Why no Waves plugins

Having worked professionally in many big studios for years (mostly doing film/tv post) I have been very surprised by how little (or none whatsoever) attention Waves plugins get in the course/forum. For me many of these plugins became goto’s due to their omnipresence and I always enjoyed the results I could/can get with them. I’d love to hear @Danny on this as well as everyone else’s input. I particularly love the CLA compressors, MV2, R Vox, TG12345 and their SSL master buss emulation.

Hey Paul,

I think plugins are definitely more often than not personal taste. What I see more of is Waves being ‘really good’, but not ‘great’. So the SSL example. I haven’t used it, but hear so many people saying it doesn’t come close to the UAD one. I know of others who have the UAD one and Slate virtual mix buss and actually prefer Slate.

I have a lot of Waves and do sometimes go back there, but actually not that often. I wonder whether they have just not moved on in the same way as others have?

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Hey Elton!

Thanks for getting back to me, I was fearing this thread would have no replies and then I’d start getting paranoid. Maybe if I use Waves plugins Danny will kick down my door in the middle of the night and I’d never be heard of again!

So maybe the world evolved and Waves kinda fell behind? I still have a bunch of Waves plugs (and picked up a few more black Friday) but maybe I’m just old! I’m certainly excited and open to getting into other stuff. Soon, hopefully I’ll be getting the slate bundle so I can dig in (need to figure out finances as lots of travel abroad visiting my ailing father-in-law who just passed a week ago left a BIG dent in the bank account)

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Sorry to hear about your father in law Paul. Don’t worry about Danny coming at night. He is too busy using non-Waves Plugins!!

Get the subscription on Slate for sure. I love my slate stuff… the FG Stress will change your life!!

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wouldn’t be able to agree with you there Elton. if waves plugs were ‘not great’, then most of the greats like pensado, cla, etc wouldn’t use them. almost any big productions you will hear on radio or film utilize waves plugs. like you said though, it comes down to personal taste and they are just not Danny’s personal taste although I suppose this prob has more to do with waves willingness to work with Danny in some capacity, i.e. offering discounts, cooperative communication, etc. I know as a company they used to be known as ‘unwilling to budge’.

I’m certainly not on par with Danny, but I find waves to be great plugins. like any plugin manufacturer out there, they make great ones and they make ok ones. i use their SSL plugs on the daily and find them to be great. there are definitely tried and true waves plugs and a little online research will point them out.

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It’s good to get some Waves Love on here!

I am certainly not against them and do go back to mine at times. The taste thing is so right. I love the UAD SSL, I know some love the Slate SSL on VCC, You are on the Waves SSL. Diversity and freedom of choice and taste prevails again!!

It is funny because Waves were top of the game back in the day.

I still think some of their plug-ins are great but for sure in my workflow, most of their plug-ins have been superseded by other developers e.g. UAD for analogue emulations, soundtoys for effects, fabfilter for clean and surgical, Izotope for mastering/restoration…

However, their plug-ins still are very good, just not the best IMO. I think Waves are still very popular, especially in post and they are utilised by many great engineers on great music. So if you are happy with your Waves, I would continue using them.


@PaulB .
I did see a video a while back where Danny explained his view on this. Correct me if I’m wrong Danny. Years ago, waves sent a couple of producers into studios around the world to basically spy on them and see if the were using cracked versions or paid versions of Wave plugins. Then, they sued a lot of these studios that were using cracked versions. Danny doesn’t condone theft, but he thought it was shady how Waves fooled a lot of people and ran some studios out of business. It left a bad taste in a lot of peoples mouth regarding dealing with Waves. So, he really doesn’t test against them. He says they are good, but he thinks UAD and Slate are better from his experience anyway. That’s as close as I can remember it at least. Hope that helps.


Ah, the above would make sense, it would indeed be great to hear from Danny on the topic. While Waves may not be to everyone’s liking they are still widely used by many pro’s and it did seem to me that there was more to the fact that they are not ever even mentioned in the few lectures I have gone through. Until @Danny

i just looked that up. it happened in 2011. i’ve never been a waves company fan, but I am a waves plugins fan, so i’ve no need to defend them. with that being said the studios they won against in court were multimillion dollar studios making (at least then) multi-millions in profits. this happened to alot of producers too who would get interviewed in the studio with their daw open. the video would get posted on youtube and everyone could see steve aoki’s cracked version of (I think it was some vst synth) and then he denied it. there was kind of a sweeping crack down on top money making dj’s running cracks a few years ago. my feeling is it’s one thing if a poor bedroom kid is running some cracks struggling and trying to learn to produce but when people are making lots of money, either buy the plugins or stop using them. its a bit ridiculous really.

I will add I always thought waves plugins were ridiculously overpriced and I always used cracks (I don’t make money doing music lol) but when they lowered all their prices by about 70% a year or so ago, I got rid of all my cracks and bought the plugs I relied on. I always buy all my plugs now, and it feels so much better to me, AND i use what I buy way more than the myriad of pirated vst’s that use to list in my plugin folder : )


IMHO, Waves plugins are still great tools. They use to be light on the CPU and sound OK, which is perfect for many tracks that doesn’t “need” to sound it’s best. But they just doesn’t sound as good as many other manufacturers plugins nowadays. Some of them can surely be great to have in the toolbox.

And that type of licensing raid is very common in the software world. It happens every day. Often the checked companies can get away with a small fine if they decide to purchase the software, but sometimes it gets really ugly :pensive: