Waves Vocal Rider
Waves Vocal Rider

Vocal Rider, Other software dynamics processor from Waves.

Hatsubai 07/30/2011

Waves Vocal Rider : Hatsubai's user review

« Level rider for vocals »

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Levels are something that should always be watched, and when you have vocals with a huge dynamic range, constantly tweaking the level with automation gets to be a real pain. Waves has released a vocal rider plugin which helps try to even everything out without having to manually write in tons of different volume automation. It's an extremely handy plugin, despite it being simple in operation. The plugin has quite a few features for being such a simple plugin. Aside from the main sliders of range, vocal ride and output, it also has knobs for vocal/music, a switch for fast/slow and a few other small features that really help shape how you want the vocal rider to function. To use this, simply enable it on whatever vocal buss(es) you have and set it. You generally want to put all the vocal busses into one master aux buss and put this as close towards the last plugin. I never read the manual, but this is so easy to use that it shouldn't be needed.


Waves plugins have always been some of the most stable plugins I've experienced. They're cross platform compatible, so they'll work with both PCs and Macs. As a Mac user, that's a huge advantage for someone like me. They run in 32 bit mode, but Logic uses a wrapper-like application that runs so you don't interfere with your 64 bit interface. I've tried this on various different buses, and it seems to work on anything with ease. It even works nicely on MIDI, which I found a bit surprising. There are no performance issues at all, and that's a huge plus when working in a DAW filled with all kinds of synths and tracks running tons of plugins. These plugins came with my Mercury package, and I've had that for a few months now.


With today's metal vocals, you tend to find a mix of singing, growls, screaming and other types of styles mixed in. It can be a real pain to constantly adjust all of those levels manually, and I've found that this plugin can help quite a bit. When things get very extreme, I find that it can sometimes be a bit odd, but it could just be me dialing it in incorrectly. Regardless, it's a very good plugin that I've used quite a few times before to help level everything out.