Creating depth and adding body to a mix can be hard but extremely rewarding when done correctly. You need to have the right tools for the job, whatever it may be. I’ve heard from some engineers that too many effects can ruin a mix whether it’s a reverb, delay, phaser, chorus, or whatever, you can easily make it muddy instead of adding depth. This always scared me away from using more than 2 reverbs and not even thinking about touching more than one delay. My thought process quickly changed when I heard the CLA Epic in action.
How We Reviewed CLA Epic
Listening and working with the CLA Epic gave a bunch of new ideas of how to approach not only vocals but effects in general. Stacking and combining effects brings out a whole new way of editing tracks and bringing them to life. You can learn from Chris Lord-Alge himself as well as Warren Huart from Produce Like a Pro. We wanted to point out the key features that are involved with the CLA Epic and show just a glimpse of the possibilities.
This plugin is a combination of delays and reverbs that sound great both alone and in combination. You can create many different combinations of reverbs and delays to get that perfect sound for any instrument. You can bring new life to the drums, create a depth to your vocals, the choice is yours.
4 Delays – You have 4 delay options of Slap, Throw, Tape, and Crowd. You can combine these delays in any fashion or use them all individually. This is great for having a short delay that gives an initial effect to a vocal and then a longer set of delays layered in for the depth.
4 Reverbs – With your 4 reverb channels, you have the options of Plate, Room, Hall, and Space. Each of these has its own unique attributes as well as different ways to route them. This can be used for the same effect as the delays where you use a combination of short and long reverbs to get the desired depth.
Routing – One of the coolest features in the way this plugin works is the routing aspect. You can patch any delay to run through a reverb. You can send the entirety of the signal of a delay through a reverb, or just as a send as a parallel.
FX Mutes – You have control over each individual effects channel to send or stop any signal with faders as well as there being mutes and solos. You can even turn off each effect individually on the left side of the plugin.
Waves is one of the most compatible plugin companies out there. As long as your computer can handle their requirements and your DAW is up to date, you should have absolutely no issues.
|Memory||8 GB RAM8 GB free disk space||8 GB RAM8 GB free disk space|
|Operating System||10.13.6, 10.14.6, 10.15.7, 11.0.1 (intel only)||Windows 10 64 bit|
This plugin can be downloaded from Waves Central after you have purchased it.
The best reverbs from Waves start around $100. The same can be said about their best delays. That being said, you do not have the capabilities that are in CLA Epic in every other reverb and delay out there. With that in mind, the price they ask is way below what you would normally expect for a plugin like this. Also remember that Waves has sales and discounts regularly so watch for those drops.
- Total Price: $199
Bonus & Extras
The presets that come with the CLA Epic are astounding. You have 50 base options from Chris Lord-Alge himself, and an additional 300 presets from esteemed engineers like Greg Wells and Michael Brauer. You get a look into the creative minds and thought processes of many engineers who have invested themselves in music history.
Something I like to do when I get a new plugin such as this is try it out in an old mix. I make a new copy of a session and for the CLA Epic, I would go in and replace my delays and reverbs. Then I can mix and see a comparable difference between the old way and the new way I approach my mix. Not only is it a great way to see growth as an engineer, but it also is great as a break from any monotony I have gotten myself into in my mixing.
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Jarrett is a hardcore Lover-Jazz Lover-Rock Lover-Blues Lover-just a music lover. He has the hair to match — Jarrett and provides in-depth insight into all things guitar and music engineering.