Whether you need a clean country tone with sparkling reverb or a deeply-distorted heavy metal chug tone, this plugin can provide. There are three modes that start the signal chain off, including Clean, Crunch, and Heavy. There are DI and re-amping modes for each of these modes as well, meaning right off the bat, you can dial-in killer tones without messing with any other controls. 

Once you get your initial sound, you can begin shaping your tone even further using bass, treble, compression, delay, reverb, and doubling. You can read by full review of CLA Guitars here.

I’d be lying if I knew what was going on under the hood of this plugin. However, what I do know is that CLA Guitars does something quite magical.

 

Pros of CLA Guitars

  • Dead simple
  • Great tone
  • Fast

 

Cons of CLA Guitars

  • No fine tuning

 

 

Best Waves Pitch Plugin - Waves Tune Real-Time

 

Melodyne and Antares make some of the best tuning plugins on the market, hands-down. Of course, to get the most out of those plugins, you have to do a lot of work - and pay a lot of money. Sometimes, it’s nice to let the robots do the work for you, which is pretty much the selling point of Waves Tune Real-Time. Waves Tune Real-Time is the "go to" plugin for live performance vocal tuning, thanks to its low latency and CPU load.

 

 

This plugin provides smooth and natural-sounding automatic pitch correction. Simply set the key and range of the song before dialing in the response parameters to get automatic tuning that is surprisingly transparent. Of course, you can always dial the Speed and Note Transition knobs all the way to zero for that T-Pain sound as well!

Want to find out more about Waves Tune Real Time? Here's my full review!

Whether you need a live pitch correction or quick studio pitch correction, Waves Tune Real-Time is a great choice!

 

Pros of Waves Tune Real-Time

  • Easy
  • Fairly transparent
  • Affordable

 

Cons of Waves Tune Real-Time

  • Not as powerful as its peers

 

 

Best Waves Analog EQ Plugin

 

The Waves PuigTec EQ plugin is a meticulously crafted digital emulation of the legendary Pultec EQ, a staple in the music industry renowned for its unique ability to simultaneously boost and cut the same frequencies, creating a resonant shelf that has shaped the sound of countless records. This plugin is the result of a collaboration between Waves and esteemed engineer Jack Joseph Puig, known for his work with artists ranging from The Rolling Stones to U2. The collaboration has yielded a plugin that not only captures the essence of the original hardware but also introduces modern functionality to this classic design.

 

 

The PuigTec EQ plugin includes two components: the EQP-1A and the MEQ-5 mid-range equalizer. This combination allows for a wide range of tonal possibilities, from gentle enhancements to dramatic transformations. The EQP-1A section is perfect for adding weight to kicks, warmth to vocals, or air to overheads, while the MEQ-5 shines when it comes to shaping the crucial mid frequencies of guitars, keys, and snare drums. The plugin’s intuitive interface and straightforward controls make dialing in the desired sound both quick and easy, even for those new to the Pultec EQ.

One of the standout features of this plugin is its versatility. Whether used on individual tracks, busses, or even during mastering, the Waves PuigTec EQ provides a level of warmth and clarity that can breathe life into digital recordings, making them sound more 'analog'. It excels across various genres, from rock and pop to jazz and classical, proving itself as an indispensable tool in any mix engineer's plugin arsenal.

 

 

Best Waves Dynamic EQ Plugin - Waves F6

 

The Waves F6 Floating-Band Dynamic EQ plugin stands out as a sophisticated tool in the vast sea of equalization plugins, offering unparalleled precision and flexibility in sculpting the frequency spectrum of any audio material. What sets the F6 apart is its dynamic EQ capabilities, which allow each of its six bands to dynamically respond to signal levels, providing real-time frequency adjustment. This makes it not just an EQ but a powerful tool for fixing complex issues like resonant frequencies in live recordings, managing sibilance in vocals without the need for a separate de-esser, or even applying dynamic tonal shaping to full mixes. The plugin's intuitive interface and the ability to operate in both stereo and mid/side modes further enhance its versatility, making it an essential asset for both mixing and mastering engineers seeking to achieve pristine audio quality.

