Waves Gold is one the industry’s most popular mixing and mastering bundles. If you are new to mixing, I would highly recommend Waves Gold for getting your feet wet. It comes with 29 great plug-ins you can use at your disposal. That’s just enough tools on your belt for you too experience with, without overwhelming you. If you take the time to make this bundle work for you, you will know exactly what you need and what you don’t need in the future every time a new plug-in releases.
Personally, I use Q6 Equalizer and the C1 Compressor as my default chain for my mixing template. With the Q6, I can use up to 6 bands to EQ any sound to my liking. The C1 Compressor is also equipped with a gate/expander. This could come in handy for audio that may have a bit of noise behind the main sound or bleed from drum mics that you may want to tame. Waves’ DeEsser has become one of my best friends. Stock de-essers tend to be a bit too sensitive, but I am able to dial in and get the right amount of attenuation on those sibilant frequencies every time. As far as time-based effects, the H-Delay is my go-to delay plug-in for vocals. You can filter the eq of the delay coming, as well as modulate it.
Waves Gold offers all the essentials for any audio engineer. There’s even a hand full of different guitars amps and pedals for guitar players. There’s seven different compressors to choose from. The three reverb plug-ins will come in handy as they will help create great spaces for your mixes. The only thing I would like to see included would be a linear phase EQ. If you have the money, Waves Gold is definitely a good bundle to invest in as it is frequently on sale. The Vitamin Sonic Enhancer is a steal by itself. Using this plug-in, you are able to add “nutrients” to your sound dynamically, and help make your sound more mono or stereo. There’s even a lite auto-tune plug-in included to tame those sharp and flat notes.
Whether you’re a an engineer for commercial songs or for broadcast, Waves Gold has got you covered. I highly recommend starting here and branching out.
Great variety of tools
Great for novice engineers, even better for professionals
Touted by Waves as the industry’s most popular plugin bundle, Gold certainly has a lot of bang for your buck. With 35 plugins to help you with producing, mixing and mastering your tracks, this bundle is a pretty good starting point for anyone wanting to mix in the box.
There are some great, stand out plug ins in here - the V compressor and EQs add a lot of warmth. I use the H-Compressor a lot for parallel compression, and the L1 is my go to limiter. You also get access to a whole host of EQ, reverb, modulation effects, stereo imaging and Waves Tune LT (a plug in similar to Melodyne, allowing you to tune vocals - an essential effect in today’s music climate).
Waves do regular sales so it’s definitely worth waiting until you can get a discount (I got 50% off the retail price if I remember correctly). Waves also offer a 7 day free trial on all their plugins and bundles, so you can try before you buy, which is definitely worth doing (but don’t expect to get grips with the ins and outs of all the plugins in that time - there’s just way too much there!)
On the negative side, I found it quite hard work to install. But once it’s done it’s done (in fact I wouldn’t have remembered this at all had I not just read another review on the bundle!).
To be more specific regarding the installation, you have to install an application called Waves Licence Center (WLC). This requires you to set up an account and log in to receive your licence for the bundles/plugins you have bought or are demoing. It took a few attempts to download the bundle from WLC and at first I could not see the bundle in my DAW (Logic 9). I had to reinstall, restart, reinstall, restart a few times before it worked. I don't know what specifically I did the last time that was different than the other times, but it did work on the third attempt. You have to install WLC if you want to demo the bundle. It's free to demo so I would suggest demoing the bundle before you buy it and you can see if WLC causes any headaches for you.
Overall this is a good starting point to anyone getting into mixing their own tracks in the box. There is a wide choice of plug ins here and there is definitely an argument for using fewer plugins but really getting to know how they work, and I’m only really familiar with half the plug ins here (the ones I use on almost every mix I do).
However, if you can get this bundle in a sale you’ll find it’s cheaper than buying a few plugins individually, and you never know when you are going to need to use that Doppler or Metaflanger.
Wide range of plug ins
Installation can be time consuming
If it’s not on sale, you might want to wait until parting with you cash
If you want to take your music to the next level Waves Gold Bundle will do the trick in more ways than just one! Audio Track, Doubler, C4, L1 and Q10 alone are worth the price, add Wave Tune into the mix and you can't go wrong. Most of the plug-ins have simple easy to use interface. The only thing I would change it the installation process, but once its installed you will forget all about hour or so it took to install the bundle and get the license codes.
The Gold Bundle is simply the most cost-effective way to get 80% there on your mixes right away. The V-series are almost worth the price of the bundle by themselves. The V-EQ3 and 4 will add a wonderful warmth to the tracks and the V-Comp is a wonderfully smooth compressor that destroys anything that comes standard with PT9, Logic or other digital audio workstations. H-Delay gives you a great high quality delay that will work to subtly thicken up vocals or provide more pronounced effects. The H-Comp is another workhorse compressor that can give you a different flavor to the smooth warmth of the V-comp. The C4 is also a useful tool for cleaning up a mix or instrument that has serious EQ issues.
My home studio is modest, but I've had the opportunity to work at a variety of high end studios. Obviously, the Gold Bundle won't replace a high end SSL or API console. However, it will IMMEDIATELY make tracks recorded straight into your average FW or USB interface sound worlds better. Invest in Gold and one or two high quality outboard pre's and you will be well on your way to being able to churn out high quality recordings that will give any big budget recordings a run for their money. Very affordable and worth the buy!