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New Waves user looking for info

Appreciate being able to post over here and get some feedback from people for whom installing plugins is second-nature as I just installed Waves Berzerk saturation/distortion plugin in the context of an overall focus on doing this for the first time after working w/stock plugins and as a result have been keeping a close eye on everything relating to laptop storage…

Posting this to find out if,now that the plugin is successfully installed,I still need to have Waves Central installed as well(along w/the WAPAPI x86 stuff which if I’m not mistaken looks like some icons or something else like this I won’t need to actually use the plugin)or if WC is just what you need to install to get a plugin set up after which it can be uninstalled until the next time you need to do this(which might actually be fairly soon as I’ve been looking at some others)…

Along w/any info about this stuff,would also be interested in hearing from people who use this plugin itself…checked out a bunch of tutorials and have a fairly good sense of how to adjust the settings;looking forward to getting into working with it as a major upgrade from the basic “one-knob” type of saturation/distortion plugins I’ve been using especially in terms of being able to target specific EQ areas…

Waves has a bit of a unique setup. It has an underlying architecture that all the plugins reference, plus it has individual “hooks” so that they can run in different DAWs. All that stuff is needed for sure, and they need to remain in their default install positions.

Central on the other hand isn’t essential per se, but Waves does push out updates every other week. Not all of them will be relevant to Berzerk or any other plugin you may chose to get. So its always handy to keep installed.

I have to say that Berzerk is brutal and works insanely well for certain sound design elements. That Mix nob is really handy to blend it in at lower levels just for a little added texture or attitude.

HD on & off give you two different sounds. While HD can sometimes yield a better sound, it’s not always the case in context, plus it does demand a higher CPU load. Dynamic is a good mode if you just want the effect to kick in at a certain point, so you can target peaks mostly for example. Another handy tick to keep in mind.

Hey really appreciate you replying over here man!!
It’s great that you also are working w/the plugin itself as I’m getting ready to start using it after studying all the tutorials I could find…think I have a pretty good idea of how to adjust things now but will definitely take advantage of your being familiar w/it to run things by you as they come up…

I’m planning on using it less for “FX” i.e.using the sine wave generator w/the LEVEL/BLEND knobs set so it’s way up in the sound or seeing how extreme I can get w/the distortion as a sound in of itself but rather as an extension of my usual approach w/saturation/distortion to add frequencies in specific EQ areas,so the EQ module has been my focus along w/dynamics…though I might use the sine wave mixed in at a low level w/the regular sound for kicks…

Up to now been just using fairly simple one-knob type of sat/distortion plugins so I’m really looking forward to seeing what kind of results I can get w/this…

Again much thx for taking the time to post…since it’s taken a while for me to be able to understand how everything works(especially the dynamics sections w/the UP/DOWN Rider/Dyn combinations,had to check some info about how upwards/downwards compression/expansion work to be able to figure it out)it’s great knowing I have someone to check with…

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Oh boy, Berzerk is my #1 distortion plugin!

It’s incredibly versatile. You get a bunch of overall types of distortion, and then you get a “randomization” feature as well so you can use the same distortion on multiple channels with variation — or click randomize over and over until you like how it sounds. (And I don’t mean a randomization of values like other plugins have, I mean it’s randomizing the distortion itself in a subtle but important way. The waveform shape, etc.)

While Berzerk is capable of extreme distortion, I encourage you also to experiment with minimal settings. This makes it versatile enough that you can use it really often! I learned from Tchad Blake that distortion effects can be used effectively in far more ways than you might think. Sometimes I route thing through it just to use the EQ.

Be sure you go through all the settings in Berzerk. There are multiple pages of options and it’s a far more feature-rich plugin than you might think at first glance!

Try using it on sounds where you wouldn’t normally add distortion. Just dial it down low, or blend it in parallel, so it’s 80% of the original and 20% of the distorted sound. It can really add excitement!

If you enjoy Berzerk, also check out the MDMX Distortion set, which adds three other similar plugins. They all have a similar UI design which makes them feel like a set! But they’re all different enough from one another that it’s worth having them as a collection.

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Hey thanks for posting man!!Will add you to the people I’ve found out about who are using this over here and check things with you as I get into working with it…

Liked the suggestions you made about using it as they’re in line w/my concept for what I’m thinking about doing w/it;thinking you saw this in my reply to Simon Billington from yesterday…

Since you’re familiar w/it,wonder if you’d have a chance at some point to help me understand the practical application of what I mentioned having spent some time focusing on while figuring out how everything works in the reply above-the UP/DOWN Rider/Dyn settings…

Understand the principles involved as they relate to upwards/downwards compression/expansion but don’t see how they apply to using the plugin;again though this is probably because I’ve just been using real simple sat/dist plugins(“one knob” types)and things like being able to specify what part of the signal gets distorted are completely new to me…

Again really appreciate you taking the time to reply,the fact that you mentioned-“Be sure you go through all the settings in Berzerk. There are multiple pages of options and it’s a far more feature-rich plugin than you might think at first glance!” gives me a good sense of you thinking about it like I do,which is why I’ve taken a few weeks to study a bunch of YouTube videos/the user guide etc before starting to use it…

Another thing you posted I’d be interested in knowing more about was-“Sometimes I route things through it just to use the EQ.”…seen a lot of tutorials where mixers talk about using a given plugin in a signal chain not as much for it’s usual function but for it’s “color”,i.e.a compressor w/the ratio/threshold settings deactivated and wondering if this is the case here where although you have other EQ options this is used based on this type of thing…

Finally re-Tchad Blake,are there any tutorials you’re aware of that show his approach to using the plugin,or using sat/dist generally?

To test it’s “dynamic” properties its good to have material with clear transients. Drums are the obvious example here, but things like electric bass, clean electric guitar, acoustic guitar, pianos and vocals, are also good examples. I usually start with it blended it 100% so I can hear when it is getting triggered and what its doing to the transients then I’ll roll the blend back until I find a good balance. Some tweaking may be needed though.

Junkyard Sam is right though, it doesn’t have to be used at extreme levels, it also works great on mild settings just add a bit of presence and body into a signal.

Hey Simon!!

Good to see you’re still involved in the discussion over here man…really appreciate being able to get into this stuff w/you + JS…

Your focus on transients has me thinking we must be on the same wavelength as along w/starting to work w/Berzerk I also just installed both Transgressor 2(Boz Digital)and MultiTransient(Audio Assault) so this is exactly the kind of overall mix focus area I’m looking at developing my skill set in…

I’m “taking things to the next level” in terms of having worked w/simple sat/dist plugins,a transient shaper that while excellent didn’t have any of the features these 2 do,and so this kind of info/perspective is really relevant right now…

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Something else you could consider trying is send a copy of the signal to an aux and use it as a sidechain, which would make no actual difference. Well not unless you put something on the aux like a compressor or a transient enhancer and you de-emphasise the transients so they would effectively not get distorted, but the rest of the signal would. Or vice versa.

It would be interesting to see if you come up with a technique that would actually work better on some sources.

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