The Waves CLA Classic Compressor Bundle: It Sounds Great!
So, I recently gave in to temptation the other day and bought myself some more Waves plug-ins, specifically, the Chris Lord Alge classic compressors bundle. They were on sale, I couldn’t resist!
I have to say, I am a big fan of Waves. Not only are their plug-ins really good, they are very affordable. Take the bundle that I just bought for example. You get four high quality compressor emulations for just £77. What a steal!
You know what else I really like about Waves plug-ins? The licencing method that they use to protect their software. Unlike companies such as Slate Digital, there is no need for an iLok. Plug-in licenses are all stored on a cloud system, accessed through a desk top application called Waves Central. Once you buy a plug-in, the license is automatically download to the cloud. You simply log-in to Waves Central, activate your licenses and install your software. Job done.
Anyway, back to the classic compressors bundle that I bought. As I mentioned, this plug-in pack contains four compressor emulations:
· Black Face 1176
· Blue Stripe 1176
· LA-2A Limiter
· LA-3A Limiter
The main compressor that I want to focus on in this post is the blue stripe 1176, known for its use on lead vocals. Although I already own an 1176 emulation, the Slate Digital FG-116, I always wanted to get my hands on the blue stripe edition of the classic FET compressor.
Although Slate do their own model of the blue stripe 1176, it is a little pricey, setting you back £180. Furthermore, the Waves emulation is a direct digital model of Chris Lord Alge’s own blue stripe 1176, referred to as “bluey one” by himself and his assistant engineers. If you want to get an authentic CLA sound to your vocal compression, buy the Waves emulation.
Prior to purchasing the CLA compressor bundle, I had been using the Slate FG-116 to compress the lead vocal in my MSc final major project production. Now don’t get me wrong, it sounded great, but switching it out for the Waves blue stripe 1176 added some extra excitement to the lead vocal, particularly in the top end.
I also found that the attack time on the waves 1176 emulation was not as aggressive as the Slate Digital version, allowing more of the initial transient through. This was helpful in the context of the lead vocal, as the FG-116 felt a little choking at times.