FOH engineer Barak Koren has chosen to mix Nick Cave’s recent world tour with Waves plugins, running via the Waves SoundGrid Rack for VENUE on his Avid VENUE | S6L console, allowing Koren to run plugins as an integral part of his system.
Waves’ vast collection of plugins integrates smoothly with Avid’s VENUE S6L board. “I have been using Waves plugins for the last 15 years, and plugins play a major role in my sound.” says Koren. “I found that the Avid S6L’s sound and workflow, combined with Waves plugins integrated in the operating system/surface is very impressive and easy to access.”
Waves’ SoundGrid Rack for VENUE enables live sound engineers to run Waves plugins directly within Avid’s VENUE | S6L mixing console, with tactile control from the console's surface knobs. The SoundGrid Rack is a plugin that runs within the VENUE S6L environment and loads up to 8 SoundGrid-compatible Waves plugins per instance. All standard VENUE plugin features apply, including Config and Show modes, delay compensation, snapshot automation, and detailed tactile control of plugin parameters.
He continues, “I find that using the Waves SoundGrid Rack for Venue software enabling Waves plugins to run integrally on the S6L mixer/console, adds a wide selection of tools and colors to my mix that I cannot get when working with any other mixer. The ability to control, save, manage and automate the plugins/chains/racks within the mixer's OS is a huge benefit.”
Koren’s setup is based on an Avid VENUE S6L 32-fader surface, integrating Waves SoundGrid Rack for Venue, two Waves Extreme SoundGrid Servers and additional outboards: an API 2500, two dbx 160As, two Empirical labs EL8 X Distressors, a Yamaha SPX 2000, LEX480L, an Eventide H3000 and a Lake LM44.
Koren comments on his must-have Waves plugins: “I find that the Primary Source Expander (PSE) is a perfect tool for mixing live sound. It reduces stage bleed and sensitivity to feedback when a mic is idle by automatically lowering mic levels between musical phrases. PSE is a smart, handy tool that I use to treat quiet instruments on loud stages. I use the F6 Floating-Band Dynamic EQ and the C6 Multiband Compressor on vocals and acoustic instruments. Inserting these two plugins helps me maintain tonality and a dynamic range, without the need to ‘filter out’ by using EQ. I use the DeEsser and Sibilance plugins on vocals. They assist me to maintain high frequency content without the need to take it out of the PA system, since all PA systems tend to push the high end in order to maintain HF over distance. I find the latter to be unnatural on vocals, and therefore use these two plugins to control HF content. I use the H-EQ Hybrid Equalizer on almost all instruments. It sounds amazing and gives me the option to toggle between creative and corrective equalizing. Another favorite is the Scheps Omni Channel. I mainly use the preamp section (thump/saturation) in order to get an analog feel/punch/distortion. I also find the Gate/Expander to be a very powerful tool as well as its DS2 section.”
He continues, “For compression, my choices are the PuigChild Compressor and the CLA-76. H-Delay and the Manny Marroquin Delay are two delays that make the instruments ‘move’ in the mix. The dbx® 160 Compressor/Limiter is my go-to buss compressor. It’s just a fast and great sounding compressor. The threshold control, in combination with its mix control, makes it quick and easy to find the right setting on a bus. And of course, the Scheps Parallel Particles for synth/electronics and when you look for something but don't know what… It sparks up creativity and offers unpredictable solutions.”
“Thanks to Waves,” he summarizes, “I can smoothly and confidently recreate the analog sound of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds in the digital domain and enjoy the benefits of working with the Avid S6L, while having the advantage of easily using integrated essential Waves plugins.”