Waves Retro Fi packs the ideas of the LoFi Space plugin into an analog-style multi-effects processor made for creative downgrading your audio.
Waves‘ business model is highly controversial. Sales around the clock and an update fee after one year. You can either like it or dismiss it. I’m in the middle. I use the plugins as long as they work, but I won’t pay anything for the famous WUP service. Sorry Waves. And if a plugin is such a must-have, I will re-buy it in one of their never ending sales which will be cheaper in the end.
With the unpopular pricing policy in mind, you have to say clearly that Waves really understand how to create really great plugins. This year’s free plug-in LoFi Space for Black Friday is a neat effect. Today Waves showed another lo-fi plugin, oh wonder.
Waves Retro Fi
It is almost traditional that Waves first publishes a free plugin as an appetizer, and later the big version. Last year we got the CLA Echosphere, later the CLA Epic. The big brother of the LoFi Space is called Retro FI and is an lo-fi effects processor. One of the most trendy topics currently in the plugin world.
Retro Fi’s core is split into four main blocks: device, space, noise, and mechanism. Everything starts with device block which hosts an analog-style coloring and tonal shaping engine. It is powered by impulse response system with which you can put your audio material in a 1950 to 1980 time machine. Plus it has a colorful compressor aka squasher to add life to your instruments, vocals…
From here, it goes in the space section that combines an echo and reverb processor. The element we got in the free Lo-fi Space. It offers a saturated echo and analog-modeled spring or plate reverb reverb for adding both depth and spatial elements to your sounds. The echo also includes a ping-pong delay type.
Then, it continues in the noise section where it gets dirtier and rougher. It features a big library of 60+ unique textures, including diverse cassette, vinyl noises and many more. According to Waves, they have built in a noise generation algorithm which ensures that the noise is constantly in motion. Not like a repeating pre-recorded loop.
The last block hosts the mechanics that brings the beloved wow and flutter effects into the signals. With the wow, wobble, and speed parameters, you can dial in the beautiful, organic imperfections and mechanical wear & tear of old cassettes tapes and vinyl records toy your sounds. On the bottom, you have also additional high pass/lowpass filters and a mono slimmer.
Retro Fi effect ships with a collection of 250 presets that invites you on a vintage sound trip. From lo-fi textures, warm analog sounds, vintage cassette tones… the plugin is able to bring a lot of character and life into your sounds
At first glance, Retro Fi looks like a very interesting and very good sounding plugin. They stay true to the funny vintage design of the free plugin, which I like very much.
Waves Retro Fi is available now for $29,99 USD (reg. $199 USD) for a limited time. There is currently a sale where you get with every 2 plugins two additional plugin for free. Retro Fi runs as a VST, VST3, AU, and plugin on macOS 10.14.6 + with Apple M1 support and Windows 10 or later in 64-bit.
More information here: Waves