123rd AES CONVENTION, NEW YORK, NY, October 5, 2007 — Over the past year and a half, Waves, the world’s leading developer of professional audio signal processing technologies, has revolutionized the digital audio world with their three groundbreaking collections of modeled vintage hardware: the SSL 4000 Collection, the V- Series, and the API Collection. Each is a precision-engineered set of plug-ins that perfectly emulates the sonic architecture of the original equipment, capturing every nuance and behavior of the original analog gear.
Waves acquires the very best hardware reference units available, in most cases, supplied by the original manufacturers. Then the Waves engineering team analyzes every attribute and behavior of the hardware with meticulous attention to detail. Since audio hardware is not just the sum of its components and circuit schematics, Waves’ extensive testing explores every last nuance and response of the hardware behavior. It is this meticulous attention to detail that has always set Waves apart, and always will.
Developed in association with Solid State Logic, the SSL 4000 Collection, precisely recreates the sonics of the legendary Solid State Logic® 4000 series recording console. Waves called upon the talents of GRAMMY® Award-winning mixer Chris Lord-Alge to create a series of exclusive presets, the same as those he uses to create multi-platinum hits for artists including Green Day, Sheryl Crow, Hoobastank, Tim McGraw, Audioslave, Brian Setzer, Eric Clapton, and dozens of others. These include the exact same settings — for vocals, guitar, bass, drums, strings, and brass — that Chris has used on hit after hit, providing Waves users with an unprecedented degree of insight into how this renowned mixer approaches equalization and dynamics. “I literally copied my settings off the desk for the Waves bundle, and when it came back it was incredible how exactly it matched what I do,” explains Lord-Alge, to the point that, "I find that I can use my own plug-in presets as starting points on mixes. The Waves SSL 4000 Collection lets me have my own settings for various tracks ready to go at the touch of a button.”
For the API Collection, Waves worked closely with API (Automated Processes Inc.). That association produced four plug-in processors, exquisitely modeled on the most renowned and popular API modules: the 550A 3-Band Equalizer, 550B 4-Band Equalizer, 560 Graphic Equalizer, and the 2500 Stereo Compressor. Familiar to engineers all over the world and used on numerous hit records, API modules are known for their unique sonic signatures, which were meticulously captured and recreated by the Waves engineering team. In fact, the API Collection goes way beyond mere emulation -- it is the only software that truly recreates the actual sound of API modules, according to the creators of the original hardware. The degree to which Waves has achieved fidelity to the sound of the original is expressed by those who have used the analog gear on hit after hit, and have come to find that the Waves plug-in version performs precisely the same, always meeting their expectations. “The API collection does a great job emulating the hardware, with all the little quirks I love about the originals,” observes Andrew Scheps, engineer and mixer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, and Jay-Z.
The Waves V-Series is based on some of music’s most legendary console modules, and the plug-ins’ ability to emulate classic British analog audio components down to the detail is astounding. The V-Series includes the V-Comp Compressor, the V-EQ4 4-Band Equalizer, and the V-EQ3 3-Band Equalizer. The original modules, which date from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, possess qualities and subtleties that have never been more accurately captured. The V- Series plug-ins successfully emulate the originals in every detail, but the true praise comes from one of world’s leading engineers most closely associated with the British analog sound, Eddie Kramer. The producer/engineer for artists including Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, he says, “Very accurate. The V Series is amazing.”
Waves’ success has kept it at the forefront of a movement that it largely created. That success stems not from simply being able to recreate specifications in virtual form, but the ability to understand the unique way in which each device responds under every conceivable combination of parameters and applications. The result is a level of sonic depth, nuance, and detail – soul, if you will – that make Waves’ plug-ins truly indistinguishable from the original hardware.