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What do I need to use Waves plugins with Logic Pro 9?


Paul MK

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I'm looking at buying some Waves plugins

 

Firstly I'm faced with the TDM / Native question.

 

Really dumb question probably, but can anyone tell me the advantages/disadvantages of each?

 

Also - What else would I need to buy (other than Logic & Waves plug-ins to make them work?) software/hardware... for TDM?... for Native?

 

I'd really appreciate any help as I can't get my head around it. :?

 

Paul

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For native, you wouldn't need to buy any specific audio hardware outside of your Intel-based Mac. They just utilize your Mac's CPU. However, for either native or TDM you will need to buy an iLok if you don't already have one. That is how Waves handles their copy protection.

 

If you wanted to go TDM, it would require buying some of Avid's DSP hardware that can host them. This would free up CPU cycles for other things. I believe Logic can utilize TDM versions, but I have no experience doing that so I could be wrong.

 

My advice would be to stick with native, because overall it will be less expensive and more flexible for you. You won't be beholden to any specific piece of hardware (other than your Mac's CPU and RAM, and an iLok).

 

Before you buy any Waves plugins, you should also learn about the Waves Update Plan. No other company I'm aware of does updates the way Waves does. If you use Waves plugins long enough and move to newer versions of Logic or OS X, odds are good you will eventually need to utilize this and it will cost money. Some people like it, some people hate it, but either way you should know what you're getting yourself into.

 

http://www.wavesupport.net/content.aspx?id=2160

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Here you go! Welcome to the forum. :D

 

What is your current setup? TDM is Avid's hardware made for Pro Tools. Where does Logic come into this? Please tell us more about your situation.

 

:lol: Thanks Matt... I did try googling first honest!

 

I got TDM is best, but then you need TDM hardware, which needs protools which everyone is leaving to join Logic, so I thought I'd ask you guys to get some sense... :) - Was wondering if Logic can now handle TDM without all the extra stuff.

 

I just have Logic Pro 9 on a high-end Macbook Pro and want to be able to Produce pro-mixes and masters in my home studio. Was told Waves would do the trick?

 

Paul.

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For native, you wouldn't need to buy any specific audio hardware outside of your Intel-based Mac. They just utilize your Mac's CPU. However, for either native or TDM you will need to buy an iLok if you don't already have one. That is how Waves handles their copy protection.

 

If you wanted to go TDM, it would require buying some of Avid's DSP hardware that can host them. This would free up CPU cycles for other things. I believe Logic can utilize TDM versions, but I have no experience doing that so I could be wrong.

 

My advice would be to stick with native, because overall it will be less expensive and more flexible for you. You won't be beholden to any specific piece of hardware (other than your Mac's CPU and RAM, and an iLok).

 

Before you buy any Waves plugins, you should also learn about the Waves Update Plan. No other company I'm aware of does updates the way Waves does. If you use Waves plugins long enough and move to newer versions of Logic or OS X, odds are good you will eventually need to utilize this and it will cost money. Some people like it, some people hate it, but either way you should know what you're getting yourself into.

 

http://www.wavesupport.net/content.aspx?id=2160

 

Some great advice.. I'll look into it Thank you. :D

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You're very welcome! At the end of the day if you work hard to develop great listening skills, and learn your particular monitoring setup and environment by studying how great mixes sound in your room, you don't need any particular set of plug-ins to achieve great sound. The plug-ins that come with Logic are extremely high quality.

 

Many of Waves plug-ins are great, but there are many other companies that equal or surpass them in quality, and sometimes at a lower price.

 

You should be able to achieve mixes you're happy with right now with what you've got:

 

Channel EQ - I have Waves Renaissance EQs and URS Channel Strip Pro, and still reach for this all the time

Logic Compressor - (extremely versatile, except as a dirty compressor)

Overdrive/Clip Distortion/Bitcrusher/Tape Delay (if you set it to 0ms and adjust the distortion level you can use it as tape saturation) - (between all these you can do many flavors of subtle saturation or beyond)

Space Designer - (one of the best reverbs around)

 

And for mastering, Linear EQ, Multipressor, and Adaptive Limiter.

 

I think Amp Designer isn't up to snuff compared to Amplitube or Vintage Amp Room, if you need a guitar sim.

 

Before you buy anything, you should also explore the Softube line of plugins, particularly their compressors. I've never seen anybody say a bad thing about anything that company makes.

 

Let me stress again though that you can do amazing work right now with what you have! Do some mixes and masters and demo a lot of plugins and see where you think the weak parts of the Logic chain are.

 

Make sure you've got as much RAM as possible too, makes a huge difference as you start loading up all these native plugins.

 

Sorry if that was just a lot of rambling, I'm just speaking as someone who has spent a lot of money on plugins over the years and probably half of it I later realized was unnecessary, and I end up reaching for the Logic plugins anyway.

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Sorry if that was just a lot of rambling, I'm just speaking as someone who has spent a lot of money on plugins over the years and probably half of it I later realized was unnecessary, and I end up reaching for the Logic plugins anyway.

 

...any more rambling you want to do is absolutely fine with me. Massively helpful. Thank you! I certainly don't want to spend money with no value added.

 

I'm looking forward to checking out some of your ideas.

 

I'm getting some great sounding mixes, but usually end up with 'something missing' in the EQ & loudness when compared to 'properly mastered' reference tracks. - It comes to life when I send it to an engineer to put through his analogue gear. - So I was hoping to get to a place where I can be entirely self-sufficient without re-mortgaging my house :)

 

I also have just got an external SSL compressor (built from parts) which has stepped thresholds (a bit brazen) - Low, medium and slam the door shut. It's highly effective, but I've probably not got the best out of it yet.

