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Why have Waves plug-ins gotten such bad press?

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Why have Waves plug-ins gotten such bad press?

Postby alexis » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:57 am

I don't have any Waves plug-ins, but could consider one (Greg Wells PianoCentric, thanks wdsteele!). I have a distinct impression from things I've read that Waves plugins can be problematic, but I can't remember what I've read, and a new search didn't yield much written in the last few years.

If someone has had problems with Waves, would you be kind enough to share your experiences please?

Thanks much -
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Re: Why have Waves plug-ins gotten such bad press?

Postby awjoe » Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:12 am

I've got seven Waves plugins. I use one of them on every mix, three of them as and when on other mixes, and I'm still trying out the other three to see what they've got to say for themselves. The main companies I deal with are Fabfilter, Lexicon, Soundtoys and Waves. Waves is on that list, but at the end. I use plugins from the other three companies on every mix, multiple times.
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Re: Why have Waves plug-ins gotten such bad press?

Postby jlahtela » Sat Aug 06, 2016 8:48 am

I do not know about bad press, but I have had problems with Waves plugins.
I think problems are not in itself plugins, but Waves Central causes installation / license issues.

I got something about 6-10 Waves plugins and I have had issues with many of those.
I am using Reper DAW (on Windows 10) and I know that Waves only said this year that they are fully compatible with Reaper... But issues stayed even after that.


Basically all plugins work well if you can get those to show up in Reaper and license is working!
So I have had two issues:
1. Plugin is installed via Waves central but those do not appear to Reaper even all is in order. Files are in correct place and not corrupted. Fix for this is to delete everything manually from disk and (re)install those again... Until they appear in DAW... And hope that issue 2 do not appear. In one case I remember that I had to install plugin 6 times until it started to work!

2. Otherwise same as issue 1, but this time it is found on DAW but license is missing. License files are in place and Waves cloud says that it is assigned to that computer, but still plugin says no license.
Fix for this is to remove all license files manually and then resync on Waves central... Do not release license and assing back, only sync.

I would be happy to take installation issues if that would be done deal after that... But these issues are coming back to me by themselves. Plugin can just disappear... And one of these issues can suddenly come.

These kind of issues should not happen with pro company like Waves and especially when you are paying >100€ of single plugin!
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Re: Why have Waves plug-ins gotten such bad press?

Postby alexis » Sat Aug 06, 2016 7:01 pm

Thank you awejoe and jlahtela!

jlahtela wrote:I do not know about bad press, but I have had problems with Waves plugins.
I think problems are not in itself plugins, but Waves Central causes installation / license issues.

I got something about 6-10 Waves plugins and I have had issues with many of those.
I am using Reper DAW (on Windows 10) and I know that Waves only said this year that they are fully compatible with Reaper... But issues stayed even after that.


Basically all plugins work well if you can get those to show up in Reaper and license is working!
So I have had two issues:
1. Plugin is installed via Waves central but those do not appear to Reaper even all is in order. Files are in correct place and not corrupted. Fix for this is to delete everything manually from disk and (re)install those again... Until they appear in DAW... And hope that issue 2 do not appear. In one case I remember that I had to install plugin 6 times until it started to work!

2. Otherwise same as issue 1, but this time it is found on DAW but license is missing. License files are in place and Waves cloud says that it is assigned to that computer, but still plugin says no license.
Fix for this is to remove all license files manually and then resync on Waves central... Do not release license and assing back, only sync.

I would be happy to take installation issues if that would be done deal after that... But these issues are coming back to me by themselves. Plugin can just disappear... And one of these issues can suddenly come.

These kind of issues should not happen with pro company like Waves and especially when you are paying >100€ of single plugin!

Yes, this post reminds that it was similar things I had read about elsewhere.

Does anyone here use Cubase, W10, and Waves plug-ins? Are the issues described by jlehtela occuring there as well?

Thanks!

(PS - I thought I had posted this already, but I see it has disappeared. Sorry if I have double posted/or worse even misposted in another forum ...)
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Re: Why have Waves plug-ins gotten such bad press?

Postby Urthlupe » Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:39 pm

Hi Alexis

I use (and have for many years) Waves plugins in Cubase (v8.5), PT (v11 native), Logic (v10) and Wavelab (v9) on a MacPro.

Personally I've very rarely run into installation, licensing or other technical issues.

Waves reputation started to become tarnished some years ago as a result of their business practices related to licensing prior to the WUP. WUP has always worked well for me from a practical point of view, but can work out expensive. For instance, they have a v bad habit of simply never improving their plugins even though you have to keep paying for them whenever an update is necessary (following OS upgrades for instance). In these circumstances you'll pay for an 'upgrade' but in fact you're simply paying to keep using the same old plugin.

