Waves V-Comp is a software plug-in to be used in a DAW. All of Waves' products are easy to install and authorize.
The V-Comp has most of the same controls (ratio, release) as a typical compressor. If you are familiar with the use of compressors, these controls will be immediately intuitive when you first start the plug-in. There are also some unique functions built-in that you won't find on a typical compressor. There is a 'De-Esser' switch that can be turned off/on. This switch likely activates some kind of high-frequency side-chain for the compressor to de-ess any harshness in your input signal.
There is also a limiter built-in. In fact, the limiter can be used with or without the compressor. The limiter has a 'Limit Level' or threshold knob, attack and release controls.
The input volume knob is very important to drive the compressor. Without a dedicated 'threshold' for the compressor, it is the input level that really controls when the compressor kicks in.
The V-Comp definitely adds some analog 'color' to your tracks. I own a lot analog modeled compressors - SSL Bus Comp, Waves H-Comp, CLA Classic Compressors, NI/Softube Vintage Compressors. The V-Comp is a totally different flavor. I like to use V-Comp on vocals with the De-Esser. It really smooths out the overall level. The V-Comp is also great on drum bus. It really squashes the transients very musically. This is much different from the 'glue' of the SSL Bus Comp.
The V-Comp is modeled after the Neve 2254 hardware compressor. I have never used the hardware, but the sound of the compressor seems very familiar. It adds a fair amount of analog 'color' to your tracks. Waves includes some great presets with all their plug-ins. I like to use the presets more as 'starting points' but they can typically get you most of the way there. If you don't have a lot of experience with compressors, you should definitely check these out.
The Waves V-Comp is a vintage style compressor with an easy interface to understand. It has Input, Output Meter and Analog knobs, as well as the Limit Level, Ratio, Release and Attack knobs. That is all, it is modeled to recreated the sound of the vintage 2254 compressor that is a vintage hardware compressor. If you use the V-Comp effectively it can really put the final touches on your mix. I have never seen the manual for this plug in and didn’t need it. All of the basic functions are on the main interface and are very easy to use and to understand.
I have been using the V-Comp since 2009 after doing a compresson between it and the Waves SSL. I went with V Comp at the time because it seemed like the better choice and after having a chance to mess with it before I bought it, it seems to have the better tool to really bring some life to my mixes before I send out demo’s. The V-Comp really helped me get a better final mix. I think when I originally purchased it it was around 300 dollars. That seemed a little on the high end of the price range for me but when I had a chance to try it out I knew that I had to have it. I have used it on my PC and my Mac-book and it works great on both.
At the time the thing that I didn’t like about it was the price, but after using it for a few months and hearing the new quality of my mixes I knew that I had gotten my money’s worth pretty quick. I was 100 percent satisfied and other people around me could tell that something was different. The sound/compression quality of the V-Comp far exceeded my expectations and I would make the same choice again if I needed to. I loved it.
Waves is a solid company that really hasn't failed me yet. Normally I use the SSL plugin for compression but when some of my clients started asking for a more vintage sound I picked this up. Out of the gate the first thing you notice is it looks and feels like a real vintage comp. It has all the controls you would've found on an original. I have a feeling that Waves intended for this to be used on vocals when they designed it, but it turned out to be a useful tool for everything so they just made it an all purpose comp. The presets are good but it's a fairly easy unit to figure out and dial in so they aren't really needed.
I have always had great stability and performance from waves. More importantly, the sound is great. This is the most realistic (in my opinion) vintage compressor I've used. Alot of vst publishers make stuff like this, but at the end of the day, it sounds like a modern compressor trying too hard to sound old. Waves took a different approach, and closely modeled the actual vintage gear. The result is a vst that has the feel and sound of the real thing. No gimmicks or funniness. My clients seem to love it too. What can I say? It SOUNDS vintage. That's the bottom line. I generally use this on vocals and instruments. Not drums. On guitar is can sound a little weird if you aren't careful. Be light on the settings. I think it ultimately sounds best on vocals.
I don't like to spend time fine tuning a compressor for hours, so I appreciate that Waves made this one a bare bones style vst. It is vintage after all, so it's more accurate to keep it simple on the strip. What's most appreciated here is the realism you get from this vst. There's a lot of compressors out there, but if you're looking for that 60's/70's style sound, this is the one to get I think.
Waves has a TON of different compressors. In fact, they have so many that I tend to forget which ones to use for which genre most of the time. This is yet another vintage style sounding (and looking) compressor with the advantages of today's technology and precision. With the built-in DeEsser, this is really meant to be used on vocals more than anything else, but you can actually use it on nearly anything. I can't imagine using the DeEsser on stuff other than vocals, but the actual compressor portion can work nicely for something such as lead guitars. The plugin has adjustments for input, output, analog switch, limiter on/off, limit level, attack setting, release, compressor on/off, ratio selection, release and DeEsser. To use this, simply enable it on your vocal buss and start adjusting from there. It's simple enough to where you shouldn't need to read the manual.
I've never experienced a single issue while running these plugins, and I don't really expect to. Waves is pretty famous for being one of the best companies when it comes to overall stability and performance. The plugins are always rock solid. The plugins themselves are cross platform compatible, so both OS X and Windows users alike can utilize these without any issues. It also doesn't take up too much RAM, which is a huge plus. There is one issue, however. This is a 32 bit plugin, and I'm not a huge fan of the way my DAW implements these. My DAW is a 64 bit DAW, and for me to use these, it launches a special bridge application. It's a bit annoying as they disappear while in the background. I'm hoping that Waves updates these in the future so I don't have to keep using this app. I've been using the Waves bundle for the past six or so months, and it's been one of the best purchase decisions I've ever made.
This is mostly for vocals, and it works great for the more rock kind of vocals than anything else. If you're doing some heavier stuff like metal, you most likely want to search for something else to use on vocals as you'll probably be crushing them to hell and back. Despite this being a vocal plugin, I've actually gotten a pretty cool lead guitar sound by turning off the DeEsser and adjusting it for light compression. There are tons of Waves plugins for compression, so be sure to check them all out and see which one you like the best.