0% Interest for 24 Months! Learn more »
(800) 222-4700
  • Español: (800) 222-4701
Microphone Month 2

Waves Vocal Rider Plug-in - Native Reviews

4.5 stars based on 20 customer reviews

Sweetwater Advice

  • Randy Akins

    This is the coolest plug-in out there! Gone are the endless repetitions of riding the fader on a tricky vocal passage - this does it all for you. It can be automated as well!

  • from February 10, 2015

    Vocal Rider Plug-In = amazing

    I really AM blown away by this plug-in. I was able to snag it for $79. I don't think I would have paid full price for it to try it out but I think I WOULD pay full price for it now. Such a time saver and really easy to learn. I mean, it takes some time to figure out how to get the best sound for your song out of it, but that's how all plug-ins are.

    I love that the voice is balanced without the colors of a compressor. I still found myself wanting some compression but not nearly as much as previous mixes.

  • from Egg harbor Township, NJ January 28, 2015Music Background:
    Sound Engineer, Musician, Producer...

    Quality of product and service...

    The service received from Brendan was flawless as is the product from waves...
    A very satisfied customer

  • from Edgewood, NM January 15, 2015Music Background:
    Pro musician, recording engineer

    An amazing tool

    It is truly amazing what this simple plugin can do for the lead vocal in your track. My lead vocal now sits much more comfortably in the mix and still can be heard easily. While it's not 100% accurate (I'd say about 80-85%) it does things to your vocal track in minutes that you couldn't accomplish without it in hours. After using it, you can do a little "touch-up" automation adjustment and you're good to go. Truly worth the investment if your vocal tracks are important to you.

  • from Ivor, Va March 15, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Producer

    First Waves plugin purchased...only $99??? Huh?

    Been mixing about five years. I am an Izotope/T-racks guy and really do not have the dough to buy Waves plugs...not yet at least. Biggest pain in the rear for me is OCD'ing over every nuance in every vocal phrase. Yes, I would sometimes spend 8 hours adjusting clip fades/automation. Now, I just set it and forget it. Make sure you use the sidechain setting OR IT WILL NOT WORK AS WELL. Take the time and use the sidechain function. Sell point on this item... my vocals now sound professional, before they sounded amateur-ish. No brainer, just buy it.

  • from United States December 30, 2013Music Background:
    Musician / Producer

    Waves Vocal Rider!

    Just like Bass Rider, the Vocal Rider plug-in is awesome! It has become a "must add" for all our vocal tracks. Helps keep a very consistent sound level, without sacrificing dynamics. Sure, you could technically do the same thing by manually riding the fader (and writing automation) - but Vocal Rider does a much better job, in a tiny fraction of the time.

  • from Raleigh, NC January 16, 2013Music Background:
    Musician, Producer, Engineer


    I used to stack compressors to even out my vocal levels, sometimes it would color the tone a little too much and it was easy to lose the dynamics if I wasn't careful. When I am not looking for that coloration in my vocal tone, I reach for the Vocal Rider, very transparent while maintaining the emotion of the performance. Simply an awesome product.

  • from Austin, TX June 11, 2012Music Background:
    Producer, Mix Engineer, Occasional Recording Engineer (Mostly retired from that), Professional Musician.

    I've used it a lot and it works great

    It seems like in the last 3 years or so, we're seeing the trend go slightly away from modeling vintage gear (We're still seeing a lot of that) in the interest of introducing new processors that do things we haven't seen before. I'm loving it! I mean... C'mon! Do we really need another compressor?

    This thing works great. It's adjustable enough to make it work on anything I've done with it so far.

    In some other reviews I've read some references to it's "Side-Chaining" capabilities. One reviewer even said "Make sure you have sidechaining or this plug in is useless"... I can tell you honestly that I have had no need for Side-Chaining with this plug. at all. I'm not sure what that guy is trying to do. But... He's obviously smarter than me. After all... I've only been working professionally in the recording industry for 21 years.

    Another reviewer mentioned some Side-Chaining problem in SONAR. I'm really kind of stumped by all the Side-Chaining talk in these reviews.

    Anyway... I don't know about SONAR but I'm using Pro Tools HD and this thing works great. It does what it's supposed to do. And... If you want to... You can use it before your favorite compressor to really make that compressor shine. Also... A gate after this thing will be the most transparent gate you've ever heard.

    One really cool deep feature is that it will print an automation lane. So... If you want to edit what it's doing in a certain part of a tune, you can.

    Bottom Line: It works great... It sounds great... It's easy to use... And... It saves time. Great Plug!

    As for Side-Chainig... Beats me. But, then... I only do music for film and television. So... What do I know?

