- Plugin Alliance dearVR MONITOR, battle of the virtual mix rooms for headphones plugins. #Waves #PluginAlliance Both of these plug.
- KNOXVILLE, TN, July 5, 2017 — Waves Audio, a leading provider of digital signal processing solutions and digital music production tools, announces an update to the Waves Nx Virtual Mix Room plugin – a new headphone EQ calibration feature.
|Founder||Gilad Keren, Chief Executive Officer|
Meir Shaashua, Chief Technological Officer
|Products||Plug-ins for audio production, audio equipment|
Waves Audio Ltd. is a developer and supplier of professional digital audio signal processing technologies and audio effects, used in recording, mixing, mastering, post production, broadcast, and live sound. The company's corporate headquarters and main development facilities are located in Tel Aviv, with additional offices in the United States, China, and Taiwan, and development centers in India and Ukraine.
Waves Nx is a virtual monitoring plugin that simulates the ideal acoustics of a high-end mix room – inside your headphones. Powered by Waves’ groundbreaking Nx technology, Waves Nx lets you hear, on headphones, the same natural depth, natural reflections, and panoramic stereo image you would be hearing from speakers in an actual room.
In 2011, Waves won a Technical Grammy Award.
Waves Audio was founded in 1992 by Gilad Keren and Meir Sha'ashua in Tel Aviv, Israel. Later that year, Waves released its first product, the Q10 Paragraphic Equalizer. The Q10 was the audio industry's first commercially available audio plugin.
Waves' L1 Ultramaximizer, released in 1994, became a prominent plugin, with some publications pointing to it as contributing to the 'loudness war' behind modern music mastering. Record producer Tony Maserati said of early Waves software, '[they] were the only plugins [that were] quality and they were creative.' Waves later launched a signature line of Maserati inspired plugins.
Waves launched the Waves Signature Series working with music producers and engineers to explore their unique sounds. In 2009, as part of the Signature Series, Waves released the Eddie Kramer Signature Series of five plug-ins focusing on classic rock. The Chris Lord-Alge Signature Series followed in 2010.
In 2011, the company was honored with a Technical Grammy Award for 'contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field.'
The Waves Signature Series continued in 2013 with the Manny Marroquin Signature Series. In 2015, Waves worked with music producer Butch Vig to release the Butch Vig Vocals plug-in as part of the Waves Signature Series.
In 2018, Waves released the Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain as part of their Abbey Road collection. The chain is modeled after the consoles used in the Abbey Road Studios mastering suites.
Waves Audio sells over 200 software products dedicated to music production, engineering, mixing, and mastering, in addition to a variety of virtual instruments and effects. Notable software includes:
|Q1||Equalizer||1992||First audio plugin|
|L1 Ultramaximizer||Limiter||1994||L2 and L3 released in 2000 and 2005 respectively|
|SSL 4000 Collection||Channel strips for compression and EQ||2006|
|Renaissance Maxx||Analog gear emulation plugins|
|API Collection||Multiple, modeling Automated Processes, Inc. consoles||2007|
|Eddie Kramer Signature Series||Classic rock-oriented virtual instrument plugins||2009|
|SoundGrid||Plugin and DAW processing platform||2010|
|Vocal Rider||Automatic vocal volume leveler||2010|
|CLA-2A||Compressor, limiter||Part of the CLA Signature series|
|NS1 Noise Suppressor||Noise suppressor||2012|
|Manny Marroquin Signature Series||Mixing plugins||2013|
|C6 Multiband Compressor||Compressor||2013|
|WLM Meter||Volume metering||2014|
|Dugan Automixer||Multiple microphone vocal mixer||2017|
|Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain||Multiple, modeling Abbey Road Studios equipment||2018|
|B360 Ambisonics Encoder||360 degree audio converter and mixer||2018|
|Scheps Omni Channel||Andrew Scheps signature mixing channel strip||2018|
|Submarine||Subharmonic frequency generator||2019|
|Bass Fingers||Virtual instrument plugin||2019|
|Waves Tune||Pitch-correction and auto-tuning in real time||2005||119th AES CONVENTION, NEW YORK, NY, October 7, 2005|
|Waves Tune Real-Time||Real-time version of Waves Tune||2016|
|Nx Virtual Mix Room||Mixing plugin designed for headphones|
|Multirack||Virtual effects rack for live performance|
|SuperRack||A virtual platform that incorporates plug-ins into mixing consoles||2019|
|Abbey Road Studio 3||Studio monitor & Room emulation||2019||Working with Nx|
|Abbey Road Saturator||EMI TG12321 emulation||2019|
Waves has launched plug-ins in collaboration with Abbey Road Studios, such as the King's Microphones plug-in released in 2011, the REDD Console plug-ins released in 2012, the J37 tape saturation plug-in, the Abbey Road Reverb Plates plugin, the RS56 Passive EQ plug-in released in 2013, and the EMI TG12345 plug-in released in 2014. Other software includes the Torque drum tone shifter plug-in.
