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brandondmorris1

Whats the deal with Waves plug-ins?

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why in the hell are there so many different bundles of waves plug ins and what exactly do they do? and from what ive seen the waves plugs are more or less the standard or at least pretty good quality stuff. what would be a good bundle for some good basic stuff like a decent sounding reverb, compressor, dealy, eq and etc?

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The Gold bundle will give you everything you really need minus a few "icings on the cake" that are in the Platinum (for a good $500-600 less). The Platinum bundle is pretty much the "industry standard", but since its initial implementation, many companies have created plugins that surpass much of what they have done.

 

The thing about the Waves bundles is that most of the plugins aren't 'that' great; but the onces that are great, are really great. Luckily, other companies have created plugs that are also great, and in many ways better. Waves bundles have a few great plugs with a pile of mediocre plugs that just sit around doing nothing on most peoples computers. Its my opinion that its better to pick and choose great plugins and avoid having a bunch of crap you wont use/isnt very good when buying a pricey bundle.

 

Waves Rex line of plugs are great and so is there L1/2/3 line of compressors, but the companies below make plugs that are as good, and in many cases; better (voxengo / sonoxx ect). Although I will say the RexVox plug is one of the better vocal plugins available by anyone.

 

Also keep in mind Waves will cost you $100-200 a year to keep up with the WUP program you need to sign up for to keep your software up to date.

 

Here are some great alternatives to Waves:

 

McDSP (McDowell Signal Processing)

Voxengo (amazing plugs for reasonable prices)

Sonnox Oxford Plugins (pricey, but absolutely amazing plugins (except the reverb which is meh))

UAD (universal audio) plugins

URS plugins

Sonalksis

 

If money is no object, you can also check out Flux, which has some of the best plugs available, and their mastering pack is far beyond anything else I've used plugin wise.

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I'm sure you don't want to blow that much so I would recomend the musicians bundle 2. Most of the plugs will probably suck but there is the Rcomp and Req. I have seen both in action and they seem to be pretty good general go to plugs.

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You don't get the Ren plugs unless you go up to the Platinum bundle. Personally I think that the Platinum bundle is the sweet spot. It has the stuff you really want. To go up the next step, you pay a lot for much more esoteric stuff. I'd also disagree that it's a few good plugs in with a bunch of junk. It's all good stuff.

 

IR-L is a really good convolution reverb. RenEQ, RenComp, RenVox, RenAxe are all very good. If you want cleaner, more surgical stuff the C1/Q10 stuff is there. C4 multi-band is very nice. They also have Phase Linear EQs and multibands. And the grunt work stuff, doublers, delays, gates, imagers, meters and analysis tools, maximizers and limiters, chorus, flanger, etc...

 

I use almost all of their stuff at some point or another, some more than others of course. Some are really mastering oriented so they are only used towards the end. Though they have a bad attitude, they are really the only company you can go to for a full soup to nuts solution. ANd of course, if you ahve the bucks, they have great SSL, API, and Neve enumations. I have the SSL bundle and it's very good. If the API and Neve ones are as good, I'd love to have them as well.

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MUSICIANS BUNDLE II DESCRIPTION

 

ItemID: Musician2Nat Retail Price: $200.00

SAVE $50.00 (25%) WHEN YOU BUY TODAY!

SALE PRICE:

$150.00

 

 

Six Fantastic Waves Plug-Ins!

NOTE: This product requires iLok authorization. For more information, call your Sweetwater Sales Engineer at 1-800-222-4700.

 

The Musicians Bundle II carries on the tradition of affordable tools that offer the clarity and intuitive control expected from Waves. Create tracks with presence, punch, and unique sonic signature. The Musicians II bundle features two signature Waves processors found on countless hit releases; Renaissance Compressor and Renaissance EQ. Add to that, two great delay and ambience tools, SuperTap and Doubler, and you are ready to create sounds with unique sonic distinction. Use these award-winning tools that have shaped the sound of many hit mixes, to create your next hit.

