Waves C1 is a software effects plug-in to be used in a DAW. All Waves plug-ins can be installed by downloading them off the Waves website. Authorization is completed using a USB stick as a dongle, or using an authorization manager application if your computer connects to the internet.
Waves plug-ins are know for being stable, and rarely have any bugs. The 'C1' plug-in has been around a long time and doesn't have any problems running in all popular DAWs.
The C1 is definitely a 'transparent' dynamics processor. Waves has plenty of plug-ins for compression, gating, and de-essing that intentionally add some analog 'color' to a signal (SSL, V-comp, H-comp, CLA comps). This plug-in is useful in the situations where it isn't appropriate to add some analog 'flavor'.
Aside from being a 'transparent' compressor, my favorite parts of the plug-in are the other features. I love using the expander/gate to filter off the 'sustain' of drums tracks. This really helps them punch in a mix. It is really easy to use the C1 to do this.
I also really like to 'de-ess' with this plug-in. In fact, the C1 is a more versatile 'de-esser' than the Waves DeEsser plug-in. The C1 allows for split-band de-essing. Therefore, a specific frequency band can be compressed rather than compressing all frequencies. I like this technique better for vocals. My favorite use of this technique is to actually 'de-ess' distorted electric guitars. For this, I find the problematic resonant frequency between 1k-4k. Then I compress just that frequency range, and leave the rest of the signal unprocessed. I find that I like this result better than just eq-ing out the problematic frequencies.
The Waves C1 plug-in was designed to be a complete dynamics processor. It can be used for compression/limiting, gating/expanding, and even de-essing. Waves includes a few different versions of the software in the package - a compressor only, compressor with gate, compressor with side-chain, and a version with all the settings. These individual modules can be useful if you want to save on CPU processing during mixing.
The Waves C1 is a compression plug-in for your DAW. It comes along with most of the major Waves plug-in bundles, since it’s been around for a good amount of time. You can get it for just about any DAW since it’s more or less compatible across the board and for any operating system. It’s a popular compressor to use because it has a lot it can do and is still easy to use. I installed the plug on my home system along with the full compliment of Waves plug-ins that I’ve got. It’s an easy process that shouldn’t take very long at all. Learning the C1 also shouldn’t be hard as it’s got two main sections for the compressor and a gate. Each has a series of parameters, with the compression having those for gain make up, reference, threshold, ratio, attack, release, PDR, and EQ mode. The gate has parameters for type, floor, gate open threshold, gate close threshold, attack, release, hold, and EQ mode. There’s also a graph that shows your slope of both the compressor and the gate. The EQ has a graph as well but just has a band for the compressor and gate each. Lastly, there’s a main section with input and output levelers. It’s definitely a versatile plug-in to say the least. I don’t believe a manual is going to be necessary for most users, or at least I haven’t found that one is necessary.
Right now I’m running the Waves C1 on my home system, but have also used it on a few professional rigs as well. At home I’m running it in Pro Tools 9 and a MacBookPro laptop that has 4 GB of RAM and a 2.2 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. I don’t run the C1 on every track, but I really don’t think I’d have a problem if I wanted to do so…
The Waves C1 is a popular compression plug-in for a number of reasons. The first of course is the impressive sound quality that works well for just about any applications where you’d want compression or a gate. It’s also super easy to use and is quite flexible between both the compressor and the gate and all of their controls. I don’t know if it’s going to be worth buying as an individual plug-in, but is absolutely worth it within a larger Waves bundle. While not as fancy as some of the other Waves compressors, it’s a great plug-in and if you have a Waves bundle that has it, I’d highly encourage you to get familiar with it.