Best Waves Plugins For 2020 [GUIDE]

Last updated on November 13, 2019
by Imma Nuel

31 Best Waves Plugins

01. Renaissance Bass

Renaissance Bass from Waves


Looking for a tool to help add some real low-end punch?

The Renaissance Bass could be the quick fix panacea to your deep bass inadequacies.

Anchored on Waves’ signature MaxxBass psycho-acoustic technology, it delivers richer and deeper

Waves Renaissance Bass

lows without tagging low-frequency content to your mix.

Thanks to simple and intuitive controls, you can achieve bigger and compact bass second to none from any other system.

The best part it can boost perceived bass response to the extreme of 1.5 octaves.

Overall, whether you are into music mixing or video sound design, this could be your one-cut solution.

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Renaissance Bass:

02. Renaissance Compressor

Waves Renaissance Compressor


Guess what?

The Renaissance Compressor is one of the most effective compressors you can possibly get from Waves.

It sits well on tracks as it does on mixes not forgetting vocals too.

With Warm, Present, and Transparent as it underlying sonic characteristics, your production can have the much-needed natural treatment on the fly.

Renaissance Compressor

Top of its absorbing range of features is the dual compression modes (Vintage Opto and modern Electro).

It also features Auto Release Controls, Double Precision bit resolution processing, mono and stereo components.

Whether you’ll find the distinct sonic character intriguing or the versatility more appealing either way seems well covered.

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Renaissance Compressor:

03. Renaissance Vox

Renaissance Vox from Waves


Next on the Waves product line, the Renaissance Vox is explicitly tailored for processing vocals.

With a versatile design, it combines adequate controls for compression, gating and expansion, limiting, and level optimisation.

Waves Renaissance Vox

So by performing simple tweaks, you can generate great-sounding vocals.

Other features that make it a go-to option include Auto make-up gain, peak hold indicators for instant visual feedback on signal peaks and clip-guard output limiter that deters clipping.

All in all, everything is kept simple despite the wide range of control.

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Renaissance Vox:

04. SSL E-Channel & G-channel

Waves SSL-E and G channel


As you might expect, the E-Channel relives the revered sound of the SSL 4000E console.

Of particular interest is the equalisation section that features High Pass Filter, Low Pass Filter as well as a four-band parametric equaliser.

ssl-E and G channel

In application, the E-Channel opens doors for hard-hitting sounds that remain constant no matter the gain or attenuation.

On the other hand, the Waves G-Channel comes as accurate emulation of the groundbreaking SSL 4000G console.

It differs from the e-series in that its Q is variable depending on the level of gain or attenuation.

Again, it can handle intense application and offers the ability to reconfigure sound both tonally and frequency wise.

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Waves SSL 4000 Collection:
Waves SSL E-Channel
Waves SSL G-Channel

05. SSL G Master Buss Compressor

Waves G-Master Bus Compressor


Moving right along, this is a creation that takes after the widely acclaimed master buss center compressor of the SSL 4000 G console.


Primarily, it brings forth the distinctive sound of the classic device.

That means, with the Master Buss Compressor you have the power to patch up tracks, make mixes bigger, powerful and with an added punch.

So, you can lighten up the finality of your mixes without the slightest limitation.

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SSL G Master Buss Compressor:

06. CLA-76 Compressor / Limiter

Waves CLA-76


First thing to note, the CLA 76 is one of the three parts of the Waves compressor plugin bundle.


Secondly, it is inspired by two highly sought revisions of the Class A line level limiting amplifier traceable to mid-60’s.

Offering super-fast attack, at it comes with an exclusive ALL control that emulates the original machine’s raging All-Ratio-Button-In mode.


Beyond that is a modelled pre-amp distortion for extra edge.

In a nutshell, it offers punchy drums sounds that run deep.

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CLA 76:

07. CLA-2A Compressor / Limiter

Waves CLA-2A Compressor


Another modelled compressor plugin, the CLA 2A is inspired by the legendary electro-optical tube tool- the Teletronix’s LA-2A.

But, unlike other regular electro-optical compressors, it doesn’t control audio dynamic per se.

CLA 2A Compressor Limiter

Thanks to its character and tone, it shines on vocals, guitars, and bass.

Ideally, it fronts the smooth and accurate frequency-dependent behaviours of the original model.

Otherwise, it also features a zero-latency framework and side chain frequency filter to support functionality.

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08. H-Reverb

Waves H-Reverb


Looking for something different to expand your creative horizons?

The H-Reverb could be it.

Based on Finite Impulse Response (FIR) reverberation technology, it offers rich and deep reverb tails that settles perfectly while breathing a touch of freshness in tracks and mixes.


In principle, the FIR engine allows users to alter and customise the reverb decay envelope beyond standard linear forms.

The outcome is beautifully gated real reverse and heavy reverb tails.

And that’s not all.

It goes a notch higher with Waves' futuristic analog modelling coupled with drive control.

Granted, it enables signal behaviour and functionality that is mostly a preserve of high-end hardware equivalents.

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09. H-Delay

Waves H-Delay Plugin


Generally speaking, this plugin is what most audio engineers have christened “a killer delay.”

Why so?

As a hybrid delay tool, it provides up to 3500 ms delay time and variable pitch delay time behaviour.

H-Delay Plugin

Moreover, it delivers anything from old school PCM42-style effects like filtering, flanging, and phasing to slap back echo, ping pong delay not to mention tempo-sync with modulation.

The best part is- everything gets controlled via a super intuitive UI so you can concentrate only on what matters.

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10. Doubler

Waves Doubler


Having any issues capturing multiple takes?

That’s precisely where the Doubler comes in handy.

Designed mainly for vocals, it uses delay and pitch modulation to incorporate texture and richness automatically to any track.


In use, it delivers a doubling effect to the audio source, consequently making it sound bigger, broader, and with more presence.

Don't forget.

It offers other exciting features, including two voice and four-voice options and double-tracking and chorus capabilities.

So, yes!

With it, you can save time adding depth, width, and ambience for a better sound source.

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11. Reel ADT

Waves Reel-ADT


Wondering what makes this worth your attention?

Well, this is the first plugin to mimic with success Abbey Road Studios Pioneer Artificial Double Tracking technique.

With accurately modelled valve tape machine sound, it can improve any track with the impression of two separate takes.

Reel ADT

It means the outcome will by far mirror real double tracking.

Beyond that, Reel ADT offers both manual and automatic controls.

One can quickly advance or delay the doubled signal to create realistic rich-sounding delay and pitch variations.

If all that’s not enough, you’ll find flanging and phasing effects among other features quite handy.

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Reel ADT:

12. Vocal Rider

Waves Vocal Rider



If you are often into mixing vocals, the Vocal Rider could be the time-saver you've been missing.

Here's why?

Admittedly, it functions by adjusting vocal levels automatically.


In other words, once a target vocal for a mix is set, it ingeniously and automatically compensates by increasing or reducing the signal’s gain.

With it, you won't have to worry about unpleasant tonal changes because it doesn’t colour a track.

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Vocal Rider:

13. Abbey Road Vinyl

Waves Abbey Road Vinyl


Perhaps you won’t find a better way to soil your music in vinyl record warmth than with Abbey Road Vinyl.

As an accurate model of Abbey Road Studios vinyl cutting and playback gear, it relives the retro and analog feel of the records and sounds faithfully.

Abbey Road Vinyl offers various sonic shaping possibilities irking the nostalgia of classic turntables and needles.


The plugin reliably captures each stage of vinyl production and playback process, allowing selection between pure acetate and print master vinyl pressing.

Even better, you can play the records on two distinct turntable types with a further choice of three classic cartridges.

And as a bonus, you can enhance the authenticity courtesy of a control tone arm position feature.

Other offerings of interest include slow-down/stop turntable mechanism and ability to incorporate distortion, noise, pops and crackles, wow and flatters and modulation.

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Abbey Road Vinyl:

14. Abbey Road Chambers

Waves Abbey Road Chambers


As the name suggests, this plugin draws from Abbey Road's revered Studio Two echo chamber complete with its signature S.T.E.E.D (Send, Tape, Echo, Echo, Delay) setup.

Imagine creating exciting reverbs, delays, and other unique spatial effects.

Well, that’s precisely what ABC can help you achieve.


It is equipped with all the controls of the Studio Two Echo Chamber and an extra set of original filters including EMI's RS hi/low pass filter.

That way, users can further curate the chamber effect.

You can also enjoy additional spaces, namely Abbey Road's Mirror Room and Olympic Studios' Stone Room.

We could go on and on…

it’s almost impossible to state everything on paper.

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Abbey Road Chambers:

15. Abbey Road Reverb Plates

Waves Abbey Road Reverb Plates


As you might expect, this is simply a state of the art emulation of the well known classic reverb plates by Abbey Road Studios.

While it’s a highly accurate model, it has unique enhancements that define its character.


Leading the line of features is a drive control for setting the THD characteristics of the in/out amplifiers and the plate sheet.

In addition to that, it offers the ability to manage the threshold of analog noise and ham.

To top it all, users can enjoy up to four bass cut positions and roll between the stereo inputs for stereo leak effects.

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Abbey Road Reverb Plates:

16. PuigTec EQs (Pultec EQP-1A & MEQ-5)

PuigTec EQ's from Waves


Needless to say, the PuigTec EQs are emulations of the legendary Pultec EQP-1A and MEQ-5 equalisers.


Pultecs is known for the unique ability to boost and cut a single frequency simultaneously generating a resonant shelf in the process.


And that’s what you get with these two plugins.

Using the Pultec EQP-1A and MEQ-5 at the same time is similar to having full vintage access to analog EQ chain.

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Waves PuigTec EQs:

17. Kramer Master Tape

Waves Kramer Master Tape


Looking for an excellent tape sound tool?

Ooh, yes!

The Kramer Tape is could as well serve your needs.

It is inspired by a rare vintage reel to reel machine.

And guess what?

It comes with adjustable tape speed, bias, wow and flutter, flux, and noise parameters.


What else?

It delivers comprehensive controls across the contours of sound.

As a bonus, it features a flexible slap and feedback delay that is great for rock, dance, dub and more.

Whether you are into mixing, mastering or recording, you can’t ask for more richness and warmth of real tape saturation in your DAW.

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Kramer Master Tape:

18. J37 Tape

Waves J37 Tape


A collaboration creation of Waves and Abbey Road Studios, J37 is a tape saturation plugin that emulates iconic hardware from the 60’s.

At its core are multiple adjustable controls for managing the Tape Speed, Bias, Noise, and Saturation among other parameters.


Waves also emulated three EMI tape oxide formulas each with its unique frequency response and sonic mangling characteristics.

And in case you need ideas to get started, there are plenty presets to help get going.

And if you want to dive a little deeper, it has a sweeping Tape Delay unit to warm your digital recordings with hardware realism like never before.

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J37 Tape:

19. API 2500

Waves API-2500


For all it's worth, the API 2500 comes as versatile dynamics processor for accurate shaping of the punch and tone of mixes.

Coming with a dual-channel design, it operates as two distinct mono channels through one compression setting.


Apart from that, it has an auto-makeup gain for adjusting Threshold or Ratio while keeping up the same output level.

What’s more?

With features such as adjustable three-position thrust high-pass filter, three variable link filter types, six release settings among other musical parameters, it leaves little else to ask.

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API 2500:

20. API 550 & 560

Waves API-550 and 560


Like most options here, the API 550 and 560 have graced multiple tracks over the years for all the right reasons.

Both processors utilise the Proportional Q.

Api 550 and 560

It means enhancing or decreasing a band’s gain reduces its frequency range.

Again, as the boost or cut increases as Q becomes narrower.

Otherwise, you will appreciate the various control knobs on each EQ, allowing adjustment of boost or cut among other parameters.

But all that is just but the surface, going a little deeper will tell you why both are impressive for both tracking and mixing.

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API 550:
API 560:

21. C4 & C6 Multiband Compressor

Waves C4 and C6 Multiband Compressor


As the name hints, C4 and C6 are basically plugins that delivers multi-band compression and dynamics ideal for controlling, taming, and shaping sound.

C4 Multibandcompressor

Ideally, the C6 is an improvement of the C4.

It is has been crafted by adding two floating bands and a side chain element to some dependable functions of the C4.

C6 Multibandcompressor

In use, both are perfect for de-essing and de-popping both live and studio sound providing surgical precision while at it.

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C4 Multiband Compressor:
C6 Multiband Compressor:

22. Oneknob series

Waves OneKnob Series

Looking for an efficient way to convert imagined sound into reality?

With the OneKnob series, nothing is too hard to nail.

In the first place, the series is a set of eight single-knob audio plugins with each delivering a particular effect.

OneKnob Series

Talk of brightening up a track, adding low-end weight, filtering, dynamics processing, creating ambience, and more- it caters for it all.

Similarly, it avails Filter, Reverb, Distortion, Compression, Bass boost, Auto-sidechaining, and brick-wall limiting effects.

Producing classic sounds can never be any quick and easy.

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Oneknob series:

23. Z-Noise

Waves Z-Noise


Let’s face it.

Unwanted sonic characteristics are a constant in the course of sound production.

That’s precisely where the Z-Noise comes into the frame.


As a five-band noise profile EQ, it comes with a revolutionary noise reduction edge that ensures unwanted sonic elements disappear.

Specifically, it features real-time noise profiling, creative transient preservation, and increased low-frequency resolution and time sensitivity capabilities.

As such, it can monitor the whole output or just the noise.

And thanks to dynamic noise detection, you can further keep track of noise that changes over time.

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24. Trueverb

Waves TrueVerb


The Waves line of products is never complete without a tool to create exceptional and naturally sounding digital acoustic spaces.

