7 Best Waves EQ Plugins for Vocals

7 Best Waves EQ Plugins for Vocals

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Waves Audio is known for crafting some of the plugins that emulate the vintage units that engineers have been crafting vocals with for decades, and their EQs are no exception. So in this article, we’ll show you the best Waves EQ for vocals available on the market.

Quick answer:

Waves Audio F6 Floating-Band Dynamic EQ – This dynamic EQ has it all, good looks, functionality, advanced controls, and it’s a popular option for vocals.

Waves Audio PuigTec EQs – This EQ is exceptionally great for vocals by adding color and boosting bass frequencies.


Table of Contents


About Our Top Choices

Waves Audio F6 Floating-Band Dynamic EQ

Waves Audio F6 Floating-Band Dynamic EQ
See price @ Waves Audio

More details…

If you’re looking for an infinite problem solver that’s capable of doing what you want and more, take a look at this plugin. This dynamic EQ has it all, good looks, functionality, advanced controls, and it’s a popular option for vocals.

Pros
  • Flexible
  • Powerful
  • Versatile
Cons
  • GUI may not be for everyone’s taste

Waves Audio PuigTec EQs

Waves Audio PuigTec EQs
See price @ Waves Audio

More details…

If you’re looking for a thorough recreation of a rare and hand-made unit that has very distinguishable tonal features, you should check Waves Audio PuigTec EQs. This EQ is exceptionally great for vocals by adding color and boosting bass frequencies.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Smooth
  • Thoroughly modeled
Cons
  • Program has limits on frequencies that can be cut or boost

Top 7 Best Waves EQ for Vocals

  1. Waves Audio F6 Floating-Band Dynamic EQ
  2. Waves Audio PuigTec EQs
  3. Waves Audio API 550
  4. Waves Audio Scheps 73
  5. Waves Audio Kramer HLS Channel
  6. Waves Audio API 560
  7. Waves Audio Renaissance Equalizer

Best Waves EQ for Vocals Reviews


Waves Audio F6 Floating-Band Dynamic EQ

Waves Audio F6 Floating-Band Dynamic EQ

Pros
  • Flexible
  • Powerful
  • Versatile
Cons
  • GUI may not be for everyone’s taste
See price @ Waves Audio

If you’re looking for an infinite problem solver that’s capable of doing what you want and more, take a look at this plugin. This dynamic EQ has it all, good looks, functionality, advanced controls, and it’s a popular option for vocals.

Best features and specs

The Waves Audio F6 Floating-Band Dynamic EQ offers you 6 floating bands which you can set anywhere within the spectrum. Each band has its own solo/sidechain monitor. There are also impressive EQ and compression controls for every band, and low and high pass filters. Also, advanced sidechaining, mid-side processing, parallel compression, bell and notch EQ shapes, zero-latency, low CPU consumption, and FFT-based real-time spectrum analyzer that is easily accessible right from the main GUI.

User impressions

Users are quite impressed with the F6 because, as they say, you can easily make even the slightest adjustments to the frequency range, and it still sounds great. Also, the GUI is very easy to grasp.

What we think

We think this is a great choice in general, not only for voice equalization but for any other instruments as well. Also, you can use this equalizer with the same efficacy in live and studio mixing. Additionally, you’ll find it easy to work with the frequency range due to its precise controls.

Bottomline

Waves Audio F6 Floating-Band Dynamic EQ is a great choice for someone who is looking for an easy-to-use, transparent-sounding dynamic EQ that has a futuristic-looking GUI.


Waves Audio PuigTec EQs

Waves Audio PuigTec EQs

Pros
  • Easy-to-use
  • Smooth
  • Thoroughly modeled
Cons
  • Program has limits on frequencies that can be cut or boost
See price @ Waves Audio

If you’re looking for a thorough recreation of a rare and hand-made unit that has very distinguishable tonal features, you should check Waves Audio PuigTec EQs. This EQ is definitely great for vocals by adding color and boosting bass frequencies.

Best features and specs

The Waves Audio PuigTec EQs, precisely PuigTec EQP-1A, offers a very thorough and meticulous emulation of a legendary unit Pultec EQ, which was hand-made and owned by J. J. Puig, which has an exceptional resonant low-shelf boost. PuigTec MEQ-5 has easily distinguishable tonal characteristics. These two EQs together complement each other quite marvelously and make a full-range retro EQ chain.

