The first thing to know about the Waves Bass Rider Plug In is: it’s not a compressor. A compressor controls levels by squashing and coloring the sound of the instrument or vocal being compressed. It’s not usually a huge coloration but it definitely changes the tone. The rider works like an engineer riding the fader. Bass Rider reads the incoming mix signal and adjusts accordingly.
There are maximums and minimums to the fader travel to set, which you can do by ear. The more even the original bass playing was, the better, but the Rider will adjust a pretty wide range of variation in the original levels. As a matter of reference, here’s what pro bass guitar sounds like.
But what if you want some complimentary motion in your mix? What if you want the drums up slightly, bass down in the verse but reversed in the chorus? In Pro Tools simply create two duplicate tracks with the Rider Plug In on each and set one overall volume up, one down and mute the sections according to what you want.
Note that you can still use a compressor if you like. I recommend inserting the compressor, your EQ plug, Max Bass and whatever else you use, after the Bass Rider. While it’s fairly common for most engineers to compress bass guitar automatically, with the Rider you may not find it necessary on some songs.
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The Waves Bass Rider isn’t the cure for everything, once again, great tone and even-in-volume playing, as well as tightness all contribute to how the bass guitar will work in your mix. But the Bass Rider is absolutely a must-have you should have in your plug in tool box- b.e. watson