And the TrueVerb stays real to this statement.


It comes housed in time and frequency graphical interface complete with efficient editing parameters.

When it comes to operation, it combines reverb with an early reflections simulator to deliver expected results.

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25. Vitamin Sonic Enhancer

Waves Vitamin Sonic Enhancer


The Vitamin Sonic Enhancer is tailored to help users enhance and shape the harmonics of a track.

In principle, it is a parallel multi-band tool featuring five distinct bands and relies on zero-latency processing to deliver warmth on both studio and live sound.

It’s controls are straightforward, responsive, and hassle-free to use.

Vitamin Sonic Enhancer

So smoothing or accentuating the punch and dynamics and determining crossover frequency points among the five bands remains seamless.

The same way regulating the mix of the direct signal with regard to the enhanced version comes easy.

With a little practice, users can enrich original audio signal making it sound extraordinarily powerful.

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Vitamin Sonic Enhancer:

26. S1 Stereo Imager

Waves S1 Stereo Imager


Yet another plugin that works for individual tracks as well as mixes, the S1 Stereo Imager is ideal for remastering stereo mixes.

Central to its operation is a psycho-acoustic spatial imaging technique that enables enhancement and alteration of stereo separation.

S1 Stereo Imager

It remixes and rebalances existing stereo mixes without adding any colours.

In other words, it retains mono compatibility and doesn't alter the tonal quality or bring about undesirable effects.

So, if you want what is already in your mixes to come out more profoundly, it will serve you perfectly.

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S1 Stereo Imager:

27. Trans-X

Waves Trans-X


Waves Trans-X is simply a transient shaper ideal for enhancing among other things drum loops, accentuating instrumental attacks or even customising ambience.

With handy transient controls, it enables addition of punch, softening of edges and brightening of sustain.

Interestingly, it comes in two versions- Wide and Multi.

Trans-X Transient Shaper Plugin

Wide mode processes the full bandwidth of the track and is excellent for single instruments.

On the flipside, Multi (4-bands) allows more targeted processing over each of the four bands.

All in all, both modes have almost similar controls to enable the right processing levels.

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28. Center

Waves Center


Imagine a tool that allows you to move in on the phantom center content and effectively increase/lower vocals without interfering with everything else.

Sounds like magic?

Center Mastering Plugin

That's what this plugin can help you achieve.

It features three knobs for pushing low and high-frequency content to the centre or sides.

And with it, you can change lead vocal levels when mastering, add high-end sparkle to side content with altering centre information, and tame overheads in your audio without much ado.

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29. L1 Ultramaximizer

Waves L1 Ultramaximizer


The L1 Ultramaximizer is a futuristic peak limiter and high-resolution re-quantizer all in one unit.

With its 25th anniversary edition, you can choose between classic legacy and new modern UI’s.

Going either way, you'll have features such as true peak domain setting, automatic release control, double-precision bit processing.

L1 Ultramaximizer Peak Limiter

Perhaps the real kicker lies in the Increased Digital Resolution™ dither with noise-shaping filter.

And its limiting section is particularly fast.

Meaning the average signal level of the content can get enhanced significantly without bringing in unwanted side effects.

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L1 Ultramaximizer:

30. L2 & L3 Ultra/Multimaximizers

Waves L2 and L3


Like their predecessor, the L2 and L3 are ideal for mixing and mastering.

In particular, they boast of a legendary blend of look-ahead brickwall peak limiting, level maximisation as well as ultra-high resolution.

L2 Ultramaximizer for Mixing and Mastering

Essentially, that grants the power and added gain necessary for clear cut output when it gets to peak limiting or level maximisation.

Both utilise Increased Digital Resolution with double bit re-quantisation and noise shaping filter.

L3 Multimaximizer Multiband Peak Limiter_1

Don't forget the manual and automatic release control.

Of course, the only difference is while the L2 is a wide-band limiter, the L3 allows separate address of up to five distinct frequency bands.

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L2 Ultramaximizer:
L3 Multimaximizer:

31. Renaissance DeEsser

Waves Renaissance DeEsser


Last on our list, here comes Renaissance DeEsser.

Wondering why it’s worth a chance in your production toolkit?

Renaissance DeEsser

Generally speaking, it is a fantastic pick for reducing and eliminating unwanted hiss sounds.

What's more?

It comes with the ability to reduce undesirable high frequencies while sustaining the original audio quality.

That is all thanks to an accurate de-essing technology that serves male and female vocals alike.

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Renaissance DeEsser:

Final Thoughts:

Our list features some of the most impressive products by waves.

In all fairness, it may not be exhaustive, but then any of the plugins herein is worth a bang for your buck.

Next level audio production and studio recording
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