Best Waves VST’s and Plugins For 2017 [GUIDE]

Must Have Waves Plugin Bundle: They’re a Standard, But It Depends on Your Taste.

Best Waves VST PluginsWhenever you meet another music producer, plugins are probably a routine conversation.

Part of that routine sentence you just said were the words “waves plugins” (and Izotope comes second).

Honestly, I’m a big fan of Waves. There are no artifacts when it comes to adding equalization.

There’s great warmth and character in their audio saturation.

It’s like you have a rack of analog effects right inside your laptop that you just carry around by hand.

So lets start by checking out the….

1. The API 2500 and API 560

Dynamics Processor API 2500

API 2500

Waves have gone through lengths to emulate some classic rack sounds from the 1960s. The Waves API 2500 and API 560, created in association with API itself, are respectively a stereo compressor and a graphic equalizer.

The API 2500 allows you to shape the transient’s arrival in your mix, which then contributes to highly accurate tone design for instruments and mixes. It has it’s distinct vintage sound.

API 560 10-Band Graphic Equalizer

The API 560 is a vintage EQ plugin produced by API in 1967 which gave accurate frequency filtering and very high headroom. It has enabled effective signal enhancement and room tuning. With a 12 db of boost/cut per band and extreme Q narrowing for your tracks you’d definitely shape something that has character and accuracy at the same time.

Check also this Full Review About The API 2500 Compressor[/read]

2. L1 and L2 Ultramaximizers

Peak Limiter Plugin Ultramaximizer L1

Peak Limiter Plugin Ultramaximizer L1

Ultramaximizers is definitely the term I would use for Waves’ L1 and L2 Ultramaximizers. As a brick-wall limiter, no audio signal passes through it.Read more...

3. The L3 Multimaximizer

L3 Multimaximizer All In One Plugin For Mastering

L3 Multimaximizer All In One Plugin For Mastering

What made the L1 ultramaximizer special and the L2 greatly distinct is because they function so great as a combination.Read more...

4. The Scheps 73

3-band EQ Andrew Scheps 73

3-band EQ Andrew Scheps 73

Waves has a penchant for re-creating classic on-board mixers and the Neve 1073 was an eye on their list. This vintage EQ is something that’s special.Read more...

5. H-Delay Analog Delay

Get Oldskool Effects With the H-Delay Hybrid Delay

Get Oldskool Effects With the H-Delay Hybrid Delay

Vintage delays are everything you’ll need to get that vintage tone. Of course, these delays should have good phasing, organic flanging and very good slap-back on echo.Read more...

6. MaxxBass

Get your Lows Done With Maxxbass

Get your Lows Done With Maxxbass

MaxxBass is one unique bass enhancement plugin because it analyzes your signal’s bass end. So for recording bass guitars or bass-y instruments, this is a must.Read more...

7. Renaissance Compressor

Classic Warm Renaissance Compressor

Classic Warm Renaissance Compressor

Every audio engineer’s nightmare is a compressor that kills all the dynamics. Fortunately, Waves created something that delivers natural and fluid tube compression.Read more...


Abbey Roads REDD Consoles

Abbey Roads REDD Consoles

Abbey Road Studios in your laptop? No, I’m not kidding you. However, this might not work for everyone, especially those trying to create some futuristic sounds from electronic dance music. Read more...

9. Vitamin Sonic Enhancer

Multiband Harmonic Vitamin Sonic Enhancer For Mixing And Mastering

Vitamin Sonic Enhance

As the name implies, it provides the essential nutrients for any starving track. Track to thin? Have a go with it using some parallel multiband enhancers. Read more...

You could also control the studio width and create some great punch control to accentuate dynamics.

The best part about this plugin in my experience is the crossover frequency throughout each band. It helps create a genuine studio atmosphere in my opinion.

I usually use the Vitamin Sonic Enhancer whenever I have no time to re-track guitar tracks. Sometimes, the microphone is a bit off from the cabinet. It just needs a little reduction in certain frequencies, them slowly harmonically-enriching them using this plugin. Try it, it works for me!

Waves Vitamin Sonic Enhancer Review[/read]

10. PuigTec EQP-1A and Meq 5

Jack Joseph PuigTec EQP-1A

Jack Joseph PuigTec EQP-1A

Waves’ emulation of PuigTec’s EQP-1A is golden. It’s precise cut and boost helps in fattening up some of the thinnest guitar tracks I know. Read more...