In 2010, Waves announced the release of its SoundGrid technology at the Winter NAMM show. SoundGrid was created to make Waves audio processors available on a low-latency platform. The SoundGrid system consists of a Linux-based server that runs the SoundGrid environment, compatible plug-ins, a Mac or Windows control computer, and a digital-analog interface for input/output (I/O). It is used for live sound, broadcast, and post production—and provides a low latency environment for audio processing on certain hardware audio mixing consoles, e.g., DiGiCo, Allen & Heath, and Yamaha.
Under its Maxx brand, Waves offers its technologies as licensable algorithms for consumer electronics. Technologies from the Maxx brand have been used in products including computers, laptops, smartphones, VoIP and portable loudspeaker systems from companies such as Dell,Toshiba,Sony, Oppo, OnePlus,Sanyo, JVC, and Altec Lansing.
Waves launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2016 to help fund the production of Waves Nx, a technology that transmits 3D audio on headphones in stereo or 5.1/7.1 surround sound. The technology generates a three-dimensional virtual audioscape that allows users to 'detect which direction sounds are coming from.'
Along with the Waves Nx, Waves has also developed the Waves B360 Ambisonics Encoder to assist engineers mixing 360-degree and VR audio projects. Audeze Mobius headphones are operated with Waves' Nx technology.
Currently, Waves Maxx technology is available on IoT, mobile, smart assistance, and communication devices. Waves Maxx partnerships include Google, LG, Acer, Fitbit, Qualcomm, and Intel. Additionally, Waves Nx technology for 3D audio is available in gaming headphones and other devices by Acer, and Audeze. Film score mixer Alan Meyerson said of Waves' technology, '[it has] changed the sound of film scores.'
Copyright and trademark lawsuits
In 2010, Waves Audio was involved in two lawsuits regarding intellectual property infringements and illegal use of its software. In one lawsuit, with the defendant Skyline Recording Studios NYC, Waves won, and in the other, with the defendant Quad Recording Studios, the defendant admitted liability.
In 2013, Waves Audio sued Motorola Mobility for allegedly infringing on its Maxx trademark with the Droid Razr Maxx and Droid Razr Maxx HD phones.
- ^ ab'Technical GRAMMY Award: Waves Audio Ltd'. 2011-02-11. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
- ^ ab'Waves Audio To Receive Technical Grammy Award (ProSoundWeb)'. ProSoundWeb. 2010-12-23. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
- ^Tom Teicholz. 'MØ Waves, MØ Better Sound'.
- ^Richard James Burgess (2014). The History of Music Production. Oxford University Press.
- ^Rounik Sethi (June 7, 2016). 'Behind The Scenes at Waves: An Interview With Mick Olesh'. Ask Audio. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- ^Twells, John (October 1, 2016). 'The 14 pieces of software that shaped modern music'. FactMag.com. Fact. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
- ^Tom Teicholz. 'MØ Waves, MØ Better Sound'.
