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Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter® 
User Guide 


Chapter 1 — Introduction 

1.1 Welcome 

Thank you for choosing Waves! In order to get the most out of your Waves processor, 

please take the time to read through this manual. 

In conjunction, we also suggest that you become familiar with 
There you will find an extensive Answer Base, the latest Tech Specs, detailed 
Installation guides, new Software Updates, and current information on Authorization 

and Registration. 

By signing up at, you will receive personalized information on 
your registered products, reminders when updates are available, and information on 

your authorization status. 

1.2 Product Overview 

When it was originally introduced in the mid-1970s, the Aphex Aural Exciter® brought its 
distinctive sound to select sessions by leading recording artists, traveling from studio to 

studio as an exclusive (and expensive) rental unit. 

A true groundbreaker, the original Aural Exciter was highly regarded for its ability to 
increase and enhance presence, brightness, and detail on vocal tracks and masters 
alike. It was even credited as a "session player" on popular albums by the likes of 

Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, and James Taylor. 

Modeled on one of only a few tube-powered units ever made, the new Waves Aphex 
Vintage Aural Exciter plugin delivers all the unique character of the rare original 

hardware unit, with all the advantages of software. 

Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter® 
User Guide 


1.3 Concepts and Terminology 

While the original 402 Aural Exciter unit we modeled has only one mix mode, the 

Vintage Aural Exciter plugin has two. Here’s how that came about: 

When we originally modeled the unit, replicating its sound in both insert and aux 
send/return modes, we realized that each mode had its own unique sound. This is 
primarily because the phase relation between the direct sound and the AX sound is 
reversed, and the signal that the AX is mixed with is a pure direct, while the device’s BP 
(bypassed) signal includes its own phase response which, while not fully inverted, does 

affect the sound of the mix. 

Producer/engineer Val Garay, one of the high-profile users who helped popularize the 
original Aural Exciter, listened to the plugin prototype and confirmed that the sound of 
our software corresponds perfectly with the hardware unit. However, he also told us that 
he always used the device in a send/return auxiliary setup in AX mode. Val’s aux 
send/return setup delivers “the sound” that is forever etched on hit records of the late 
‘70s and early ‘80s. Since today’s users may prefer to insert the plugin directly ona 
track, we wanted to make this send/return sound available in insert mode. We decided to 
provide both sounds in insert mode for the user’s convenience, by introducing an 

additional MIX mode. This is what we call MIX1 mode. 

MIX2 mode is based on the sound of the original hardware unit's MIX mode, as an 
insert. While it may be “over the top” for a mastering task, it may be just the thing for a 
vocal track that needs enhancement or presence that cannot be achieved using EQ. 
Due to the processor's unique phase behavior, modulations in frequency response may 
occur at certain AX MIX settings in MIX2 mode. At AX MIX settings of 1 to 4.5, the effect 
is very subtle; settings of 4.5 to 7.2 result in a frequency dip; settings from 7.2 to 10 bring 

about a pretty, not subtle sound. 

To recap: 
e MiIX1, as an insert, recreates the hardware unit’s AX mode send/return sound. 
e MIX2, as an insert, recreates the hardware unit’s MIX mode insert sound. 
e AX mode is designed to be used for send/return auxiliary setups. 

Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter® 
User Guide 


Signal Path 



“\, | 

Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter® 
User Guide 


1.4 Components 

The Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter® consists of two components: 

= Aphex Mono 
= Aphex Stereo 

Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter® 
User Guide 


Chapter 2 — Quick Start Guide 

There are two primary ways to use the Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter plugin: 

1. As an insert on the track, using MIX1 or MIX2 modes. 

2. AS a send/return effect on an aux track, using AX mode. 





Insert the Vintage Aural Exciter on your track. 

Set to MIX1 or MIX2 mode. 

Adjust the AX MIX knob to blend the desired amount of effect with your dry 

Adjust input and output levels as necessary. 

Insert the Vintage Aural Exciter on an aux bus, and route a ‘send’ to that bus. 
Set to AX mode. 
Adjust the ‘send’ to blend the desired amount of effect with your dry signal. 

Adjust input and output levels on the Aural Exciter plugin as necessary. 

Please note: Since input levels have a significant impact on the sound of the plugin, we 

recommend experimenting in order to find your optimal input settings. 

Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter® 
User Guide 


Chapter 3 — Interface and Controls 

3.1 Interface 



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Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter® 
User Guide 


3.2 Controls 

1 VU Meter with clip indicator displays input or output level in dBVU 
Clip LED lights up when levels exceed 0 dBFS. Click to reset. 

