Waves Audio plugins are key tools for Jason Aulds, the associate director/front-of-house engineer at the Dallas, TX-area Gateway Church.
The church, a large worship community spanning four campuses, is led by Pastor Robert Morris.
The church’s sound systems include three DiGiCo SD7 consoles at the main campus; four DiGiCo SD8 consoles across the other campuses; and an AVID Venue D-Show console set up for travel.
The SD8’s are paired with the Waves SoundGrid Essentials bundle, and the D-Show is complemented by the Waves Live Bundle.
Aulds, who spends most of his time with the SD7 on the main campus, points out some of the unique challenges of mixing for large-format worship: “I need to bring the highest level of service that I can in order to engage the congregation without being distracting. That’s both for music and speech.
“Some of the challenges include helping the worship team create dynamics without becoming too loud; getting an isolated drum kit to sound natural, big and lively; and bridging the gap between the volume of music down to a lapel or headset without it sounding small,” he continues. “I’m always making sure I have great clarity and headroom, and that my effects are proper for the type of song.”
Aulds singles out a few plug-ins as particular favorites: “C6 and C4 compressors, and the entire Renaissance Maxx bundle,” he enthuses. For vocals, he uses the Renaissance Vox, Renaissance DeEsser, CLA-2A Compressor/Limiter, C6 and occasionally the Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter plugin.
In addition, on drums he uses Q10, CLA-76, SSL G-Channel, and the wide-band component of Trans-X for kick; SSL Channel for snare; Q10 and the four-band Trans-X Multi for toms; and API 2500 for the group mics. He usually uses CLA-76 on bass, but occasionally he’ll use C4, API 560 or MaxxBass.
And for guitars, the choice is the SSL Channel and sometimes the OneKnob Series Phatter, Driver and Brighter plugins. He also uses the CLA-2A for keyboards. On the main mix bus, he rounds things out with the MaxxVolume, C6 and PAZ Analyzer.
“Waves plugins feature simple, straightforward controls, offer great visual feedback from meters and displays, have awesome presets, and most importantly, deliver great audio quality,” Aulds says.