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New Waves Abbey Road Saturator Dynamics & Harmonic Saturation Software AAX, AU, VST Mac/PC (Download/Activation Card)

by Waves
Original price $299.00
Current price $199.00

Available for download, Waves Abbey Road Saturator is a plug-in that emulates gear used in Abbey Road studios, a classic room. This gear is used to process the dynamics of sound sources, though it also provides saturation emulations for adding harmonic distortion to signals. Use it on elements in your mix to add character, vibe, and to tame transients is a very specific way. It was developed in partnership with Abbey Road.

One tool this Saturator emulates is a compander—a hardware device that compresses a signal, passes it through a filtering section, and then expands it. Compression reduces the dynamic range of a signal, while expansion does the opposite: it increases a signal's dynamic range. Companders were initially used in communications, but in musical applications, the process can add high-end excitement to material, allowing it to cut through the mix.

The saturator part of this plug-in emulates the EMI REDD 17 and the EMI TG12345, one is a valve mixing desk, the other a transistor-based console. Both have their own characters, and in this plug-in, you have access to both sounds.

The plug-in itself is quite easy to use. Your instrument goes through an input section with a level trim and a pre-EQ section for emphasizing or curtailing the lows, mids, and/or highs. Next comes the Compander, which enacts the process described. It gives you Ratio and Blend controls, combined with EQ emphasis switches.

This feeds the saturator section, which can be mixed in to your desire or shut off altogether. Finally, you have an additional post-EQ section for final tweaking, and an output level knob.

The plug-in operates in mono, stereo, or M/S (mid/side) mode. It is available for Mac and Windows platforms, and operates in AU, AudioSuite, AAX, and VST formats.

Exclude Selected Frequencies from Distortion Processing

You can use the Pre EQ and Post EQ controls together to remove certain frequencies from distortion processing. This is most commonly used to leave low frequencies largely untouched, usually to maintain the color and robustness of the bass, or to prevent the bottom end of the distortion from becoming muddy. Use the Pre EQ to strip away the frequencies you want to remove from the signal so that they don't pass through the compander and saturator, and then use the Post EQ to recover the same frequencies after processing.

Phase Control Changes Distortion Character

The Phase control reverses the polarity of the compander module. It tends to change the effect from pulling to pushing. It can result in a significant change in character depending on the program material.

Valve & Transistor Tones

EMI REDD 17 is a valve mixing desk, first developed at Abbey Road in the 1950s. Its saturation sound is typically edgy and aggressive. The EMI TG12345, introduced in 1969, was the first solid state mixing console designed by EMI for Abbey Road Studios. It saturates with a round, often warm sound. Both are available in this plug-in.

Compander Control

The compander compresses the Pre EQ signal, passes it through low-pass and high-pass filters, and then expands it. This excites the signal and provides control over how different frequencies are distorted based on the compander ratio. The Ratio controls which frequencies will be compressed and enhanced. Lower settings result in more low-frequency sounds being soft clipped and compressed. With higher settings, higher frequencies are affected, and results range from gentle clipping to crunching.

Waves Abbey Road Saturator Specs

Delivery Method Download
License Type Standard
Supported Plug-In Formats AAX, AU, AudioSuite, VST, VST3
Standalone Operation No
Supported Sample Rates Up to 192 kHz
System Requirements
Supported Operating Systems macOS 10.12.6 or Later
Windows 10
Memory Requirement Windows, Mac:
8 GB
Storage Requirement Windows, Mac:
8 GB
CPU Requirement Mac:
Intel Xeon and Faster  
Intel Core i5 and Faster  
Intel Core i7 and Faster  
Intel Core i5 and Faster  
Intel Core i7 and Faster  
Intel Xeon and Faster  
AMD Quad-Core  
Display Resolution Requirement 1024 x 768 (1280 x 1024 Recommended)
Internet Connection Required Yes