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H-Comp and H-Delay

May 15, 2010

H-Comp and H-Delay are the first in a new line of Hybrid plugins from Waves. They are called Hybrid because they build on everything the folks at Waves have learned from modeling vintage gear (SSL, API, Fairchild, and others), with the possibilities offered by digital plugins.

During the first years of digital plugins, developers were not modeling vintage gear; they were creating totally new methods of processing audio and, in many ways, leading a revolution. The ability to process audio inside a computer was a powerful proposition that allowed for exciting new capabilities that were not possible with analog gear. Inputting precise values with a keyboard, automation, recall, sync to host tempo, and many other new features were suddenly a reality. Once users got used to these features, interest was renewed in vintage hardware, due to characteristics such as harmonic distortion, hiss, color, and unique filters and time constants that were staples on recordings we all loved. This inspired Waves to embark on its modeling projects, which were very successful, since people mixing in the box were hungry for analog character. Waves has since modeled many different hardware processors precisely, staying true to the originals, including their interfaces, looks, and features.

Eventually, something else became clear: While analog gear sounds amazing, its functionality was limited by virtue of its design and underlying technology. Waves decided to take the desirable characteristics of analog gear, and add the conveniences possible to us in plugin form. Thus, the Hybrid line was born, serving up the best of both worlds.

H-Comp is a compressor that has the sonic characteristics of a modeled vintage compressor: THD, hiss, non-linear time constants, and lots of analog color, together with features unique to the digital world. For example, the release can be easily locked to the host tempo for ‘pumping’ effects; knobs can be dialed in with precise values; it has a mix knob which most hardware gear does not; and its novel ‘punch’ feature allows adding a delay to the knee in order to allow transients to pass through while still delivering a hard compression sound.

H-Delay was inspired by popular analog delay units, adding new, unique capabilities that take full advantage of plugin technology. It features tap tempo, lock-to-host tempo, a dirtier sounding ‘Lo Fi’ mode, a mix knob, four different analog character choices, a filter section, and modulation ping-pong mode. It’s also fully automatable, with variable pitch delay behavior for the cool effect you get when changing the time of an analog delay mid-phrase, great sounding presets, and more. Best of all, H-Delay is very easy to use, with two big main knobs for when you don’t feel like tweaking parameters.