These days, most DAW packages come with enough built-in plug-ins and instruments to get you through a mix or a songwriting session comfortably, and to produce something pretty good. But what if you want to squeeze something a bit more professional sounding or just plain different out of your software? Or if your favourite DAW doesn't have the effect you need?
Then you should look to a package of plug-ins like the fantastic Waves Gold Bundle. I'm a long term Apple Logic user (I bought Logic for Atari ST when it first appeared and have been using it on every computer I've owned ever since!), and I bought the Waves Gold Bundle many years ago after falling in love with a couple of the plug-ins.
Here are my favourites:
Compressors. You get no fewer than five compressors in Waves Gold, plus mastering dynamic effects. Renaissance Compressor is my go-to modeller for optical compression, and I use H-Comp for tube compression, particularly on drum sub-mixes.
EQ. You get a graphic and a paragraphic EQ, but my favourites are the V-EQ vintage desk channel emulations. These EQs are warm and lovely, and everything just sounds better with them!
PAZ Analyser. Proper metering. I always have this across my stereo output when I'm mastering, giving master frequency graph, phase correlation, peak and RMS metering. If you're mixing for broadcast, this superb plug-in is pretty vital.
L1 Ultramaximizer. This is the mastering plug-in for adding loudness to a demo mix or radio version of a track. Used appropriately, this will fatten any mix, or just catch stray peaks before they clip. I'm not a huge fan of loudness for loudness's sake, but I do love L1.
Enigma. A modulation effect like no other I've ever used. A combination of phasing, flanging, comb filter and LFO mod capable of sounding very lush or very psychedelic. It's far more interesting than standard DAW mod effects.
Doubler. Basically it's Automatic Double Tracking (ADT) and it's one of the best out there. Very simple to use and very natural sounding, my backing vocals generally get a dose of this one.
There's so much more in Waves than I can cover here. Chorus, flanging, delay, stereo imaging, guitar amps and pedals it's a huge bundle. But one thing is common to all of the plug-ins - the quality and tonal detail is exceptional in every single one of them. I couldn't do without my Waves and I really do use them on every mix I create.
- The Waves Gold Bundle collection is available to buy now from Jigsaw24, and is currently on sale for just £165 ex VAT (an incredible 60% saving on the normal £449 ex VAT list price!). This offer is only available while stocks last though, so grab your Waves Gold Bundle now!
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