Mastering with Waves Plugins Like A Pro

Mastering with Waves Plugins Like A Pro


hey what’s going on out there I’m Sean
Divine hope you all are doing well today we’ve got a new video and we’re going to
be mastering a track using only waves plugins so this is by request many of
you out there using waves plugins exclusively and you want to know what
are some good options and what are some good approaches for mastering a track so
this track we’re gonna look at today is an R&B pop track it’s by James Garlimah
and it’s called Free so I’m gonna go ahead and play back a little bit of this
and then we’ll talk about what we’re gonna do in terms of the mastering and
the plugins we’re going to be using coming your way
baby I’m coming your way free
we don’t have to run so that gives you a good idea of what we’re dealing
with there this is my mix just straight out of the mixed session and you’ll see
that we do have some “headroom” I like to have a little bit of headroom to work
with in terms of our master of course this way we’re not going to be clipping
the bus you see I don’t have any kind of clipping happening in the mix itself so
for those of you who are doing your mixes and masters give yourself a little
bit of headroom to work with you don’t have to have a ton of headroom you know
I hear people out here saying you need like 6 dB 12 dB below zero but you know
I don’t think it needs to be that drastic but you do want to have
something to work with in the mastering the first thing is
you’ve got to have a reference point in terms of your levels it’s also good to
have some things that are going to show you
phasing issues potentially and get an idea of where you’re at in terms of RMS
frequencies all I get stuff so I’m gonna pull up the paz analyzer here if I can
find it I have a lot of waves plugins as you can see so we’re gonna go to the
paz analyzer there and up here we’re gonna have our frequency spectrum and
then we’ve got a representation of phase and then we’ve got our levels over here
I’m gonna switch the detection to RMS and we’ll turn the response down a
little bit slower here so the next plugin we’re gonna put on here and this
is something that we’re just gonna kind of park for a minute we’re gonna come
back to it but I’m gonna put the IMPusher on here and this is a great brick
wall limiter mastering plug-in again gonna be the the last thing in the chain
right before the analyzer and right now all we’re really doing is we just want
to make sure that we are keeping things below 0 and we’re letting this act as
a brick wall meaning we’re not gonna go above we’re not gonna distort and so I’m
just gonna leave that there I may do the push control which this is just kind of
like a threshold on a limiter I’m gonna maybe give it a DB there and then we’re
gonna come back to this plug-in but if we play it now so you can see the gain reduction as I
bring that pushup and we’ll adjust that level once we have our other additive
plugins meaning when we do an EQ and we boost some of the high-end maybe we use
another plug-in to boost the low-end we want to go ahead and do that first and
kind of see where we end up before we start reaching for this push control and
you know getting our levels to a louder place so let’s go ahead and let’s throw
on a an EQ that’s gonna help us accentuate this beastly low-end
that James has gotten this beat very very heavy and what I’m gonna do for
this task is one of my favorites and it is the PuigTec the EQP1a
this is a model of the poll tech as many of you probably know the pull text alley
cues are excellent for dialing in low-end and giving 808 s– and low kick
drums a little bit more boom and thunder so we’re gonna go ahead and we’re gonna
bring the low frequency control down to 30 Hertz setting it this low on this
plugin just has a nice rumble to it so we’re gonna boost this just maybe 2 or 3
DB maybe less let’s see one thing I want to point out with this
plug-in if I turn the boost off and everything’s just zeroed out this
plug-in gives things a nice saturation without touching anything so this is
without so you can hear as soon as I turn it on it gave us just a little
something little vintage flavor but yeah let’s go ahead and let’s do about two DB
to and a half dB at that thirty Hertz range coming your way
baby I’m coming your way nice now let’s do some additive EQ here
let’s go ahead and directly after that let’s go and maybe try the VEQ I like
the the VEQ4 for doing a very high kind of sizzle sort of booster this is just
adding some air we’ve got this 15 K here on our high frequency you can control so
I’m gonna crank that all the way to 15 and let’s just let’s kind of play with
it and see what we can do just to brighten the overall mix a little bit baby I’m coming so you can hear as I
went a little bit too happy with it got a bit too bright so I just brought it
back and let’s just hear that with them without brings out the hi-hats
gives a nice presence to the vocal so now one thing I’m going to do before we
get to the IMPusher is I want to go ahead and we’re going to do a little bit
of parallel processing and we’re gonna use the SSL buss comp great compressor
for this purpose and so what we’re gonna do is we go over to mix channel we’re
gonna go to bus one and we’ll just call this SSL comp we’re gonna do a mono
parallel comp for this so we need to go to our input here we are sending a
stereo bus here but we’re gonna switch this to a mono signal so that we’re
processing this in mono and I’ll show you why and we can hear why in just a
