Six Tips for Mixing and Producing with Waves Plugins

In this tutorial, we take a quick look at some of the go to Waves plugins and their applications across Full Rhythm.

For many producers, Waves is one of the first to use it. However, over time it becomes difficult to remember which ones are necessary. There is just a huge amount of Waves extensions!

In this article, we look at some of our favorites for different production and mixing scenarios. Last year we started blending with the Waves plugins tutorial series. We showed how to mix pieces of music of various genres – such as simple house, percussion and deep house – and the stems we used were given to us by our readers and artists.

The mixing tips in this article reflect some of the techniques we look at in the mixing series. As such, it can also be treated as a summary of the main points from those articles as well.

Here’s the path we’ll be working on today with all the Waves plug-ins activated:

And here’s a version with all plugins bypassed:

Note: We recommend proceeding with headphones or studio monitors. As always, click on any image to see a larger version.

Tip 1 – Thin Low Reinforcements with RBass

Waves Renaissance Bass is a great two-parameter tool for adding a few missing subparts to your drum and bass parts.

Here we have the kick and clap loop and we want more of the low end of the kick:

Let’s get into RBass and bring the density around -14. If you’re higher than this, it’s probably too much! It’s all about ingenuity with increasing subs.

It can also help to first find the root tone of the drumstick using frequency analyzers such as the free Span plug-in from Voxnego. This will help you make boosts at the appropriate relevant frequencies. We will choose the boost at 59 Hz. Here’s what the episode looks like with RBass:

The RBass’ light tip can also work well for adding power to the pads and switches.

Tip 2 – Stereo show with Brauer Motion

Show plays a huge role in production. It can bring life back to the elements and help the listener Feel them more. One great way to achieve rendering is through automation. However, drawing in endless envelopes can be boring! This is where auto navigation plugins come in. Waves took auto-animation to a new dimension when it released the Brauer Motion plug-in.

Brauer Motion features four different trigger modes for left modes, different trigger modes and presets for continuous movement across the stereo spectrum.

We’ll try two different presets on the panel and our track effects. Here’s the dry pad:

And here’s the board with the MHB Rhodes Trem 1 preset from Brauer Motion:

The effects stem already contains items that move from left to right. The Brauer Motion will add another dimension, making the part look wider. This is the dry stump:

Here are the effects with Brauer Motion’s HatShifter preset:

Even subtle movement can make a very visible part of the mix.

Six tips for mixing waves

Tip 3 – Shaping the bass tone with CLA Bass

The now ten-year-old CLA Bass remains one of our go-to tools for tackling bass. Many are under the illusion that this plugin only works with electric bass recordings. this is not true! It can do wonders for the composite and sub-bass parts.

Like other plug-ins in the CLA Signature Series, it emulates the workflow and gear of legendary engineer Chris Lord-Alge. Its simple EQ, compression, distortion and display parameters make it very straightforward.

We will apply the Chorus Wire preset to this Dry bass trunk:

Here’s the grittier bass sound with CLA Bass activated:

A helpful tip for this plugin is to make it easy with a SUB dimmer because it can sometimes offer a lot of low-end.

Six tips for mixing waves

Tip 4 – Add attendance to singing

One of the primary CLA plugins is CLA Vocals. This is another time-tested plugin. Like CLA Bass, it has six straight benchmarks. These include faders for EQ, pressure, frequency, delay, and chorus. All effects are of high quality and can make even the simplest recording shine.

here Dry vocals from our rhythm:

With CLA Vocals, it is definitely worth starting with a prep and then adjusting to taste. We took it and ran it through the Play by Play preset for CLA Vocals:

You can hear that the higher frequencies are improved and the loudness is more consistent. The Echo also looks outdated and imperfect, which can work with both hi-fi and lo-fi productions.

Six tips for mixing waves

Tip 5 – Simulate an analog mixing console using NLS

You may have started to think that we love past blasts a lot, but here’s another one from the early 2010s; NLS waves.

The NLS simulates three large-format analog mixing consoles used by engineers Mike Hedges, Spike Stent Lee and Yoad Nevu. The plugin comes as a pair – NLS Channel and NLS Buss. The idea is to put one instance of the NLS Channel plugin on each route in your session and the NLS Buss goes to the main channel.

The main parameters of the NLS channel are the STUDIO buttons and DRIVE knobs. The STUDIO buttons allow you to select the desk you are simulating. The drive allows you to enter harmonic saturation and saturation. This process is an alternative to using different plugins to saturate all of your parts.

Leave a Comment