Tony Maserati mainly deals with stuff in the R&B field, so it was interesting to see him help co-design a plugin where guitars aren't the prominent instrument. Because of this, I feel our philosophy as to what a good guitar tone is differs a bit. Keep that in mind while reading this review. The plugin is meant to help shape various guitar tones. It has knobs for sensitivity, presence, tame, output, fx, delay, width, vibrato and chorus. There are also switches to select between clean, clean chorus, heavy, thick rhythm and soft flange. The plugin itself is very easy to use, and there's no real need to read the manual. I personally never read it, so I can't comment on that.
Waves rules for audio plugins. For one, they're always rock solid and super stable. I've never had a single crash while using any Waves plugin, and the same goes for this. The plugin itself doesn't take up much RAM or processing power, which is a big plus for those who tend to have tons of plugins going on inside of their DAWs. The plugin is also cross platform compatible, so just about anybody can use this without any issues at all. There is one issue that I did experience, and that has to do with the actual coding of the plugin and today's recent OSes/DAWs. The plugin is a 32 bit plugin. However, my DAW and OS are 64 bit OSes. For Logic Pro, my go-to DAW, to utilize this, it needs to run a special bridge application. However, I'm not a huge fan of the way Logic implements that feature. I'm hoping that Waves updates these to 64 bit in the future. I've been using the Waves Mercury bundle for the past half a year or so, and it's been absolutely killer.
I'm predominantly a metal guitarist, so I'm always trying to look for a saturated, yet clear sounding distorted tone that can cut through the mix without sounding overly thin. This plugin is geared more towards clean and lighter distorted guitars. I found that it doesn't really work too well with my rhythm guitars, but it can do some decent lead tones.
The Waves Ltd. Maserati GTi Guitar Toner is a plug-in that comes as part of the Tony Maserati Collection of plug-ins. This one in particular is, as the name states, designed for use with guitar. The others each have their own corresponding application as well. I got this plug-in in the Waves Complete bundle, and it can't be purchased individually outside of that or the Maserati bundle. You'll install whatever bundle you got this in all at once, which is an easy enough step by step process much like installing any other piece of software. The configuration of the Waves Ltd. Maserati GTi Guitar Toner isn't too difficult to follow, and it follows a similar formula to the other plug-ins in the bundle. It gives you five different guitar types to choose from, as well as parameters for sensitivity, presence, tame (compression), and output level. It then has a series of smaller knobs for chorus, vibrato, delay, FX, a width. As you can probably tell from this list, you're not going to be stuck hoping for extra parameters here as this plug-in gives you plenty to work with. Even so, it's easy enough to use where a manual shouldn't be necessary.
The system that I'm running the Waves Ltd. Maserati GTi Guitar Toner on is Pro Tools LE 8 based, which I run with a Digi 002R audio interface. The computer I'm running everything on is a Mac Book Pro consisting of 4 GB of RAM and a 2.2 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. For me I haven't had any problems running this plug-in, but of course it all depends on the system you're running it on...
While I don't find the Waves Ltd. Maserati GTi Guitar Toner to be one of the most useful in the Tony Maserati Collection, much of this probably has to do with the nature of the plug-in. For mixing guitars I'll usually use individual processors to give me more control, which is the reason I don't find myself using this much. Don't get me wrong, it's definitely got a professional sound overall, and there's a lot that can be done within this single plug-in, but I like having more in depth controls over each of the individual processors. For something like drums or bass, I find the Maserati plug-ins to be more useful since in general there are more guitar tones than bass or drum sounds. Having said this, the Waves Ltd. Maserati GTi Guitar Toner is a high quality plug-in that is absolutely worth exploring if you've got the Maserati or Complete bundles.