second but let’s go ahead and go to the mono version of the plug-in and what
we’re gonna be doing here is I’m gonna solo it I’m gonna send this 100% or at
zero down here and we’re gonna be smacking this thing pretty strong so
it’s gonna be a very very compressed signal all right so it’s just squashed and it
has a very warm tone by pushing that analog button and just the tone of the G
master bus comp it just has a very analog you know vintage vibe to it and
that’s what we’re trying to get and we’re gonna get a little bit of a an
increase with our vocal this is also gonna help with giving us a strong sound
in terms of our Mono compatibility so what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna just
take this all the way to zero and we’re gonna mix it in and this is gonna be
very subtle you don’t want to get overboard with this because it will
actually ruin your mix and your your master here so this is just something
that you got to be really really careful and delicate about how you mix this in so you can hear I’ve got it makes pretty
low in there but when I turn it on it just brings the vocal up just a tad
helps the whole master sound a little bit more glued so we’ll pull that back
just a touch I want you all to hear the effect we would probably be even more
careful with it but that sounds pretty good so now let’s go over it to our IMPusher the the last a little bit of icing on the cake this is a great great
plugin for master processing a lot of cool controls that are catered
specifically for getting that last little bit out of your master so first
thing let’s do is let’s go ahead and go down to this low control and what we can
do is we can select a frequency and in this case I’m going to try and select
the fundamental or something close to the fundamental normally I’d pull up a
MIDI keyboard but for sake of time let’s just see if we can look on our analyzer I’m seeing a spike here about 62 so
let’s just assume that that’s gonna be the fundamental frequency and so let’s
accentuate that and let’s just boost that just a touch so no explanation needed for this is
just a little bit of magic let’s see if we can add some added a little bit more high-end and now
I’m gonna go over to our imager and we’re gonna widen things just a bit
because this is a cool mix with some elements that are dancing around so we
want to make this more exciting for our headphone listeners so as I stress on
the channel you want to be really careful about your imaging especially in
the mastering process you know if you go like this it’s gonna be you can see more
phase being introduced to your anti phase so we want to bring that back keep
it in check so I’m gonna add just a little bit of
low-mids I’m just hearing a little something missing and then we’ll get
back to that leveling let’s go here to our VEQ4 and I’m gonna go and we’re gonna
boost it about eight hundred I love this eight twenty little frequency hit here
on our view nice and now finally let’s jump back over to our push control or
what is commonly referred to as a threshold on a master limiter we’re just
bringing the level up gonna make it more impactful and if you have any questions
about where you should be trying to get your master master levels I’m gonna put
a video up in the corner that talks about RMS true peak as well as LUFS and
how you can use these to measure your loudness and get it to a point that’s
gonna compete commercially for now I’m gonna be looking over here at our RMS
and trying to get it at about -9 -8 somewhere in there is going
to be competitive I don’t want to push it too much more
than that as you can hear we start to get a little bit of crunch if I go above
that and the more you do this the more you’re gonna be able to hear when that
starts to react in a not pleasant way and you’ve got to be really careful
about how much gain you introduce here at this stage of your mastering because
our master limiter can start to really wreck your dynamics if you start to try
and push it too much so it’s just a matter of finding the sweet spot where
you’re gonna have a competitive level but you’re not affecting your dynamics
and transients in a negative way so that sounds pretty good there now let’s go
back now that we’ve done all of our mastering with our waves plugins I’m
going to turn all these off and then I’ll turn them back on so we can get an
idea of all the work we did here alright y’all so some folks out there
gonna say oh it sounds just louder because it’s mastered but we’re
definitely accentuating some of the strong frequencies that the low-end that
we want to bring out that 808 that’s just knocking really hard now with the
help of our Puigtec EQ as well as this low control on the IMPusher and
then we’ve got some nice high-end added with the VEQ4 we did a little bit of
parallel processing with our SSL buss compression and then we subtly mix that
in with a mono signal just to give us a bit more impact and glue to our sound
and then finally we kept an eye on everything in terms of our levels
we’re hitting at about -9 RMS which is going to be competitive and we
didn’t overdo the brick wall limiter or the threshold the push here on this
control to the point where we started wrecking our dynamics and taken away
from the impact of the transients in this beat so I hope this helps you if
you have any questions about the plugins we use or mastering with other waves
plugins feel free to leave a comment below if you learned anything in the video
please like subscribe and consider sharing and we’ll talk to you soon