 

You suggested I should be able to get pro mixes with what I have - But then you mentioned you have waves Renaissance EQ & URS Channel Strip Pro - Do you recommend I would need to buy them?

I agree the Space Designer is top drawer.

 

With your set up, are you able to obtain full loudness with your Logic Master Plug-ins? ... If so, any ideas what I might be doing wrong?

 

I appreciate your help. and any further tips you may have based on my set-up.

 

I have some budget to buy 'missing' gear, but only if it makes a difference.

 

Paul.

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Ha ha, well, I'm glad it's helping.

 

I never end up using any of the Renaissance plugs anymore other than Rvox, and that usually doesn't make it to final mixes. It's a great "convenience" vocal compressor, in that you can throw it on, set your threshold literally almost wherever you like and it never sounds bad. Might not be magical or anything, but it just balances it out and you can get on with your production.

 

The URS Channel Strip Pro is something I use all the time, and is certainly worth demoing to see if you like its workflow. It's designed to be a one-stop shop for compressors, high and low pass filters, and EQs. It also has some fairly subtle coloration options, most of which are pretty difficult to detect but are there if you want them. Generally I will use the Logic EQ for surgical cuts with high Q to get out any annoying resonances, and the CSP for more broadly fitting the track into the mix. It's a fairly unique plugin, and there's more to say about it than I can get into here, but there is a demo available.

 

I certainly would not recommend that you NEED to buy it though (or any other plugin). If you demo all the stuff you think you might need, you will probably decide there are a few that you can't live without, and if you ask 10 different engineers what their must-haves are, they'll give you 10 different answers and they'll all be right for them, and they could all be wrong for you.

 

On the mastering side:

 

Whenever possible, if I mixed something I prefer to have an ME that I trust do the mastering. A large part of the point of it is to have someone else's fresh ears and different room/speakers sanity checking you. My current favorite mastering plug-in is John Scrip over at Massive Mastering: http://www.massivemastering.com

 

That said, I do end up mastering my own stuff from time to time, and sometimes for other people as well. Without getting into too much back and forth over style of music, just how loud you want your masters to actually be, your stance on the loudness wars, etc... here are some ideas of things you can try.

 

1. Choose a reference track or two in a similar style to what you're working on, and frequently hop back and forth between your mix and the reference track. It's not a perfect system because you are comparing your unmastered mix to their mastered one, so you should lower the playback level of their mix so the perceived volume level is similar. Do this while you're working on the mix, rather than just after you think you might be done, that way your brain will stay flexible and open to drastic changes that might be necessary.

 

2. Once you're confident you're headed in the right direction on your mix, but well before you are finished, see what happens if you throw on your favorite bus compression/limiting/etc, and try some eq changes to the master bus. See how close you can get it to the reference track. This is a preview of how the eventual mastering processing might affect your track. Things you thought were nice and subtle might end up louder, your vocal might get too harsh, your drums might start distorting... All effects that you should make note of and go back to your mix to correct.

 

3. As another ear-opening technique to the possibilities of what your track might need, throw the Logic Match EQ on the bus, and for the template track throw your reference track in. Examine what curve it comes up with. This will never probably sound that great, but it will give you some ideas of things you COULD achieve with EQ back on the original tracks. For instance, say you notice the Match EQ is pulling out a ton of 3k. Toggle it on and off a few times while listening, and you might realize that what it's getting rid of is a bunch of nastiness in your guitars that you didn't notice. So go back to the guitar tracks and pull it out there (to taste), instead of doing anything with the cut on the master bus. That way you aren't pulling 3k out of other things that might need it. Each time you make a change to the individual tracks, you need to reanalyze your mix with the Match EQ though. Don't go off the deep end with this, since you aren't trying to absolutely recreate the reference tracks or anything... but you will undoubtedly catch a few things you missed before.

 

4. Once you are getting really close, you could start trying to (and I'm making up a term here) mix your master. That is, get some mastering processing on that you like, get it up to the full volume level of your reference tracks, and start making changes with the processing on. Is your mix too dull? Brighten it up. Is the bass getting lost? Turn it up. Are any of these things causing new problems? Fix em :-) Do bus compression tweaks, try EQ tweaks to the whole mix, try anything to make it sound the way you want.

 

Conventional wisdom is always going to say you should take your stuff to an ME, and that's absolutely right IMO. But if you have to do it yourself, or just want to, there are a few ideas for you. And even if you ARE going to take it to an ME (and you should), I think it's a great idea to do your own faux-master to listen to before you send it off to get some concept of what is going to happen to your mix. I imagine most MEs would happily receive the unprocessed mix and your faux-master, along with notes about things you like and don't like about each.

 

Oh my god, TLDR!

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I got TDM is best,

Not really.

 

 

I just have Logic Pro 9 on a high-end Macbook Pro and want to be able to Produce pro-mixes and masters in my home studio. Was told Waves would do the trick

Nopes, but an acoustically treated room, good monitors and years of practice will. ;-)

 

Go a la carte. Get a the few Waves plug-ins that really make a difference and get whatever you need from various brands such as Flux and Sonnox Oxford:

 

http://www.logicprohelp.com/viewtopic.php?p=339695#339695

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Very nice, short and comprehensive guidelines AF! Thanks. :)

 

Here's another useful document by "our" ME Lagerfeldt:

(Who is my upstairs neighbour now, lol!) :mrgreen:

http://www.logicprohelp.com/viewtopic.php?t=57055

 

...and one by member Tarekith:

http://tarekith.com/assets/mastering.html

 

Both very helpful/insightful and very readable documents.

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Overwhelmed with all your advice and ideas chaps..

 

Thank you so much.

 

That should keep me busy for a while :D

Good luck. I used to think I had to have Waves too! :lol: Now I use maybe three 3rd party plugins and the rest of the time. It's the Logic Pro plugins.

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