11. Noise Suppressor NS1

Noise Suppressor NS1

Noise Suppressor NS1

We’re never fond of guitar hum noise, or the additional buzz of acoustic instruments and VST drums when we want a tight mix, specifically for electronic dance music. Read more...

12. Reel ADT

Abbey Road Studios Reel ADT

Abbey Road Studios Reel ADT

Double tracking is troublesome especially for guitarists. Not every performance is the same. However, Waves’ Reel ADT is something else. Read more...

13. Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter

Get Distinctive Sounds with Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter

Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter

When I first tried this plugin, I didn’t really like the result. It was a bit thin, smushy and all over the place. Read more...

14. TrueVerb


True Verb

Early reflection is crucial if you want to create a warm entrance for a pad synth. Read more...

15. Center

Get Final Mix Done With Center


During your final track mastering, sometimes you wish you had mixed the vocals louder, or you just wanted to make the drums roomier, especially when you’re using triggers or some tight kick samples. Read more...

16. Vocal Rider

Keep Levels Steady With Vocal Rider

Vocal Rider

As its name implies, it works to maintain the vocal dynamics instead of killing it with a single loud compressor. Read more...

17. MetaFlanger

Vintage Tape Metaflanger

Meta Flanger

Tape flanging is very warm and very attractive, and you want your jet sweeps flawless as you intend it to. Read more...

18. SSL G-Master Buss Compressor

The Waves SSL G-Master Buss Compressor

SSL G-Master Buss Compressor

You could always pull out your favorite compressor and run it as an insert in a bus. Read more...

19. GEQ Graphic Equalizer

GEQ Graphic Equalizer

GEQ Graphic Equalizer

The daddy of all EQs, wave’s GEQ resembles that large EQ rack you see during live events.This is great especially if you want to have a precise frequency reduction in your spectrum without altering the other frequencies too greatly. Read more...

Quality Deal

  1. Most Waves Bundles come with its standard compressor, limiter and equalization. These basic sets would cost less than $30 or $50. However, if you’re just beginning, or you’d just need to make a class understand how plugins work, Waves Bundles are great deals.
  2. Their easy to understand interfaces quickly becomes intuitive for users. The change in nuance and sound is also easily recognizable (unless you’re not using up-to-par speakers)
  3. In short, it helps demonstrate how plugins really work with great quality.

Specialized Plugins

Audio Engineer Chris Lord-Alge In The Studio Mixing And Mastering

Sometimes, music producers need that unique feature to enable their sounds to retain a specific quality they’d like it to have. Waves creates some special plugins, and even presets, from famous producers worldwide. Waves had collaborated with Chris Lord-Alge, an award-winning music producer, in creating the CLA line of Waves Plugins.

Personally, I found his presets for Waves pretty useful. And truth be told, the interface is simple enough for any beginner to understand and emulate for their future mixes.

VST Instruments

Waves Bundles From A To Z

I know there are many free virtual instruments all over the Internet. You could even download them illegally. But there’s a different investment when you go for Waves’ GTR solo. Sure you could say Amplitube or Guitar Rig had done better, but GTR solo creates some of the best tones ever on my guitar.

And, like any good producer, you could use GTR solo to preamp your bass, your synths, possibly any instrument in your mix that you’d want to give a specific character you couldn’t achieve in a live recording.

For Synths check out this article: The Top 50 Synth VST Plugins On The Market

and if you like great bass sounds check this out: The Best 50 Bass VST Plugins In The World

Which Bundle to Choose?

Waves Plugins are the standard when it comes to creating beautiful and industry-grade mixes. However, there are more situation-specific and more special plugins out there. If you plan on buying a bundle, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I need all the plugins in the bundle?
  • Do I know how to use all the plugins in the bundle?
  • Have I done enough research to know how each plugin works?

Before you choose a bundle, contact a friend or a pal who would lend you their license for a day or a week. Learn how each VST plugin works and how it could contribute to your tracks. Don’t go for a Waves Gold or Platinum instantly. Mess around with smaller packages before you make an investment.

Now that’s settled, let’s talk about some of the plugins I really Like.

Which waves plugins do you use most?

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  • Waves definitely has a good repertoire of emulations of famous mixing and mastering boards. While they may not be 100% accurate, they are very useful especially if you want to re-create certain album and song sounds and characteristics.
  • However, consider Waves only as a “taste-test” when going for the characteristic and quality you want. Surely, you’ll get a result similar to how mainstream music in all genres goes unless you’re often going for extreme settings.
  • Be sure to try other plugins, free, cheap or not, because not one plugin could address all the issues you face in music production.

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