- ^'The Eddie Kramer Collection - Waves Audio Signature Series Software Plug-ins'. Routenote. October 19, 2009. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- ^'Waves Audio Chris Lord-Alge Artist Signature Collection'. FOH Online. March 16, 2010. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- ^'Waves Audio Introduces Manny Marroquin Signature Series Collection'. ProSound Web. March 19, 2013. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- ^'Waves Audio Now Shipping Butch Vig Vocals Plug-In'. ProSound Web. March 20, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- ^ abRamsey, Colby (October 22, 2018). 'Waves pairs with Abbey Road on TG Mastering Chain plugin'. Audio Media International.com. Audio Media International. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
- ^Waves Products. Waves Audio
- ^'Waves Audio and Abbey Road Studios Offer The king's Microphones Plugin'. FOH Online. May 20, 2011. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- ^'Waves Audio, Abbey Road Studios Unveil REDD Console Plug-ins'. Soundworks Collection. December 10, 2012. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- ^'Waves Audio and Abbey Road Studios introduce the J37 Tape Saturation plug-in'. Guitar Player. October 16, 2013. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- ^'Waves Audio and Abbey Road Studios Unveil RS56 Plugin'. Gear Junkies. June 13, 2013. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- ^'Waves Audio & Abbey Road Studios Now Shipping EMI TG12345 Plug-In'. ProSound Web. October 8, 2014. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- ^'Waves Announces SoundGrid Audio-Over-Ethernet Networking/Processing Platform At Winter NAMM 2010'. ProSoundWeb. January 19, 2010. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- ^'Dell Unveils Redesigned Inspiron Laptop Portfolio'. Hot Hardware. 2012-06-05. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
- ^'Toshiba Improves Laptop Sound Quality by Enlisting Waves MaxxAudio'. Mobile Magazine. 2007-08-22. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
- ^'OnePlus Partners with Waves to add MaxxAudio to the One'. Retrieved 2015-03-13.
- ^Max Langridge (July 13, 2016). 'Wednesday Wrap: Tidal and Humax updates, Waves 3D Audio and Teufel surround sound setups'. What Hi Fi?. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- ^Julian Horsey (June 23, 2016). 'Waves NX Offers 3D Audio On Any Headphones (video)'. Geeky Gadgets. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- ^'Audeze launches their Mobius 3D Planar Magnetic Gaming Headphones'. POCNetwork.com. POC Network. December 17, 2018. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
- ^'Waves Audio Shipping Ambisonics 360-Degree Audio Production Tools'. AVNetwork.com. AV Network. October 16, 2017. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
- ^Bob Fekete. 'HEADPHONES HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2018: THE BEST GAMING HEADSETS OF THE YEAR'.
- ^Tom Teicholz. 'MØ Waves, MØ Better Sound'.
- ^'Recording: Waves Audio Prevails Against Copyright Infringement'. Pro Sound Web. 2010-05-19. Retrieved 2014-03-12.
- ^'Software Beware'. Grammy.com. 2013-06-03. Retrieved 2014-03-13.
- ^'Waves Audio Slaps Motorola With 'Maxx' Trademark Suit'. Law 360. 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2014-03-13.
- Barry Wood (2008). Waves Plug-Ins Workshop: Mixing by the Bundle. Course Technology.
I’m constantly on the lookout for great tools to use for production when using headphones. I know it’s not ideal, and I'd rather use studio monitors when possible, but I work a lot with headphones (to produce music when the baby sleeps, etc.), so anything that can improve this gets tested in my books. So when I saw that Waves had released the NX plugin for mixing with headphones, I had to try it out. It works great, but there’s something extra that I really like with this plugin. Read on and you’ll see what I mean.
What is NX?
