Greg Wells Voice centric, Mix centric

I have used the Voice centric on vocals and I think it is really good, the voice becomes very clear, almost impossible clear given the quality of the original audio. The mix centric is less good in my hands, really nice VST instruments are negatively affected, the natural beautiful sound is distorted, gets dirty.
Have you people tried them? They are 35usd something so resonable cheap.

Edit; These are plugins with multiple effects built-in, such as delay, compressor, harmonizer, reverb etc. The idea is that you dont need any other effect on your vocals or entire mix. Greg has worked with famous artists such as Katy Perry among others.

I have the “-Centric” bundle (Piano, Voice, Mix, Tone), mainly Voice and Piano.

I kind of love them, but at the same time i don’t. As bad as I am at mixing, I’ve found that if I put in the time and effort into trying to make it better with multiple plugins I usually can.

Thanks for the comment about Mix Centric!

I have the Greg Wells Signature Series – Piano, Tone, Voice, Mix. I’ve often used the VoiceCentric plugin during early stages of working with a vocal, just to have some quick processing on the vocal while comping and such. I have occasionally also used it in final mixes, but that is much rarer for me – it really depends on the needs of the song. Sometimes when I have used it I’ve also followed it up with an exciter (either Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter, PSP MixTreble 2, or Overloud Dopamine – perhaps the first of those may actually be under the hood of the VoiceCentric plugin, depending on where the dial is set, but I often find I need a separate plugin to help the lead vocal cut through the mix better without whatever other effects turning up the dial may add).

I’ve also used PianoCentric here and there, perhaps even in a final mix – I don’t recall for certain, and it would definitely depend on the song. I don’t think I’ve ever used MixCentric on a final mix, maybe for some quick demos or work-in-progress mixes (I’ve probably used the CLA equivalent a few times on finals, though not very frequently), and I keep forgetting about ToneCentric. :slight_smile:

I’ve actually got most (all?) of the Wave Signature Series plugins. GW VoiceCentric is one of the ones I use more frequently in early stages of working with vocals, but not so much in final mixes, while there are various others that I use in specific contexts that are more likely to end up in final mixes, depending on context. I tend to try multiple options (e.g. different signature series plugins for bass or acoustic guitars) in early stages of mixing, just seeing what might sound good with presets as a starting point, and sometimes the plugins I like early on may end up in final mixes, while I may replace them at other times after I get further along. But, if I’m really in a hurry (e.g. short deadline), I’m more likely to stick with the signature series plugins I was starting with to avoid analysis paralysis on mix decisions. Then I can always revisit things in trying to get a better mix after the deadline has passed.

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Thanx! I think I have the same feeling, VoiceCentric is good as a first fix but its not good enough for a final mix. Intresting to read about you work process!

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BTW, @Rolf_Noren1 and @rickpaul -

Does VoiceCentric sometimes shift the balance of the voice a little bit to the R? Mine does. As a test to make sure it’s not a routing issue, powering it down brings voice back to center, powering it up shifts it a bit.

Happens even with the reverb, delay, and doubler turned off …

I haven’t noticed that, but, if it’s a subtle shift, it’s quite conceivable I wouldn’t. If I think of it next time I am using it, I’ll have a closer check and maybe use some sort of meter that would show that type of difference after the plugin with it both on and disabled.

I can easily imagine, however, that it might shift things subtly with delay and/or doubler enabled, though I’d also expect it to be something one might notice (e.g. if there are different time-based shifts on the right and left that put one a bit ahead of the other as the earlier signal will tend to be noticed slightly more). But I’d think your bypassing those components should rule that out, unless perhaps there is some other module baked into the main signal chain that also shifts the timing and/or levels of left and right subtly.

I might note that I am generally using the stereo version of the plugin on a bus, with the original lead vocal being a mono track that is centered in feeding that bus. I do wonder if the mono/stereo version of it might behave somewhat differently in that respect (though I probably wouldn’t expect it to). Also, in cases where I am using it on background vocals (multiple mono tracks feeding a stereo subgroup), I’d be even more likely not to notice any shifts in that the balance between sides would already tend to be somewhat variable due to differences in the levels of individual tracks over time. But that wouldn’t be the case if I were feeding it with a single lead vocal.

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Thought I’d try a series of measurements to try to (semi-)objectively check on the shifting. I used the Waves PAZ- Position Stereo plugin to measure various different GW VoiceCentric configurations on a lead vocal playing through a single vocal chorus.