 

 

Moreover, the Waves F6 features an advanced side-chain feature, enabling external signal triggering for frequency-specific compression or expansion, which opens up creative possibilities for ducking or enhancing elements within a mix contextually. The inclusion of real-time frequency spectrum analyzers for each band allows engineers to visually identify problematic or dominant frequencies and apply precise, dynamic control. This level of control, combined with the plugin's low-latency performance and zero-phase distortion, ensures that the F6 can be used not only in studio productions but also in live sound environments. With its blend of dynamic and static EQ functionalities, the Waves F6 Floating-Band Dynamic EQ plugin is a testament to Waves' commitment to innovation, offering a solution that goes beyond traditional EQ to adaptively shape the audio spectrum for cleaner, more balanced mixes.

 

 

Best Waves Advanced Channel Strip Plugin - Scheps Omni Channel

 

The Waves Scheps Omni Channel plugin is a comprehensive channel strip that has quickly become a favorite among audio engineers and producers for its exceptional versatility and sound quality. Designed in collaboration with the renowned mixing engineer Andrew Scheps, this plugin encapsulates the essence of his mixing philosophy and technique, incorporating a meticulously selected array of modules including preamps, EQs, compression, and gating. What sets the Scheps Omni Channel apart is not just its high-quality components, but its intuitive layout and workflow enhancements that cater to both novice users and seasoned professionals. With its ability to seamlessly blend analog warmth with digital precision, the plugin offers users the tools to achieve polished, radio-ready mixes across a wide range of genres.

 

 

One of the standout features of the Scheps Omni Channel is its flexibility in signal routing and the inclusion of both modern and vintage module emulations. The plugin allows users to reorder the modules according to their mixing needs, a feature that enhances creativity and problem-solving in the mix process. Additionally, the plugin includes unique elements like the DS2 module for de-essing and saturation options for adding character, making it a highly adaptable tool for shaping any track. Whether it's the smooth, musical EQ curves, the punchy compression, or the analog-modeled saturation, every aspect of the Scheps Omni Channel is designed to empower users to achieve their ideal sound with efficiency and ease. This channel strip plugin not only reflects Andrew Scheps’ rich legacy in the music industry but also Waves' commitment to innovation and quality in audio processing software.

 

 

Best Waves Bass Enhancer Plugin - Renaissance Bass

 

The Waves Renaissance Bass plugin stands as a testament to Waves' ability to combine simplicity with profound effectiveness, particularly for producers and mix engineers aiming to enhance the low-end presence and power in their mixes without sacrificing clarity. This plugin utilizes Waves' patented MaxxBass technology, which intelligently generates harmonics higher up the frequency spectrum, allowing the perceived bass response to be dramatically increased even on smaller speakers that typically struggle to reproduce low-frequency content. The result is a fuller, richer bass that can be felt as well as heard across a variety of playback systems, from club PA systems to consumer headphones, making it an invaluable tool for ensuring mixes translate well in the real world.

 

Beyond its technical prowess, what makes the Renaissance Bass plugin particularly appealing is its user-friendly interface, which simplifies the process of achieving the perfect bass tone. With just a few  controls, users can dial in the desired amount of bass enhancement, control the frequency range of the effect, and adjust the overall output level for seamless integration with any mix. This ease of use, coupled with its effectiveness, has made the Renaissance Bass a go-to solution for enhancing bass in a wide range of music genres, from electronic and hip-hop to rock and pop. Whether you're looking to add weight to a kick drum, depth to a bass guitar, or overall warmth to your entire mix, Waves Renaissance Bass delivers a consistently satisfying low-end boost that both producers and listeners will appreciate.

 

 

Best Waves Multiband Compressor - C4

 

The Waves C4 Multiband Compressor can be a critical tool in controlling troublesome dynamics, offering unparalleled control over the dynamic range of audio across multiple frequency bands. Renowned for its precision and flexibility, the C4 allows producers, engineers, and mastering professionals to sculpt their sound with surgical accuracy, whether it's taming the unruly peaks of a lead vocal, balancing the components of a complex mix, or fine-tuning the overall mastering process. The plugin's ability to compress up to four different frequency bands independently means that users can target specific elements of a mix without affecting the energy and dynamics of the track as a whole. This multiband approach ensures that every element, from the deepest bass to the highest treble, sits perfectly in the mix, achieving a balanced, cohesive sound that is both polished and dynamic.

 

 

The Waves C4 is celebrated for its user-friendly interface, which demystifies the often complex world of multiband compression. With intuitive controls and clear visual feedback, users can easily adjust crossover points, threshold, attack, and release settings, while the plugin's sidechain capabilities offer even more creative control over the compression effect. The inclusion of preset templates designed by industry professionals provides an excellent starting point for those new to multiband compression, while the depth and breadth of control available ensure that even the most seasoned engineers will find the C4 an invaluable addition to their plugin arsenal. 

