Waves OneKnob Series

Waves has taken the “simple is good” trend to its minimalist conclusion with the OneKnob series of seven plug-ins, each with a dedicated function.

This collage shows the entire OneKnob line; despite the plugin’s simplicity, each knob does more than just adjust a single parameter.

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Simple—yet not simplistic—plug-ins with extreme ease of use

The Backstory

Waves has taken the “simple is good” trend to its minimalist conclusion with the OneKnob series of seven plug-ins, each with a dedicated function. However, the one knob actually controls several parameters “under the hood”—so rather than just doing “more” of something, you’re morphing among multiple, valid settings.

The Plugs

Driver’s knob goes through multiple overdrive/distortion variations—every knob position is a useful morph. It’s extremely versatile, although the level drops off a bit with the really distorted settings. I predict we’ll hear this on many drum tracks.

For dynamics, Louder is a very sweet maximizer. It’s great for giving a lift to individual tracks; try it instead of compression with vocals, as well as on buses and individual instruments. Pressure seems more like parallel compression at lighter settings, evolving into a more contemporary, “pumping” sound at higher settings. A switch gives three different characters, presumably by altering how hard the input gets “hit.”

Three OneKnobs are oriented toward tone. Phatter seems to boost mostly in the 80–300Hz range— higher than low bass, but lower than “muddy.” As such, it’s quite effective when you want instant old school drums, an “FM DJ” voice, or to give some authority to bass. Its mirror image, Brighter, does add brightness; but in the middle of the travel the sound seems more like a swept peak, with a shelving-like boost at the high end. In any event, it does more than just a simple treble boost. Filter sounds like a synth lowpass filter, but also adds a switch with four resonance settings.

Finally, Wetter gives reverb, with higher settings increasing decay time and pre-delay.

The Verdict

Wetter does what it claims, but I think reverb needs serious tweaking for particular applications, which one knob can’t do. Filter is essential if you lack a virtual synth that lets you access its lowpass filter as an effect; otherwise, it’s redundant. My faves—which are great by any standard—are Driver, for its versatility and distortion quality; Louder, because it’s effective yet transparent; and Pressure, due to its uncanny ability to deliver compression from subtle to dance music madness. Phatter and Brighter can be simulated with EQ to some degree, but they offer a useful and different mojo that goes beyond mere EQ.

Simple? Yes. Simplistic? No— thanks to some clever designs, you can get a lot of mileage out of a single knob.


Fast, easy operation. Controls morph among multiple settings, instead of just editing a single parameter. Cost-effective. Drive, Louder, and Pressure are outstanding by any standard.

One knob isn’t really enough for reverb.


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