Waves Transform Bundle full review

Waves has just released one of the most essential bundles of creative plug-ins that I have come across in a long while. There are four different processor types in the bundle – Doubler, Morphoder, Trans-X, and SoundShifter, which comes in three varieties: the real-time Pitch Soundshifter, the non-realtime Graphic SoundShifter, and the Parametric SoundShifter. The Doubler, as its name suggests, lets you double tracks such as vocals or guitars to create additional copies of the original input signal. There are two versions of this – a two-voice version for doubling and a four-voice version that lets you create complex harmonies. With each new voice, you can alter the gain, pan, delay and tune. The tune control changes the pitch of any of the voices to create harmonies, and you can adjust the gain, pan and delay controls to make these sound more realistic or more effected. The big difference with this Doubler compared with other devices that can be used to create similar effects is that the duration of the voices is preserved when the pitch is increased or decreased – producing a more natural effect. Compression and voice effects
The Morphoder is basically a vocoder that lets you combine two audio signals using one source as a modulator and another as the carrier. By default, the Morphoder uses the track input as the modulator and its built-in eight-voice polyphonic synthesizer as the carrier signal. So if you use the plug-in with a vocal track, all you need to do is to play the morphoder’s synthesizer keyboard while you playback the track – and the synthesizer will ‘talk’. You can get instant gratification using the presets to create whispering or breathy versions of your audio tracks, and the Major Tom preset instantly conjures up the sound of Bowie’s much-loved song. Trans-X resembles a conventional compressor, but is actually a new type of dynamics processor that detects and shapes the transient attacks of audio signals. Normal dynamics compression can’t change the attack time of the instrument (which defines punch and impact); it can only reduce gain when the energy exceeds a certain threshold. Trans-X detects when gain rises faster than a particular velocity – so the signal can be low at times and higher at others, and the transient attacks are still detected and re-shaped as required. You can use Trans-X to make sounds cut through your mix better, or to tame sounds, making them sit better in a mix. With an individual track such as an acoustic guitar, Trans-X can even make it sound as if it were played using a different weight of plectrum. There are two versions of this plug-in – wideband and multiband. The wideband plug-in detects attacks in the total program energy – so it’s especially useful for processing a single instrument or track. The multiband plug-in splits the program into four bands, and you can specify a dedicated range and sensitivity for each – great for processing drum loops. Trans-X isn’t designed for mastering or for human voice processing, however. Instead, it is a mixing engineer’s tool that controls the way transients behave, making it possible to balance impulsive sounds against sustained sounds. Presets include More Punch, AM Radio, and our favourite – The Toothless Drummer. The SoundShifter does high-quality Time Scaling and Pitch Shifting. You can compress or expand time without necessarily changing the pitch, or change the pitch without changing the duration. SoundShifter can shift, stretch and compress up to twice as fast, slow, high or low. It works well with drum loops, preserving the groove and timing as well as the attacks and transients, and the results sound clean as long as you shift or scale by small amounts. With higher ratios, the sound is less natural, especially on the human voice or on full mixes. Formants (fundamental frequencies that our ears use to distinguish between instruments) will shift with the pitch, and the length of all the elements will change considerably. There are three SoundShifter plug-ins: the basic Pitch SoundShifter, which provides real-time pitch processing, and two AudioSuite plug-ins. The first of these, Parametric SoundShifter, shifts the selection’s speed and pitch by a fixed ratio. Graphic SoundShifter, continuously alters the ratio throughout the selection by drawing an automation graph. The Parametric SoundShifter can create smooth speed-ups or to instantly apply pull-up and pull-down corrections when transferring audio to and from video or film. The Graphic SoundShifter presets include Varispeed Pitch Up and Pitch Rising Time Slowing – which should give you a good idea of what you can use this for.
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