One Knob Series – Quality Colour Correction
When discussing Waves Audio plugins I had always imagined a much revered studio space with a high profile master producer slavishly refining the technical complexity of a Waves audio processor while providing a definitive signature stamp and a friendly professional face to the Waves Audio plugin catalogue. This long standing romantic ideal had become inseparable for me…that is…until now. The release of Waves ‘One Knob Series’ has quickly dispelled such romantic folly. As the name suggests, ‘One Knob’ plugins provide only one obvious source of adjustment with the technical interface you would normally associate with a Waves audio plugin being totally removed in this series.
The Waves ‘One Knob Series’ is a collection of seven effect processors available in both stereo and mono and designed as quick fix plugins for use during the mixing stages. The range of effects include:
Brighter – An intelligent treble booster that adds brightness from the mid-high range on up
Driver – capable of everything from light overdrive to full-on distortion
Filter – A powerful sweepable filter with switchable resonance modes
Louder – A combination of Peak Limiting and Low Level compression
Phatter – A bass booster that provides a quick way to add bottom
Pressure – A versatile dynamics processor
Wetter – An ambience plugin for instant depth and atmosphere
To describe the plugins in use I would ask you to consider your mix as a visual canvass and the One Knob plugins as the equivalent of colour correctors which would, in turn; add intensity and clarity to the levels and to the hue and saturation of the musical phrases or make a bolder statement to the deeper resonances perhaps? There is a terrific range of dynamic application from within each plugin. Some plugins require higher settings for more noticable effect and additional trimming of the peak levels, but the colouring capability of the ‘Pressure’ plugin on a drum track or say of the ‘Brighter’ or ‘Driver’ plugin on a keyboard part or the ‘Wetter’ on an acoustic instrument part provides a welcome pallette of mixing gloss to the production process. When using the automation of a host DAW, and loaded in a channel as a series, there is the possibility of extended use to produce colourful evolving sequences which may be useful as transitions or spot effects.
At first glance I found the simplicity of the plugin interface demeaning. I could not break through the thought of an intentional dumbing down of the professional audio production process for the sake of mass appeal and of the quick fix. The design shift still remains an issue for me because the education of seeing the physical settings of each effect in progress would have been an invaluable lesson to learn. However, despite their simplicity the effects are cool, top drawer and deliver immediate solutions complete with the renowned Waves footprint of high-end sound quality. Having the ‘One Knob Series’ plugins available in my production toolbox, is, without a doubt, a tenfold enhancement. The ease at which quality results are acheived is a major advantage especially the saving of valuable production time.
Brought to you courtesy of Soundwrx Digital