There are a few I really like - their new algorithmic reverb, ADT, C6 etc, but actually I'm fairly certain I could do without them.

You pays your money....

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Re: Why have Waves plug-ins gotten such bad press?

Postby scw » Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:14 pm

Hi Alexis
I have many Waves plugins and run them in Cubase 8.5 (on Win 7). I have to say that I have always found them rock solid and great quality. The new Waves Central installer is much easier to use.

As was mentioned above a lot of the griping on forums was about the WUP. Don't let that put you off. You never have to update the plugins if you don't want or need to. If you have a bundle of plugins the update price is reasonable and you often get new plugins included in the updated bundle.

Whatever you do don't buy direct. Use an official re-seller. Always significant savings to be had!

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Re: Why have Waves plug-ins gotten such bad press?

Postby awjoe » Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:39 pm

Also, I'm on the Waves mailing list, so I get timely heads up announcement about radical bargains on selected plugins. That's usually when I buy them, when the special offer is really special. I don't think I've ever paid the regular asking price for any of their stuff.
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Re: Why have Waves plug-ins gotten such bad press?

Postby alexis » Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:54 am

Thanks, guys, very much!

I've gone to a bunch of websites and read about WUP. The only thing I think I don't know is to figure out how much WUP would be for a given single plugin or package of plugins.

Is that info only given at checkout time?
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Re: Why have Waves plug-ins gotten such bad press?

Postby Urthlupe » Sun Aug 07, 2016 8:33 am

scw wrote:You never have to update the plugins if you don't want or need to.

For the sake of a clear picture -

There may well be times when you have no choice but to 'upgrade', for instance following an OS upgrade. And the principle remains, unlike the vast majority of plugin developers, with Waves you are paying again for the same software. It's not unheard of, of course - Avid and Adobe being two companies that spring to mind....

I'm by no means a Waves-hater, but this is certainly a feature of their policy right now which you should consider on the way in (a pseudo subscription-type as opposed to perpetual license -type model). In addition here I'm pretty certain I could happily live without their plugins (someone referenced Fabfilter above for instance who for me are in a different league).

If you're uncertain of WUP costs then I could list my plugs and check my current WUP total for you, but there should be full information on their site.......

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Re: Why have Waves plug-ins gotten such bad press?

Postby jlahtela » Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:31 am

Btw about Waves WUP... When WUP hits you do it locks Plugins completely (so you can not use it or install it) or does it just stop updating plugin?
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Re: Why have Waves plug-ins gotten such bad press?

Postby Urthlupe » Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:07 am

Nope - your plugins continue working (as long as there are no system-wide changes which disrupt them). WUP operates on the purchase/activation side for new versions.

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Re: Why have Waves plug-ins gotten such bad press?

Postby jlahtela » Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:24 am

Urthlupe wrote:Nope - your plugins continue working (as long as there are no system-wide changes which disrupt them). WUP operates on the purchase/activation side for new versions.

Loopy

Ok great... This is relief. Got few Waves plugins love them. :)
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Re: Why have Waves plug-ins gotten such bad press?

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:43 am

I stopped using Waves some years ago on principal because the rate you paid for the WUP then, came across as double dipping. You pay upfront and then pay a virtual rental to keep the plugs alive. It was around then I first got into UAD plugs and that's mainly what I use now. No cost to keep plugs alive.

Interestingly I recently purchased a couple of Waves plug ins and discovered my old plugs we're still available on payment of WUP and the rate seemed less than when I was doing regular updates. Maybe they reduced the rate?

Never had a problem with the plugs operation.

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Re: Why have Waves plug-ins gotten such bad press?

Postby CS70 » Sun Aug 07, 2016 7:29 pm

Hm do they? They have many at the studio, and I always thought of them as a mixed bunch. I'm not a fan of the "all-in-all-by-famous-mixer" solutions, as I invariably get better results by using effects on my own.

But two that I almost always end up using are the Aural Exciter - it's really good at what it does - and the J37 tape, which I like very much. And, when needed, the X-noise noise remover is also pretty good.

So Waves doesnt have a bad rep, with me at least.
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Re: Why have Waves plug-ins gotten such bad press?

Postby James Perrett » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:49 pm

CS70 wrote:But two that I almost always end up using are the Aural Exciter - it's really good at what it does - and the J37 tape, which I like very much. And, when needed, the X-noise noise remover is also pretty good.

I'm not a big Waves fan after they dropped support for the plug-ins that I bought a few years ago. I don't understand why they couldn't support new operating systems as the host software that I bought at the same time still runs under Windows 10.