  • from Atlanta, GA November 13, 2011Music Background:

    Off The Chain

    Man, the vocal rider makes mixing vcls super easy. Waves is the best in plug ins hands down.... Insain Boiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

  • from Memphis, TN October 14, 2011Music Background:
    Pro recorder

    Tha Buizness!!!!

    I love this plug in!!! It really corrects the issues related to inconsistency within the track without coloration. I personally recommend this for anyone doing vocal mixing because you will be surprise how much automation is needed.

  • from Nashville, TN December 19, 2010Music Background:
    Producer, Engineer

    The on slaught continues

    And Waves fires another shot at big studio production. Logic 9 check, PTL 9 Check, Waves signature collections check, SSL collection Check is there any mix I can't make sound good not likely. But throw in this plug and it becomes all to easy. where is the work the time spent learning the craft, well its gone waves is single handedly killing it. There is alot of immitators to the thtown but for years waves has stood at the top and with plugs like this they will continue to stand at the top.

  • from Saint Paul, MN USA January 14, 2015Music Background:
    Musician/Engineer/Producer 30+ years

    Better than a Compressor

    Installation is a pain. Adding this plug-in to PT 11 wiped out all my other Waves plug-ins. Yikes! Sweetwater Tech-Support to the rescue, and that guy got it all working in no time. Now, once it's all working, this is a must-have plug-in. It can keep the vocal level right on top of your mix, without the squashing that can occur with excessive compression. This is what we used to do with fader automation, but this is automatic! I use Bass Rider too.

  • from Way south Louisiana November 12, 2012Music Background:
    Ol Pro

    It gits'er dun!

    It works in a hurry when you have a vocalist that does understand MIC Dynamics, it can't fix it all but way close. Have used it pretty hard on one guy that knows not how to turn his head a little or back up. So it if ya got the POWER run it on the front end big time.

  • from Tucson, Arizona November 22, 2011Music Background:
    composer, recording engineer, documentary maker

    Waves Vocal Rider an essential

    This plug-in does its job superbly, live or on tracks you've recorded.

  • from May 24, 2011

    Time saver

    great product that saves you the time of riding the fader manually. Takes care of dynamics without adding anything to the sound.

  • from St. Marys Ohio January 15, 2015Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer, Lifelong musician, Recording and Forever student of music arts and performance..

    Vocal Rider High

    An amazing plug-in that allows you to fit vocals w/ any songs dynamics without losing the voices natural sound that over-compression produces. It works on other instruments nicely too. Cool tool. Thanks to my Sweetwater rep, Tharon Jones, for talking me into it.

  • from Middleton March 23, 2014Music Background:
    Home recordist.

    Nice Tool

    The waves Vocal Rider Plug-in is exactly as stated. Thanks.

  • from Peoria, IL October 7, 2013Music Background:
    home recording

    Handy Plug-in

    Does what it says. I bought this when it was on special promo, great price. Noticed how well it made my vocals sit right away, quite sensetive. Glad I added it to my tool box.

  • from San Diego November 8, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Demo it First!!!!

    Make sure your DAW has sidechain inputs for plug ins! Pro Tools does however DAW's like Samplitude and others do not. Make sure you have sidechaining or this plug in is useless. Works great though and recommend it for the time saving!

  • from Tucson, AZ July 9, 2011Music Background:
    Home Studio Recording Engineer, Musician

    Waves Vocal Rider

    I bought Vocal Rider for my Windows 7 64 bit PC and have mixed feelings about the performance of the product. First the good. It does as advertised regarding evening out the vocal track without needing to introduce artifactts that typically come with compressing a signal. Big time saver. Two big dissapointments though. The sidechaining that was advertised is disabled if you use the plugin with Sonar. That may be a gripe against Sonar though, something about not embracing VST3 protocol. Secondly, since introducing Vocal RIder to my DAW environment I'm getting intermittent crashes of my DAW software. (I'm Running multiple Waves bundles in Ver. 7 VR in ver. 8 together which is supposed to work)

  • from January 4, 2014Music Background:
    Semi Pro musician, recording engineer...

    Info not provided

    Only after I bought it, together with the Bass Rider, the support team told me it is not compatible with my program, Cubase 5!! That was a real downer! Why is it not very obviously stated in there that you need to check compatibility first??? Now I have to change programs just to be able to use them!!! Not cool...

Questions about the Waves Vocal Rider Plug-in - Native?

Sweetwater's Sales Engineers are regarded as the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the music industry, with extensive music backgrounds and intense training on the latest products and technologies. They are available to offer you personalized product advice any time you need it.

Type your question below or call us at (800) 222-4700

Thank You!

Thank you for your request. A Sweetwater Sales Engineer will get back to you shortly. You can also call us toll free at (800) 222-4700, Mon-Thu 9-9, Fri 9-8, and Sat 9-7 Eastern.

Enter the Giveaway