100 thoughts on “Mastering with Waves Plugins Like A Pro”

  1. For those of you who just have waves gold you can substitute multiple plugins to get the same effects as the SSL and the IMPusher it's a little bit of a hassle but hmu if you want to know how I got mine to work without those two plugins

  2. The only other thing I would do the would be an enhancement as well before you add the pusher and find out how much you want to use is automation …..making those hooks/drops louder than the other parts of the songs even if its just 2-3db+/- ….that would add the dynamics back in going against what the limiter is doing in a since…I love this video and I learned a lot I'm not critiquing your work flow its just an idea formed from watching this video

  3. bruh i dont know if you know this by now since this video is kinda old…
    but when u go to choose a plugin and u choose the Waves Folder to find a plugin like Paz Analyzer for ex. when u in that list of plugins type the name on your keyboard So in this case if u type P A Z it will bring u straight to the paz part of the list

  4. hello sir.I think you are the perfect person for my problem.
    Actually I already watched so many videos of yours.
    I want to learn about making karaoke track.I watched so many videos of karaoke with lyrics.So i want to make karaoke track which they upload in good quality.So i tried so many softwares and plugins for that.But it not helps me.So i ask you to tell that how those people make clear karaoke track.I had heard that for making karaoke track it takes so much time.Iam ready to all those.So please help me sir.I know you are know about this.

  5. Now organic music was dead and real experiments too. Buy a PC and do everything in it .no studio no enstrument no artist …so sad

  6. So are you saying that every track cant achieved -9 db and sound good and that you should stay at the spot where its sounds best? Sometimes I think we try to force those competitive levels sacrificing clarity.

  7. A question: what if you don't have all those nice plugins?
    I use PAZ ANALYZER + EQ10 PARAGRAPHIC + L2 ULTRAMAXIMIZER (I bought years ago the Waves Diamond Pack) with Soundforge Normalizer to get RMS peaks and Value… results are OK, but not as much as I want…

  8. can you suggest any free (or cheap) plugins that does the same thing? Of course not the same thing but in theory

  9. Great vid man! How come you don’t just use the bus send volume instead of moving the fader? Just a personal preference?

  10. wow, i am back here to watch this tutorial again and then i realized: i really love this song (fantastic mood)

  11. I’ve been producing & mixing since 2003. I’ve been searching videos for years on how this process works. I guess better later than never. 😭🙌🏾 Stumbling onto your channel has changed everything. I haven’t even tried this technique yet but I feel confident this will help me out tremendously. Thanx bro

  12. I notice when I wanna start master my stereo buss peaks at -12 in the verse but then in the chorus its at -6. Does this mean I have to go back in the mix and fix the levels so that the stereo buss sits consistently?

  13. OG in The BEatmaking/Producer Life !!!!!!!!!!!! ..
    Livin Legend !!!! SEANDIVINE INN DAAA HOUSEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. For dance/EDM/House tracks, try the H-Comp (analog off unless you want the track to distort) and use the BPM release. I really gives a subtle pump with the tempo of the track.

  15. U R great. Thanks man… can u tell me how to use this ssl bus channel in cubase. And any tips for making vocals more power full n warm

  16. everytime i think im getting good at audio production theres just another huge thing i have yet to learn. ive heard the terms bus compression and new york compression before but never seen them and never really gotten the idea of filling in your mix with your "parallel processing". a compressed sound quietly in the middle of the stereo field sounds like it would help my masters a lot thanks man

  17. @Sean Devine, great video. I am a producer and usually do a pretty tight mix on my beats and then hand them off to get polished. But I've been wanting to learn how to Master not having analog gear and I've viewed a ton of videos over the past 2 weeks and yours by far as been the most direct, clean and very insightful. Cannot wait to try this on some mixes that I am getting ready to send to one of my artists. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I'm off to check out your other video on Loudness and how to make sure my songs are really polished.

