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Waves Abbey Road Saturator

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$199.00
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Abbey Road Saturator

 
Musical analog saturation & distortion from the legendary Abbey Road Studios: The sound of classic tubes and transistors, driven hard from subtle to extreme, and excited by the ultra-rare EMI TG12321—a secret weapon of Abbey Road engineers.

Saturation is the heart and soul of analog recording and mixing—from the subtle soft clipping of a tube preamp, which adds warmth and pleasing harmonics to a drum or vocal part; to full-blown console distortion that makes a synth, bass or guitar part ‘sing’ in the mix.

Modeled directly from time-proven saturation chains at Abbey Road Studios, Abbey Road Saturator provides inspiring saturation and distortion unlike any other device. The plugin offers two versatile desk distortion flavors: the crunchy tube REDD sound, and the rounded solid-state TG12345 tone—with the sophisticated input, gain and output stages of both consoles calibrated to perfection by Abbey Road’s engineers.

But it doesn’t end here. Abbey Road engineers were known to experiment endlessly with the wealth of original EMI gear at their disposal—pushing the equipment to its limits and reaching “happy accidents.” Abbey Road Saturator captures the very happiest of such accidents.

In 1962, EMI Central Research Laboratories patented a tape noise reduction system called the TG12321—a “compander” that compresses on input (encoding) and expands on output (decoding).

The first generation of pop engineers at Abbey Road discovered that using the encode-only part of the process resulted in a beautiful high-frequency emphasis that added air and excitement and helped instruments cut through the mix: a secret weapon in the studio. Pioneering Abbey Road engineers, including Peter Bown and Geoff Emerick, were fans of using the TG12321 is this unusual way.

Abbey Road Saturator models the original TG12321 unit, feeding into the REDD or TG desks, for a one-of-a-kind excited saturation effect.

The plugin also gives you flexible control over the Compander’s crossover frequencies, allowing it to focus in on different ranges depending on the source material: lower settings will be at home on bass and kick drums, higher values will afford unmistakable shine to vocals. The added phase knob causes the saturation to work in parallel, dramatically altering the personality of the distortion harmonics.

Abbey Road Saturator also sports unique M/S processing, letting the distortion apply either in stereo or to the mid or sides separately. Activate this beast on drums, drive the centered kick and snare into beefy levels, and leave the sides (overheads and cymbals) clean and sparkling.

From subtle harmonic enhancement that helps any instrument poke through a mix, to powerful distortion effects that strip an instrument of its original character and create an entirely new beast—Abbey Road Saturator is a singular twist on what we know saturation and distortion plugins to be.
 
Created in collaboration with Abbey Road Studios
Accurate recreation of crunchy tube & smooth solid-state analog saturation flavors
The rare EMI TG12321 Compander excites the input pre-saturation: a method pioneered by the 1st generation of Abbey Road pop engineers
Detailed pre- and post-gain EQ to shape the distortion character
Phase knob dramatically alters the distortion sound
Flexible control of the Compander’s crossover frequencies
M/S processing allows distortion to affect just mid or just sides
Mix control to blend the saturated/distorted signal with the original signal
Presets by Grammy®-winning producers & engineers Lu Diaz, Joe Barresi, Dave Pensado, many more
 
 
 
Lu Diaz

Lu Diaz Mixing Engineer & Producer

DJ Khaled, Pitbull, Beyoncé, Jay Z

This is a fantastic saturation plugin with amazing textures. My included presets ‘Its Britney’ and ‘Hate Me Now Lead’ are a cool way to distort a vocal. I also like using this plugin in M/S mode on the master bus – my preset ‘Shiny Gloss Sides’ is how I add energy to the sides. Try my preset ‘Shine N Sub Stereo Lift’ – I use it to give a stereo group a nice shine.

Dave Pensado

Dave Pensado Mixing Engineer

Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Pink

Saturation and distortion are vital in today’s audio engineer world. Abbey Road Saturator – as well as Waves’ other distortion tools, MDMX and Berzerk – are quickly becoming my favorite tools to fulfill this need.

Joe Barresi

Joe Barresi Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer

QOTSA, Tool, Soundgarden

The new suite of Waves distortions – Abbey Road Saturator, Berzerk, MDMX – go beyond the typical distortion plugins out there. The many layers of control and the filtering especially makes them way more usable than most.

Tom Lord-Alge

Tom Lord-Alge Producer, Mixing Engineer

Blink-182, Weezer, Live, Dave Matthews Band

My presets for Abbey Road Saturator are pretty self-explanatory: ‘Brighten My Bass’ adds a good amount of top-end bite to a bass. ‘DI Fuzz My Bass’ adds top-end distortion and ‘DI Grind My Bass’ adds a nice round mid-range distortion to bass parts. ‘DI Gtr Barking Mid Range Width’ is great on distorted stereo guitars, adding a nice bump to the mid-range and also enhancing the stereo width. ‘Gtr Dist 8’s’ adds just the right amount of bite and fatness to an 8^th^-note rhythm guitar part.

