Review: Waves R Channel
Positives:* All your favorite Renaissance processors in one.
* CPU friendly
* packs alot of control in a small package
Negatives:* GUI can be confusing the first couple of tries.
Renaissance processing all in one box
I’m a tremendous fan of Waves’ Renaissance bundle and each of the processors. They’ve always been my go-to processors for EQ, Compression, and de-essing, with the Rcompressor being Waves most popular compressor plugin. These plugins just work. They deliver a great sounding result with minimal effort. The Renaissance Channel, on the other hand, is a combination of the best plugins contained in the bundle. I love the Rcompressor for rap vocals, brass instruments, and background vocals. The EQ is my go-to for subtractive eq when I need to get rid of undesirable frequencies and the De-esser is my favorite one to use. The RChannel, from top to bottom, contains the REQ, a section for a sidechain that can be applied to the gate/comp, the compressor section, featuring the Rcompressor AND the Rvox, and a gate/expander. I use this plugin very often. I go to it when I have a female vocal. By default, the eq goes first, then into the compressor. I use the eq mainly for subtractive eq. I find offensive frequencies that build up or just plain doesn’t belong there, and I get rid of them. The EQ has a very sharp Q which is perfect for attenuating certain frequencies. The one thing I like the most about using this eq is the key commands. Just like the standalone EQ plugin, holding command (Cmd) and clicking changes the filter type, control (Ctrl) allows the band to either lock frequency or gain/cut controls, and Option (Opt) clicking changes the Q. This makes finding and removing frequencies very simple and easy to do. Next we are follwe by a sidechain section. This section allows me to add a sidechain eq into the gate or compressor circuit. I can add a high pass filter into the gate, so I can gate only the high frequencies and get rid of snare bleed form my kick mic. Or I could even add it to the compressor and have the compressor trigger to sibilant frequencies only. The sky is the limit. I can even control this section from an external source.
Next, we come to the compressor section. This is my go to for processing Bass drums. I use a high ratio (5:1) and a slow enough attack to let the transient through, and add a tighter snap with a quick release. I then change the order of processing (Comp -> EQ or vice versa) to have the eq after the compressor so I can now remove the boxy sound. It’s basically adding the Rcompressor into the signal chain and it even brings their well known ARC (Automatic Release Control). Although it has another trick up it’s sleeve, click on the “Rcomp” button allows you to choose between Rcomp or Rvox. The Rvox is another fantastic processor that comes with the Renaissance bundle. The Stand Alone Rvox plugin features only 2 knobs, Comp and Gate, with all the settings (Attack, Release, etc…) preset and behind the scenes, two sliders do all the work without having to think about it. It’s known for making things fat and bringing them to the front of the mix like nothing else. The Rvox set of controls remain the same, with the Ratio control going blank, but it then offers something even the standalone plugin doesn’t offer, Attack. That’s right, Rvox with an attack control. I love having a choice of both compressors. Each suit different material and being able to go with one or the other makes this a gem. Under the compressor, we have the expander/gate, offering both with great results. There is no control for attack, but the pre-chosen attack is perfect for most material. I use this on vocals ALOT. It definitely does a great job of cleaning up. Especially on microphone bleed. another control that gets wildly ignored, is the rotation control. This is the asymmetry control on the S1 plugin, and always helps with an uneven stereo image. All processors can be used independently and can be turned off to conserve CPU. With all these great sounding plugins in one, It’s hard not to be guilty of using too many. I can easily mix an entire song using only this plugin.