Pro-FX, the latest bundle of audio plug-ins from Waves, includes UltraPitch for corrected pitchshifting of formants – a frequency range that gives a sound it’s own special quality; MetaFlanger for vintage flanging effects; SuperTap, a six-voice multitap delay; and MondoMod, which combines Amplitude Modulation, Frequency Modulation and panning in one plug-in. All feature the sexiest user-interfaces yet from this highly innovative company.
UltraPitch processes monophonic tracks, such as vocals or single-note instruments, to create up to six new ‘voices’ and does the pitchshifting with formant-correction to avoid ‘chipmunk’ effects. You can produce extremely realistic effects using the variable stereo-panning and delay on each output, to create huge and thick stereo chorusing, doubling, parallel harmonies and lots more.
Formant-correction keeps the sound natural when you shift the pitch, and menu options are provided which optimize this for voice, brass, strings and so forth. UltraPitch will also perform formant-corrected time stretching, where the audio is made to play back in a shorter or longer time. You can also enter negative or positive values for the formant correction, which will cause the apparent gender of a voice to change for a more masculine or more feminine effect.
For a more creative effect you can mix in three- or six-voice harmonies of the original notes and pan these across the stereo field, while randomly varying the timing between the voices, to create stunningly realistic choral effects.
MondoMod combines Amplitude Modulation, Frequency Modulation and panning. Amplitude Modulation produces the classic electronic tremolo effect, using an LFO (low frequency oscillator) to cyclically vary the loudness of the audio up and down from the normal level by a smaller or greater amount. Frequency modulation uses the LFO to vary the pitch of the audio up and down to create the classic electronic vibrato effect.
Combining these provides a more natural vibrato, which corresponds better with the way many real instruments produce vibrato – with both pitch and loudness variations. The Rotation section makes the sound pan cyclically from right to left speaker and back at a rate set by the LFO – which greatly enhances the vibrato effect. Interesting factory pre-sets include Seasick and Perfectly Awful.
MetaFlanger lets you create gentle choruses, sharp phaser-effects and a variety of flanging sounds. The default settings produce a basic flanging effect that you tweak to suit your purpose. You can preview the results using the button provided, or by playing back the audio with the effect inserted in the case of the TDM, MAS or VST versions.
The LFO varies the delay time of the ‘wet’ audio, which, when rejoined with the original audio, produces a huge and creative variety of effects and pleasant harmonic shifts. Variations in the delay time cause the ‘swooshing’ effect typical of flanging, phasing and chorusing effects. For chorusing effects, the rate and depth settings are lower than those for flanging and you keep the mix low with the delay high. For phaser effects, the delay setting needs to be low, and the mix and feedback phase inverse switches also need to be on.
SuperTap is a multi-tap delay with up to six voices, each with its own filter and up to six seconds of 24-bit delay. A multitap delay has multiple outputs or taps that produce a set of delayed versions of the original signal, which are all mixed with the original signal at the output. Feedback can be used to route audio back to the input for looping and complex rhythmic effects. SuperTap can produce a broad range of multitap delay effects, including analogue and tape delay emulation.
Basically, there are two types of processing: either with modulation or with longer delay taps. You can also choose between two or six taps for either type, and it works in mono or stereo. The stereo versions feature a Pan Graph, which contains draggable markers to change Gain and stereo position simultaneously. Separate Gain and Rotation controls are also provided for each tap. Other controls are provided for EQ/filtering, feedback and modulation, and SuperTap has the most musical interface for setting a rhythm I’ve ever seen.
The Pro-FX bundle includes the best set of pitchshifting, delay and modulation effects I have come across as plug-ins. Although many of these effects are available seperately, Waves Pro brings them together in one unbeatable bundle of tools.