User impressions

Very good value for money is one of the things buyers like to rave about the PuigTec EQs. Other factors include being great-sounding, easy to use, and the ability to bring life back into the mix. Users add that these EQs shine the most on vocals by emphasizing the low-end and bass and adding some color.

What we think

We like being able to separately use each of the PuigTec EQs. This allows you to produce great results when used in tandem.

Bottomline

Waves Audio PuigTec EQs are a great choice for someone who is looking for thoroughly modeled, easy-to-use, smooth EQs that are exceptionally good for underlining the low-end and adding color to vocals.


Waves Audio API 550

Pros
  • Warm-sounding
  • Powerful
  • Vintage GUI
Cons
  • Not necessarily as good as the original
See price @ Waves Audio

Waves Audio API 550 is another top-shelf recreating of a vintage unit that was created in collaboration with API. This plugin gets you replicable EQ that is divided into 3 ranges, with 5 steps in each range and 15 points in each step.

Best features and specs

Waves Audio API 550 offers two API equalizers, API 550A and 550B, which in total have 12 selected frequency centers, 12dB of cut/boost per band, and 2-3 dB in steps. Also, you get a Proportional Q, bands 1 and 4 provide peak/shelf switching, and high headroom +30dB clip level.

User impressions

Some users say that the Waves Audio API 550 sounds exactly like the original unit, others say it’s not quite the same. Otherwise, there are many good things spoken about the clarity and presence to the midrange, and warmth it brings to vocals and other instruments.

What we think

We like that the API 550 allows you to reverse any tonal modifications you make easily, prior to processing.

Bottomline

Waves Audio API 550 is a great choice for someone who is looking for a warm-sounding, powerful EQ that has a retro-looking GUI and is a decent recreation of the analog unit.


Waves Audio Scheps 73

Waves Audio Scheps 73

Pros
  • Thorough recreation
  • Great-sounding
  • Vintage GUI
Cons
  • Mode switch is hard to read
See price @ Waves Audio

If you’re looking for a decent recreation of the legendary vintage unit, you should take a glance at Waves Audio Scheps 73. You wouldn’t be let down by the looks and design of this plugin and the fact that it has a thoroughly-modeled mic preamp module by Andrew Scheps.

Best features and specs

The Scheps 73 is an extraordinary emulation of the original 1073 unit that was brought to life in collab with Andrew Scheps. It has a high-pass filter, low, mid, and high interrelated bands. Also comes with exclusive 1078/10 kHz midrange band, alluring saturations, harmonic distortion, and a possibility to apply separate EQ to side and mid stereo content.

User impressions

Most buyers agree that this is a great plugin to use on vocals. Allow it to easily transform vocal parts in a way that they fit in the mix effortlessly.

What we think

It’s a top-shelf emulation of the original unit. It’s easy to EQ only the part of the frequency range which needs it without changing other ranges. That’s a great thing to have!

Bottomline

Waves Audio Scheps 73 is a great choice for someone who is looking for an elaborate recreation of a retro unit that is great-sounding and has a vintage-looking GUI.


Waves Audio Kramer HLS Channel

Waves Audio Kramer HLS Channel

Pros
  • Vintage-sounding
  • Silky and smooth high-end
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Has the same limits as the original one
See price @ Waves Audio

If you have always dreamed of trying the legendary Helios mixing console, but it seemed impossible for you, don’t give up, as you can touch and work with excellence by using Waves Audio Kramer HLS Channel. This EQ is a recreation of the famous console that offers the same levels of saturation and other cool features.

Best features and specs

Waves Audio Kramer HLS Channel offers a careful and thorough recreation of a rare Helios mixing console from the 70’s that was created in collaboration with Effie Kramer. In addition to that, you get the extraordinary coloration, behavior, and console preamps drive.

User impressions

Users like the added warmth this plugin brings to vocals in their mix. Also, this EQ lets you easily remove harsh and unpleasant sounding frequencies that might accompany some amps and boost frequencies that need it.

What we think

We like Waves Audio Kramer HLS Channel for giving a unique, tasty low-end boost, presence in high-end, and delightful coloration. On top of that, the VU meter is beautiful, reminding you of the original console.

Bottomline

Waves Audio Kramer HLS Channel is a great choice for someone who is looking for vintage-sounding, easy-to-use EQ that gives the recorded vocals silky and smooth high-end.


