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Waves Plugins:
Where It All Started

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In the beginning, there were Waves Plugins.

And then everyone else followed!

This was the company that started it all. One of the first to seriously address music mastering software, too. They set the standard by which all the rest and the best are judged.

Loved and hated depending who you talk to, I’ve been very happy with the results from Waves’ tools. So have my clients. The time I invested was worth it and made all the difference. So count me in the ‘loved’ category!

Where It All Started (For Me Anyway)!

In the late 1990’s I got invited to a demonstration seminar featuring Waves Plugins.

That started something in me!

Waves L1 Limiter
Waves Q10 Paragraphic Equalizer

I was very impressed by the Q10 Equalizer. The S1 Stereo Imager literally opened a whole new concept of audio processing for me. But most of all, I was extremely fascinated at the time by the possibilities of the L1 look ahead peak limiter!

At that time my mastering activities were ‘simple’. They involved:

  • Sequencing songs in albums
  • Working out the timing between songs
  • Creating data sheets for masters
  • Occasional level changes
  • In rare cases an EQ change!

With these Waves plugins, I was suddenly envisioning possibilities: Professional mastering services at affordable prices. Especially when these services were rendered by a dedicated and capable guide - like yours truly!

Then, in 2002, Mister’s Mastering House was born.

Yes. Waves was the catalyst.

Where To Continue

So here are my workhorses from Waves. Beginning with The Mastering Series:

  • Linear Phase EQ
  • Linear Phase Multiband
  • L2 Peak Limiter
Waves Linear Phase EQ
Waves Linear Phase MultiBand
Waves L2 Look Ahead Limiter

I only call on the L2 occasionally to do ‘light’ work. The PSP Xenon and the Voxengo Elephant Limiters are still first in line here. Ultimately, to get the best out of any limiter, you’ve got to put in the best.

I really appreciate the transparency and accuracy of the EQ - both standard and low-band.

As I said before, I’m no fan of multiband compression. Yet, I love the way the Linear Phase MB can shape a mix. It has an unusual way to set compression settings. Absolutely unique is the adaptive threshold setting. Set properly, this keeps a track alive as its volume increases without killing the excitement and dynamics.

Yet quite 'transparent' - when set correctly.

For more of an analog colour, I often choose these from the Renaissance line:

Waves Renaissance Equalizer

The Renaissance EQ has proven to be exceptional on many classical masters and some ‘vintage’ restoration projects.

I use the Renaissance Compressor a lot as an upward expander to bring back a subtle dynamic lift out of old vintage material, again, when I do restoration work.

Waves Renaissance Compressor
Waves Renaissance Bass

My restoration work also benefits from a dash of Renaissance Bass giving a better foundation for vintage tracks when needed.

The Renaissance De-Esser is there for me on the toughest sibilant masters. Like the LP Multiband, its ratios are set in a similar way.

Waves Renaissance DeEsser

Continuing With The Restore Factor

Speaking of restoring, the Restoration Bundle definitely has its place in my toolset.

Waves X-Noise
Waves X-Crackle

Waves X-Click
Waves X-Hum

The X-Noise is great at taking the veil off of a track that has a little too much noise buildup. And it can do so without a trace.

The X-Crackle is my go to choice for the scratchiest of vinyl restorations.

For De-clicking I honestly prefer the Sonnox De-Clicker inside of WaveLab 7.

While WaveLab’s PostFilter is my first choice for hum elimination, it’s nice to know I can fall back on X-Hum if I need to shape that control. Especially now that Roger Nichols’ Uniquelizer is heading for retirement in my line up.

Waves Z-Nois

Z-Noise is similar to Voxengo’s Redunoise, but fewer control points. In its favour Z-Noise has an adaptable threshold. Also balancing it out is its unique ability to extract out a noise profile while music is still playing.

Nice Surprises

The S1 Stereo Shuffler enhances an image.

Waves S

Surprise?! It does so with mid-side technique. And in addition adds in stereo shuffling. Great for restoring, maintaining, enhancing a stereo image.

Waves MV2

The MV-2 works rather nicely to lift low level material into the realm of the hearing. As long as I use it ‘delicately’, it works surprisingly well as an upward compressor particularly on classical material.

More Surprises

Being a long time customer of Waves can have its surprises.

For instance, one day while getting an update, I got these added to my collection!:

Waves V-Series VEQ3
Waves V-Series V-Comp
Waves V-Series VEQ4

The V-Series:

  • VEQ3
  • VEQ4
  • V-COMP

Not that I need more analog color choices! Still - I’ve been eager to try out some of these on a well-deserving mix!

With Loudness Control coming to a head with current legislations, the Loudness Meter is also a surprise and welcome addition.

Waves Loudness Meter

The Big Attraction with Waves Plugins:

Ease of operation.

This is an important consideration for music mastering software. Fewer controls; faster, better results. And results are what people are after. Professional, affordable results.

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