Home Tech Waves Saturation Plugins – The Top 5 Picks for Your Next Mix
Waves Saturation Plugins – The Top 5 Picks for Your Next Mix
Waves J37 Tape Saturation Plugin
Waves J37 Tape Saturation Plugin

Waves Saturation Plugins – The Top 5 Picks for Your Next Mix

Home Tech Waves Saturation Plugins – The Top 5 Picks for Your Next Mix

An overview of Waves’ most sought-after saturation plugins for achieving professional-sounding mixes.

Waves saturation plugins rank among the top software options today for the modern music producer. However, with multiple options to choose from, producers may find it confusing as to which offering best suits their production workflow. Let’s explore some of the best Waves Saturation plugins currently available.

The Abbey Road J37 Tape Saturation

The Abbey Road J37 Waves Saturation replicates a warm harmonic distortion found in the Studer machine at Abbey Road Studios. It makes audio warmer and more detailed by emulating the all-valve analog tape machine used to record the Beatles and Pink Floyd. The J37 Tape Saturation plugin was designed with Abbey Road Studios for the most authentic recreation possible. This plugin comes with three exclusive EMI tape formulas and has three different tape delays. It also features parameters for controlling bias, tape speed, hiss, and more.


BB Tubes

BB Tubes is a tube saturation plugin that can produce subtle and intense effects. It has two main knobs, labeled Beauty and Beast. The Beauty knob creates gentle saturation and harmonics, while the Beast knob generates aggressive distortion. You can blend between the two settings for added creativity. The Transform toggle adds a low-end boost to your sound. The plugin helps create exceptionally loud mixes through tube soft-clipping. Additionally, it includes a Bass Relief feature, which prevents the low end of your sound from being affected by saturation effects, helping to avoid a muddy mix.


Scheps 73

Scheps 73 is an emulation of the classic 1073 EQ, created in collaboration with Andrew Scheps, a Grammy award-winning mix engineer who has worked with artists like Jay-Z, Adele, and Metallica. This plugin combines a pre-amp and an EQ, adding weight and warmth to your sound through transformer saturation using Marinair audio transformers. It faithfully recreates the four-band EQ found in the original, allowing for in-depth control through individual mid and sides EQ with the Mid-Side Matrix. Users can monitor in Mono, Dual Mono, or Stereo.


Abbey Road Saturator

The Abbey Road Saturator is a classic tube and solid-state console saturation emulator. The technology in the plugin was calibrated by Abbey Road Studios themselves. Users can choose between using tube or solid-state console saturation characters and can shape this character with both pre and post-gain EQ controls. The Abbey Road Saturator also comes with an EMI Compander emulation for signal excitement. Additionally, for those who are looking for fast results without much time, the plugin comes with presets designed by industry icons such as Dave Pensado, Lu Diaz, and Joe Barresi.


Kramer Master Tape

The Kramer Master Tape plugin is a faithful recreation of the iconic “rock ‘n roll” sound. The plugin was developed in collaboration between Waves and Eddie Kramer, who is best known for his work with Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. The tube saturation parameter in this piece of software is specifically designed to help tame harsh-sounding frequencies with added warmth. In addition, the Kramer Master Tape allows users to toggle the speed, bias, and flux controls. There is a built-in tape delay that runs up to 500 ms with time, feedback, and filter parameters.



What is Saturation?

Saturation emulates the warmth and distortion from using analog equipment. Saturation plugins can enhance sounds to become richer and increasingly vibrant in your mix.

How long has Waves been around?

Waves launched in October of 1992 with its first plugin; the Q10 Paragraphic equalizer. They are one of the most respected software companies in music production. Trusted by the likes of world-renowned music producers like Martin Garrix, Skrillex, Deadmau5, and countless others, some of your favorite records were likely mixed and mastered using Waves technology.

What DAWs are Waves compatible?

Waves plugins are designed to be compatible with all major professional DAWs on the market today. They offer VST, TDM, RTAS, and AU formats for their software.


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