Waves advances on vocal harmony and pitch correction in a way that sells. While Melodyne is intended for meticulous vocal production and editing, software like Waves Harmony distills potentially complex features (like vocal harmony) into something that yields quick results. If you’re a casual or novice producer, have a good song in you and it needs a harmony part, you should be able to add one without spending the better part of two weeks figuring out the notes.
That, or spend hundreds of dollars on professional software. If so, Waves Harmony may be just the thing for you with its ability to generate up to 8 additional voices for any vocal or instrument recording. In addition, voices are generated either automatically, via MIDI input, or graphically. There is also a special feature: zero latency mode where the plug-in is suitable for live use. Waves has been around for so long that I would trust them to get something like this right off the bat.
Harmony of the waves
Waves’ emphasis on vocals saw Ovox, Vocal Bender and Clarity Vx come before Harmony. Similar to Ovox, the freshly released Harmonizer generates up to eight harmony tracks from the input audio. The plug-in has three modes for this process: automatic, MIDI input and graphic mode. In automatic mode, Harmony creates the additional instances by analyzing the key and melody of the input. It’s convenient for a quick start. In MIDI input mode, you can play MIDI notes and chords live on your MIDI keyboard like a vocoder. You can also launch MIDI clips in your DAW and Harmony will generate harmonies based on that input.
In graphic mode, the pitches and pan positions of individual voices can be drawn in the middle. Snapshots can also be created, allowing chord changes. Each snapshot is a unique chord, and you can use the small scroll wheel in the lower right to cycle through them through the automation. Additionally, as with Ovox, a full modulation engine is included. It offers four modulators (sequencer and LFO), two envelopes, a volume and a pitch follower to modulate almost any parameter in Harmony. This increases the sound design potential of the plug-in beyond beginner’s stuff.
Price and availability
Waves Harmony runs on the Windows (10 and 11) in 64-bit VST2, VST3 and AAX sizes. Below macOS (10.15 to 12, with native Apple Silicon support), the plugin works in 64-bit AU, VST2, VST3 and AAX formats. At launch, the software is priced $40 (instead of 149 USD).