[es] VU Calibration controls VU meter headroom calibration. 


24 — 8dB (16dB) 


18 dB of headroom (0 dBVU = -18 dBFS) 

Please note: The VU Calibration control is represented by the small screw-head below 
the VU meter display. It does not have a visible label and, for most users, the default 
setting of 18 dB headroom should be the best choice. On the Stereo component, use the 
screw located on the left to calibrate both meters. 

El MODE selects the processing mode. 

Range: BP, MIX1, MIX2, AX 
e BP = Bypass (Please note: BP does not function as a pure bypass; the plugin 
models the original hardware’s BP mode behavior.) 
e MIX‘, as an insert, recreates the hardware unit's AX mode send/return sound. 

e MIX2, as an insert, recreates the hardware unit’s MIX mode insert sound. 
e AX mode is designed to be used for send/return auxiliary setups. 
Default: MIX1 

ci... selects VU meter view options. 

Range: Input / Output / AX 
Default: Out 

Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter® 
User Guide 


EZ... controls input gain. 

Range: -18dB to +18db 
Default: OdB 

Gi. MIX controls the amount of AX (aural excitement) added to the original 
signal. (Functional in Mix mode only.) 

Range: 0 to 10 
Default: 7.87 

Es OUTPUT controls output gain. 

Range: -18dB to +18db 
Default: OdB 

E3... controls the level of the modeled analog noise. 

Range: Off / -48dB to 0 (0 = original HW) 
Default: Orig. 

cE}... controls analog characteristics caused by hum, based on the power 
supplies of the original units. 

Range: Off / 50Hz / 60Hz 
Default: 50Hz 

Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter® 
User Guide 


Chapter 4 —- The WaveSystem 
4.1 The WaveSystem Toolbar 

All Waves plugins feature the WaveSystem toolbar which takes care of most 
administrative functions you will encounter while working with your Waves software. The 
features of the WaveSystem toolbar are the same on practically all Waves plugins, so 
familiarity with its features will be helpful whichever plugin you are using. 

Toolbar Functions 

as Opens the plugin About box 
Undo Undoes the last 32 actions 
Redo Redoes the last 32 undone actions 

Setup A/B —_ Toggles between two presets, useful for comparison of parameter 

L/R Arrows’ Move to the previous or next preset 

Copy A—B Copies the current settings to the second preset register 

Load Recalls presets from file 
Save Saves presets in the Waves file formats 
? Opens the PDF manual for the plugin you are using 

4.2 Preset Handling 

Preset Types 

Factory Presets are permanent presets in the Load menu. Factory presets cannot be 
overwritten or deleted. When applicable, different component plugins may have different 
factory presets. 

User Presets are your favorite settings of the plugin saved as a preset in the Load 
menu, under ‘User Presets’. User Presets can be overwritten and deleted. 

Setup Files may contain more than one preset. For example, a single file can contain all 
the presets for a session. When you open a Setup File, all its setups become part of 
your Load pop-up menu for fast access. This can be particularly useful with multiple 
instances of a plugin in a single session. By saving all the settings you create into a 
single Setup File, they can all be quickly available for every instance of that plugin. 

Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter® 
User Guide 


Loading Presets and Setups 

Load | 

Click on the Load button to see the Load pop-up menu. The menu is divided into four 
sections. If a section is not currently available it will not appear in the Load pop-up menu. 

Open Preset File... Select to open any setup or preset file, whether from the Library or 
your own creations. 

‘Filename.xps : Displays any currently loaded Setup File and its presets. 
Factory Presets: Displays the default Factory Presets. 
User Presets: Displays any loaded User Presets. 

Saving Presets and Setups 

Click on the Save button to see the Save pop-up menu. Four options are available. If an 
option is not currently available it will be grayed out and inaccessible. 

Save to New File... 

Save ‘File Name’ — “Preset Name” 

Save to ‘File Name’ As... 

Put into Preset Menu As... 

Select this to start a new Setup file. There are two 
prompts - first for the setup filename, then for the 
preset name. You must provide a name for both the 
setup file and the preset. Click OK (ENTER) to 
complete the save. It is a good idea to create a 
folder in which to save several setup files for a 

Overwrites the settings of the loaded preset 
(whether a User Preset or a preset from a Setup 
File) with the current settings. If a Setup File is 
currently loaded, the name of the Setup File is 
displayed followed by the name of the preset itself. 
lf a User Preset is loaded, its name is displayed. 
Saves the current settings as a new preset into the 
Setup file that is open (if one is not open, the option 
is grayed out). You will be prompted to give the 
preset a name. 