Waves Audio API 560

Waves Audio API 560

Pros
  • Vintage-looking
  • Great-sounding
  • Versatile
Cons
  • Controls can work differently on iOS and Windows
See price @ Waves Audio

If you’re looking for a graphic equalizer that has a really straightforward design and is a meticulous recreation of a vintage unit, you should pay attention to Waves Audio API 560.

Best features and specs

Waves Audio API 560 offers you 10 bands, high headroom, precision filtering, one-octave centers, and 12dB of cut/boost per band. There’s also proportional Q, clip level of +28 dBu, and extra resolution around 4dB area.

User impressions

Users say that the API 560 sounds great and is pleasant to work with thanks to its beautiful GUI. As far as vocals, many do say they made their vocals sound way better and clearer.

What we think

We like the API 560 for being an excellent tool for room tuning and any signal boosts. As well as a real helper when you need to take a few steps back and make some changes, since you can undo much of your changes.

Bottomline

Waves Audio API 560 is a great choice for someone who is looking for a versatile, great-sounding, and retro-looking graphic EQ, which makes the vocals more evident.


Waves Audio Renaissance Equalizer

Waves Audio Renaissance Equalizer

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Futuristic look
  • Transparent-sounding
Cons
  • Might be too transparent to one’s taste
See price @ Waves Audio

Are you tired of endless knobs and slide controls? Looking for something elegant, stylish, and easy-to-use? You should check out Waves Audio Renaissance Equalizer, which has a colorful and intuitive interface that will bring fun to your life once again.

Best features and specs

The Waves Audio Renaissance Equalizer offers you 6 bands of paragraphic EQ and a lot of presents carefully created by well-known sound engineers and music producers. In addition to that, you get a real-time frequency analyzer, vintage-sounding and warm filter curves, and a user-friendly interface that comes in 3 modes of Legacy, Dark, and Light. 

User impressions

The Renaissance Equalizer is known for being really good on vocals, making them sound fuller. Users praise this EQ for having transparent sound, being incredibly easy to work with, and looking cool.

What we think

Besides the fact that they’re great for vocals, you can customize the look and feel of the plugin to suit your taste.

Bottomline

Waves Audio Renaissance Equalizer is a great choice for someone who is looking for a transparent-sounding, futuristic, stylish, and easy-to-use paragraphic equalizer. This EQ will make the vocals sound fuller, and it’s really simple to cut any unwanted frequencies.


Waves EQ for Vocals Buying Guide

Why would you need Waves EQ plugin for vocals?

Waves Audio is an industry standard in audio engineering. So every plugin is expected to give you results of the highest quality possible, and at an affordable cost. So it’s a safe bet that, if you’re in doubt about choosing another plugin, you can most likely bet on Waves Audio.

Important features

When choosing a Waves EQ for vocals, you should pay attention to the type of EQ, sound quality, and emulation quality.

Type of EQ

Graphic EQ directs the audio to the bunch of filters, each of them having a particular band assigned and passing the said audio from one to another. Slide controls are used for reducing or raising the energy that passes through each band. It’s best to use graphic EQs for live sound, where the sound engineer can quickly make any necessary changes by moving the slides.

Parametric EQ lets you regulate the bandwidth, center frequency, and amplitude of each band. This type of EQ is known for giving you the ability to make any precise adjustments that you need.

When the sound comes in the Dynamic EQ, it treats the sound using a threshold-based design, which doesn’t trigger a phase shift up to the point when the coming signal activates the device itself. This type of EQ is used for implementing surgical changes within the frequency range.

Mid-side EQ lets you work directly with the midrange without affecting low-end or high-end and working separately with low-end and high-end without changing a thing in the midrange. This type of EQ is a perfect choice if you need to add some free space in your mix to make the vocals shine, for example.

Sound quality

EQs can either have a transparent sound or add a bit of warmth and color to the sound.

Emulation quality

Of course, the closer it’s to the original vintage EQ it is, the better results you would have. So, you should check what users say about the emulation, as sometimes it can differ from the advertised quality.

How to choose the right one for you?

When you are choosing the best waves EQ for vocals, you should know which type of EQ you seek. Will one be enough for you, or maybe having a few different types would be even better? Based on your musical idea and sound preference in general, you should choose between transparency and coloration, as there is no right or wrong answer. Regarding emulation quality, you should opt for no less than ‘as good as the original one’, otherwise, you won’t get the results that you desire.

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