Acclaimed front-of-house engineer Andy Meyer (Justin Timberlake, Guns N’ Roses, Janet Jackson, Mötley Crüe, Rage Against the Machine) is part of the ongoing trend of leading cutting-edge live engineers turning to Waves Live tools. Meyer chose Waves plugins for Timberlake and Jay-Z’s Legends of the Summer Stadium Tour, which traveled across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.
“I first started working with Waves plugins in 2007, near the end of Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveSounds tour,” states Meyer. “Moving forward, I have created an arsenal of very useful tools that I simply cannot do without. On the Legends of the Summer tour, the big challenge was managing 128 inputs and all the dynamics that come with it.”
To achieve this, Meyer ran Waves plugins using the integrated MultiRack SoundGrid and two Waves SoundGrid Server One units (for processing redundancy) with his DiGiCo SD7 console.
“Starting with the vocals, I used the same vocal chain on both Justin and Jay-Z. First I used an L3-LL Multimaximizer to take care of any extreme transients. Next in the chain was the Waves C6 Multiband Compressor, which I used to shape tonality with level changes and compression. Once I perfected this, I applied the H-Comp Hybrid Compressor. The H-Comp was the final compressor in the rack. I used it to level the remaining transients and add analog character.”
He continues: “My list of Waves essentials starts with MaxxVolume. This plugin is an absolute must-have on my keyboard inputs. It enables me to manage input dynamics so I can concentrate on mixing. I can raise the level of quieter information and maintain a better overall average level. Then there’s the SSL E-Channel. With a compression ratio of 1.7 and a threshold of -18, this plugin creates a nice, rich analog guitar sound that I really like.
“With a little EQ, it really makes guitars shine. There’s also the GTR3 Amps / MondoMod combo, in that order: the GTR3 is my go-to for all the distortion vocal effects I need to recreate; together with the MondoMod, I can move it around and give it life.”