Waves Silver bundles review: What is it?
The Waves Silver bundle is one of many very different bundles available from Waves and includes 16 plugins, many of which have achieved classic status. The Silver bundle delivers a massive discount over buying the individual plugins, its retail price being around the same as buying just three of the 16 included plugins. Waves is also well know from running regular sales that cut the prices of plugins and bundles significantly.
Format: 64-bit AAX, RTAS, VST2/3, AU, Soundgrid
Mac: Intel Core i5 or higher (M1 support), macOS 10.14.6 or later
PC: Intel Core i5 or AMD Quad-core or higher, Windows 10 or later
Memory: 8GB or higher
Hard disc: 16GB
Price: $599, often reduced to $99
Buy from: Waves (opens in new tab)
The Waves Silver bundle reviewed here offers high-quality plugins that handle most studio tasks, so think of it as an alternative to using your stock DAW plugins. It is a set of classic and creative Waves plugins and (often) at a great price for what you get… which is a lot.
Within the bundle you get three inclusions from the Waves Renaissance range, the Axx (opens in new tab), Compressor (opens in new tab) and Equalizer (opens in new tab). This range was originally designed to be easy to use with more streamlined interfaces and all three inclusions here certainly fit the brief.
Next up are the classic C1 Compressor (opens in new tab) and IR-L Convolution Reverb (opens in new tab). The former a studio favourite as is the latter, a convulsion reverb that has influenced a generation of such 'verbs. And talking of reverbs you also get TrueVerb (opens in new tab), an easy-to-use and very natural-sounding reverb.
Other inclusions in Waves Silver also cover common studio production tasks. DeEsser (opens in new tab) and Doubler (opens in new tab) remove sibilance and add double-tracking respectively, while Q10 Equaliser (opens in new tab) is a fantastic-looking multiband EQ. L1 Ultramaximizer (opens in new tab) is a limiter and maximiser for mastering; S1 Stereo Imager (opens in new tab) a stereo widener with extras; and PAZ Analyzer (opens in new tab) lets you visualise the impact of all of these have on your mix in terms of stereo, frequency, and peak/RMS level.
Finally in Waves Silver we get some less obvious but more creative inclusions. Enigma (opens in new tab) is a versatile multi-effects; MondoMod (opens in new tab) a tremolo, phaser and panner all-in-one; MaxxBass (opens in new tab) is a bass and sub bass enhancer and SuperTap (opens in new tab) is an analogue tape delay emulation with plenty of modulation options.
All in all then, Silver offers classic, workhorse and creative options. Let's have a look at some of the highlights.
- View more of the best Waves plugins
Waves Silver bundle review: Performance & verdict
Starting with C1 Compressor, this has long been a favourite thanks to its no nonsense, uncoloured approach to compression and its triple module setup comprising compressor/expander, gate/expander and filter/EQ. This three-pronged approach is very well implemented – you can use them individually or as joined up processors – making C1 a flexible beast, and you can understand why it’s reached an almost iconic status.
DeEsser and Doubler do as they say on the tin with focus and speed. Reduce your sibilance with DeEsser and double up tracks for chorus effects, flam-like drums or simple fatness and polyphony with Doubler. They're both practical and hands-on effects that do their job well and what the word 'workhorse' was invented for.
Arturia FX Collection 2, $399 (opens in new tab)
The newer kids on the block deliver 22 mix plugins that sound and look great, but do cost more.
Waves Gold bundle, $799 usually reduced to $199 or less (opens in new tab)
Offers 42 plugins (including those in Silver) for around twice the price
Waves Platinum bundle, $1,999 usually reduced to $299 or less (opens in new tab)
This top-selling Platinum bundle delivers 60 plugins. Both Gold and Silver do deliver more plugins for your money but Silver has all the plugins you will need if you are starting out.
Enigma, as the name implies, is one of the few plugins in the Silver bundle which isn’t immediately obvious what it does. But it does a lot: filtering, reverb, LFO modulation… Think phasing and flanging on dynamic steroids. Again it’s one of Waves’ older plugins, but that doesn’t hold it back as it’s one of the creative highlights of the Silver bundle.
IR-L Convolution Reverb can model the acoustic properties of real spaces including none other than the Sydney Opera House and Wembley Arena. The detail given within the 4.8GB preset download about how Waves captured the responses of these iconic venues is almost worth the admission price alone. And when you audition the vast presets covering famous studios, churches, even car interiors, you'll forgive the fact that this plugin has been around for the better part of two decades and just enjoy the tweakability that comes with it.
The Renaissance Compressor is another Waves classic – it's straight to the point and just gets on with it – while the EQ can offer very dramatic and very easy frequency editing. That said, Silver Bundle's Q10 does offer more flexible multiband editing and a much more modern UI. The choice is yours. Axx is the less obvious of the Renaissance three, a dynamics processor specifically designed for guitar and bass. It makes those tracks 'mix ready' in an instant and with just three controls – Threshold, Attack and Gain – you'll quickly get great results, even on vocals and synths.
Of the rest of the plugin we have to mention MondoMod for its ability to add swirling surprises, detuning, dirt and mayhem on one hand and subtle chorusing and panning on the other; and finally SuperTap which takes your delays up a level (and sideways, down, filtered, you name it).
There's clearly a great range of plugins in the Silver Bundle, then – some look dated but still perform, others are fantastically creative. But putting Silver next to the Gold and Platinum bundles, you get less bang for buck – it's simply the Waves way. However, Silver offers 16 plugins you will use in most aspects of music production, so will be a great buy for newcomers or those who need little distraction from a mountain of other plugins they perhaps don't need. So if you are after a solid range of plugins that will give your stock DAW plugins a run for not that much more money, the Waves Silver bundle still delivers.
Waves Silver bundle review: Hands-on demos
Waves Silver bundle review: Specifications
- Plugins included: C1 Compressor, DeEsser, Doubler, Enigma, IR-L Convolution Reverb, L1 Ultramaximizer, MaxxBass, MondoMod, PAZ Analyzer, Q10 Equalizer, Renaissance Axx/Compressor/Equalizer, S1 Stereo Imager, SuperTap, TrueVerb
- Format: 64-bit AAX, RTAS, VST2/3, AU, Soundgrid
- Mac requirements: Intel Core i5 or higher (M1 support), macOS 10.14.6 or later
- PC requirements: Intel Core i5 or AMD Quad-core or higher, Windows 10 or later
- Memory: 8GB or higher
- Hard disc: 16GB
- License validity: perpetual
- Copy Protection: Online Activation
- Contact: Waves (opens in new tab)