 

Renaissance Axx

Specifically engineered for guitar, Renaissance Axx is the ideal compressor for musicians and engineers who need to dial in dynamic levels quickly. With its three efficient controls, Renaissance Axx features a fixed ratio curve, automatic release value, and an output limiter to prevent clipping.

 

Renaissance EQ

This EQ has user-selectable filter types that respond like classic analog/tube hardware, adding air and smoothness while maintaining clarity and space.

 

Doubler

Doubler is simply a superior "Double Tracking" effect that is great to make your guitar, vocal or any instrument "bigger than life". The Waves Doubler uses innovative delay and pitch modulation to create a new class of sounds.

 

Renaissance Compressor

Recreates the warm sound and simple operation of classic analog hardware. Renaissance Compressor features ARC

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I'm not really a fan of the Waves plugins I've used. There are a few useful ones here and there, and they're not necessarily baaad. But for a lot less money, you can get a few much nicer plugins. Just look around and use your ears. Just my opinion.

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a couple of years back i used to think that i couldn't do anything with other plugs since waves is #1.today....i actually use the built plugs of a daw.i do a lot of work in ableton and i find i get everything i need from their plugs,i just wish their reverb would go below 50ms.then again,i could just get a different reverb module :) i agree that waves makes too many packages instead of letting go of the worse ones (plugins) and just selling their good/excellent stuff.another thing they could do is re-think their code and improve those plugins [and at the same time make the cheaper].

 

as far as mastering is concerned...i'm looking to get a UAD pack since at the moment i'm using a combination of ozone and t-racks and although their not bad,i want to see if the UADs would surpass the latter.

 

last word: stock plugins aren't that bad with the major titles (steinberg,ableton,cakewalk,logic,etc.) so there is no valid point of dishing out a stupid amount of money for something as good or worse.from what i've used (have the platinum pack) i don't think their great plugins are,well,greater than anything else available,it's just preference.

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Come on Dean, I'm not a complete moron. I agree that most of the waves bundles are great, but the package I listed (that is cheap) probably has only 2-3 plugs out of the 6 that I would grab personally on a regular basis.

 

OK, you do get some of them in that package, and the best ones I guess. But I was referring more to the comment on the Gold package above, not your comment. You don't get any of the Ren plugs in the Gold package, but you get them all in the Platinum package. I'm very budget conscious, unfortunately, but I felt it worth getting up to the Platinum level. I'd have to have money to waste to go the next step up though.

 

BTW, I use all of those plugs in that package in pretty much every tune. I would only not use the RenVox if the vocal didn't need any compression. Maybe I wouldn't use Supertap if I had no need for delay in the tune, but almost always I do. I use the doubler in every tune as a split harmonizer and it's a key part of every mix I do. I don't necessarily use RenAxe in every tune, but it's not uncommon. Since I use amp sims, I use it where a 'real' guitarist would use sustain/compression pedal. Put it before the amp sim and crank down the threshold and it provides lots of nice sustain.

 

If cost is a big limiting factor, I'd probably argue for the RenMaxx package. It's got all of the RenXXX plugs, all of which are very nice and very useful, and you get the IR-L convolution reverb as well. It's $450 street price for native. The Waves Tune doesn't work on all platforms, like SONAR unfortunately for me.

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The whole WUP thing sorta bugs me. Everything about Waves down to the demos to me suggests "less user friendly."

 

If you're on a UAD-compatible platform, those plugins are fantastic. The Plate 140 blows away every other reverb plug I've used, the Space Echo sounds fantastic, and the Neve EQ is really, really good. If you're on a ProTools system, the Massey plugs are cheap and totally great.

 

What platform are you on, and what are you wanting from plugs that the bundled plugs aren't giving? I admit, I want the RenVerb now that I can't use UAD, but other than that there's nothing I need that another company isn't making (with a more user-friendly philosophy.)

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ok lemme start from jump....

 

using an HP pavillion (512 MB RAM) XP, basically just a pretty normal computer, totally nothing fancy. Using Reaper as my main DAW (which im not sure if its the best BUT i can do a few advanced things with it like automation, and etc.

