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Greg Wells' (Waves) nCentric Plugs - Request for SOS review

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Greg Wells' (Waves) nCentric Plugs - Request for SOS review

Postby alexis » Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:47 pm

Hi -

Requesting here please a review of Greg Wells' Signature Series, comprised of: VoiceCentric, PianoCentric, MixCentric, and ToneCentric (this latter one being an "analog warmth" plug).

I'll always be grateful to the SOS member ( :D ) who recommended PianoCentric as a potential alternative to a separate Piano VST. From there I bought two more, and somehow qualified to get the 4th for free.

They are all variations on a "one-knob" approach. There seems to be an awful lot going on behind the scenes however, and it seems to me that turning the knob doesn't just give more/less of an effect, but actually seems to turn some effects on/some effects off.

I'm most familiar with VoiceCentric and PianoCentric and like them a lot. I'd love to read how our expert SOS review staff deconstructs and reviews this Signature Series!

Thanks!
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Re: Greg Wells' (Waves) nCentric Plugs - Request for SOS review

Postby alexis » Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:09 am

Ah, I see there already *is* a review on these, in the July 2016 issue. You guys are good!!

The ToneCentric came out after the review was published. Perhaps if someone from the review dept. (or anyone else) uses it, they could pen a line or two about what they think of it -

Thanks!
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Re: Greg Wells' (Waves) nCentric Plugs - Request for SOS review

Postby Scramble » Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:51 am

According to Greg Wells himself, over at Gear*cough*Slutz:

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Here's the analog chain we modeled PianoCentric on.

1) Turning the knob to the right:

My favorite piano EQ is an API 560. I have two at my studio that live in the piano chain and come in and out as needed. There is nothing like 8k and/or 16k on a 560 to make the piano sparkle yet still feel natural and full. For years, I haven't found any other EQ that responds the same way to a piano.

My favorite piano compressor, and thanks to god of audio Joe Chiccarelli for turning me onto this, is the Neve 33609. It's a magic compressor for many things, and sounds SO musical on piano. A little does a lot.

2) Turning the knob to the left:

For lo-fi sounds, I like a brutal hi end cutoff set to at least -18 and usually -24 or -36. My ears are almost always happiest when that effect is as pronounced as possible. The low end cutoff can be less dramatic often but not always.

I like mono on a lo-fi piano, so the piano becomes more mono the further the control knob turns to the left.

There's gobs of serial compression happening along with some crunchy but subtle harmonic distortion. All of these things take different shapes and levels of importance as the knob turns to the left.

There's a few other goodies going on in PianoCentric, but that's definitely the set of shoulders the plug-in stands on.
----------------------
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Re: Greg Wells' (Waves) nCentric Plugs - Request for SOS review

Postby alexis » Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:45 am

^^ . Thanks, Scramble! I'd come across that before there, it's nice that he interacts so much with the masses. Understandably that diminishes over time after introduction of the plug, but he seems like a pretty straight shooter anyway.

He's also said some words on the ToneCentric (analog noise generator plug) ... does anyone around these parts use one?
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Re: Greg Wells' (Waves) nCentric Plugs - Request for SOS review

Postby alexis » Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:43 pm

I will add a major use issue I encountered with Greg Wells' VoiceCentric and PianoCentric, with (happily) a complete fix.

I was getting horrible detuned, rubber boingy-type artifacts in my projects using those two plugs. These seemed to occur when the audio dropped in volume, or there was a pause. The only way I could avoid them was to automate the "Delay" control down to zero, and sometimes even needed to do the same with the "Doubler" control. This obviously was a pain, and though I troubleshot for hours, I wasn't able to come up with a better solution.

Ultimately, I asked Mr. Gone from Kiev for some help, and he came up with the source of the problem - the plugs apparently were tempo-sync'd, and they spit out these non-musical burps at every tempo change point in the project. The way I arrange, my audio tends to become softer or pause at tempo changes, hence the misleading observation that the artifacts were volume-dependent. At constant tempo portions of the song, the plugs performed beautifully.

So, everything is great now - I just need to bounce all MIDI down to audio (and set all tracks to Linear Timebase) and then turn off the tempo track, to use the plugs without artifacts. And to be honest, I can live with a few temporary automation moves in the early stages of mixing until I'm ready to finalize.

Hopefully this might help save some future Greg Wells-using headscratcher some hours of trouble shooting in the future! The plugs are wonderful, I'm very happy with them!
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