Save the current settings into a User Preset that 
will always be in your Load menu (until deleted). 
You will be prompted to give this preset a name. 
User Presets are stored in the plugin’s preference 

Please note: Special characters (such as: !, @, #, %, “, etc.) are not supported in preset 


Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter® 

User Guide 

Deleting Presets 

You may delete User Presets and presets within a Setup File. Factory Presets and 
Setup Library files cannot be deleted or overwritten. 

1. Hold the Command (Mac)/Control (PC) key down. 

2. Click-and-hold the Load button to see the pop-up menu. 

3. While still holding the Command/Control key, select the preset or setup to delete. 
4. Aconfirmation box will appear, allowing you to cancel or ‘OK’ the deletion. 

A/B Comparison and Copying 

The Setup A/Setup B button may be clicked to compare two settings. If you load a preset 
in the Setup B position, this will not affect the preset loaded into the Setup A position, 
and vice-versa. 

lf you want to slightly modify the settings in Setup A, you can copy them to Setup B by 
clicking on the Copy to B button, then alter Setup A and compare with the original Setup 

The name of the current setup will be shown in the title bar (on platforms which support 
it), and will switch as you change from Setup A to Setup B. 

Note: an asterisk will be added to the preset name when a change is made to the preset. 

4.3 Interface Controls 

Controls can be in one of three states: 

e Not Selected where the control is not the target of any user entry 

e Selected where the control is the target of mouse control entry only 

e Selected and Active where the control is the target for both mouse and 
keyboard entry 

Toggle Buttons 

Toggle buttons display the state of a control, and allow switching between two or more 
states. Single-click to change the control’s state. Some toggle buttons have a text 
display which updates with the current setting, and others (bypass, solo, or monitoring 
toggles) illuminate when the control is active. 

Some plugins have link buttons between a pair of toggle buttons, allowing click-and- 
drag adjustment while retaining the offset between the controls. 

Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter® 
User Guide 


Value Window Buttons 

Value windows display the value of a control and allow click-and-drag adjustment, or 
direct control via the keyboard. 

e Using the mouse, click-and-drag on the value window to adjust. Some value 
windows support left/right, some up/down (as you hover over a button, arrows 
will appear to let you Know which direction of movement that button supports). 
You may also use your mouse-wheel to adjust parameter values. 

e Using the arrow keys, click once with mouse to select the button, and then use 
up/down -— left/right (depending on the direction supported by that button) to 
move in the smallest incremental steps across the button’s range (holding down 
the arrow keys will move faster through the range). 

e Using key entry, double click on the button to open the value window, and 
directly enter the value from your keyboard. If you enter an out of range number, 
the button stays selected but remains at the current setting (system beeps? If 
system sounds are on?) 

Some plugins have link buttons between a pair of value windows, allowing click-and- 
drag adjustment while retaining the offset between the controls. 


Click or scroll the mouse-wheel on the slider itself or anywhere within the sliders track. 
The numerical value of the slider settings is displayed in a hover window above the 
slider path. 

Hover Box 

Hovering boxes will appear and display the control value when hovering with the mouse 
over the control. 

Multiple Control Selection 

One of the most powerful features of the WaveSystem is the ability to select and adjust 
multiple controls simultaneously. Using the mouse, drag-select the desired group of 
buttons or graphic controls by clicking and holding at a point outside the controls, and 
forming a rectangle that includes the controls you wish to adjust. Alternatively, press and 
hold Shift while clicking the mouse on any control you wish to link. This method is useful 
when you want to select two or more controls that are not adjacent to one another. 

TAB Functions 

TAB moves the ‘selected’ status to the next control, with shift-TAB moving in the reverse 

Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter® 
User Guide 


Additionally, the Mac has an option-TAB function for ‘down’ movement and shift-option- 
TAB for ‘up’ movement where applicable. 

If you have several Value Window Buttons selected, TAB functions will take you through 
the selected controls only. 

Hitting Esc or Return will return the ‘focus’ to the DAW application. 

4.4 Waves Preferences (Pro Tools only) 

When launching Pro Tools, hold Shift to view the Waves plugin Preferences window. 
The following options are available: 

Don't use AudioSuite plugins 

Don't use RTAS plugins 

Rescan all plugins 

HUI control surface support (low resolution) 
Enable single-click text entry 

Waves Aphex Vintage Aural Exciter® 
User Guide