PLUG-IN CORNER: WAVES ELEMENT | Skip to main content



Recreating that fat, gritty analogue sound

Waves is a name known to all but the greenest of studio dilettantes as producing some of the finest studio effect plug-ins known to humankind, and has been doing so since 1992, making them one of the plug-in industry’s true old-timers. The release of Element sees a departure from the Waves norm, as somewhat surprisingly, it is actually a soft-synth rather than an effects plug-in.

Element uses a new technology developed by Waves called Virtual Voltage™ to create an analogue-style polyphonic synthesiser, delivering the fat, gritty sound of classic old-skool analogue synths so loved by us keyboard freaks. Also included within Element are a vast array of convenient features and functions such as integrated effects, a 16-step sequencer/arpeggiator and a MIDI learn functionality for all controls on the synthesiser’s control surface. When it comes to presets, Waves have not disappointed, providing a massive preset library with some seriously fat sounds all begging to be tweaked and put onto wax.

The quality of the filters and oscillators is top-notch and the depth of the available modulation parameters will delight all the tweakers out there no end. The control surface is a sombre and straight-down-to-business affair, with a touch of the old skool about it. The workflow layout is straightforward and intuitive, and all of the parameters are available onscreen without needing to scroll around hunting for a knob or setting. With the choice of using Element for leads, basses, pads, percussion, effects and much more, it manages to provide a well-rounded selection of potential uses and could become a modern classic.

Plug-in name: Element
Developer: Waves
Format: VST, AU, and AAX
Price £149
Rating: 8/10