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A clever new plugin – Wavesfactory Spectre Review

Wavesfactory Spectre

Our Wavesfactory Spectre review takes a look at this new multiband dynamic EQ and saturation plugin from the people that brought you Trackspacer.

We review the new enhancer plugin in our Wavesfactory Spectre review. This plugin will bring your tracks to life by tweaking the sounds with added dynamics and saturation. Let’s take a look and see what else it has to offer.

Wavesfactory Spectre Review

As per all my reviews, the main DAW I’ll be using for testing is Bitwig Studio. It is my digital audio workstation of choice and offers great flexibility in how it can integrate external plugins.

wavesfactory spectre review in bitwig studio
Wavesfactory Spectre loaded in Bitwig Studio


The installation process, as with all the prior Wavesfactory plugins that I have used, was really simple. It was a case of clicking next next next and then choosing which version of VST or AAX I require.

I only need to use VST3 with Bitwig, however I do have the option to also install VST2 for older (none 64bit clients) and AAX for you ProTools users out there.

Once installed, the activation section is easy to navigate. As I bought this from PluginBoutique.com the serial number is in my portal there. So it required me to put in my Plugin Boutique account email address and the serial number in the portal. Then all is activated online.

There is a demo trial version which can be used for testing the product out if you are not quite ready to commit (although why would you not want to find out!)

First Impressions

Put simply, this is simple. There is one main window and a selection of buttons at the top and bottom to adjust. The product is very intuitive and if you are familiar with any EQ plugin, the band and shelving will be familiar to you. For this Wavesfactory Spectre review I’ll be delving in to the various options of the buttons.

wavesfactory spectre review screenshot

Parallel Band EQ Features

I discovered during this Wavesfactory Spectre review that the unique selling point is the processing of the incoming signal using the five band parallel equaliser.

This means that is has the ability to manipulate the difference between EQ’d signal and the dry one and process each band through one of the ten saturation algorithms included – we talk more about the saturation options available later on.

Turning the bands on and off is really simple, and adjusting the measurements can be done quite simply by grabbing the circle in the graph and moving it. Alternatively this can be achieved by adjusting the measurement at the bottom part of the window.

There were some parts when writing this Wavesfactory Spectre review that I only experienced when playing about with the product and linking it with Bitwig Studio.

One of these features I liked (which is more DAW related than Spectre) was the ability to automate midi to control the knobs within the plugin. I particularly found this useful for the “mix” knob which meant the ability to automate dialling in the amount required for that point in the track.

Saturation and Dynamics Features

Now we’ve picked our EQ bands to apply the processing to, it is now time to add the icing on the cake – Saturation.

“Spectre is so much more versatile than a simple enhancer plugin because it gives the ability to choose from 10 different saturation algorithms”

Wavesfactory Spectre Review by www.parttimeproducer.com

Spectre is more versatile than a simple enhancer because it allows you to choose where and how the processing of your plugin instance takes place. Packaged up with the plugin come ten different saturation algorithms to get different colours to your sound:

  • Solid.
  • Tape.
  • Tube.
  • Warm Tube.
  • Class B.
  • Diode.
  • Bit.
  • Digital.
  • Rectify.
  • Half Rectify.
  • There is also an additional “Clean” channel that converts Spectre into a parallel boosting EQ.

To add that extra sparkle to your tracks (even more than the saturation option) there are optional 4x and 16x oversampling modes which offer pristine audio quality with no aliasing. By using the 3 saturation modes – subtle, medium and aggressive you can quickly warm your tracks and allow them to shine in your mix.


As per my regular tests when reviewing plugins, I won’t fail to mention preset options in this Wavesfactory Spectre review. I found the variety of presets was a very useful starting point to learn about this plugin.

Initially I wasn’t sure where to begin with testing various elements of the tool and so a quick flick around the presets opened up some nice features.

Presets were available for different instrument types which can be added on to individual tracks. There are also settings to polish up a mix buss before mastering, or even a master buss option.

When testing for this Wavesfactory Spectre review I found that the individual tracks would benefit more than the full mix – this was especially useful on the mid range in a piano track I had.

I was finding the piano sound was getting lost among the bells and synths along side them. No amount of EQ carving I had tried was working. Combining this tool alongside TrackSpacer was the key to my success in getting this to sound (and sit) right in the mix.

Final thoughts

Preparing this Wavesfactory Spectre review has been quite satisfying as I mentioned earlier, it has allowed me to work on a track I was struggling processing the mid range.

Every once in a while a plugin comes along that offers tremendous value for money and allows tracks to be mixed to a standard (quite easily I will add) which will stand up against those mixed by the professionals. This is certainly one of those plugins.

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