Waves Audio was at the 2019 NAMM Show last week in Anaheim, California introducing the CLA MixHub plugin, developed together with Grammy-winning engineer Chris Lord-Alge.
Said to be the ‘first plugin of its kind’, CLA MixHub lets the user Mix up to 64 tracks – all from the same plugin window – using channel strips modelled from CLA’s personal console.
Plugins normally work on only one channel at a time. CLA MixHub is the first plugin to work in buckets – groupings of up to eight channels, in up to eight buckets in total. This way, users can mix up to 64 channels from one CLA MixHub plugin window.
The channel strips are modelled directly from Chris Lord-Alge’s personal console – the same console that he used to mix a huge number of hits, from Green Day, Muse and Sugarland to Keith Urban and many more.
Once CLA MixHub is inserted on the channels in a mix, users can assign tracks to buckets and begin making adjustments on the fly – mixing dynamics, EQ, saturation and more at a free-flowing pace.
While mixing, users 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 Chris’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 flavors of compression: the console’s built-in compressor, as well as Chris’s favored “Bluey” (Waves CLA-76 Compressor/Limiter) compressor. Also included: a gate, expander and ducker with a “hold” control and flexible sidechain options for shaping a sound’s envelope – as Chris calls it, it’s 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.
Chris 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.