From the examples that I've heard, you'll get as good results from something like Nero's built-in noise reduction (which came free with a CD writer) as you will with X-Noise. There are far better alternatives available like Izotope's RX. There is also a decent Aural Exciter emulation built into Reaper which can also be used in other software with the ReaJS wrapper (I've not used the real thing in ages since I discovered this).
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Re: Why have Waves plug-ins gotten such bad press?

Postby CS70 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:31 pm

James Perrett wrote:
CS70 wrote:But two that I almost always end up using are the Aural Exciter - it's really good at what it does - and the J37 tape, which I like very much. And, when needed, the X-noise noise remover is also pretty good.

I'm not a big Waves fan after they dropped support for the plug-ins that I bought a few years ago. I don't understand why they couldn't support new operating systems as the host software that I bought at the same time still runs under Windows 10.

Yeah that's seriously annoying. I must say I don't own the plugins, the studio I use does and I use them when I sit there, so I haven't really had to deal with licensing at all.

Something similarly annoying happened to me when I was switching from 32bit to 64bit Windows (and therefore Sonar).. the DAW built-in 32bit plugins no longer worked. So if I wanted to tweak all these early projects (and some could well use some tweaking now) I'd have to find and install a 32bit Sonar copy.

From the examples that I've heard, you'll get as good results from something like Nero's built-in noise reduction (which came free with a CD writer) as you will with X-Noise. There are far better alternatives available like Izotope's RX. There is also a decent Aural Exciter emulation built into Reaper which can also be used in other software with the ReaJS wrapper (I've not used the real thing in ages since I discovered this).

Cool to know, thanks!. I don't use reaper tough (neither home nor at the studio), and I never warmed to the slider-only interface.
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Re: Why have Waves plug-ins gotten such bad press?

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:03 pm

James Perrett wrote:There is also a decent Aural Exciter emulation built into Reaper which can also be used in other software with the ReaJS wrapper (I've not used the real thing in ages since I discovered this).

As Victor Meldrew would say, I DON'T BELIEVE IT! ;)

I regularly continue to be amazed at what Reaper has tucked away in its somewhat anonymous-looking plug-in repertoire - a couple of months ago it was ReaTune (which to my ears worked as well as Autotune for my projects on the odd occasion I needed it).

Having just performed some sonic experiments, I can now add JS: Exciter (Treble Enhancer) and JS: Huge Booty Bass Enhancer to my go-to arsenal.

Thanks James!


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Re: Why have Waves plug-ins gotten such bad press?

Postby James Perrett » Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:37 pm

Martin Walker wrote:Having just performed some sonic experiments, I can now add JS: Exciter (Treble Enhancer) and JS: Huge Booty Bass Enhancer to my go-to arsenal.

They've just re-arranged the display order of all the JS plug-ins for version 5 but it is the Stillwell one that you want if you want the Aphex sound alike.

I'm going to have to try that Bass Enhancer now... :D
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Re: Why have Waves plug-ins gotten such bad press?

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:12 am

James Perrett wrote:
Martin Walker wrote:Having just performed some sonic experiments, I can now add JS: Exciter (Treble Enhancer) and JS: Huge Booty Bass Enhancer to my go-to arsenal.

They've just re-arranged the display order of all the JS plug-ins for version 5 but it is the Stillwell one that you want if you want the Aphex sound alike.

I'm going to have to try that Bass Enhancer now... :D

Yeah, both of the ones I name-checked are Stillwell designs :thumbup:

Hope you enjoy the Huge Booty Bass Enhancer James :mrgreen:


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Re: Why have Waves plug-ins gotten such bad press?

Postby James Lehmann » Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:29 pm

Waves make great plug-ins - on this I suspect we can all agree.

IMHO most of the 'bad press' stems from their long history (we're talking 20 odd years for old-timers like me) of causing selected end-users a great deal of premature hair-loss through having to repeatedly navigate a veritable quick-sand of constantly changing installation, copy-protection and update snafus.

Waves were the plug-in equivalent of the Duke of York's 10,000 men - when they were up they were up, but when they were down they were down. Sometimes along with the rest of your system. :cry:

I was a Waves customer for many years but I always felt I was doing so on borrowed time until the next system upheaval. Finally, faced with an impending move to the dreaded iLok and not being able to afford an assistant to sit on the phone full-time to tech support, I cut my losses and bailed.

In my head I've produced several Grammy-nominated albums in the time I've saved since. :headbang:

Renaissance EQ & Renaissance Compressor are the two I miss the most - I used those on more or less everything, but I've gone predominantly hardware now so it's all good (just takes more time!).
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