Hands-On Review:For Mac and PC


Waves Enigma Plug-In: For Mac and PC


Part 1: Introduction/Authorization

Waves Enigma Plug-In (Mac/PC) Doctor Digital's Diagnosis:


If you're looking for some out-of-this-world sci-fi effects that can alter your sounds as well as your perception of what a plug-in can do, Enigma is worth checking out. With very little effort, I was able to come up with a lot of cool and unusual sounds, despite the unique interface, making this a great addition to the Pro FX bundle.


Ease of Use: 3
Value (for the Pro FX Plus Bundle): 5
Look: 5
Functionality: 3


Waves has long been the name synonymous with software plug-ins for digital audio. Besides being one of the first companies to provide third party plug-ins for Pro Tools, Waves maintains different "Waveshells" so that their plug-ins can be used with a number of programs and platforms.


After earning a reputation for its mastering quality EQs, compressors and limiters, as well as the fabulous Trueverb, Waves released the Pro FX bundle last year. The Pro FX Bundle contains functional effects such as the Super Tap delay, the Meta Flanger, and the Mondo Mod. Recently, Waves added two more plug-ins - Enigma and Doppler - to the Pro FX Bundle, now dubbing it the Pro FX Plus Bundle. I decided to take a look at Enigma, one of the newer plug-ins, to see what it had to offer.



First, I should point out that all of the Waves plug-ins use a hardware key or "dongle" to authorize use of the plug-ins, something that I've always preferred to the more common floppy authorization or the even scarier Challenge/Response method. I tested the Pro FX Bundle on my Mac G4 computer, which doesn't have the necessary ADB port (a common port for keyboard and mouse found on older Macs) needed for the key, so I had to use the Griffin Technologies Imate ADB to USB adapter. For some reason, I had all sorts of problems getting the computer to recognize that the key was hooked-up, until I did a hard shut down and then started again. Recently, Waves released Version 3 which adds new features and functionality to their already excellent plug-ins as well as making the ADB key obsolete.

click to enlarge!


What is an Enigma?

The Enigma plug-in is appropriately named; it's clearly the oddest and hardest to describe plug-in in the Pro FX Plus Bundle. Enigma is a modulating resonant filter that can be customized to create bizarre sweeping effects that wouldn't sound too out-of-place in a science fiction movie. Unlike most filter plug-ins, Enigma offers a lot more flexibility for altering your sounds than just setting the frequencies and rate. Check out the examples in the sidebar for some of the sounds that can be created with this unique plugin.