If you’ve followed this blog then you know that I’m a big fan of the CLA Collection of plugins from Waves. Chris Lord Alge (the C-L-A behind the CLA) has some of the best finally-tuned analog gear that his plugins are modeled on, and that means that they have more sonic character than other similar plugins, at least to my ears. The latest plugin in the collection is one that you probably won’t have to tweak very much, but I bet you’ll use it on every mix. It’s the CLA-MixDown mix buss plugin.
Lots Of Control
CLA-MixDown is dead easy to use. Besides the almost mandatory Input and Output controls, there are 4 faders in the center of the plug. On the far right is Drive, which determines how much console emulation you desire to add.
The next fader is Glue, which controls the amount of buss compression. There are two flavors to that selected by a 1-2 button at the top of the travel near the On selector. That represents the two different compressors that Chris normally toggles between on his mixes.
Beside that there are Bass and Treble faders, which add or subtract exact that, only based on the curves that Chris normally uses before sending to mastering.
Easy To Use
The thing about it is, if you just use it in default where the all the faders at set to 0, that’s exactly where Chris starts his mix and it will sound really great without having to tweak much.
This is about as close as set-it and forget-it as it comes, but there is the caveat that you have to hit the plugin just right to achieve the correct results. Hit it too hard and it probably won’t respond the right way and therefore won’t sound as good as you can get it.
Each fader has a large On selector at the top of its travel so that you can hear what it sounds like when a particular function is bypassed, and there are two large VU meters at the top that should be hitting 0 when you dial it in just right.
The Waves CLA-MixDown plugin usually sells for $99, but it’s on sale right now for just $29.99. You can find out more details here, or watch the video below.