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Thread: Waves Vocal Rider

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    Waves Vocal Rider

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    I took the plunge on the Waves sale and bought the Vocal Rider and De Esser. I haven't messed with the latter yet.

    However, I did try the Vocal Rider. It took me a while to get the side chain working in Reaper. It involved getting into the pins and figuring out the magic combination. Tested it out on a song I'm working on currently. Definitely looks to be a time saver. I found that recording the automation of a playthrough with Vocal Rider gave the best control. It allowed me to edit the automation points manually before finally rendering the vocal. That's useful because the Rider is pretty conservative in the level changes, not dropping nearly enough in the quiet parts of the song. A few edits of the parameters gave a better result. I need to understand better how the plugin works, and how to find the right settings.

    Seems like a good buy at $39 on sale. Looking forward to trying the De Esser.

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    Use this aon most of my mixes, and not only on vocals. I find it helps level out acoustic finger picked guitar really well.
    You're right: get to know the controls and how they effect things.
    And I do the same as you. Write Vocal Rider's automation and then manually thin out and edit the results.
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    I'm currently using it on a project, though surely not to its fullest potential. I just set the threshold points, clicked "fast", turned "sensitivity" up, and called it a day. It's on both my Verse Vox and Chorus Vox main channels, but not their doubles.

    I know there's lots more that can be done with it, but I'm taking it easy for now. Seems to be working fine. I'll listen to the mix in a few minutes on my way to work. Glad this thread was created though - maybe I can learn some other ways to take advantage of the plugin beside just setting the thresholds.
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    I can see using it in a couple of different ways. You could just do a runthrough on a raw vocal track to sort out the gross variations in level that can happen with comping, then render that and continue to make the critical level edits by hand and by ear as before. It would still save you a lot of time and grunt work.

    The second is where the plugin really shines though, and that is to run a side chain into the plugin for dynamic level adjustment. What I did was to create a separate AUX bus (or folder in Reaper, which works the same). Then I did a send from all the backing tracks (guitars, bass, keys, drums, etc.) to that AUX bus and side-chained them into the Waves Rider. The point is to adjust the level changes of the vocal according to what is happening with the backing tracks--loud section, turn the vocal up, quiet section, turn it down. It worked really well. By recording and then editing a write of the plugin's output automation, and can fine-tune the results by ear.

    I really liked what it did for a new song I'm working on. I might post a clip once the song is farther along.

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    It's one of their better plugins and can reduce a lot of compression.

    I usually use it like this: first in the chain to even levels. If that doesn't work, add a little compression. In a busy mix I use the sidechain and "send" all music to the vocal rider. It can then get the vocal level above the mix. So it's pretty cool. I've heard you can use it on bass and other things, too, but I haven't tried that.

    The threshold can be difficult to set. You want to set it so the fader hovers around 0 the most.

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    I've actually been running it at the end of the vocal FX chain, behind the compressors and EQ.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robus View Post
    I've actually been running it at the end of the vocal FX chain, behind the compressors and EQ.
    Any reason? I saw Waves recommended that in their manual, but it made no sense to me. Seems like you'd want to use the more natural vocal riding first, then compress what it doesn't catch second.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nola View Post
    Any reason? I saw Waves recommended that in their manual, but it made no sense to me. Seems like you'd want to use the more natural vocal riding first, then compress what it doesn't catch second.
    I use it, and trhen the second manual run through, to replace compression altogether.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nola View Post
    Any reason? I saw Waves recommended that in their manual, but it made no sense to me. Seems like you'd want to use the more natural vocal riding first, then compress what it doesn't catch second.
    Recommended in the manual for one. But it makes sense to me to run it last, as I want the sound and feel of the vocal track settled, then use the plugin to fine tune and keep the track at the right level to hang with the backing tracks.

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