 

 

Best Waves Noise Canceling Plugin - NS1

 

The Waves NS1 Noise Suppressor stands as a beacon of simplicity and effectiveness in the realm of audio plugins designed to combat unwanted noise levels. With its intuitive single-fader interface, NS1 intelligently analyzes and adapts to your audio in real-time, differentiating between the noise floor and the essential signal, to subtract the former while preserving the latter. This makes it an ideal tool for quickly removing background noise from dialogues, vocal takes, and live recordings, where ambient sounds like air conditioning, traffic, or room reverberation can detract from the clarity and quality of the audio. The NS1's ability to deliver clean, focused sound without requiring extensive tweaking or in-depth knowledge of noise reduction techniques has garnered praise from audio professionals and content creators alike, making it a go-to solution for fast and efficient noise suppression.

 

 

Beyond its straightforward operation, the Waves NS1 Noise Suppressor excels in its performance, offering a level of transparency that is remarkable for such an accessible tool. It doesn't introduce noticeable artifacts or significantly alter the timbre of the original signal, a common pitfall of many noise reduction algorithms. This ensures that the essence of the audio—whether it's the nuanced inflections of a vocal performance or the subtle details of an acoustic instrument—is retained, even as the noise is seamlessly dialed out. For projects with tight deadlines or for live broadcast scenarios where quick fixes are paramount, the NS1 offers a reliable and unobtrusive means of enhancing audio quality. Its effectiveness, coupled with Waves' reputation for high-quality audio processing, solidifies the NS1 Noise Suppressor's status as an essential plugin in the digital audio toolkit.

 

 

Best Waves Plugin for Easily Mixing Vocals - CLA Vocals

 

The Waves CLA Vocals plugin, developed in collaboration with the legendary mixing engineer Chris Lord-Alge, is a streamlined tool designed specifically for enhancing vocal tracks with the signature sound that has made Lord-Alge one of the most sought-after names in the industry. This plugin stands out for its comprehensive approach to vocal processing, offering a selection of meticulously crafted effects including EQ, compression, reverb, and delay, all within a single, user-friendly interface. By emulating the exact signal chain and settings used by Lord-Alge in his analog studio, CLA Vocals provides users with a quick and effective way to achieve professional-sounding vocals that sit perfectly in the mix. Whether you're working on a rock ballad or a pop anthem, the simplicity and quality of the effects make it an invaluable asset for any music producer looking to elevate their vocal tracks. 

 

 

That's also it's biggest drawback, however. Biggest it is so precisely designed for streamlined vocal mixing, it's not really suited for anything else. But if you're looking for a simple, easy way to improve your vocals without having to spend a fortune, CLA Vocals should be one of your top choices. You can read my full review of CLA Vocals here.

 

 

Best Waves Harmonic Enhancer Plugin - Vitamin Sonic Enhancer

 

The Waves Vitamin Sonic Enhancer plugin is a multifaceted tool designed to breathe life into your mixes by offering a harmonious blend of warmth, clarity, and punch that is often sought after but rarely achieved with such precision. This plugin stands out by providing a unique approach to sonic enhancement, combining analog-style saturation with a multiband stereo enhancer to enrich the harmonic content and widen the spatial image of any track or mix. With its zero-latency processing and user-friendly interface, Vitamin allows producers and engineers to instantly add depth and dimension to vocals, drums, and full mixes, making it an indispensable tool in both studio and live settings. Whether you’re looking to subtly enhance a master track or radically transform individual elements within a mix, from high frequencies to lows, Vitamin’s intuitive controls and transparent operation make it a breeze to dial in the perfect settings.

 

 

What sets the Waves Vitamin Sonic Enhancer apart from other enhancement plugins is its ability to act as both a surgical tool for detailed mix adjustments and a creative effect for sound design. The plugin features five independent bands of harmonic processing, each with its own adjustable crossover, allowing users to pinpoint specific frequency ranges for enhancement. This level of control, coupled with the plugin's Warmth and Punch parameters, offers a tailored approach to adding richness and definition without the risk of muddying the mix. Additionally, Vitamin’s stereo widening effect provides a lush, expansive soundstage that can make any mix sound bigger and more immersive. 

