TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — Renowned live FOH engineer Paul Ramsay (known for his work with such artists as The Who, Annie Lennox and Skunk Anansie) uses Waves MultiRack, Waves Extreme Servers, and Waves plugins on English rock act Kasabian’s current tour.
Ramsay notes, “I started working with Waves plugins on Roger Daltrey’s solo 2011 U.S. tour. I had a DiGiCo SD7 with a pair of Waves SoundGrid servers. It all went really well, and I was very happy with the results. I didn’t take any external outboard like I normally do with a SD7, other than a TC M6000. I’ve been mixing on DiGiCo consoles since the start of 2003, first with the D5, then with the SD7 when that came out. I think they are the best-sounding consoles and by far the best surface to mix on, hands down. The backup is second to none. Now, with integrated Waves plugins, I use no outboard gear at all other than a Lake for system EQ. I used to always carry my trusty rackmounted TC M6000 and TC 2290 along with a selection of valve compressors and high-end outboard EQs, ending up with a large double rack of outboard. Now with Waves, I carry no outboard FX. With the kind support of Waves Live Product Specialist Fabrizio Piazzini, I was introduced to the Waves IR Live, which has enabled me to use the impulse response of the TC M6000 and a bunch of other quality reverb units. I’ve been using Waves IR Live for all my reverbs, using the same favorite programs I would have used on a rackmounted M6000 or Lexicon 960L and sounding just as good, with all the recall in the snapshots for each song.”
Ramsay continues, “My favorite vocal compression plugin is Waves CLA-2A, which gives a good emulation of a nice, smooth compressor—the kind you don’t notice even when it’s working hard. On my main vocals I have the Waves C6 Multiband Compressor, which responds quickly to take out any peak frequencies in the singer’s voice without EQing them out, including when the singer cups the end of the mic capsule and changes the whole sound of the mic. The Waves H-Delay Hybrid Delay sounds great for a quick go-to delay, emulating what I would have used externally with no loss of quality. I use three instances of the H-Delay in total, all recalled on the snapshots for each song, flicking between mono delays and ping-pongs. When Kasabian tour behind an album, we must be able to emulate the album’s effects. On their new album 48.13, there are various distortions on the vocals. Getting a good vocal distortion in a live setting can be tricky though: rack-mounted multi-effects always sound too digital and processed, and stomp boxes are just too saturated for the sound I’m trying to emulate. With Waves, I use the Waves REDD.17 to get a nice, pleasing grit to the vocal without sounding too over the top, and I can just drop this on certain phrases, as required, via a macro on the SD7. I also use the Q10 EQ with the telephone preset and tweak the filters a bit until I have a great-sounding telephone-type vocal.”
Ramsay concludes, “Working with MultiRack and Waves plugins, I can now find an effect or insert to emulate any sound without having to call my sound vendor or bring out a vast array of outboard units in a number of racks. So the artist is happy, I’m happy, and the production manager is happy as he saves on truck space and freighting costs.”
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