Posted in : Forum : VSTI, Plug In & FX Chat
A place to talk about all those cool vsti and directx plugins and fx
First, what this is not. This is not a post to trash or criticise a very fine product, or the company or its developers to be clear before proceeding.
If you ever used "Waves Complete" then you know it as a colossally huge bundle of mastering tools, audio analysis devices, an over abundance of plugins, Fxs and VSTi keyboard style instruments for starters.
I take issue with a lot of the Fxs included with it. I found lots of "plug-in" repetition in Waves Complete. Some of what they include have very small nuances between plug-in apps. One of the things that irritated me the most was the "One Knob" Punchy app in Waves Complete. So this One Knob app is supposed to make your sound punchier. Oddly enough, I already have a channel strip app that has dedicated bus compression (with ATTACK, RATIO, and THRESHOLD controls). My strip app also has the ability to limit, to adjust LP & HP filters, and it has a dedicated 3 band bus EQ. Why do I need Waves I keep asking myself? What would I need the "One Knob" Punchy app for? I mean for what, so it can kill some of the fun at me sculpting my own unique sound.
My final example is "One Knob Wetter." It is supposed to make your sound, sound wetter. Give me a break! I think I got that covered with other plugins I have. And in the Waves app anyways it is bundled with tons of reverb apps, plate, echo, saturation and delay apps as well. Man, what a hard drive buster this thing was! Notice I said WAS because I deleted the whole thing off my system. What a waste of time, money, and resources.
Conclusion: Although I still feel that Waves Complete is a top notch high-quality product, there is way too much repetition among the included apps they offer, and it is way to big for what most people need. Also if you happen to have other 3rd party apps like Amplitude 4 or Guitar Rig, you may prefer to use the fxs offering from those apps instead for your guitars instead of some of the weak offering that is bundled in Waves. In my opinion, Waves Complete is useful in a bloated kind of way, it is just they tried to do too much in this bundle. I think if you have a professional studio outfitted with external analogue and digital audio gear, then you may find Waves very useful. If you are just a dude with a laptop, and maybe a keyboard or a controller, then Waves Complete might be overkill.
I use iZotope Ozone 7 when performing my final Mastera anyways. So what do you think? Have you ever used it? How do you use it if you have it? Is Waves your go to Mastering and Fxs suite? If you don't have it, would you buy it? All comments and criticism are welcome and will be highly regarded.
I don't use anything you've mentioned there, but thanks for that excellent review, i know you know what you're talking about coz you've been in this game for a long long time, plus you produce excellent loops, i know coz i've got most of em... so thanks for making them and making them available for us to use.
gonna assume you're talking about waves mercury. if not... oops?
waves mercury is a pretty remarkably huge bundle. buying it seems to give you literally unlimited options at your hands when it comes to every stage of the music making process (sound designing, composing, mixing, and even mastering). thats pretty cool i guess...
to those who actually do own it though, how the hell do you keep track of everything and actually manage to use each and EVERY plugin at some point? and are having so many hardware emulation plugins in the bundle really worth it if you can spend those four figures on a (somewhat) select few outboard synths/processors? maybe you already own the outboard versions and want to be more mobile?
look forward to hearing something! =)
p.s. if i had the money, i wouldnt hesitate in buying such a comprehensive bundle. again, having so many options at your hand is pretty cool to have... so please dont think im attacking you if youre a mercury owner (or horizon... or diamond... and so on) =)
I can't speak to Waves and their more recent offerings. A few of their plugins are ones that I commonly use, especially in mastering. Some of my favorites are LinMB, the linear phase equalizers, and RVerb. Beyond that I can't say that I use too many of them any more.
The whole "one knob" movement bothers me to no end. It seems catered towards someone who likes to pay others to do things for them, rather than learning how to do it themselves.
I use some Ozone plugins as well, but have found their dynamic processing plugins to be a bit lacking for my mastering purposes. I can't explain exactly why... they just don't give the sonic results which I've come to expect from something like LinMB or L2/3.
There was one thing in your review which made me wonder a bit... "I think if you have a professional studio outfitted with external analogue and digital audio gear, then you may find Waves very useful. If you are just a dude with a laptop, and maybe a keyboard or a controller, then Waves Complete might be overkill." Do you care to elaborate on this? I'm having trouble understanding what the difference would be. If you are speaking of hardware instruments, then I'm wondering why you would want to process them so differently once the audio is "in the box" when compared with virtual instruments. Possibly you are speaking of processing them during the recording process? This is something I don't do very often, so I suppose it would not apply much. Since I do a lot of simultaneous live recording with direct monitoring, then this sort of processing can complicate or ruin the flow. It did make me curious for more explanation about what you meant though.
In all honesty, the more I have moved to using hardware instruments and processors, the less I rely upon Waves plugins in general.
I have used these plugins, and personally find them to be of little use. My final mixes are made outside of a computer digital workstation now so I have no place to use them regardless. The best advice I had ever received about mastering a final product is cliché but truthful; less is more, subtract from your mix instead of add to it and volume and compression automations go a very long way.
There are a million and one plugins for "instant gratification" but in my opinion it's more helpful to learn when not to use them.
I have the complete bundle but I must admit I don't use everything all the time. Sometimes some of the plugins are really helpfull and they just work. I've recently mixed a song in which the GW Voicentric worked better than anything else I could throw at the vocal and I just left it with in on. My 8500$ reverb unit dindt do shit for the sound and a 50$ plugin did wonders. Does that mean the hardware reverb is crap? No it doesn't but in that particular song the GW plugin worked better. It's not a matter of reinventing the wheel, they are just tools and they should be regarded as such.
I prefer the Hardware "emulations" because they give me a familiar interface to work with and it enables me to mix faster and I use them just for that not because they sound or not like the real deal. Some of the tools are really cool also during the production phase.
The question you are trying to ask I guess would be if it's a good choice to buy the whole bundle and pay such a high price for everything even if you only use 20% of eerything that's provided.
I'd say demo the plugins and buy only the ones that you think you'll frequently use. They are often discounted offers so why not buy what you need and forget the rest?
I use a few Waves plugins occasionally and quite like them however how many compressors do you really need, how many eq's etc etc,it does seem like overload at times and which to buy becomes a difficult proposition as there's just so much to choose from, does it all work or is it just plugin bling, like Malu said trying the demo versions first is the best option. Recently I switched to a universal audio interface and have been using their plugins which are superb, I just bought a few of their bass amp emulations from the Ampeg vintage series and I must say they really surprised me on how good they sound and mixed together with my preamp hardware the sound is getting incredible, I'd demoed them vigorously first as you get a two week trial period which is invaluable, what I have learnt in mixing, mastering and general audio production is that every musical situation and track is different, for example what I consider the best bass tone personally is not going to fit every arrangement, and what at first airing might sound unpalatable could be gold in another mix, someone said less is more and I totally endorse this statement unless it's to do with your hair line or bank account.
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