Waves Audio OneKnob Plug-Ins Review

Sep 1, 2011 9:00 AM, Mix, By Steve La Cerra



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Waves’ OneKnob plug-in bundle comprises seven DSP-sipping processors.

Waves’ OneKnob plug-in bundle comprises seven DSP-sipping processors.

As the name implies, the OneKnob Bundle from Waves is a collection of plug-ins designed for quick and simple operation through use of a single knob (though some also include a pushbutton). The package includes seven plugs and is available only in Native format, supporting sample rates up to 96 kHz. Two OneKnob plug-ins—Louder and Pressure—support sample rates up to 192 kHz. An iLok is required for authorization.

The OneKnob Bundle includes Brighter, Driver, Phatter, Filter, Louder, Pressure and Wetter; each name accurately describes the plug-in’s function. You can automate all OneKnob plug-ins, which require minimal DSP resources. For example, in one particular 88.2kHz Pro Tools session, I had 55 instances of various OneKnob plug-ins, which collectively used 50 percent of my computer’s CPU resources.

All OneKnob plugs are a breeze to use, though I found it odd that they do not appear under their respective menu categories in Pro Tools. For example, you will find Pressure under Other > OneKnob rather than in the Dynamics plug-in menu.

I’ll start with the simplest of the bunch, Louder, which employs compression and peak limiting to make tracks louder by as much as 24 dB. Think of it as a way to take a track “up to 11.” You may not need this feature every day, but when you do, it works. At most settings you won’t hear Louder doing anything other than increasing gain, but as you approach 10, you’ll start to hear a bit of added crunch.

Driver creates overdrive on a track. Crank it up on a vocal track and it sounds like you plugged a vocal microphone into a Marshall amp. Driver should be used carefully on sounds that contain substantial low-frequency information because it cuts the bottom end progressively as drive is increased. Though I liked the way it sounded on electric bass, it thinned out the bottom so you’ll need to either feed Driver from an effects send and bring it back on a return, or duplicate the bass track and insert Driver on the duplicate.

Sorry to say that Brighter will not make you smarter, but it will add sparkle to a track. This plug-in definitely helps tracks poke through a mix, but I wasn’t crazy about it on snare drum or male lead vocal, where it sounded papery. On a female jazz singer, it was wonderful, providing air and immediacy that was previously lacking. It also worked well on overheads in combination with several other OneKnob plugs (described below).

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