 

my main complaint with my bundled plugs is that mainly the "ReaVerb" plug doesnt have the best control. the smallest room size setting you can use STILL sounds like youre in a huge concert hall to me. its like the lowest setting is still too much for me. i mean i just dont want my vocal tracks sounding like they were recorded in a totally different place. and the compressors i have, "ReaComp" works fairly well but i think theres probably a more natural sounding comp out there.

 

its just the little things like that where i feel like id probably get something a little closer to what i want from an outside bundle instead of just what comes with Reaper.

 

and as far as vocal plugs, theres a pitch shift, and something thats supposed to act like a harmonizer but it just makes everything sort of cluttery sounding to me. so if that helps, let me know which route you guys think i should go. oh and im going to need something thats PC and Mac friendly because ill be using the PC til september then ill be using logic mainly with my new computer.

 

and i was just now looking on musicians friend and this package seems decent to me.....Waves Gold Native + Renaissance II Native to Platinum Native Upgrade. it looks like its got all the main pieces i need (good reverb, comp., and eq) plus a few fancy things like vocal pitch correction and acoustic analyzer (no idea how to use it but i bet it can be useful if used correctly)

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and i was just now looking on musicians friend and this package seems decent to me.....Waves Gold Native + Renaissance II Native to Platinum Native Upgrade. it looks like its got all the main pieces i need (good reverb, comp., and eq) plus a few fancy things like vocal pitch correction and acoustic analyzer (no idea how to use it but i bet it can be useful if used correctly)

 

If it was an upgrade package, is that what you really want? That $250 package is just to upgrade from Gold to Gold plus the Ren Maxx set. So you'd have to buy Gold first and then that upgrade package I guess. I couldn't find a Gold+RenMaxx package itself, right off hand.

 

So I think you'd have to buy the Gold first at $975:

 

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/GoldNat/

 

Then that $250 upgrade to add the RenMaxx package, though I could be wrong.

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I have had the platinum bundle for many years....

 

For a while it was all that i had that was good and their stuff went on everything.

 

Nowadays not so much. The sonitus plugins in Sonar (free with Sonar i might add) take the place of waves stuff on almost everything. They sound just as good (in some cases better) and use a lot less CPU.

 

A few waves things that stay are:

Linear Broadband EQ (very surgical. High CPU, but very transparent)

Renn Comp. Its the easiest way for me to get a good bass sound. Gets you most of the way there immediately.

Enigma: unique modulation effects the get layered on more then a few things...

 

Other then that, sometimes the supertap is just the thing, but I have other compressors, eqs and delays and reverbs which are just as good. sometimes the flavor is right, sometimes not. in general Waves stuff uses a lot of cpu and that cuts their usefulness down in a big mix.

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Waves is without a doubt the cheapest audio software company on the planet. They make even Digidesign look positively philanthropic.

 

Waves has so many bundles not because they want to give the user more options; it forces dealers to stock (and therefore, purchase) all the different bundles.

 

Kind of like how E-MU forced dealers to stock all their different ROMpler keyboards and groove boxes

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wow yeah thats a bit much man. im really sorry they dicked you out on that deal. ive had similar situations but maybe i should check into something else. i mean later on ill have a computer that can handle a good bit more than im used to but even so itll be a while before im going to need anything with a lot of tracks.

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Waves has so many bundles not because they want to give the user more options; it forces dealers to stock (and therefore, purchase) all the different bundles.

That's actually no longer the case...almost all of their plugins are delivered electronically now...so dealers really don't have to stock anything...

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It's a USB dongle that holds licenses for products. It's made by a company that makes it an provides a development kit for other companies to use it to provide copy protection for their products. Waves doesn't fully support it yet. Some people don't like them, but it actually does provide some nice benefits if the company fully supports all the features. I guess Waves has been moving from a proprietary system to iLok and they haven't gotten all the way there yet.

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interesting...but what all can you do with it exactly that you cant without it? does open up more parameters for your plug ins, open up more plug ins themselves, or what?

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Most companies have some sort of copy protection scheme. Often it's limited to one machine, or a couple machines in the home or something. With the iLok, since the licenses are on the iLok, it doesn't matter what machine you are on. You can install the software anywhere you want. All it does it limit you to using that software from one place at a time.

