Waves is creeping up on vocal harmony and pitch correction in a way that sells. Whereas Melodyne is for meticulus vocal production and editing, software like Waves Harmony distills potentialy complex functionality (like vocal harmony) into something that gets results quick. If you are a casual or novice producer, you have a good song in you, and it needs a harmony part, you should be able to add one without spending the better part of two weeks figuring out the notes.
That, or spending hundreds of dollars on professional software. If that’s the case, Waves Harmony can be just the thing with its ability to generate up to 8 additional voices for any vocal or pitched instrument recording. Moreover, the voices are generated either automatically, via MIDI input, or in Graphic Mode. There’s also a special feature: no-latency mode where the plug-in is suitable for live use. Waves has been around for so long, I’d trust them to get something like this right from the get-go.
Waves’ focus on vocals saw Ovox, Vocal Bender, and Clarity Vx come before Harmony. Similar to Ovox, the freshly released harmonizer generates up to eight harmony tracks from the input audio. The plug-in has three modes for this process: Automatic, MIDI input, and Graphic mode. In Automatic mode, Harmony creates the additional instances by analyzing the key and melody of the input. This is practical for a quick start. In MIDI input mode, you can play live MIDI notes and chords on your MIDI keyboard like a vocoder. You can also launch MIDI clips in your DAW and Harmony will generate harmonies based on that input.
In Graphic Mode, the pitches and panning positions of the individual voices can be drawn in the middle. Snapshots can be created as well, allowing for chord changes. Each snapshot is a single chord and you can use the small scroll wheel at the bottom right to switch through them via automation. Additionally, as with Ovox, a complete modulation engine is included. It offers four modulators (sequencer and LFO), two envelopes, a volume and a pitch follower to modulate almost all parameters in Harmony. This turns up the plug-in’s sound design potential beyond rookie stuff.
Price and availability
Waves Harmony works under Windows (10 and 11) in 64-bit VST2, VST3, and AAX formats. Under macOS (10.15 to 12, with native Apple Silicon support), the plug-in works in 64-bit AU, VST2, VST3, and AAX formats. At launch, the software is priced USD 40 (down from USD 149).