 

 

Best Waves Buss Compressor - SSL G-Master Buss Compressor

 

The Waves G-Buss Master Compressor plugin is a digital emulation of the renowned SSL G-Series master bus compressor, a staple in the audio engineering world for its ability to glue together the elements of a mix with unparalleled smoothness and musicality. This plugin captures the essence and character of the original hardware, providing users with the same transparent compression that has made the SSL G-Series a fixture in professional recording studios around the globe. With its straightforward interface and precise control over compression parameters, the Waves G-Buss Master Compressor allows for subtle dynamic shaping that can make mixes sound cohesive and polished without sacrificing the punch and energy of the individual tracks. Whether applied to the master bus for a final touch of gloss or used on subgroups and individual instruments for added warmth and presence, this plugin delivers consistent and high-quality results that live up to the legacy of its analog counterpart.

 

 

Beyond its faithful sound reproduction, the Waves G-Buss Master Compressor stands out for its flexibility and adaptability in a digital workflow. The plugin enhances the original design with features like a side-chain high-pass filter and a mix knob for easy parallel compression, offering modern producers and engineers the tools to achieve both vintage and contemporary compression effects. These additional functionalities, combined with the plugin's low CPU usage and compatibility across various DAWs, make it a versatile and indispensable tool for music production, post-production, and live sound engineering. 

 

 

Best Waves Transient Shaper - Smack Attack

 

The Waves Smack Attack plugin is a highly versatile and user-friendly transient shaper that offers unparalleled control over the attack and sustain of any audio signal. The UI also looks super cool. This innovative tool stands out in the crowded field of dynamics processing for its precision and clarity, allowing users to sculpt the transient response of their tracks with surgical accuracy. Whether it's adding punch to drum hits, tightening up a bass line, or bringing out the pluck of a guitar string, Smack Attack delivers crisp results that can transform a lifeless mix into a dynamic masterpiece. Its intuitive interface, coupled with visual feedback through waveform display, makes it easy for both novice and seasoned engineers to dial in the desired effect. Moreover, its ability to preserve or radically alter the natural sound of an instrument or full mix without introducing unwanted artifacts is what sets it apart from other transient shapers on the market.

 

 

Beyond its basic transient shaping capabilities, Waves Smack Attack is packed with features that extend its utility far beyond simple dynamics control. The plugin includes a range of adjustable parameters such as sensitivity, to tailor its response to different material, and a mix knob for blending the processed signal with the original, enabling users to achieve the perfect balance between impact and naturalism. Additionally, its advanced side-chain functionalities and the option to process in stereo or mid-side mode provide a level of creative control that can unlock new sonic possibilities in a mix. 

 

From a Frustrated Producer in a Ragtag Bedroom Studio to Major Placements on TV Earning $1,000s!

 

My name is Evan, and I've been making music since around 3rd grade. I'm from San Diego, California, but I've lived in Washington, DC for the last 20 years.

After 3 grueling years of grad school, though I had put aside serious attempts at making music. I found myself spending my days doing work that was dreadfully uncreative, with a ton of student student loan debt.
 
Which made me feel like my favorite parts of myself were withering.
 
But I didn't know what to do about it.
 
Being in my early 30s with tons of student loan debt, in a world where there is "no money in music," I felt like my youthful dreams of trying to "make it big" were dead. Like my music would remain unheard in my head and hard drive. 
 
Frustrated by my inability to get my music heard, I started researching solutions.
 
Instead, I wanted to find a way where I could focus on making the music and let someone else deal with promoting it. 
 
I realized the music licensing was the perfect opportunity for a solo artist like me to get my music heard, without having to do any promotion. I just need to focus on improving what I could control - my songwriting and my production skills.

While I still have a full-time day job, I have created systems that have allowed me to produce dozens of songs a year in my spare time.

My¬†songs have been on Netflix, TV shows like the 90 Day Fiance, an award-winning indie film, and NPR‚Äôs ‚ÄúAll Thing Considered.‚ÄĚ They've also been streamed millions of times.

In addition to being a music producer, I am passionate about teaching people how they can make professional-sounding music and earn money licensing it, all in their spare time.

Thousands of musicians, like yourself, have trusted me to guide their musical journey. My YouTube videos have been watched nearly a million times. And my story has been in Forbes, Side Hustle Nation, and the Side Hustle School.

You Can Achieve Your Musical Dreams Too - Attend the Free Music Licensing Workshop!