Guy Massey

Guy Massey Recording, Mixing, Mastering & Remastering Engineer

The Beatles, Ed Sheeran, Manic Street Preachers

This plugin does not disappoint. The Abbey Road Saturator is great for everything from very subtle mix bus processing to full-on motherlode grit. Very intuitive to use, and a great addition to Waves’ Abbey Road range.

Richard Chycki

Richard Chycki Guitarist, Engineer

Dream Theater, Aerosmith, Rush

The Abbey Road Saturator adds drive and breathes life into tracks. The TG and REDD modes offer two distinct harmonic structures that can be applied mono, stereo or M/S – a proven way to get 'hair’ where there was none before.

Mark Ralph

Mark Ralph Producer, Songwriter, Mixing Engineer

Clean Bandit, Years & Years, Jax Jones, TIEKS

Coming from a lineage of considerable pedigree, the Abbey Road Saturator offers two distinct breeds of furry, hairy saturation. The dynamics section, mid-side controls, and comprehensive pre- and post-saturation EQ all contribute to tones that can range from a gentle growl to an angry bark.

Kevin Churko

Kevin Churko Producer, Engineer, Mixer & Songwriter

Ozzy Osbourne, Five Finger Death Punch, Shania Twain

The Abbey Road Saturator sounds classic right away. It adds a nice musical bite to any source.

Seige Monstracity

Seige Monstracity Music Producer, Sound Designer

Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Tyrese, Busta Rhymes

Abbey Road Saturator does wonders if you want some top end on a kick to punch through.

Elio Debets

Elio Debets Recording & Mixing Engineer

Afrojack, David Guetta, Snoop Dogg, Luis Fonsi

Right from the first time I loaded the Abbey Road Saturator in my project, I saved it to my template! This is a great tool to get clarity in your vocals or give it that little edge so it stands out in the mix . This can be used on a wide range of different instruments or on your mix/master bus, from subtle exciting to distinctive saturation.

Emre Ramazanoglu

Emre Ramazanoglu Mix Engineer, Drummer

Noel Gallagher, Sia

Abbey Road Saturator offers incredible control over two beautifully musical and complementary flavors of thick, biting saturation. It’s simple to go from subtle enhancement to deep pillowy, expansive warmth to snappy, aggressive, toothy grit. This is going to be a mainstay in my toolbox!

Cable Head

Cable Head Performing Artist, Activist

 

Abbey Road Saturator allows me to seamlessly give vintage coloration to modern productions. By allowing me to select the frequencies I want to saturate through its low-pass and high-pass EQ and by slightly saturating its input, the plugin allows me to give my piano a wider stereo image as it’s able to saturate the tremolos on the sides. I also use the REDD setting to add a more aggressive grain and coloration, something I apply on all my MIDI instruments for more character. 

 

Tech Specs

Abbey Road Saturator (V11) - System Requirements

 

Mac

CPU
Intel Core i5 / i7 / i9 / Xeon

Memory
8 GB RAM
8 GB free disk space on the system drive

Operating System
10.12.6 - 10.15

Screen Resolution
Minimum: 1024x768
Recommended: 1280x1024 / 1600x1024
USB displays are not supported as the primary display.
 

Windows

CPU
Intel Core i5 / i7 / i9 / Xeon / AMD Quad-Core

Memory
8 GB RAM
8 GB free disk space on the system drive

Operating System
Windows 10 64 bit

Screen Resolution
Minimum: 1024x768
Recommended: 1280x1024 / 1600x1024
 

Abbey Road Saturator (V11) - Supported Hosts

TDM is no longer supported by Waves v9.6 or later:

Pro Tools 2018, 2019, 2020 (AAX Native, Audiosuite)
Logic Pro X, 10.5.1 (Audio Units)
Digital Performer 10 (Audio Units)
Ableton Live 10.1 (VST / VST3)
Nuendo 10 (VST3)
Cubase 10, 10.5 (VST3)
WaveLab 9.5 (VST3)
Main Stage 3 (Audio Units)
Garage Band 10 (Audio Units)
Audition 12 (VST3)
Premiere Pro 13 (VST3)
Final Cut Pro X (Audio Units)
Studio One Professional 4 (VST3)
Media Composer 2019 (AAX Native)
FL Studio 20 (VST3)
REAPER 6 (VST3)
Reason 11 (VST)
Maschine 2 (VST)
Komplete Kontrol 2 (VST)
Bitwig Studio 3 (VST3)
Luna 1.0.6 (Audio Units)

 

Windows

Pro Tools 2018, 2019, 2020 (AAX Native, Audiosuite)
Ableton Live 10.1 (VST / VST3)
Nuendo 10 (VST3)
Cubase 10, 10.5 (VST3)
WaveLab 9.5 (VST3)
Cakewalk by BandLab 2019 (VST3)
Audition 12 (VST3)
Premiere Pro 13 (VST3)
Samplitude Pro X4 (VST3)
Sequoia 14 (VST3)
Pyramix 11, 12 (VST)
Studio One Professional 4 (VST3)
Media Composer 2019 (AAX Native)
FL Studio 20 (VST3)
REAPER 6 (VST3)
Reason 11 (VST)
Maschine 2 (VST)
Komplete Kontrol 2 (VST)
Bitwig Studio 3 (VST3)
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