Jungle AE Recording Studio Blog

Jungle AE Recording Studio Blog

Plug-in Tips – Waves H-Delay

Waves H Delay

Written by Cruz, chief engineer of Jungle AE studios.

Waves H-Delay is another workhorse in my sessions. I use it both during recording sessions and final mixing sessions. I like this delay plug-in because it takes 2-10 seconds to get the type of delay you want. If you have the session set to the tempo of the beat, then all it takes is hitting the host button which is conveniently in the middle of the plug-in for the delay to lock in with the tempo. I don’t ever really use the analog setting, I’m not a fan of the extra noise. I do enjoy the fact H-Delay has a hi-pass and lo-pass filer already on it. I use H-Delay in two different ways for vocals. If I need a simple 1/4 or 1/8 on specific words during a rappers verse, I’ll make a new track and duplicate those specific words onto that new track. On that new audio track I’ll slap the H-Delay on it. I’ll also add the H-Delay to overall vocals as a send from the vocals’ submix aux to add a certain feel or vibe. I’ll use the ‘rap vox’ preset and tweak from there. I use this delay on tracks in the spirit of Drake and Lil Wayne, where it’s an 808 heavy song and the rap vocals are delivered crisp and slowly… It helps to fill in the spaces. You can do a lot of creative effects by automating all the different settings in H-Delay; it helps that it’s parameters are controlled by knobs which makes it better for doing automation by touch. If you haven’t noticed, I am a fan of clean, simple and efficient.

For more info on Waves H-Delay, click below!

Waves H-Delay @ Sweetwater.com

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Plug-in Tips – Waves L1 Ultramaximizer

Waves L1 Ultramaximizer

Written by Cruz, chief engineer of Jungle AE studios.

Waves L1 Ultramaximizer is another one of those workhouse plug-ins in my collection.  This goes on at the end of my master fader chain.  I only use this plug-in on mixes that I know aren’t being sent to Carson Ritz for mastering.  I call final mixes with the L1 limiter baby masters.  If I know this final mix is being sent to mastering, then I’ll take of the L1.  The L1 is a great way to give a client a mix but with a ‘mastered’ feel.  I leave the out ceiling at -0.1, and the threshold lower enough to where L1 attenuates occasionally between 0 and -6 dB.  This should create about 6dB dynamics in your mix, you’ll be able to see that in your out ceiling meter.  If the out ceiling meter only shows 1-2 dB of dynamics, then you’ll end up with a squashed finished product.  What you don’t want is to create a brick wall of sound by lowering the threshold so low.  I use the L1 specifically just to make the rough mix or final mix have that loud “master” feel so the clients have an idea of what the mastered version will sound like.  For quantize settings, I’ll set it to 16 bits since I bounce down to 16 bit 44.1 khz (we run our recording sessions at 24bit 48khz).  For dither and shaping, I’ll cycle through the settings for whatever feels right for the song.  You won’t really hear a difference, but you should be able to feel the difference when you change the dither and shaping settings, it’s a very minute difference, but it is a difference.  This is a super useful plug-in that is packaged with the Waves Gold Plug-In Bundle.  It’s a good bang for buck if you buy the bundle.

For more info on Waves L1 Ultramaximizer, click below!

Waves L1 Ultranaximizer @ Sweetwater.com

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Plug-in Tips- Waves TrueVerb

Waves TrueVerb

Written by Cruz, chief engineer of Jungle AE studios.
Waves TrueVerb is by far my most used and favorite reverb plug-in of all time. It is a workhorse. It’s NY Plate setting offers a classic EMT sound while not taking up a lot of processing power. I’ll add this plug-in on background vocal tracks. It’s reverb sound sends the vocals far enough back in space without having that overbearing effect most reverbs have. You may not even notice the reverb on the vocals while the music is playing, but it’s subtle enough to separate it from the main vocals so the main vocals take focus over the background vocals. For Hip Hop, I’ll use the TrueVerb on adlibs of thought-provoking songs. It helps to add the element of that your conscious is speaking to you from within your own head. I’ll adjust the amount of reverb I want to hear by lowering the direct sound fader. The less direct sound, then the more reverb you hear. It’s like a wet/dry but it works in opposite fashion as most reverb plug-ins, with lowering the fader being more wet as opposed to dry. Now this reverb isn’t always the best for singers to record with, that’s why I don’t have it as part of my recording template. It’s not as flexible in terms of type of sounds you get when used on vocals, but it is very helpful on instruments. This is my go to when you just need a slight touch of reverb on any sound source. The cathedral or large concert setting works great on synths and strings. People have often wondered how I’ve gotten synths to sound like real strings, well one of the plug-ins I use is the TrueVerb. The Large Concert setting really helps to create that atmosphere of an orchestral hall. The TrueVerb is a workhorse reverb as the SM57 is a workhorse microphone. I highly suggest this plug-in for reverbs as it’s one of the few reverbs that is subtle enough to not consciously notice but effects enough to create space in your mix.

