Waves makes easy to use plug-ins. They are easy to install - you just download them off their website. They are easy to authorize - you can use any USB stick as a dongle, or use their software application to authorize if your computer connects to the internet. They are stable - you don't have to worry about it crashing your recording session. They can be used in almost any DAW. They don't take up a lot of CPU - you can pretty much run this channel strip on every track in your session without maxing out your CPU. They are easy to get started with - Waves plug-ins come with great presets if you don't want to mess around with all the details or you aren't very experienced at mixing. The SSL E-Series channel strip comes with tons of amazing presets from top producers. I highly recommend using these, and at the very least just looking at the settings in the presets to give you some ideas for your own mixing.
I have been using this plug-in on every session that I record since I bought the SSL bundle. The eqs sound smooth, but more importantly I love the dynamics section. The compressor is intuitive and does exactly what you would want it to do. It has its own 'analog' color/sound. The Expander/Gate is my favorite part of the plug-in. I almost never used to use an expander/gate when mixing, but that was mostly because I had been using stock plug-ins in Pro Tools. The gate in the E-series plug-in does amazing things for drums, it can really clean up a mix and make your drums punch. I also think the gate is awesome for vocals. It is great at cutting out the background sound between singing.
The Waves SSL E-Series channel strip is probably The Most Important Effects Plug-in released in Native or TDM format. UAD has their own version of the E-series channel, but that requires a UAD-2 card. I say it is the most important because the SSL sound is the most famous sound of modern music from mixing boards. The eq curves and dynamics (compressor/gate) have touched a ridiculous number of tracks on almost all music made in the past 25 years. Sure there is other famous outboard gear (1176, LA-2A, Lexicon Reverbs, etc), but as far as mixing desks go, SSL is king. Bringing this sound into the digital DAW world opens up the possibility for almost anyone to add this sound to their tracks.
With that being said, these plug-ins have been around a long time. Waves really needs to re-model them assuming their modeling technology has advanced in the past 10 years. I would love to see these plug-ins released 2.0 with the same controls and flexibility of the new REDD plug-ins.
In the audio world, SSL is as famous as Fender or Gibson. They're some of the leaders when it comes to consoles. Because of that, it's only natural that somebody would make a virtual console based on the SSL hardware. This is modeled after the very famous SSL E-Channel. It comes from the Solid State Logic 4000 series consoles that have Class A and VCA chips. Basically, that's technobabble that means it sounds good. The EQ section on this is real nice on this. It has that famous SSL sound with the high pass, low pass and four band parametric EQ. There's also a compressor feature in this plugin. You can place it either before or after the EQ to truly get the sound you're looking for in your head.
Waves plugins are some of the best out there, bar none. For one, they're cross platform. For a Mac user, that means the world. I'm always trying to support companies that support Mac, and Waves has been pretty good about that since the whole Intel switch. I've used these in Logic without any problems. Although they're 32 bit plugins, Logic will add a bridge to allow you to use them in a 64 bit environment as to not limit you to the amount of ram you can utilize. On top of that, these things are rock solid. I've never had a crash with Waves plugins at all.
This is a truly awesome plugin that I tend to use a lot. It's simple to use, but it is loaded with all kinds of different features. The EQ section on this thing is magical, and the compression section is the icing on the cake. There is also the G series, and they sound equally great. It's real hard for me to choose between the two, so I rate them equally for the most part. Be sure to listen to both and decide which one you like for yourself. I know these plugins can be pricey, but please don't pirate them. The guys over at Waves work hard to make these for you guys, and every time someone downloads them, it cuts into their profit margin.
This is a plug-in made by Waves Ltd. The idea is that it is supposed to be a recreation of an actual channel on an SSL console. Obviously, the mic-pre from that channel is not included, as this is a digitial plug-in, but the EQ and compression from the channel is, and is actually recreated pretty faithfully. The plug-in was easily installed on my Pro Tools LE setup on my Macbook Pro, just as all the Waves plug-ins were. I was able to use it right from the get-go. The plug-in features an EQ, which contains the parametric parameters for controlling low, low mid, high mid, and high frequencies (a knob to control boost/cut as well as a knob to choose the specific frequencies). There is also a high and low pass filter. On the compression end of things, there are several different knobs and parameters to control, giving you a pretty versatile and complete control of the sound, while only having to use one plug-in.
The software has never given me that many problems in general, mainly because I mainly use my home setup for smaller projects. I haven't had to use the plug-in on more than a few tracks in the same session. At the studio I work for, I can generally use it more often in the same session, but even then I'll bus tracks to an auxiliary track in order to save the amount of plug-ins I use. This is a good technique in general to save your computer some work. Either way, I've never had a problem with it being too slow. I've been using it now for just under a year.
I really like the way that you can EQ and compress in the same channel, which is a really nice way to lessen the workload of the computer. Not too mention that it sounds great, and the interface makes using it feel a lot more intuitive as it resembles the actual SSL channel strip. I highly recommend this plug-in as it gives the recordings I make a great sound and is a cinch to use.
The Waves Ltd. SSL E-Channel is a software emulation of an Solid State Logic console channel strip. The plug-in is really a few in one as it has sections for both compression and EQ. I didn't have any trouble at all installing the plug-in and the whole process only took a few minutes. There weren't any compatibility issues between the plug-in and my software configuration and in general I would say I've had no problems with the plug-in. The interface of the software is user friendly, even if you don't have any experience with a real SSL console. There are definitely a good amount of parameters to play with, most of which are pretty universal. The EQ has a parametric section and both a high and low pass filter. I've never had a need to look a manual for the Waves Ltd. SSL E-Channel, but I can say that I don't think it is necessary to learn how to use the plug-in.
I am currently running the native version of the Waves Ltd. SSL E-Channel on a Mac Book Pro that has a 2.2 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 4 GB of RAM. I run the plug-in in Pro Tools LE 7.4 that runs with a Digi 002R audio interface and I find that within this configuration the plug-in runs great. I've only needed to run a few of them within a single session and I've been able to do this quite successfully. However, if you are planning to use this on every track of a Pro Tools session, I would definitely recommend having a Pro Tools HD system for this type of use. Beyond this, as long as you have a pretty good system to run this on I don't foresee you having too many issues.
The sound quality of the Waves Ltd. SSL E-Channel is overall pretty great. While it doesn't have as warm of a sound as you would get with the actual hardware console version, it has a clean and realistic sound quality nonetheless. It is useful for pretty much any application in terms of what to use it with as the vast array of parameters makes it versatile. Both the EQ and compression sections make this a well rounded plug-in that can adapt to most situations. If you are looking for a channel strip plug-in that won't break the bank, I would definitely recommend trying out Waves SSL E-Channel.