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Waves Vocal Rider
Old 27th September 2010
  #242
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Waves Vocal Rider Plug - my first impression...

Well, much fanfare on this plug in, but I'm not so sure. I do a lot of dialog editing and "manual compression" / vocal riding. Has anyone else listened to the demo on Waves website? I just did and was not too impressed.

1.) All through the demonstration I was marvelling at the bad audio mix, then to my surprise - they announce that their plug in is riding the levels on the video! Either the response time or perhaps the range seemed sub-optimal, I was hearing the jumps in syllables to a distracting level. It seemed as thought the singing content was marginally better, or perhaps less obvious because it was mixed with music, but the straight dialog was unimpressive. I would not deliver a project that sounded like this.

2.) Seems like they are offering the functionality of raising the dialog level above a side chain input, presumably as their take on ducking. Maybe I misunderstood their functionality, but that is the wrong technique IMHO. It's the other material (usually music) that should be lowered to accommodate the dialog, not the other way around. I do it with a compressor - works great, but it seems that using the Waves Vocal Rider paradigm to boost dialog would make it tough to keep your dialog stem consistent when mixing for broadcast.

3.) I noticed that after the automation was written he said you put the plug back in read mode. Does that imply that the automation is written to the plug in lane not the track volume lane? If so that means you have to leave that plug activated during bounce / mixdown. Seems like it would be more straightforward just to have it write to the volume directly, but I guess you could copy it. Not a deal killer, but seems a bit clunky for an $800 (TDM) tool.

Anybody else have similar observations?
Old 27th October 2010
  #243
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mundox View Post
And the fact that it is Pro Tools only is not a mistake, it's a matter of resources.
Well here's the VST code resources, compliments of Urs Heckmann @ Co
VST source code archive

Now the only resource left is time! So then... chop-chop... I want to give you money at some point!




AND feel free to take some reverse -"inspiration" from Waves' inspirations on your product :D
Old 26th March 2011
  #244
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Grahamdwc's Avatar
 

Hey all, i see Vocal Rider on offer till the end of the month, has anyone had regrets or otherwise after purchasing.
Its been out a while, are ye still using it? Is it worth having in the plugin arsenal?
Thanks in advance.

Graham
Old 26th March 2011
  #245
Gear Addict
 

It's not bad, IMO. I use it on the vocals bus, but it can get out of hand once in while. Demo it. It's not a gamechnger or anything like that, but it can be handy.
Old 26th March 2011
  #246
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Grahamdwc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lhama View Post
It's not bad, IMO. I use it on the vocals bus, but it can get out of hand once in while. Demo it. It's not a gamechnger or anything like that, but it can be handy.
thumbsup Thanks for your opinion, lhama.
Anyone else like to share.

Graham
Old 26th March 2011
  #247
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Ain't Nobody's Avatar
 

Man, i really wanted to love this plug. At first, I was thinking it was generally useful, but then had to be tweaked. After working with it on a few projects, though, I'm convincd it's simply not very good at what it does. No matter how much knob tweaking you do, it doesn't ever really get it right.

All in all, I think I still have to do just as much automation, and sometimes to FIX moves it's made.


However... oddly enough, the one place I"ve found it does work... is on guiars. I guess since the phrasing isn't something we have such a strong innate sense for... it can do a quick and decent job of leveling a track when you just want to even it out and don't want a compressed sound.

If you're doing L and R panned guitars with near identical takes, for intance, leveling them with this first will help get them to where neither pokes out and grabs your attention more than the other, so they stay balanced.

On vox? I'd love to learn otherwise, and believe I've just not found the perfect setting, but I think I'm giving up on this one.
Old 26th March 2011
  #248
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grahamdwc View Post
thumbsup Thanks for your opinion, lhama.
Anyone else like to share.

Graham
i find it useful and a time saver, and definitely worth having. if it doesn't work for a particular thing you don't have to use it, but that applies to any plug. cheers.
Old 27th March 2011
  #249
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vtone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollo Soul View Post
it can do a quick and decent job of leveling a track when you just want to even it out and don't want a compressed sound.
That's exactly how I use it. I like to level my audio tracks without any artifacts without compression. I find that compressors respond better if I level with vocal rider first.