For more info on Waves TrueVerb, click below!

Waves TrueVerb @ Sweetwater.com

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Plug-in Tips- Waves Renaissance Reverb

Waves Renaissance Reverb

Written by Cruz, chief engineer of Jungle AE studios.
The Waves Renaissance Reverb is the final plug-in on my vocal aux track in my Pro Tools recording template. I have it set on the preset called Big Warm Plate under the plates category. It offers what it sounds like, a big warm reverb. It reminds me of a more dense version of the big EMT plates I used to use at Webster University’s Studio A. Those EMT plates were giant boxes with giant plate inside of them to create the reverb. I typically have the reverb setting high but the wet/dry at 8%. Depending on the feel of the song, I’ll increase the wetness of the RVerb. Type of rap songs that have increased wetness (%8-20%) would include deep/thought-provoking, dark storytelling, old school boom bap (early 90s), QB Hip Hop (Mobb Deep, Kool G. Rap, Cormega & Nas). For all the other rap songs, I’d leave the wetness at 3%-8%. This is also a good reverb setting for singers to record with. Singers usually like to record with reverb; psychologically it makes them sound more pleasant in their ears, which then brings them more confident. If a singer has more confidence and conviction in their performance, then the recording will be much stronger… which means less auto-tune and less melodyne! Yes I enjoy the natural over the unnatural… unless you’re going for the Chief Keef/Future/T-Pain effect of course. I digress. I rarely go through any of the other presets in the RVerb, the Big Warm Plate is sufficient. If I need a different type of reverb sound, I will resort to the default settings and play with the wetness setting from there. If you need a flexible and easy to use reverb that has a different sound from stock reverbs in most DAWs, this is the perfect one!

For more info on Waves Renaissance Reverb, click below!

Waves Renaissance Reverb @ Sweetwater.com

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Got questions?  Email us at plugintuesdays@jungleae.com!

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Plug-in Tips – Waves S1 Stereo Imager

Waves  S1 Stereo Imager

Written by Cruz, chief engineer of Jungle AE studios.
During college, I got to record and mix with top of the line analog equipment.  After I graduated and starting to mix more in-the-box, I found it hard to achieve the same width and depth as I could get with analog equipment.  This problem led me to the discovery of using Waves S1 Stereo Imager.  This will often be my second plug-in in my vocal chain for my recording template.  I typically set it to the maximum width.  What this plug-in achieves is spreading the source to both speakers.  Imagine it as if your sound source is dough packed into a ball, then when you apply the plug-in it spreads the dough so it’s spread out (less dense). more flat and and less like a ball.  People have always wondered how I get my vocals to sit within a beat even though the beat is only 2-tracked, well this is one of my tricks.  I’m not sure if it’s even technically right to use it for vocals, but I do it, and my clients like it.  I’ll also often use it on synth or string instruments to achieve the surrounding and atmospheric feel.  Add a reverb to the chain, and splash… you’ll be swimming in synths and strings.  Be careful with how often you use this plug-in though.  Since you are spreading out the signal, you will tend to take out bass frequencies (bass frequencies are never usually panned, so when they are, it’s an uncommon sound to the ear).   To recap, I use this on my vocal bus tracks, but for synths and strings I add it directly on to the audio track.   Not only is this plug-in part of my recording template at Jungle AE studios, but it is also part of my #CruzTouch final mixing process!  It’s probably one of the plug-ins I use the most, so be sure to grab it as part of your mixing and production arsenal!

For more info Waves S1 Stereo Imager, click below!

Waves S1 Stereo Imager @ Sweetwater.com

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