This plug-in is about as simple as it gets. Insert it on your tracks and its going to make a big difference right away. I mainly use if for the 'Drums Live' and "Drums Prog' settings. Right away, these settings make your drums loud, punchy, and help them cut through a mix. Speaking of mix, the 'Master' setting is a super simple processing chain to make your overall mixes really loud. The controls are simple to use. There are 'input' and 'output' dials to control the volume of the signal coming into the plug-in and the volume of the signal leaving the plug-in. There are 3 'eq' dials to adjust the frequency response of the plug-in. The 'eq' curves definitely change depending on the 'Type' selection (BGV, STRINGS, GUITARS, DRUMS, etc.) but they are selected to be appropriate for the specific application.
Installation and authorization is a breeze, as with all Waves plug-ins.
It is a little bit difficult to know exactly what kind of processing is going on inside the plug-in, given the limited amounts of controls. For instance, it is impossible to know what kind of compressor settings (ratio, attack, release, threshold, etc) are being used. Also, I get the impression that there is some kind of 'reverb' or 'ambiance' being added in some of the settings. There aren't even controls for this if you want to turn it up or down. It just adds a little 'space' to the drums or your mix so that everything sounds like it is coming from the same place. I guess it just reflects the way that Tony Maserati mixes. Apart from watching him work through his mixes, these plug-ins provide some good clues on how he likes to mix. I definitely changed the way that I mix just by using this plug-in. I started busing out my drums, and using a limiter to make sure they don't clip, even if I am not using the Maserati GRP plug-in.
The Waves Maserati GRP plug-in is meant to be used as a 'bus' processor. Of all the Signature Series Bundles (Maserati, CLA, JJP, Kramer), this plug-in is the only one specifically for 'group' processing. To me, this unique processor and the 'Acoustic' processor set the Maserati bundle apart from the rest.
If your mixes don't use a lot of 'bus' processing, or you aren't entirely sure how to process your overall mix, then you should definitely consider this plug-in. If you have drums, you should definitely 'bus' them all to the same track. Then you can use this plug-in to do things like compress the sub-mix and also eq. The same thing goes for your final mix. Unless you are going to pay for someone else to 'Master' your mix, then you really need some kind of processing to make your tracks loud enough to compare with the other music that is out there. This plug-in is an 'all-in-one' solution for 'mastering'. It has simple, easy to use controls of 'eq' and 'compression'. The 'compression' setting is actually a combination of 'limiting' and 'compression'.
Tony Maserati is one of the top music engineers and producers. He's done stuff from the Simpsons to Tupac and nearly everything in between, but his major focus tends to be on the more R&B/rap/rock side of things. Finalizing mixes can be a huge pain, and for a plugin to have everything packed inside of it is quite a task. The plugin has knobs for sensitivity, output, lows, mids, highs and compress. There are also buttons for drums room, drums live, guitars, strings, keys, background vocals and master. To use this, simply enable it on your master buss, and you're good to go. I've never read the manual, so I can't comment on that. However, this plugin is fairly straight forward and shouldn't cause to much of an issue for first timers.
Waves is the king when it comes to things such as stability and overall performance. For one, this plugin doesn't take up too much RAM or processing power, and that's a big plus considering a DAW can have tons of different plugins and virtual synths running at any time. The plugins are all cross platform compatible, so anybody with an OS X or Windows machine can run these without any problems. I've never experienced a single issue while running this plugin when it came to things like stability and overall performance. There is one issue, however, that I did come across. These plugins are 32 bit inside of OS X. For me to utilize these in Logic Pro, it needs to run a special bridge application as my DAW is a 64 bit DAW. I'm not a huge fan as to how Logic Pro implements this, and I'm hoping that Waves updates these later on. I've been using the Mercury bundle for the past half a year or so, and it's been awesome.
Trying to make a special master buss finalizer plugin can be quite a big task. While my favorite is still iZotope's Ozone, this plugin doesn't do too bad of a job. I've used this with my power metal band without an issue. It doesn't really work out too nicely for my death metal bands, but that has to do with the way it processes everything; it's just a different approach to mixing that doesn't seem to really work for that genre.
The Waves Ltd. Maserati GRP Group Processor is the newest plug-in addition to the Tony Maserati Collection of plug-ins. There are now seven plug-ins in total included in the bundle, as this was a late addition only added a number of months ago. I believe you can get it if you have certain bundles, but I wasn't able to at home. Like almost all Waves plug-ins, it's compatible for virtually every possible system. The make up of the plug-in is fairly simple to operate, with a series of modes to choose from that each have their own parameters. The modes correspond to a specific application, including those for drums live, programmed drums, guitars, strings, keys, background vocals, and a master channel. The parameters that it gives you control over include sensitivity, lows, mids, and highs, compression, and output level. It also has a meter that can be set to either output and input monitoring. I've never seen the manual for this plug-in...
I don't have the Waves Ltd. Maserati GRP Group Processor plug-in at home yet but have tried it out at the studio where I work. We were able to get this plug-in even though we previously purchased the Waves bundle before this was included. All of our systems are Pro Tools HD based, with our main room running everything on a MacPro desktop computer with dual 2.66 Ghz Intel Xeon processors and 10 GB of RAM. This is a great bus processor, which is the capacity that I've used it in, which is always going to save processing power. Either way I wouldn't have a problem running a number of instances of it on this system if needed.
The Waves Ltd. Maserati GRP Group Processor is a very nice addition to the Tony Maserati Collection of plug-ins. It's nice to have a one stop shop, as this is kind of all of the other plug-ins in the bundle in one combined. I probably wouldn't use this as much if I had it at home, but still wanted to mess around with it at the studio that I work at where it's available. I've got the other Maserati plug-ins at home and I won't be able to add this one unfortunately. While it's a nice add on, it's not really necessary to have if you have the others since it doesn't really bring anything new to the table and just offers up everything right in one spot. Definitely take advantage of getting it if you can and already have the Maserati Collection...