Waves plugins are made by the software developer Waves Audio, and they’re now one of the most popular collections of software production tools found in professional recording studios around the world.
Waves Audio started in 1992 with the release of their first plugin, the Q10 equalizer, and since then they have released countless numbers of amazing studio processors and effects. Their range now boasts at least 140 individual plugins as well as a couple of hardware devices, and the company also won a Technical Grammy Award in 2011.
This amazing standard of quality does come with a very high price tag, putting it out of reach of the majority of home studio owners and music producers – you won’t find Waves plugins in many budget studios. But they do offer a rental program where you can use the plugins for a certain time period, ideal if you would like to make use of the software for certain projects.
Waves Plugin Bundles
Probably the best way for anyone to discover Waves plugins is through their range of bundles. A Waves bundle is a collection of separate plugins all brought together into one collection. At the moment, there are over 40 different bundles available, ranging from:
- Comprehensive collections like Waves Platinumand Mercury
- Specialist bundles like the Waves GTR series for guitars
- The Signature series, which include the favorite plugins of famous producers like Eddie Kramer (who worked with The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Jimi Hendrix)
Amongst the most well-known bundles are:
- Studio Classics Collection
Each bundle contains a specific set of plugins, so each one is directed towards a particular focus or area of production.
The Range of Plugins
As you know, recording and producing music in your home studio can require you to use lots of different audio effects and processors. Waves cover all of the various types of devices and plugins you could use, with some of the main areas being:
- Compressors, like the Renaissance Compressor and the C4
- Limiters, like the Ultramaximizer range
- Equalizers, like the Q10 and the Renaissance Equalizer
- Reverbs, like the TrueVerb and the IR range
- Delays, like the Doubler and the SuperTap
- Effects, including the GTR guitar range and lots of different modulation effects
- Surround sound and restoration tools
- Vocal processors and effects, including the DeEsser
…and many, many others.
The company’s website has a very cool ‘Waves Suggest‘ feature – you answer a few easy questions and Waves then suggests and recommends specific bundles for you.
Waves also support the following plugin formats:
- Audio Units
Waves Audio Hardware
The success of the Waves plugin range has allowed the company to expand into creating specialist hardware devices for the studio. They currently have two devices on the market:
- The PuigChild: a compressor, named after the Grammy-winning engineer and producer Jack Joseph Puig, who has worked with artists such as John Mayer, Green Day, and U2. The PuigChild takes its direct inspiration from the classic Fairchild 670 compressor.
- The MaxxBCL: this is aimed towards live, broadcast, mastering, and post-productionapplications and contains several different ‘modules’ to give it this flexibility – a compressor, a limiter, and the MaxxBass which can selectively enhance and boost the lower bass frequencies.
The depth and reach of Waves studio software is unlike any other currently available, and its reputation reflects that.
It’s easy to write off the prospect of using Waves plugins (the link takes you to the official site) in your home studio because of the steep price involved, but if you’re really interested in the potential the software offers and the quality it can produce then it’s definitely worth downloading some demos from the Waves Audio website and trying them out – after all, it’s always worth remembering the fantastic rental scheme that is offered if you do want to use them.