General Thoughts on Plugin Upgrades (Waves) and Cubase 13 compatibility

Hello everyone. I was just curious on your thoughts about whether or not something like the Waves plugins would be a route to consider if thinking of going in to some third party plugins. I ask specifically about Waves because at the moment , Waves has the Platinum Bundle going for $98 bucks and im wondering if that’s something to maybe hop on or stay away from AND how they are working in Cubase 13 to any who may already be using Waves currently.

I realize it depends on my specific needs and all but I was just wondering what some general thoughts were and if anyone else is considering the bundle at the moment too. Im still trying to learn all I can with C12 and C13 being that I jumped from C6.5 so I appreciate everyones help and input.

Thanks fellow Cubase friends. :v:t3:

Waves, just like NI, UAD, and PA, have eternal sales. That means they just never end. If you don’t like what is on sale at Waves, just wait a few weeks. Patience pays with these developers.

Well, what are you looking for?

I would first suggest learning what Cubase offers. You might be surprised or even shocked. You can’t say any longer that 3rd party plugs are generally better than stock DAW plugs.

Once you know what is missing, or you think doesn’t work well, then look beyond Cubase.

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I’ll second that … the stock plug-ins in C13 are way better than what was in C6.5, in fact, I hardly use any Waves plug-ins any more. Unless you’re really sure you need something else specifc, I’d suggest saving your money for now, until you become familiar with the new set in C13.

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The Platinum bundle contains 60 Plugins. Many of the plugins offered in this bundle have an equivalent in Cubase Stock Plugins. It’s true that some are more specific, but will you really need them?

I agree with @MrSoundman and @Greg_Purkey, use Cubase plugins intensively first and if you really have very specific needs later, see which company would offer you the best quality/price ratio, Waves, UAD, Arturia, Plugin Alliance, etc., they all offer you attractive discounts at different times of the year to buy only what you need.

I have, and use, quite a few Waves plugins, on pretty much all my projects these days (and since 2018, which is also somewhere around the time I first started trying Cubase – prior to that, I think the only Waves plugins I had were the Renaissance series, which I’d been using with SONAR since 2003). If you want to get an idea of those I have, you can check https://rickpaulmusic.com/equipment-and-software/, but a quick summary would be their Diamond bundle, the Abbey Road collection, all the artist signature series collections, and various others that were of interest and weren’t included in one of the bundles. I also use their StudioRack, which I think is free and hosts other Waves and third party VST3 plugins for making complex chains, including parallelism and multiband capabilities, a fair amount. And, for perspective, I should issue the caveat that I’m a certified plugin junkie (which you’ve already figured out if you happen to have looked at the linked page). :rofl:

As others have said, Cubase has a pretty comprehensive set of plugins. I’d been using SONAR for over a decade and a half prior to coming to Cubase, so I was already using other plugins before there was even a chance to consider trying those plugins. SONAR also had a reasonable set of basic plugins, though not as comprehensive as Cubase’s, and I haven’t tried enough of Cubase’s built-in plugins at this point to have a feel for quality comparisons. (I do try Cubase’s plugins occasionally, but I haven’t actually used many of them on my projects.)

I had to refresh my memory on what is in the Platinum collection, and I see it is largely a set of basic functional plugins, albeit with some plugins that impart flavor in addition to filling their specific functional uses. For example, the entire Renaissance collection, while maybe not some specific classic hardware-based flavor has somewhat of an analog flavor, the PuigTec EQs emulate Pultec units (but Cubase 13 added EQs that do the same), and the “V-” plugins emulate Neve hardware.

Just thinking about the Waves plugins I use frequently, not a whole lot of them are in this collection, though there are exceptions. For example, Sibilance (which was free at one point) is probably my favorite deesser (though I also use RDeEsser a fair bit), I still use Renaissance series plugins a fair bit (though nowhere near as much as I used to), I use the IR-L Convolution Reverb quite frequently, I use their VU Meter plugin extremely frequently (albeit temporarily) to help me in gain staging, and I juse H-Delay a fair bit. There are also some others I use occasionally for specific functional purposes, but, in most cases I’m more likely to use other plugins, be they from Waves or others (especially PSP Audioware and Arturia) for the functional needs these plugins cover. And, in general, the plugins I use most from Waves are not in this collection (or even their Diamond bundle).

