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Best alternative to Waves Abbey Road Chambers?

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Best alternative to Waves Abbey Road Chambers?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:24 pm

I've just about come to the end of my tether with Waves. I've spent a fortune on their products over the years but their annual 'update' plans are ridiculously expensive, just to ensure their products you've already bought still work when eg Apple change their OS etc.

So I was thinking 'what can I absolutely not do without' and the short answer was Abbey Road Chambers, Kramer Tape and the MV2 compressor.

So is there another verb out there that is as realistic sounding as AR Chambers, that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? AR is startling in its ability to sound like a real chamber.
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Re: Best alternative to Waves Abbey Road Chambers?

Postby MOF » Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:51 pm

My suggestion entails buying into the UAD interfaces or satellites - Capitol chambers.
https://www.uaudio.com/uad-plugins/reve ... mbers.html
If you do invest there are also the AKG BX20 spring reverb and the AMS RMX16 reverb to have a go at your wallet too, plus others.
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Re: Best alternative to Waves Abbey Road Chambers?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:55 pm

I don't have AR Chambers so I can't compare directly but when it comes to matters reverb I tend to recommend 2CAudio Aether as it has a huge amount of configurability, comes with a large number of presets and sounds wonderful.

There are sound demos as well as a trial download available at the link above. Martin gave it a glowing review in Sound On Sound a while back too. It's been updated since that review and although the user interface is a little unusual I do find it very usable.

They also do a 'lite' version (which also sounds wonderful) called Breeze.
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Re: Best alternative to Waves Abbey Road Chambers?

Postby Sam Inglis » Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:07 pm

Agreed, the UA Capitol Chambers plug-in is great.

There are also some very nice chamber IRs in HOFA's IQ-Reverb and EastWest's QL Spaces II, but perhaps not enough to justify buying either for those alone.

I have just reviewed Liquidsonics' Cinematic Rooms which has a lot of lovely chamber presets. I'm not sure if they are directly comparable to those in Abbey Road or Capitol Chambers -- they are very much "nice algorithmic reverb does chamber" rather than "warts and all recreation of chamber" -- but they're really good.
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Re: Best alternative to Waves Abbey Road Chambers?

Postby Zukan » Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:39 pm

I don't update my WUP and have no problems using their plugins.

I have a ton of excellent reverb plugins and I am mostly using Phoenixverb and Excalibur as Izotope have been running some mad deals on older Exponential Audio plugins. I paid £8 for each one. I have most chambers covered through other plugins, so not too worried if Abbey Rd Chambers dies a death although it really does the job well. Phoenixverb has chambers but not Excalibur. FabFilter Pro R also has an assortment of chambers. Eventide's Ultrareverb also has chambers. Valhalla Room also has chambers.

MV2 is ok and I do use it. Hornet's Dynamic plugin does the same but for some insane reason has no makeup gain although it has more in the editing department. FabFilter's MBC is the best of the lot as it can perform upward/downward compression and expansion, but it does cost a sum.
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Re: Best alternative to Waves Abbey Road Chambers?

Postby The Elf » Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:21 pm

+1 for Phoenixverb.

I have a lot of Waves' plug-ins. I never update them either.
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Re: Best alternative to Waves Abbey Road Chambers?

Postby MOF » Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:31 pm

I have a lot of Waves' plug-ins. I never update them either.

I presume you’re not on Mac’s Catalina, I was on High Sierra and they all worked, but not on Catalina.
I had an offer to upgrade all 26 Waves plugins for £140@ and decided to spend the money and get on with using them rather than swapping OS bootups on another drive, and then not being able to use the latest version of Logic.
I did see a Terminal hack on the internet but decided against it.
Obviously I would have preferred to spend that money on new stuff but I can see that Waves has to fund development, OS changes are not their fault, and also a good deal of those plugins were only £30@, not the many hundreds of pounds they used to be.
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Re: Best alternative to Waves Abbey Road Chambers?

Postby The Elf » Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:07 pm

MOF wrote:
I have a lot of Waves' plug-ins. I never update them either.
I presume you’re not on Mac’s Catalina, I was on High Sierra and they all worked, but not on Catalina.
I'm not on Mac.
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Re: Best alternative to Waves Abbey Road Chambers?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:10 pm

I presume you’re not on Mac’s Catalina, I was on High Sierra and they all worked, but not on Catalina.

