Waves Audio, booth 15302 at NAMM 2019, has presented the CLA MixHub plugin, developed together with Grammy-winning engineer Chris Lord-Alge.
Although plugins normally work on only one channel at a time, the CLA MixHub allows you to mix up to 64 tracks – all from the same plugin window – using channel strips modelled from CLA’s personal console. It is the first plugin to work in buckets – groupings of up to eight channels, in up to eight buckets in total. By mixing tracks side by side in buckets, you’ll gain a mixing perspective that lets you immediately hear how one track’s processing affects others within a song.
The channel strips were modelled directly from Lord-Alge’s personal console, which he has used to mix a huge number of hits, from Green Day, Muse and Sugarland to Keith Urban and many more.
Once CLA is inserted on the channels in your mix, you can assign your tracks to buckets and begin making adjustments, such as mixing dynamics, EQ, saturation and more without needing to switch plugin windows in your DAW. While mixing, you can flip between two plugin view modes: Bucket view, with control of up to eight channels at a time, or Channel view, focusing on a single channel’s processing chain. Each channel consists of five sections: Input, dynamics, EQ, output, and an insert point. Each processing module can be expanded to reveal additional functionality.
The input section handles high- and low-pass filtering and switchable harmonic distortion. The “line” control models the line amp in Lord Alge's console, adding light saturation. For more extreme drive, kick in the mic pre. This, in effect, is like running a line-level signal through the console’s microphone preamp.
The dynamics section includes two levels of compression: the console’s built-in compressor, as well as Lord Alge's favoured “Bluey” Waves CLA-76 compressor/limiter. Also included are a gate, expander and ducker with a hold control and flexible sidechain options for shaping a sound’s envelope, as Lord Alge referred to it, a “super-gate.”
The EQ section includes four bands of parametric EQ, from wide bells to narrow boost and cuts, loaded with the console’s original ballistics and Q characteristics.
The output section includes a VU meter and plasma-style PPM meter, plus a stereo imaging control and an output fader.
In MixHub’s channel view, the insert point can be used for adding an additional Waves plugin to your MixHub’s chain.
Lord-Alge commented: “Mixing in buckets means the world to me. It’s one of the secrets to my success and to my fast-paced, decisive mixing. By creating this plugin, I’m able to give others access to that same quick workflow in a plugin, pushing the envelope of in-the-box mixing to the next, CLA-approved level.”
The CLA MixHub plugin is included in the Waves Mercury, SD7 Pro Show and Pro Show bundles.