My signal flow for this was mono lead vocal track with all plugins disabled, feeding a stereo lead vocal submix, with GW VoiceCentric in one insert and the PAZ meter after that. (There were also other plugins in the inserts on the bus, but all were disabled for texting purposes.) I also soloed the mono lead vocal track (which also soloed the submix track and mix groups downstream from that, just to be safe). But the PAZ plugin was in that lead vocal submix track so ahead of anything that might have come downstream.

First reading is with GW VoiceCentric disabled:

01 Bypassed

The next screenshot is the original settings I had on GW VoiceCentric (which I had been using in the lead vocal group track at one point):

02 Full settings

Here is the reading from that:

03 Full settings

I should note that the live meter bounces around a bit within the yellow area that gives the bounds of the performance’s readings. There is obviously a bit of an asymmetrical shape here, with the little thorn-like protrusion on teh right, but it also looks to me like things might go a bit more to the left in some parts of the yellow boundaries. (My listening environment is not sufficient, and my ears are not sufficiently golden, to make a subjective aural judgement on this, thus my interest in what the meters show.)

Next attempt was bypassing all the effects in VoiceCentric:

04 FX DDR off

Here is the reading:

05 DDR off

This looks very much like the plugin disabled results to me.

I’m going to skip more GW VoiceCentric screen shots for brevity, but I then tried turning on one, and only one, FX module at a time to get a picture of how the different modules might contribute to any stereo balance changes.

Here is the one for doubler only:

06 Doubler only

This does look to me like it might be shifting very slightly to the right.

Here is delay only:

08 Delay only

Now we’re back to the lower part of the right jutting out (though not the thorn-like shape), and probably more balance toward the right in general, at least at lower levels of amplitude.

And finally, reverb only:

10 Reverb only

This one looks like it goes off to the left a bit more.

Verdict? Beats me. :slight_smile: I guess there definitely is some variance, depending on which effects are used (and probably how much of each one). However, I’m not seeing any difference between bypassing the plugin altogether and turning off all three effects.

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Nicely investigated @rickpaul!
(I think you uploaded the wrong screenshots at the end.)

Great stuff, @rickpaul , thanks!

I use headphones:

  • with VoiceCentric powered off, vocals come straight down the middle
  • With VoiceCentric powered up (doubler, reverb, and delay are active), no other change made to the project, I have to pan Left 56 to pull the vocals back to the middle from the right. Wow!

I also noticed the positioning of the vocals through VoiceCentric varied slightly throughout the song. The vocals volume does vary considerably throughout the song … makes me wonder if where VoiceCentric pans the voice is related to how hard the audio is hitting it (there was no change in any VoiceCentric settings).


Oops, sorry about that. I could have sworn I was checking the preview as I uploaded the files, but maybe I was only doing it for the first few files. Unfortunately, I’ve already deleted the screen shots off my hard disk. Hopefully the descriptions at least give some idea.

With respect to the varying of position throughout the song, I was seeing the real-time monitoring move around within the yellow areas. If they were using something like the Abbey Road ADT under the hood (e.g. in the doubler function), this would make sense in that that plugin does tend to shift things around in real time. However, you’d also think that the shifts would more or less average things out unless perhaps they are having the original vocal on one side and the double on the other and not having equal volumes between the two. (When I use ADT I tend to use it as a send and use the version that makes two copies plus the original, and I mute the original so the panning does not get adversely affected with a lower volume double.)

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Thanks again, @rickpaul , great info.

I realize I didn’t mention in this thread … VoiceOne shifts the voice to the right even when bypassed in Cubase!

I haven’t noticed/ critically listened enough to notice if the positioning of the stereo image also varies when bypassed.

As others here have said they do, I just use it as a temporary vocal treatment during early tracking/mix process (home hobbiest here). I’ve gotten used to it, but now that I’m focusing on this stereo shift it’s bothering me more and more. I may need to move on to something else soon! :joy:

I think I have noticed this to, thanx for the heads-up!

My pleasure @Rolf_Noren1 ! And thank you for your comments about mix-centric, where you say it seems to mess up the sound of some of your vsts.

Can you give a little bit more information on that? Which vsts? How far do you usually have the knob in mix Centric turned to the right when you these effects?

Thanks very much again! :slight_smile:

Dictated, not typed, please forgive typos.

My take is that if I were in the same room as Greg and I said “hey Greg…try this out…”

I don’t like it when he says “trick” because it’s not. This is the way I have done it for years but naturally different parameters.

My guess would be “yeah but mine is enhanced and easier.” In reality, I’m 99% sure he knows exactly the sonic results of this and other tools to achieve what his Waves does. His is more instant gratification.

