In this alphabetical look through the range of Waves plug-ins we get to I, which stands for image, or more accurately image control. Waves have 3 great plug-ins for these duties, the Waves S1 for stereo work, S360 for 5.1 manipulation and the Waves Center for boosting or reducing center audio content isn stereo audio content.
Waves S1 Imager Plug-in
Waves say of the S1 that it is "ideal for stereo tracks as well as full mixes, the S1 is a unique and powerful set of tools that uses psycho-acoustic spatial imaging techniques to enhance and alter stereo separation".
That said the Waves S1 is based on recognised engineering principles and does not purport to create a three-dimensional soundfield from a two-loudspeaker system or to create a pseudo-stereo master from a mono source. Because the Waves S1 is based on established audio engineering principles, it offers a high level of mono compatibility with minimal side effects.
The Waves S1 provides the means to readjust the stereo level-balance of a mix and has the ability to dramatically widen an existing stereo image, again without introducing significant side effects. For example, an asymmetrical mix can be adjusted so as to re-balance the left and right components without affecting the position of the centre image or, alternatively, the center image may be panned left or right without affecting the balance of the stereo components of the mix.
Sound Effects editor, Bernard O’Reilly explains in part 10 of our Audio Post Production Workflows Using Pro Tools series that he uses the S1 as part of his workflow...
My basic SM VST Rack setup has DMG Audio Equality at the top and ends with Waves S1 Stereo Shuffler and Flux Stereo Tool (great free plugin everyone should have). S1 Shuffler is good for switching phase and M/S decoding and Stereo Tool is a useful way to see the sound.
I always use the Waves S1 whenever I have recorded using my Sennheiser MKH40/30 pair. I use the Waves S1 to decode the MS to AB and then use it to control the image width and balance. Whether it is drama, documentary or music recording, if I am using an MS mic, in goes the Waves S1 Imager plug-in
Waves S360 Surround Tools Imager And Panner
The Waves S360 is engineered for the precise manipulation of imaging, distance panning, and spatial enhancement for surround sound.
The Waves S360 is a Surround Panning and Imaging tool for 5 or 5.1 channels. It offers an alternative to surround X/Y panners, designed to provide better control of Phantom images, and providing better localisation as well as an enhanced sweet spot. The S360° Panner lets you set the Rotation and Width for a Mono, Stereo, 5-channel or 5.1-channel, Surround source in the surround mix.
The S360° Surround Imager and S360° Surround Panner plugins can also generate early reflections and can use shuffling to increase low frequency width and perceived depth.
In the first part of a series of free tutorial videos on the plug-ins in the Waves Surround Tools Bundle Mike shows how you can use the Surround Panner and Surround Imager plug-ins in audio post production workflows.
Waves designed their Center plugin to be ideal for final mixes and mastering, Waves Center separates phantom Center content from Side (L/R) content. With Center, you can zero in on the phantom center and bring out or bring down the vocals without affecting everything else. They say it is perfect for post-production engineers and DJs as well, Center lets you reposition, isolate, and even eliminate elements of your mix.
Using a unique dynamic engine which considers the amplitude, frequency, and time envelope of stereo sources, Center is designed to give you the power to radically re-balance your spatial imagery. Adjustable punch, high frequency, and low frequency controls let you focus on Center or Side elements.
Waves Center is ideal for a wide range of audio applications:
- Enhance dialog or narration
- Control the ambience/reverb of stereo location recordings
- Improve mono compatibility
- Mixing and Mastering
- Bring out the lead vocals in a finished mix
- Re-image stereo drum overheads
- Balance stereo recordings of individual or groups of acoustic instruments
- Widen or narrow the stereo spread
- Remove vocals for karaoke
- Remove instrumental tracks for remixes and mash-ups
- Manipulate samples and drum loop
In this free video tutorial, Marcus Huyskens, editor of Studio One Expert demonstrates how Waves Center can be used to augment and rebalance the stereo spectrum & tonal balance of existing loops to better fit productions.