 

And, if you wiipe out your computer, there's not requirement to go back through a long sequence of authorizing each piece of software. The licenses are external to the computer, so you just install it all again and plug in the iLok and you are back up. And they also keep your licenses on file, so you can recover them in case of even more catastrophic loss. But that's only for those companies that fully support the iLok scheme, which Waves doesn't yet. You still have to go back to them for that.

 

So it does have some advantages.

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thanks dean. that was most helpful. i think ive got a better understanding. still a little fuzzy buuuuut i think ive got it for the most part.

 

well what would be a good route to go as far as a decent set of basic plugs? i mean weve all talked about waves and etc but what sort of package or brand or company or whatever would sort of fit more into what im looking for....as i said before im looking mainly for a good reverb and comp mainly but itd be cool to have a few others as well if they just so happen to come in a package but those are the main two im looking for.

 

and has anyone tried the BBE software version of the sonic maximizer? i have to say i tried a trial version and could hear a big difference, however i think given the right gear and signal chain, you probably wouldnt need that but since im on a shoestring budget and having to save each paycheck for gear as i go its hard to just jump right in and get "the good stuff" ya know?

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Well, if you are just starting off, if you buy a nice DAW, it'll come with a fair amount of plugs that, though not maybe spectacular, probably don't suck either. And you can do a lot with them. Actually you could probably do an album with them if you really know what you are doing. The ones that come with SONAR, for instance, are not bad. You get, for instance, a SONAR rebadged version of the Kjaerhus channel strip, and some Sonitus plugs and the Boost11 limiter/maximizer and whatnot.

 

So maybe it would be best to start there. I think that everyone, and definitely me included, when they first start out, get frustrated that they aren't getting as good as sound as others and they assume it's got to be the plugins. I went through like 4 stages of that I think, and of course it wasn't really the plugins but just doing it enough times to start figuring some stuff out. So I wasted money buying plugs, which didn't help, so I must need more plugs so I sold those (at a loss) and bought others, and so on.

 

Probably now I could go back and just using the stuff in SONAR do quite good stuff. Though there are good reasons to have plugs that exhibit certain types of mojo, for specific purposes.

 

But anyway, leaving that aside, it just seems to me that you need to get the basis stuff that you need to do a mix. So it doesn't make much sense to me, for instance, to spend $1000 on the Waves SSL bundle, good as it is, when you don't have a solid set of the fundamentals.

 

That's really one of the advantages that Waves has. They sell stuff like the Native Power Pack, at a very low cost (given what you get), which provides a reasonably broad sampling of plugs. Yeh, you could find plugs to match all of them from other companies. But if you add it up, for the $375 you'll pay for it, you are paying like $40 per plug. You'd be hard pressed to get that set of plugs at that quality for that price if you were to buy them indivdually from various companies.

 

Obviously they do this to get your foot into their door, and hope you'll upgrade to their better stuff later, where they'll make more money. But still, it's not a bad deal. You get a very nice convolution reverb, a maximizer, 5 variations on 1 to 10 band EQ, imager, compressor/gate, delay, de-esser, and an algorithmic reverb. That's not a bad starter kit. And you don't ever actualy have to upgrade it if you don't want. You can upgrade later to the Gold package for $600 more.

 

For the $975 range you could get the Gold bundle which has way more stuff, enough to do some serious work, an dyou get the key Renaissance plugs (EQ and Comp) which are real workhorse plugs.

 

Another option is Voxengo and Kjearhus. They make really good stuff and the prices are lower. But they don't provide the range of stuff that Waves does. And you take a little more risk in terms of long term viability. Folks have been saying that no one has heard anything from the Kjearhus guy for like 6 months now, so I'm not sure if he's given up the ghost or what. But I used touse the Kjearhus plugs and they are quite nice. I'd like to have a few of them again.

 

I never liked the Vonxengo stuff as much, but clearly I'm in a minority on that I think, since a lot of people REALLY like it, and they have very reasonable pricing policies and discounts as you buy more stuff. They have a greater range of stuff than Kjearhus as well.

