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What Makes Space Rider Different From Other Reverb Plugins?

Feb 08, 2024

Discover how our creative spatial processing effects plugin Space Rider, along with its unique Rider control and vast blending options can transform your sound and workflow. Inspire yourself with fresh creative ideas that come quickly and easily. Space Rider is not “just another reverb plugin” - read on to see why.

What Makes Space Rider Different From Other Reverb Plugins?

Our new plugin, Space Rider, can transform your tracks from ordinary to magical. Using three processes built from the ground up to provide a sense of space to your music, the aim is to make whatever you process through it deeper, wider, and when pushed harder, to transport it to another dimension.

In this article, we’ll show you eight ways Space Rider can improve your music production with ideas, sound quality and workflow improvements. Waves Creative Access Ultimate users already have access to Space Rider, and others can demo the plugin via Waves Central. So what can it do?

First, Let us Count the Ways…

1. Instantly Achieve Vocal Mix Greatness

2. Change Spaces Between Verse and Chorus

3. Create Reverb that Responds Differently to Bigger Hits

4. Create Subtle, Phasey Modulation Effects

5. Bring Things to a Build-up

6. Send Chorus Straight into Reverb

7. Tune in Spot FX with Delay, Reverb and Chorus

8. Create Width and Vary it Through Time

1. Instantly Achieve Vocal Mix Greatness

One absolutely key usage of Space Rider is to turn even the tamest and driest of vocals into some profoundly interesting. The three processes at hand in the plugin – Chorus, Delay and Reverb – can combine into the perfect silver bullet for vocal effects, and thanks to the balance between these three treatments, it’s hard for them not to make something sound good.

In the example below, we start with a dry vocal and then run through the same one multiple times, each with a different preset from Space Rider active.

And of course, the plugin sounds great on sources other than vocals, as you’ll see through the rest of this article!

2. Change Spaces Between Verse and Chorus

Your mix should be a vibrant, dynamic part of your track that responds to its many movements. That could mean nudging your plugins’ settings between different sections of your track, such as increasing the reverb for the epic chorus, or rebalancing your mid and side signals for more focus during a verse or middle eight.

With Space Rider, this is an absolute piece of cake! Using the dynamic Rider at the bottom of the plugin, you can set up different properties for the Alpha state and Beta state, then slide between them. That’s perfect for setting up parameter transitions between sections and using automation to slip between them through your project.

Space Rider Verse Chorus Rider

If you’re using automation, that means you can make the transition between Alpha and Beta states as quick and impactful or as slow and artistic as you like. This is a creative decision that’s pretty much up to you.

3. Create Reverb that Responds Differently to Bigger Hits

Taking the concept of the Rider even further, it doesn’t just have to be operated by hand or by automation. By switching on the Auto function, the Rider starts responding to the level of the audio coming in, moving the slider further with higher sound levels and back down lower with quieter parts of the audio. In other words, an envelope-following blend between chorus, delay and reverb settings.

Space Rider Reverb Envelope Setup

This tip considers just the reverb, though. In the image above we’ve set up Space Rider giving just reverb over drums, and switched the Auto function on. Now higher-level hits will push our Rider towards the Beta state, where the Input level to the reverb will go up, producing more reverb for every louder hit.

It’s cool and it’s fun to set up, but it’s not good production. Instead, here we swap things around so that the Input level to the reverb lowers with higher hits, curtailing the reverb.

We can go even further and reduce the reverb’s decay time with every loud hit, and increase its damping parameter too. This could be useful in mixing to help save headroom, making your reverb more controlled in its reaction to those louder hits.

4. Create Subtle, Phasey Modulation Effects

Chorus is a given in Space Rider, but did you know that delay processors are the essence of what makes another modulation effect tick: the flanger. With Space Rider’s delay processor set to very short timing (in milliseconds), and its dry/wet Mix set to around half way, we get a different sort of modulation, as demonstrated on the electric piano part in this example, which was previously dry.

This effect on its own isn’t going to win any innovation awards, but when combined with the chorus and reverb elements of Space Rider, a very short delay line can add a little extra width and depth to a processing setup without completely changing its personality.

5. Bring Things to a Build-up

Lashing on effects and automating them during a build-up will probably be nothing new to you. But with Space Rider and its dynamic Rider, you can automate macro-style control of multiple effects in your DAW very easily from a single plugin.

With Space Rider on a bus, set up two states in the Alpha and Beta slots, with the Beta slot being more extreme and dramatic. Now automate the Rider throughout the build-up to increase the effect as things get deeper and deeper.

6. Send Chorus Straight into Reverb

Space Rider’s three effects modules can be run in parallel or in serial. By turning up an effect’s In dial, it will receive some of the input signal directly. By turning up the To Delay or To Reverb dials between modules, modules will pass each other their processed signal. We can combine these parallel and serial signal flows at will.

Space Rider Chorus Into Reverb

In the image above, we’ve set up a routing that skips the Delay entirely (that module is bypassed), and takes the audio input at the Chorus (its In dial is higher than zero). Since the Reverb module doesn’t take any signal from the input (its In dial is set to zero), it’ll have to get it from the Chorus module’s output. This is achieved by passing the Chorus output ‘To Delay’ and then ‘To Reverb’. Since the Delay module is off, we get a full ‘Chorus into Reverb’ routing.

7. Tune in Spot FX with Delay, Reverb and Chorus

Setting up huge, wet FX chains to drench a signal is usually a music production faux pas, but not if the effect appears only on a single word. By activating a chain like this only over the last word of a vocal line, we get a ‘spot effect’ acting as punctuation. Common examples of this are using delay spot FX to repeat the word, or huge reverbs to emphasize it. If we add chorus into the bargain, that’s exactly what we get with Space Rider.

Space Rider Chorus Spot FX

Using automation of the Rider parameter, we can set up our spot FX using chorus, delay and reverb – or any combination of the three – and activate the entire thing over the one word at the end of the phrase, as seen above and heard below.

8. Create Width and Vary it Through Time

Space Rider already helps in the task of stereo width, thanks to the plugin’s mono-to-stereo version that lets you take a mono source and add artificial stereo-ization. The effects in question – Chorus, Reverb and Delay – are time-honored ways of giving signals more width. So how can we make it happen?

First, our Chorus module was practically born to be a width enhancer. Set the Intensity and choose which mode works best with your source. The Width dial increases the stereo effect.

The Delay module isn’t a textbook way to add width, but the Ping Pong mode can come in handy, especially if you’re experimenting with short delay times (see Tip 4, above).

Finally, the Reverb module, especially in Space Rider’s mono-to-stereo incarnation, is a dab hand at increasing your stereo girth. Try the Space type rather than the Plate, experiment with PreDelay, and crank up the actual Width dial to finish things off.

Try Waves Space Rider in your next mix

Download the demo today to try Space Rider free for 7-days.

If you are a Waves Creative Access Ultimate user, simply launch Central to download and install.

If you mix with StudioVerse and have Space Rider activated on your machine, be sure to explore the ever growing collection of community made mix chains based around the magical powers of Space Rider.

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