Where should I put the NLS summing plugin in the mastering chain?

Someone once told me to put harmonic/analog plugins before the compressor since it will bring out the harmonic distortion but what are your thoughts?

Hi @brendon.james413,

Yes totally valid use of NLS! use the NLS buss component on the master.

You should place it at the last point that you want incoming signal to affect it. Here’s a scenario- say you want to drive the bus hard and get the most drive out of it, and put it after all of your gain-adding plugs, except your final limiter, as the plug-in might add gain in the form of harmonics. Say your compressor is letting transients through - then they get smacked by the summer, while softer parts are less affected. Or say you place the compressor after the summer - then it will compress the “enhanced” output of the summer. These will yield differing results. Experiment. Hope this helps.

That’s often my preferred method. Consider though, that if you stick it at the top of your signal chain it will still be before your compressor.

I often like to stick it between some “subtractive” eq and the compressor, that way you’re only enhancing the more desirable frequencies. It seems to be a little “cleaner” that way. But that’s just another way you could do it.

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Hi @brendon.james413 :slight_smile:
I’d recommend placing the NLS Buss component as the first insert on your master track.
You’re also welcome to check out the All About Summing: Masterclass with Yoad Nevo


Thankyou for the advice, yes I have the NLS inserted on my master bus along with Maxxbass and the um225. Does it still make sense for the NLS to go before maxxbass because I tried maxxbass first and the NLS second and it seems to produce a cleaner sound.


Thanks for this link - I just upgraded to Mercury last night and I’m exploring NLS now. The master class videos (among other things, like consistent top-bar UI with well written user guides and presets) is part of what made me choose Waves as my primary plugin investment.


Not that I’m promoting you guys drop more money on plugins, but the Cobalt Saphira is another great saturation plugin to use on the mixbuss. It’s really flexible in the way it allows you to sculpt the harmonics.


@brendon.james413 :slight_smile: It definitely makes sense that the sound would be clearer following this order.
Placing the NLS before will not color the harmonies produced by MaxxBass.

@JunkyardSam :slight_smile: Congrats! I’d love to hear your impressions and see you participating here in the forum


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