If you’re just looking to cover functional needs, I think the suggestion others made to start with Cubase’s built-in collection is very solid advice. That helps get a handle on where you run into limitations, which then helps figure out what is needed from elsewhere. My being a plugin junkie is partly due to having done that (even more so on the virtual instruments front than audio plugins front) over a long period, and partly due to my being less of an “I know exactly how to get such and such a result” type than an “I’ll know it when I hear it after experimenting a bunch” type on a song-by-song basis. So I thrive on having options, and frequently try multiple plugins with different flavors in any given context before picking which one I’ll end up using.

As for the Platinum bundle, it does provide a few specific flavors, and those alone might make the $99 deal worthwhile if you don’t already have those flavors and want them, and it does provide a good set of functional plugins some of which probably aren’t covered, and some that likely aren’t covered as well, in Cubase’s plugin set. It’s also worth noting that most of these plugins have been around for a long time, so they are fairly friendly on the CPU. Many will also have loads of presets as starting points (one big advantage of many Waves plugins for my inclination to try a whole bunch of things in the process of finding a sound). It would be hard to go wrong with the bundle, though, if you’re looking more for different flavors, instead of trying to cover more functional areas, there would be better places to start with Waves (though some will decidedly be more expensive).

@RRuiz,

After reading @rickpaul’s post, I am readjusting my comment by telling you for $99 UAD, it’s a bargain that will give you a lot of pleasure in discovering, learning and using these plugins.

If you have the money and spending it doesn’t embarrass you, treat yourself!

Actually, one other thing I didn’t think of in my (already long) note, and that is the “learning” side. One thing that Waves is really good at is making it easy to find videos that give insight into how to use their plugins. I’m not sure to what extent that is true with these older plugins (though I occasionally do see new videos on some of the Renaissance series), but it’s definitely true with their newer, more creative plugins and some of the plugins you aren’t likely to find many equivalents of (e.g. CLA Epic, which has 4 different reverbs and 4 different delays under a single roof, with useful routing capabilities that you might otherwise end up using lots of complex sends to set up). In most cases, you can just go to a specific product (i.e. plugin, as opposed to the overall bundle) page, and there will be multiple videos for that plugin, sometimes in-depth ones. (That can save a lot of time compared to searching YouTube.)

I have had this bundle for a very long time and I still love it. I use these plugins from time to time and have never had any problems with them through all versions of Cubase and WaveLab I have had. In my opinion, you can confidently go for it. Some of my favorites include AudioTrack, PuigTec, Q10, PAZ Analyzer, Vitamin, and TrueVerb, which is a classic. You can also load the plugins in StudioRack and save entire plugin chains.

However, I also think that one should really get into the Steinberg plugins because they are also really good. What I specifically miss with some Steinberg plugins is the ability to scale them. For example, I would like to have the GEQ-30 larger. In this regard, I prefer the GEQ-30 from Waves.

Wow, so much great feedback on this post. I really appreciate everyones thoughts and input ! @MrSoundman @Stefano7 @rickpaul @Rene_L @Greg_Purkey

The thought that Waves seems to ALWAYS have sales made me re-consider on waiting for the moment. Waves Sales do happen quite a bit. And as Ive mentioned, coming from Cubase 6.5, I really need to learn what I have in my plug-in arsenal stock wise and see if I really need these Waves ones. You see, ever since I was right out of high school (I started my Cubase journey with Cubase SE :open_mouth:) I have ALWAYS been told “Oh you need Waves for mixing. waves WAVES WAVES!” is all I have ever heard so I think maybe I’m a bit conditioned in that area. lol. Thank you all for the thoughts and insight.

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Yeah, definitely not. There are even books out there about mixing with only 5 plugins. (I did the equivalent of that back in my hardware days, with only whatever EQ was on my mixer, a single compressor, a digital delay, a reverb, and an aural exciter.) And Waves definitely does have sales all the time, maybe not the ones you might specifically be interested in at the time, but wait a few months and they’ll come around on those, plus they have the sort of $29.95 for any plugin you want (with a few exceptions) sale at least a couple of times a year. And each time it does, there is a potential for adding a new plugin that you’ve been interested in but not yet motivated enough to buy (there is actually one plugin I’m thinking about in their current sale, though I haven’t quite convinced myself that I need it enough to ignore my far-too-limited budget).

As for my plugin junkie-hood, I keep finding excuses to ignore my non-budget, and sometimes those pay off big time – e.g. I’m especially high on my upgrading to Arturia’s FX 5 collection because the Bus Peak clipper/limiter/mastering meter is the best I’ve found to date, and their Bus Exciter 104 (based on an old Aphex Aural Exciter with the Big Bass module), also is a cut above the exciters I’ve used to date (including Waves’ Aural Exciter clone), and both got used on my latest recording, despite only coming into being when I was pretty close to finishing that recording.