What happens when the Waves Nx technology for binaural 3D audio is combined with with impulse response measurements from Chris Lord-Alge’s Mix LA control room? The short answer – control room piracy! The long answer – CLA Nx, the latest Waves plug-in that’s meant to bring the producer’s Mix LA studio control room to any decent pair of headphones. So far, Waves plug-ins have Chris Lord-Alge’s recording and mixing setups fully covered. All that’s left now is to emulate his brain consciousness and your transformation into CLA shall be completed!
Waves CLA Nx
CLA Nx models the acoustic response of Chris’s mix room inside any set of headphones suitable for production work. Sounds good, but how is this going to improve your results? Well, the main point is to help headphone mixes translate better to speakers – especially in situations where your studio space is not acoustically treated, or you are away and must mix on headphones. The plug-in also provides a useful reference for mix checking. According to Chris Lord-Alge, the room has a “what you hear is what you get” quality to it. This means it’s balanced and accurate enough to let one hear things how they are and mix without hesitation.
Of course, headphones and speakers sound fundamentally different and this has to be accounted for during mixing. To help bridge that gap, Waves’ NX tech does a lot of algorithmic voodoo (channel crosstalk, inter-aural delays, filters, early reflections, head motion tracking) to trick your brain into hearing 3D sound from headphones.
The actual modeling part involves 360-degree impulse responses captured from each of the speaker sets inside the Mix LA control room. That is, Waves modeled how the room reacts to each of the speakers from where they are positioned in the studio. This includes the acoustic response of Chris’s CLA-10 nearfield monitors, his subwoofer system, his custom-built Ocean Way farfield speakers, and even the boombox he uses for small-speaker mix checking. Man, I want in on that! What kind of science degree do I need to go and measure boomboxes for a living?!
To really seal the deal, the CLA Nx plug-in also supports head tracking using your webcam or the Waves Nx Head Tracker Bluetooth device which you can purchase separately.
Waves CLA Nx – Price and availability
Despite being a fresh release, Waves CLA Nx is part of the Waves discount bonanza. Normally USD 199, the plug-in is on an introductory sale for USD 50 and you can chop that price down to USD 30 by punching in the coupon CREATE40 at checkout. The intro offer is good for 72 hours post-release, which means it will expire by the weekend. Waves CLA Nx is available in VST, VST3, AU, AAX Native, and AAX AudioSuite formats for 64-bit computers running macOS 10.13.6 (or later) and Windows 10.