How useful are exciter's? Wave's Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter on sale today ($29)

Have you guys experience with Exciter’s? Are they must-haves in one’s toolbox or can similar presence, brightness, and vibrancy be achieved with additive EQ and MB compression?

If useful, what else is out there?

I like them because they are quick and easy to use. But as always it is easy to overdo it since you always get seduced by the sound.

I would say that you could get similar results with EQ but on the other hand some of the exiters introduce extra harmonics etc which you wouldn’t get from EQ alone.

I love the Waves plugin you are referring and it has a sound that is probably recognised by a lot of people.

Others I like to use are Clariphonic and B82. And of course in mastering the XL2 using the exiter module.

But as I said, Just add a few db in the highs with Pro-Q 2 and you can get that sheen without any plugin.

Another plugin I used a lot was Waves One Knob Brighter but since the One Knob series starting to burst my speakers (bug that Waves has not resolved) I ended using them :frowning:

Because at the end sometimes I use plugins just because they are simple and speeds up my workflow.

All the best,


I use that a lot. Can’t believe it was bursting speakers though. I consider myself warned! :smile:

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Thank you Kalbinsson, I’m intreagued enough to get and try it and I’ll keep my hands off One Knob Brighter :slight_smile:. I fully agree with you on plugins as short cuts!

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It’s a different process than EQ and compression. Those units were adding harmonic distortion, much more than you’d get out of a modeled EQ… Dynamically totally different. Distortion effects dynamic range in a way compression can’t achieve. It’s essentially instantaneous with no audible release time… So no, not really the same sound…

As for essential? No. It does have it’s own sound though, so for that it’s a very cool plugin… I find it best in parallel since it’s really easy to overdo it…

The Ozone Exciter will do the same overall job, 9 out of 10 times that’s my weapon of choice since it has more flavors… you can also use decapitator as an exciter if you set the low cut all the way up and wet/dry mix to taste…

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Sometimes I find what may sound great on my speakers with that lush rich sound of saturation doesn’t translate well too other system especially lo fi speakers like on some tv models. It can sound really harsh and fuzzy. But that’s good to know about one knob!