Waves have announced that it is now possible to request and register a second license for most Waves plugins that you own and are covered by a current Waves Update Plan (WUP). This allows you to have a copy installed on your studio computer and one on your portable without any tedious license moving, either by Waves Central or by loading the licenses onto a USB thumb drive, which has always had the potential for becoming lost whilst travelling.
I am extremely pleased to see Waves getting onboard with this as a roving audio producer who works, not only in different studios, but also in different countries, I have never liked travelling with iLok or USB license keys loaded with expensive licenses.
Up until now my process for travelling with licenses has seen me sent all the licenses to the cloud, travel with a blank USB key and reinstate the licenses when I arrive at my destination. Now I can simply leave the MacBook hard drive authorised with my licenses and not have to remove them from my studio computer either.
Some companies have allowed this for quite a while- Softube, Soundtoys, Empirical Labs, Eventide, Sound Radix and others have been excellent in this regard. I am now waiting for Izotope, McDSP, SSL and Slate Digital to allow second licenses in order to be able to work seamlessly when moving sessions from a portable to a studio desktop.
I realise the concern for manufacturers- that people will share licenses amongst friends and colleagues but this can be managed well, as it has been by those companies who allow multiple licenses.
You can get your second license for your waves plugins from the link below.
Apple have released Logic Pro X 10.5 today. Key updates are Ableton style live loops, a replacement of EXS24 called Sampler, a quick sampler, Beat Creation tools (Step Sequencer, Drum Synth, Drum Machine Designer) and update to Logic remote to allow iPad triggering of Live Loops. It is also optimised for current Mac hardware.
This is a big update.
I am installing it on my non-production environment and will update the article once I’d had a chance to play.
Very happy to report that Empirical Labs have released Arouser V2.3, which brings compatibility to Mac OSX.15 Catalina. This is my favourite plugin compressor and one that is compatible with Pro Tools HDX.
You can download it from here: http://www.empiricallabs.com/downloads.html
I admit it, I am a fuzz fiend. In my collection of way too many pedals about 30% of them are some variant of Fuzz. So I was excited to receive a pedal from a new British pedal builder, Reeves Electro, called the 2n2FACE.
The company is owned by Markus Reeves, a guitar repairer and pedal builder who had been making primarily for friends and local players. His new company has a stable of four fuzz models and one overdrive. The 2n2FACE is Markus’ take on the classic Fuzzface circuit and he knocks it out of the park. As you can see in the photos below the point to point wiring is some of the cleanest I’ve ever seen, it is almost art in itself. Reeves say that they build their pedals “using 2n2222a transistors, JB capacitors and Fischer resistors. Each pedal is tuned (biased) for the smoothest decay.” That sounds pretty good to me.
In terms of sound the 2n2FACE is true to the classic sound of a Fuzzface but with a tighter bottom end that doesn’t fart out in an unmusical way, like a Fuzzface sometimes can. Riding the volume pot, the way you would with a traditional Fuzzface, is still a good idea though, opening up many different sounds. My preferred amp with this pedal is a 100w Marshall Jubilee reissue with a Zilla 2×12 loaded with G12M 65 watt creamback speakers.
I’ve not had a chance to record the pedal but will do so in the coming days. For now enjoy the video showing the capabilities of the pedal from Reeves own Youtube channel. I’ll update the article once I’ve had a chance to record it myself.
Back in December 2019 I purchased a beastly new Mac Pro. It was by far the most expensive computer I’ve ever bought but with a tremendous specification. I won’t go over all that again, because it was featured on Pro Tools Expert and you can read all about it here:
I thought it would be worthwhile to provide an update to the previous article.
So far I’ve had no major issues with the machine, other than a lack of updates for some of my plugins and a few pieces of studio gear.
I did consider returning the machine inside the return window in order to purchase the rack mount version of the Mac Pro. In hindsight I am glad I didn’t. Firstly, the Mac Pro rack is very deep at 24 inches. It is also £500 more than the tower. Instead of doing that I had a custom rack built by Studio Racks which houses the Mac Pro on one side of a 2x14u equipment rack. This cost me around £700, so a bit more than the Apple rack mount upcharge but not that much more and it now houses all my studio IO, as well as other pieces of hardware that I do not immediately need access to such as my ethernet switch, monitor controller IO, rack mount USB hub.
It was a good decision- not only did I not lose any downtime with the new machine but I also have a desktop form factor that is more convenient in the studio. I was slightly concerned that the rack mount format might be harder to sell down the line too.
In terms of raw performance the Mac Pro is simply blinding compared to what it replaced. Unlike other computers I have had in the studio I simply don’t consider the computer’s performance anymore when considering when I am going to try to do something. It can comfortably run Pro Tools and Logic together, with large sessions synced together. I am using some DSP audio interfaces- Pro Tools HDX and a Universal Audio Apollo 8, but purely native sessions also have more than enough available and accessible processing.
I will post some videos over the coming weeks indicating just how much available performance I have with this system- it is seriously impressive.