What NX does is it creates a virtual mix room for you when you’re using headphones. So what’s missing from headphones when you use them to mix is the natural depth of a room, and the natural reflections that occur. This results in a sort of warped sense of the stereo image of the music you’re listening to on headphones. And because of this, what most often happens is that you over compensate on the mix elements like panning tracks too wide or applying too much reverb. This is where this plugin shines—it uses Waves new advanced NX technology to replicate the sound of an actual room when you’re wearing your headphones. And I must say it’s very impressive.
It's worth noting that there's 14-day demo, so you can try it out and hear how well it works. But beware, if you use headphones a lot you're gonna definitely have to add this to your arsenal of tricks.
First, there is a specific way to set up this plugin in your DAW. You need to add an instance of it as the last plugin on your master output. So if you have some mastering plugins on your master output, make sure to add it after them in the chain. Then you’ll go about your mixing with your headphones on, but make sure to bypass this plugin before you export/bounce out your audio. As this plugin is only being used as a reference, you don’t want to apply the NX imaging to your final track.
What is Head Tracking?
NX uses a feature called head tracking which uses your camera on your computer to track the movements of your head. Notice on the plugin how when you move your head around, it picks it up in the plugin. So the plugin uses face recognition technology to determine where your head is in this virtual space. You can even measure your head circumference to give the face recognition software more accurate details. But I found the default settings to work well (at least my head size).
It creates a virtual sweet spot for you, and if you move around too much, you can easily reset this sweet spot to get the optimum mixing position in this virtual room. I found that it was cool using this head tracking feature, especially when you move your head around like 30–60 degrees and hear more coming out the one speaker than the other because your ear is perceived to be closer to that speaker. But it did create some weird phasing issues on the sound when moving around. So I actually preferred to switch the head tracking feature off even though it is impressive. But try it out, maybe you won’t mind the phasing so much.
Tweaking the Virtual Room Settings
You can tweak this virtual room. There’s the room ambience section where you can increase the room size by imposing more virtual room reflections. So depending on how big you want your virtual room, this can be easily adjusted. Then next to the Room Ambience parameter you have the speaker position where you can choose where to place your speakers. You can adjust how wide apart you want the speakers and you can rotate them from 0–90 degrees apart, plus rotate them 360 degrees around your head placement.
The best thing of all about this plugin is that it has surround components so that you can mix a surround project with headphones. This is awesome. There’s 5.0 and 5.1. So it even caters for the LFE channel. That is pretty insane. But bear in mind that it will be downmixing to stereo for your headphones, so you will only get the perceived idea of a surround image in your headphones, but it still sounds amazing.
I tested this out by loading up a surround project in Logic, and then I added the Surround-Stereo component of NX onto my master channel. I was then able to pan the surround items around in the virtual surround space and hear them in my headphone mix.
Now here’s what I found really amazing, I could use the NX plugin to create a binaural or surround mix of my track. In this scenario, I am leaving the plugin enabled on my master output when I bounce out the track. So what I did was pan some mono elements around on surround tracks, and man it created an interesting mix.
So here’s the example of the Stereo Drums I have in the song:
And here’s a short audio sample of the surround mix of those drums. Take a listen to how the hi-hat is moving around in the surround field. And also the snare. At each snare hit, I placed it near a different speaker in the surround field.
I’m certainly going to be using this plugin a lot more to create some interesting virtual-3D headphones mixes of my songs.
Overall the Waves NX is a great plugin to add to your music production toolkit, especially if you work with headphones a lot as I do. But what is really impressive about the plugin is its ability to impose a 3D-surround sound to your stereo headphones. I find this feature insanely cool and can’t wait to use it more to create interesting surround soundscapes for headphones.
Pros: Well priced for what it does. Gives you that room environment that is missing with headphone mixing. Can be used to create surround sound-style mixes for headphones.
Cons: Head-tracking is interesting but sounds like gives phasing issues with the sound. Maybe it’ll be better with the headset that gets released.