I'm on Catalina now and have v9 and v10 Waves versions, all of which work fine once I rescanned them in Logic's plugin manager. But I get an error message on approx every other launch of Logic which says "Waves License Engine is damaged, chuck in the bin." So I click OK to chuck it in the bin then move it back to its home in the Waves library folder and everything works fine. I queried this with Waves and they said "It's because you're on Catalina", you need to spend £180 odd quid to get everything to V11. Which presumably will need to be paid again in a year's time. Not playing this game when Soundtoys, Eventide and all my other plugins from the big boys work fine and give me free updates.

Sorry, didn't want this to be anti-Waves rant thread, but the other thing about Waves is that their update/licence interface/system is also total pants. I've had more issues with Waves plugins suddenly not working or causing Logic crashes/freezes than any other supplier. As I say, I spent a ridiculous amount of time manually authorising each Waves plugin one by one in Logic on my new Mac, as Catalina asks you to authorise each one because it doesn't recognise Waves as a safe source of apps etc, when every other supplier eg Soundtoys, Eventid, etc simply asked for a single account login etc and authorised the lot in one go. If Waves were better I might consider the update costs.
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Re: Best alternative to Waves Abbey Road Chambers?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:28 pm

MV2 is ok and I do use it. Hornet's Dynamic plugin does the same but for some insane reason has no makeup gain although it has more in the editing department
Top tip, cheers! And it's only 6.5 Euros!
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Re: Best alternative to Waves Abbey Road Chambers?

Postby MOF » Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:57 pm

Sorry, didn't want this to be anti-Waves rant thread, but the other thing about Waves is that their update/licence interface/system is also total pants
I can’t contradict you on that one. It seems to work fine and then you boot up Logic and find that not all the plugins have been recognised, even with this latest paid for suite of version 11 plugins, something I’ll have to sort out. Every other plugin I own has worked with the latest version of Logic. I thought it was just me.
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Re: Best alternative to Waves Abbey Road Chambers?

Postby CS70 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:11 pm

As the Elf, I am on PC and haven't had to change my Waves plugs for years.

But seeing it from the software developer point of view, there are hefty costs associated in both adapting a huge codebase (as the plugs undoubtedly are) to the vagaries of a manufacturer that every few years ignores back compatibility, and maintaining several versions working with all the different versions of an operating system.

These costs need to be recouped (plus of course a profit made). If Apple ensured back compatibility, there would be no need to remake them and therefore re-buy them.
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Re: Best alternative to Waves Abbey Road Chambers?

Postby MOF » Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:20 pm

These costs need to be recouped (plus of course a profit made). If Apple ensured back compatibility, there would be no need to remake them and therefore re-buy them.
It’s swings and roundabouts, I haven’t had to pay for a Mac OS in years whereas Microsoft do still charge.
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Re: Best alternative to Waves Abbey Road Chambers?

Postby Matt Houghton » Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:50 pm

MOF wrote:I haven’t had to pay for a Mac OS in years whereas Microsoft do still charge.

Yes, you pay for a new copy of Windows if building a machine. OTOH, it comes pre-loaded on many new laptops (OEM version). And Windows 7 was launched in 2009 — the update to Win 10 was free, and you could be on the latest version of Win 10 now without ever having paid another penny. Not a bad price for over a decade of development (even if for much of that decade lots of that development was pants! :headbang: )
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Re: Best alternative to Waves Abbey Road Chambers?

Postby CS70 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 4:13 pm

MOF wrote:
These costs need to be recouped (plus of course a profit made). If Apple ensured back compatibility, there would be no need to remake them and therefore re-buy them.
It’s swings and roundabouts, I haven’t had to pay for a Mac OS in years whereas Microsoft do still charge.


Neither really. One of the biggest source of pain for Windows machines (and one that often lead people to go the Mac way) is that there’s always been extreme attention by Microsoft to back compatibility (sometimes to the point of insanity). The sheer complexity of doing so, while supporting millions of hardware combinations is nothing short of astounding, technically.

The reason of course was the completely different market the two OSs grew on.

Now most of this is moot: the times when MS was making money out of Windows licenses to the consumer market are long gone. Ms is mainly a cloud provider. Anf I didn’t pay for my W10 copy (as I had W7 installed) and I am not paying for the significant upgrades I’ve received in the last three years.

A side consequence of this is that once you buy a plugin, it keeps working. Heck, I am using 32 but plugins which I love with zero problems. It’s not a small (or inexpensive) technical feat.
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