Recording Software

August 1, 2004

Waves Musician’s Bundle

Tested By Barry Cleveland

The five plug-ins included in the Musician’s Bundle ($200 retail/$149 street) are particularly useful to musicians. Although some of the plug-ins are sophisticated and offer lots of programming options, their very user-friendly graphic interfaces make even complex functions easy to comprehend. They also come loaded with great presets that can be used as is, or as starting points for creating your own effects. I tested the Native VST version on a modified Mac G4 (1GHz processor/1GB RAM/OS9.2.2) within Digital Performer 3.02 and Peak 3.21 host software. Waves plug-ins are compatible with TDM, RTAS, AudioSuite, VST, Direct X (Windows), MAS (Mac), and Audio Units (Mac OSX) formats. The functionality of some of the plug-ins differs according to the host application.

Super Tap is an extremely flexible multi-tap delay that gives you all the standard mono and stereo delay effects—including very convincing emulations of classic analog and tape delays—as well as allowing you to modulate, filter/EQ, pan, loop, and otherwise manipulate them into myriad combinations. You can select either two- or six-tap versions—with up to six seconds of delay on each tap—and easily adjust them using the buttons, sliders, and other “click and move” controls, including a Tap-tempo pad. I particularly liked the “Oil Tanker,” “Reverse,” and three tape emulation presets.

MetaFlanger offers almost unlimited flanging/modulation power. In addition to the usual delay and modulation controls, you can choose between sine and triangle modulation waveforms, reverse the polarity of the dry and/or modulated signals, filter/EQ the wet signal, and delay the dry and wet signals equally for authentic tape-flange effects. Many of the flanger, phaser, and chorus presets are stunning, particularly “Mutron Biphase,” “MXR Grey Stomp,” “Itchycute Perk,” and “Ampex 440.”

Doubler is a double-tracking effect that creates up to four additional “voices,” each with dedicated delay, detune/modulation, octaver, filter/EQ, pan, and gain settings. The Doubler goes way beyond simple track thickening, however, allowing you to create all sorts of mono-to-mono, mono-to-stereo, and stereo-to-stereo sounds—including Harmonizer-type effects and over-the-top percussion tratments.

Renaissance Axx is a super-simple, three-control dynamics processor optimized for guitar, bass, and other instruments that is designed to demystify compression for the novice engineer. You simply dial in the attack time and threshold, adjust the output gain, and you’re there. Everything else is handled automatically. Despite its “instrument” orientation, the Axx sounds great on just about everything.

Renaissance Vox is the vocal version of the Axx, and it’s even simpler to use. There’s a slider that simultaneously controls compression, limiting, and make-up gain, and a Gate slider that actually controls a downward expander for reducing noise. There are only four presets but, hey, even a chimp could get great sounds with this.

Quite the Quintet

The Musician’s Bundle provides most of the basic processing tools you need to record and mix professional sounding tracks, and do it in a way that even non-technically-inclined recordists will appreciate—and that’s why the these little magic-makers receive an Editors’ Pick Award.

Waves, (865) 546-6115;


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