It's true, getting the settings right can take some fiddling-- I still don't know what I'm doing really. But once it's doing what you want it's so easy, you run a pass, tweak as necessary, and the results are worth it IMHO.

Guitars do sound good. Brings up the room reflections giving it a sense of depth, very natural.

Edit: sorry, to clarify, I'm using Wave Rider by Quiet Art
Old 27th March 2011
  #250
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Grahamdwc's Avatar
 

Thanks for the comments Guys!

Graham
Old 28th March 2011
  #251
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Marogru's Avatar
I was using for for some time but now I went back to good old auto.

It works on a EASY materials..so nothing form every day life.
It might use it sometimes on background vocals or something less important.
But I NEVER use it on main tracks, I just don't feel it.

Another thing that bothers me is that its very latency sensitive, put a plugin in front of it and the auto goes bananas.
Old 28th March 2011
  #252
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lakeshorephatty's Avatar
 

I'm sure this was discussed in the long-ish thread i can't take the time to read, but would anyone want a vocal to stay at a fixed relative volume above a backing track for an entire song? Doesn't this fly in the face of the way most music is produced? With different elements sharing the forefront at different times?

Russell
Old 29th March 2011
  #253
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vtone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lakeshorephatty View Post
I'm sure this was discussed in the long-ish thread i can't take the time to read, but would anyone want a vocal to stay at a fixed relative volume above a backing track for an entire song? Doesn't this fly in the face of the way most music is produced? With different elements sharing the forefront at different times?

Russell
I totally agree and a very good point.

I use it for clarity. There's an old trick where you ride the input to the compressor so the compressor is getting an equal level for every word. That way a whisper is compressed the same as a shout. Then you ride the output or fader as per usual, for the song. I like the balance in tone and attenuation this technique brings to a lead vocal.

I use this same approach with this plug. I automate the volume so everything can be heard equally. Bounce it. Then I'm compressing for tone. After the compressor I'll automate the fader manually.
Old 29th March 2011
  #254
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vtone's Avatar
 

Also, I think this tool is more suited for VoiceOver work. I still find it handy for modern music production.
Old 19th July 2011
  #255
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Zep Dude's Avatar
 

I've used the Wave Rider and it's great. You can adjust it so it doesn't completely flatten the level.

Don't look at it like your final ride. It's more like an assistant who gets the meat of the ride done in one pass. Now you can hit your compressor much more evenly in the sweet spot and do your final ride post compressor.

Where it really saves time is all those wild variations in level between words...especially with a dynamic singer who doesn't know mic technique. You either have to graphically edit or do multiple passes which burns your time and energy.

You do have to take some time the first time you use it to figure out the settings, but once you have that save the presets for the future.

One good technique is to have 2 settings: relaxed and aggressive. Let it write over the entire vocal in relaxed, then if you have sections where the vocalist was way out of control run the aggressive just in that place.


I was going to try the Waves version but as others mentioned, you can't edit the volume and since it's a plugin where the audio passes it's just another trip through the TDM (or native) bus adding more rounding errors to the signal.
Old 17th October 2011
  #256
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You will never get any better then editing in your own fader dips....only the human ear
can decide what sounds right.... be happy that you have discovered the best way already.

Fifty8th
Old 17th October 2011
  #257
Deleted User
Guest
Bying Vocal Rider was the biggest waste on a Plug-in ever.

I really should have tried it out more carefully, I admit. I wanted it to be good, that´s why I bought it. Thruth is, it´s useless nonsense.
Old 22nd June 2012
  #258
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nice
Old 12th December 2012
  #259
Gear Nut
 

