Could Someone Give me Advice on Optimizing Waves Plugins for Live Performances?

Hello there,

I am a musician and sound engineer who has recently started incorporating Waves plugins into my live performances; and I could use some advice from those of you with more experience in this area.

I am using a combination of Waves plugins for vocals; guitars; and keyboards during live sets. While I am generally pleased with the quality and versatility they provide; I have encountered a few challenges that I am hoping to get some input on:

During live performances; I have noticed some latency with certain plugins. Are there specific plugins known for lower latency that you would recommend? Or perhaps there are some best practices for managing and minimizing latency in a live setting?

Running multiple plugins simultaneously can sometimes strain my system. I am using a fairly powerful laptop; but I still run into CPU usage problems occasionally. Are there any tips for optimizing CPU usage or settings within the Waves plugins to ensure smoother performance?

I am constantly experimenting with different signal chains and presets to find the best sound. Do you have any tried and true signal chain setups or preset recommendations for live vocals and instruments?

I am particularly interested in achieving a balanced mix that stands out without overwhelming the overall sound.

Lastly; reliability is paramount during live shows. Have you encountered any stability issues with Waves plugins during live performances? If so; how did you address them? Any tips for ensuring the plugins run flawlessly during a set would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your help and assistance. :innocent:

hi @lizaclarraa

concerning latency: if you use Superrack, you should be able to see the latency of each plugin and of each rack. Most of the time the plugins aren’t the big number, the underlying audio driver of the laptop usually has much higher latency numbers.

When it comes to CPU you should always keep in mind that most laptop CPUs are throttling when they get too hot - be it environment tor plugin load. To be sure a certain setting works you should run it for a longer period of time, not just a few minutes - with audio.

When it comes to reliability my experience is: i’ve never had a problem just with a plugin. The host system including the audio drivers and the connection to the sound board usually is a much more critical point - for latency as well as stability.

Hope this helps a bit …

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Thanks for your concerns @dagroch
I will look into it.

Do you have any tried and true signal chain setups or preset recommendations for live vocals and instruments?

Avoid anything that oversamples as a general rule, that will add latency.

Where Waves plugins is concerned it usual manifests as a HD (High Definition) button, though Magma BB Tubes literally does have an oversample parameter. You can still use this plugins, just make sure it’s set to Off.

Other high quality plugins like most of the Abbey Roads collection oversample internally, so there’s not too much you can do about that.

hi @lizaclarraa

i usually don’t have complex chains. I prefer to put e.g. the API or SSL compressor on some busses. Very often with the threshold high up or just doing a few dBs on peaks.

And I like the F6 in RTA mode, much more intuitive than e.g. a de-esser in my opinion.

And for reverbs i often replace the desk reverb with a H-rev + H-delay (parallel).


Thanks for insights, Do you have specific tips on which plugins are most efficient for live settings?
Or is there any recommendations on signal chains or preset combinations that have worked well for you in live performances?


Thank you for the insights,
But is there any specific signal chain setups or preset recommendations you can share?