When engineers talk about dialing in a sound, they’re usually talking about using many more tools than just a single dial. However, with the new Greg Wells PianoCentric plug-in from Waves, one big dial may be all you need. PianoCentric is Well’s second Waves Signature Series plug-in that he helped develop. The first, VoiceCentric (blue), drew upon the multiple Grammy-nominated Wells’ experience to make it easier to get vocals sitting well in a mix. Now PianoCentric (black) does the same for tricky-to-mix piano sounds, and can also be useful for synths, other keyboards and other instruments, as well.
As a songwriter, producer and mix engineer, Wells has credits on more than 85 million units sold, for artists such as Adele, Twenty One Pilots, Katy Perry and Mika. He has recorded, mixed and played piano for more than 30 years, and has tried to distill his piano mixing knowledge down into one main Piano knob in PianoCentric.
"I’ve designed this plug-in to reach two different destinations,” Wells said. “One destination is gorgeous, punchy piano that will cut through any mix with lots of drums and other elements. The second and opposite destination is more like an old bullet microphone in mono, inside the piano – lo-fi and a little crunchy."
The other main controls include a Delay and a Doubler, which sounds much like a chorus effect. Cranking up the doubler knob can make the piano sound more like an upright piano.
"The piano is a hard instrument to record and even harder to make sit in the mix properly,” Wells said. “For 30 years, anytime I heard an engineer do something that got me closer to the piano sound in my head, I paid very close attention. Under PianoCentric’s hood is every technique I’ve learned over the years for making piano sound amazing in the studio."
PianoCentric is available now for an introductory sale price of $99 (MSRP $149). It comes in AAX Native, Audio Units, RTAs, VST and VST3 formats for Mac and Windows.