 

A lot of people LOVE Ozone as well, which is more of a mastering plug, so maybe not something you need to think about yet. I use their Trash product which is really nice. And they have some other stuff.

 

URS makes really nice EQs and compressors of various sorts, and their Channel Strip Pro is an excellent plug that can be used in a lot of situations, and provides various varieties of EQ, compression, and I guess some 'pseudo-warming' type features. They are a bit more expensive, but the native ones aren't that bad. But definitely more upscale (at least in terms of cost) than Kjearhus and Voxengo.

 

I assume that if you really work at it, you could probably find freebie versions of most of those perhaps as good, I dunno, maybe all of them. But, anyway, it seems to me that to have the set of tools you'll need to do good basic pop/rock type mixes, you'd want:

 

- EQ and compression, preferably one clean and surgical type, and one or more mojo types if you can afford it (some do both, such as the Kjearhus)

- A good reverb, I like convolution but that's just an opinion

- I couldn't do a mix without a good doubler but it's not essential

- A limiter/maximizer

- A delay, which can be used in so many situations

- A de-esser if you do vocals

- Some good tape/valve emulation plug (not necessarily, but it's awfully nice to have if you need it.)

 

If I had to just live with that set, I could survive. It's nice to have a chorus and flanger, some sort of distortion type plug (like Trash), a multi-band compressor, and a few other sthings, but the above stuff would take you an awfully long way.

 

Anyway, I'm rambling now, but hopefully there was some coherent information in there. You could just buy, say, SONAR PE 7 for like $450 and get a really nice DAW and enough plugs to hold you for a good while until you get more experience and have a better idea what you like.

 

Another thing is, if you buy an iLok, you can demo all kinds of plugs that have limited time but otherwise unconstrained demo versions. Other companies also offer demo versions, though some of them are a little more paranoid since they use simpler copy protection schemes so the demo versions drop out for a little bit every so many seconds or something like that. Some are unconstrained. But you can try out lots of stuff and see how you like it. The danger is that you'll like it all.

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I loath the design of the ilok. Unless you have a certain hub it takes up 2 USB slots because of the stupid boob hanging off the side getting in the way of the port right next to it.

 

It's also big, bigger than it should be IMO. The dongle for cubase isn't nearly as large, and doesn't eat up that much space.

 

I don't mind the idea but the design was really awful.

 

Oh and in a nutshell, you need an ilok to run certain plug ins.

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I guess, since the probably figure it's used in a lot of commercial studios, that they had to have a way to physically secure them, so that folks coming into the studio couldn't just grab it and run (talk about a nice haul that you could stick in your pocket, if you find one with the Diamond Bundle enabled.)

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man you guys are awesome! theres such a wealth of knowledge on HC.

 

so does the iLok actually contain all these plugs OR do you have to have already physically bought these plugs and while theyre on your computer you can enable them on another computer just by using the Ilok? am i close?

 

i used a trial version of the BBE maximizer plug and i have to say it really did actually seem to help. i used a rack mount bbe 362 for my guitar rig for about a year until i realized that it was sucking the life out of my cobra. BUT i think that its a pretty good sounding plug to sort of punch things up a bit. the version i had would cut out the entire track every few seconds so that was kind of annoying more so than anything but at least it kinda gave me an idea of what it could do. plus now i think at musicians friend, the software isnt but like 50 bucks or so. if i were to go that route, do you guys think itd be better to just get a rack mount bbe or go with the plug? plug's a lot cheaper (unless i go through ebay) than the rack mount but im wondering if the rack mount units will actually sound better. any ideas?

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The iLok just contains license, not the plugs themselves. So yeh, you can install the software on whatever computer(s) you want. You can only use it on the one that the iLok is on.

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It's also big, bigger than it should be IMO. The dongle for cubase isn't nearly as large, and doesn't eat up that much space.

There's actually a reason it's so large...one way you can get a license onto the dongle is with a little flash card you insert into the end of the dongle. Before the iLok.com system was up most manufacturers used to do it that way, and I think a few still do...also, it can be handy if you need to physically secure it to your location. But I certainly agree, depending on the layout of your USB ports it may block access to additional ports...

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