  18. Hi there,
    my question is off topic. But can you tell me what kind of Microphone do you use, and how to record on a PC wihout Noise?
    Your voice is loud and clear, and also i can not hear any backround noise! I'm seaching for such noiseless or low noise microphone recordimg for a lot of time.
    Also the microphone amp will add noise! What devices you are using? They are perfect! Thank you!

  19. That V-EQ is everything…. if… you know how to use it [which you do, Sean lol] I remember I was introduced to it several years ago and I hated it because it wasn't visual… then I realized… I just wasn't listening lol I'm really wanting this IM pusher, but I'll wait till #blackfridaysale I think I've watched this video about 3 times on accident, just thirsty for information, but each time, I learn something different. You're so Divine!!! Thank you!!!

  20. yo solo veo una subida de volumen mas no un mastering como tal, buen video pero la intencion no es que solo aprendan a subir volumen con el farid 660 haces lo mismito sin tato problema creo que seria mejor enseñarles a equalizar es lo que muy pocos saben por donde corregir que buscan

  21. todos los videos que he llegado a ver de youtubers solo suben volumen mas no enseñan algo complejo como corregir se mas profesionales para eso solo mezcla bien desde el principio y sube el volumen eso lo hacen todo eso no es masterizar es solo presion mas no de manera mas artistica por eso esto se llama ingenieria (no copia lo que hacen todos)

  22. Thanks for the vid, It was a tremendous help. Wish the pusher could squash stereo field as well as add. There are a lot of haters of that plugin so i was happy to see how you use it with such great results. Cheers from AZ

  23. Thanks for this exceptional tutorial. Very interesting how many of the other mastering tutorials I've dived into focus on the l3 maximizer or l2 limiter. I seemed to get a better result with this method, using the IMpusher. Any thoughts on this? L3, L2 vs IMpusher… When I might use one over the other, or even combine them?

  24. I have been mastering now for several years, but I'm not too proud to admit when I learn something new. This is not the type of music I usually master, but boosting the fundamental is a very nice touch, Thanks Sean

  25. Great moment in time we live in. You can sit in your own home or studio and master a song!! I love what's out here nowadays musically!!! I find that if your already there with your mix, take a break and go right into your master!! Do it yourself!! Then have several people listen and then go from there!!! I find that out of all the plugins I keep going to the same ones!! Let's face it, they work perfectly all the time. I call it a relationship, some plugins make the project sound good and some don't.
    You have to find the right plugins that work well with each other!! Mastering I thought at one time was real hard. I was wrong. It's very easy if you listen very carefully as your working !! As they say time and time again , use your ears, trust your ears, if it sounds good or great it probely is. If it sounds bad or horrible then start all over again!!

  26. That's so helpful, thank you! I wonder: does this plugin combo work for acoustic recordings too? I love electronic music but as a musician I like acoustic music as well, such as jazz. Thank you!

  27. WARNING: I bought the plugins at 29 dollars each. I don't know of any well-known companies that make you pay for an update that I have been affiliated for years. This would mean that the original price is a Scam. So I decline to any updates. Your policy is going to be known for what it is no matter how you justify your updates.

  28. Great video!
    One thing that mystifies me: the first altering of the sound you did, was dialing in an eq, to give it more bottom end. Why didn't you do this when mixing? (also the same can be said for the high end, that you also boosted during mastering and not while mixing).

  29. Bro I don't have the ssl comp what other waves comp I can use would love a speedy response bro trying to finish the tape

  30. When will Waves arrive in the 21st century and start supporting multiple screens? Open support ticket because when invoked Waves plugins come up blank. Conclusion was that since I have more than 1 screen it's not supported. Wow.

  31. You mentioned the plugin adds some saturation without touching anything.
    Are you sure that's not a little gain that the plugin adds when you turn it on?

  32. I just wanted to ask something..I have an Audient ID22 interface and your track after the mastering peaks.I mean i see red lights in my ID22 when you play the song..Is that a serious problem?maybe your mastering is not enough clean or it doesn't matter?Thank you

  33. Waves: How many Plugins do you have from us

    Sean Divine: YES

    (nohate but HOLY I THINK YOU BOUGHT EVERYTHING FROM WAVES)

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