I have seen many mixed reviews on this plug. . . . however I grabbed it (without demoing it) along with the bass rider plug on the Cyber Monday sale. All I can say is that I have zero regrets. I have a low budget cover mainstream band demo I am finishing and it very quickly got my vocals where they needed to be. I am getting ready to start mixing the third song with it and could not be happier with how much time the plugin has saved me! Two thumbs up. I like is so much I can not see why I would not use it on even more critical mixdowns! I have an audio book project coming up in the end of January that I am looking forward to using it on as well! YMMV
Joe
Old 13th December 2012
  #260
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soundtrack2life View Post
I have an audio book project coming up in the end of January that I am looking forward to using it on as well! YMMV
Joe
For audiobooks there are two free programs that caught my eye as kind of poor-man's Vocal Rider. I often have non- critical quality voice material that wasn't recorded pristinely and has too much volume disparity over a few hours and I'll have to nudge it in chunks into the ballpark before I call consider using dynamics plugins to smooth the perceived level out. I considered VR and its alternatives but in the meanwhile have been playing with these two and see some value in them. One is Levelator (The Levelator) which isn't a plugin but a free drag and drop app that takes any non-compressed format file and creates a new leveled file. That's it. Basically does a look-ahead and maps the file in by the entire file and also looks at the smaller chunks to do what seems to be a little bit of everything (gain raising, limiting whatever else) to raise the RMS level and have it a more evened out file. I've played around a little with it, not all that much, but it seems to be an interesting tool to use when stuff is a bit too out of whack and the final destination is audiobook or interview broadcast/podcast.

The other is an old Audio Unit called Rider (Sound Consulting - AudioUnits ) The website is outdated and emails bounced but I found the author elsewhere but it's basically just an old, unsupported AU on an old unsupported site : ) But it seems to do what it's supposed to pretty decently. Has a threshold and target RMS. Works. Free. It's interesting to use a processor that has no max peak target, just the RMS, and with the threshold there's at least that control instead of it being automatic.

(Not associated with either, just always interested in cheap dynamics tools)
Old 7th March 2013
  #261
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Vocal Rider v. Fader Automation

I'm working on a rap project. Multiple MCs, two-track mixtape beats, multi-tracked original beats, singers, instruments... the whole shebang. I have some pretty serious mixing ahead of me, and recently picked up the Vocal Rider plugin... but am I better off automating my volume fader? will I be sacrificing quality either way?

thanks!
Old 7th March 2013
  #262
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Mikey MTC's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattFoRill View Post
I'm working on a rap project. Multiple MCs, two-track mixtape beats, multi-tracked original beats, singers, instruments... the whole shebang. I have some pretty serious mixing ahead of me, and recently picked up the Vocal Rider plugin... but am I better off automating my volume fader? will I be sacrificing quality either way?

thanks!
You won't be sacrificing quality either way. This is all about level and which approach will net you the balance that's in your head.

I'm sure Vocal Rider works well once you get the settings right. Personally I'd never use it, much preferring to do things manually with processors and automation.
Old 8th March 2013
  #263
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey MTC View Post
You won't be sacrificing quality either way. This is all about level and which approach will net you the balance that's in your head.

I'm sure Vocal Rider works well once you get the settings right. Personally I'd never use it, much preferring to do things manually with processors and automation.
Quote:
I'm sure Vocal Rider works well once you get the settings right. Personally I'd never use it, much preferring to do things manually with processors and automation.
I'm considering using the automation on the various lead tracks, and the vocal rider on background elements. Is there any reason I shouldn't do that?

I understand I can learn everything I need to know just by using my ears and playing around, but for the sake of saving myself a little time I'd like to know how you more experienced guys like to do it. Even things beyond just vocal rider v. automation. Oh... and I appreciate any OTB tips... but due to budgetary constraints I'm mixing strictly ITB, however with a pretty hefty assortment of VST plugs... both professional quality/psuedo-industry standard and "professional" quality
Old 8th March 2013
  #264
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Mikey MTC's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattFoRill View Post
I'm considering using the automation on the various lead tracks, and the vocal rider on background elements. Is there any reason I shouldn't do that?
There's no technical reason why you can't do that. The rule always is, do whatever you've got to do to get it the way you want it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MattFoRill View Post
but for the sake of saving myself a little time I'd like to know how you more experienced guys like to do it. Even things beyond just vocal rider v. automation.
Well I think I can be relatively safe in saying that more experienced guys pretty much use console or DAW automation (as well as varying amounts of compression). Your backgrounds may not even need much by way of gain riding . . . . or maybe they do, I don't know, but don't think I've ever found a balancing quandary that I couldn't automate my way out of.
Old 8th March 2013
  #265
Here for the gear
thanks man. that's all the reassurance I need for now! haha...

if anyone has another opinion, or maybe another trick/tip or two, I'd certainly appreciate it.

thanks a lot!
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