NLS Channel still processing audio when "bypassed"

Hi everyone,

I’ve found a huge bug in NLS Channel (possibly in NLS Buss, too).

I’m currently mixing a couple of albums, but was running into limitations in the dynamic range of NLS Channel the way I had my gain staging set up in the project. So, I decided to disable all the NLS Channels I had on the main busses to see what the mix sounded like without them in place.

The dynamic range increased somewhat, but the mix still had that classic “crushed” sound. I spent a whole day resetting audio tracks, starting fresh, trying to figure out what was limiting the dynamic range and making my mixes sound crushed.

Potential bug:
When “bypassing” NLS Channel (in Cubase 12), it still seems to process audio to some degree (not algorithmically, but mathematically - perhaps it isn’t processing using 32 bit float), reducing dynamic range and preventing the output of the channel from going above a certain level. Upon removing NLS Channel from the audio track/group buss or “disabling” it, full dynamic range is restored and 32-bit float audio resumes.

I’d say this is a Waves issue, not a Cubase limitation, as no other plugin I own exhibits the same dynamic range behaviour when disabled. They simply “pass through” audio fully without the plugin interfering in any way.

Steps to replicate:

  1. Create an audio track and put some audio on it
  2. Put gain plugins on the track so you can increase the gain a ton
  3. Send the audio to a buss (group track)
  4. Place NLS Channel on the buss (group track) and “bypass” it
  5. Increase the gain on the audio channel you created as much as you can. You will see the group buss never goes above a certain level, and is limited. It isn’t processing audio at 32-bit float any more.
  6. Now disable or remove NLS Channel from the group buss and full dynamic range is restored.

Cheers, Jim.

EDIT: tl;dr - When NLS Channel plugin is in “bypass” mode, it doesn’t technically “bypass” the audio around the plugin. It still goes through it and the dynamic range is massively limited as a result. It has to either be “disabled” or “removed” for full dynamic range to be restored.

Hi Jim,

Welcome to the Waves Forum.

Why not let our techies have a look and further investigate the behavior you reported, to get more accurate information?

Nicely done with the steps to reproduce :wink:

If you wish to verify this further please Contact Technical Support directly and they will be glad to assist further.

Hi Adi,

Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately, there’s a bug on the system you linked to.

I’ve typed my message and it claims I haven’t typed any characters. It shows a message: “Please enter at least 20 characters. Only Latin characters are supported.”

I’ve typed everything in Latin characters - no Russian or any other weird characters.

Not sure I’ll be able to make the report.

That is quite likely due to security settings in your web browser. Online forms use java script, XHR, and frames. I’ve run into this problem on various web sites because I have very tight security on my browser. Try temporarily loosening the settings on your browser, white-listing the site, or using another browser where you haven’t set security so tight. I use Vivaldi for this purpose and just installed on a thumb drive.
Here is my readout from the uMatrix AddOn in Firefox showing all the scripts and third party links for the Support page linked above. As expected they are fairly extensive:


Hi Jim,

If you are still not able to send a request to Tech support through email, feel free to reach out over the phone : +1-865-909-9200 ext. 1