I use this very judiciously. As a matter of fact usually not noticeable unless I A/B it with an engineer. There was an era, about 15 years ago with urban artists, where it was more “in your face” and maybe noticeable, but still not the degree where it’s used as a noticeable effect.

Greg is a good engineer. I doubt Cubase is in his arsenal, but the important aspect is that to Greg at least, this was a marketing opportunity and an area to fill a void. He did that and I’m sure he is happy as well as Waves.

So in conclusion, always consider the tools you have. Even if Cloner couldn’t get you 100% there consider an additional tool in your arsenal. I have the Greg Wells Voice Centric and Signature. They are simple to use. Every vocal I have ever worked with is unique. I prefer subtle use of Cloner plus other tools such as UAD Precision Ambiance Recovery or Leapwing Stage One with maybe some M/S change.

Vocals, the most important part of the mix is simply too important to not get what you feel is exactly right…unless you want quick and easy.

There does seem to be a market for “quick and easy” and Waves (as well as others) have picked up on that. I would include their signature series as well as the One Knob plugins in that category. I don’t dislike it. If it gets the job done, great!
I admit I still make good use of Waves RVox, but every time I do, I feel a little guilty! :grin:

On a side note, I’ve slowly started to create plugin chains using StudioRack utilizing its macro knobs. It’s still work in progress, but I’m really liking it so far. It feels a bit like creating your own signature series plugins.

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Well, I think I may have figured out why this was happening - I was using the VoiceCentric Mono/Stereo instead of Stereo option.

My vocal track looks like it’s in Mono (just one waveform), but in actually it’s on a Stereo track.

I’ll try this on another project, but at least for now there’s no more shifting of the voice when using VoiceCentric!!

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If using a Waves mono/stereo plugin, there is a bit of a dance you have to do to configure it properly for the Cubase track:

I had to learn this once because their PRS amp modeling plugins only have mono-to-stereo (and maybe mono also) versions, no regular stereo versions, and they, of course, need stereo outputs if using them with certain types of settings. At least there is a way to do that in Cubase. (I’d previously needed to do it in Cakewalk, but it was not supported there. Maybe Cakewalk can do it by now, though, as it’s been a few years since I’ve used Cakewalk for any real work.)


That is crazy stuff, thank you @rickpaul !

I’m not sure it is relevant in my situation … but maybe it is?

The reason I am thinking it may not be relevant to my situation: my vocal is on a stereo track, and that Waves routing dance seems to be for “loading a Mono to Stereo plugin component on a mono track”.

The thing that is making me uncertain is that though the vocal is loaded on a stereo track, there is only one audio tracing.

I seem to recall in earlier Cubase versions when a vocal was recorded to a stereo track, two identical audio tracings were visible.

That makes me wonder … could my audio be mono, even though it’s on a stereo track in Cubase?

Actually, the Waves “dance” on this is only applicable to stereo tracks (but the audio event on that track could be mono or stereo). The explanation they mention (emphasis added) is:

Due to unique internal routing architecture, loading a Mono to Stereo plugin component on a mono track in Steinberg hosts will result in the unprocessed signal being audible in the right channel, and incorrect output panning. To process mono content with a Mono to Stereo Waves plugin, load it on a Stereo track, following the instructions below.

The actual procedure involves disconnecting the right (unprocessed) signal. Maybe the reason your balance seemed to be effected with the mono/stereo version of the plugin is because you were only hearing the processed signal on the left side but the unprocessed (or maybe processed plus unprocessed???) signal on the right side.

If the audio events you see on your stereo track only show one channel of audio, they are mono, and I believe that means you’d get the identical signal on both sides of the stereo output of the track. But the Waves mono/stereo plugins add the extra complication.

Thank you for your kind reply again, @rickpaul !

I am a bit confused, which is unfortunately not uncommon where Cubase is concerned :crazy_face:. If it’s possible, can you help me understand this a bit better please?

The Cubase instructions you limited to read,

“loading a Mono to Stereo plugin component on a mono track in Steinberg hosts will result in the unprocessed signal being audible in the right channel, and incorrect output panning.”

But you wrote (emphasis mine)
"Actually, the Waves “dance” on this is only applicable to stereo tracks "

Are both those statements saying the same thing (they seem opposite to me)?

My vocal is on a stereo track, so my first thought is all this doesn’t apply (since the Cubase instructions talk about using the Mono to Stereo plugin on a mono track).

Would I be wrong in the above “first thought”?

Thanks, Professor!