Waves Releases Nx Ocean Way Nashville Plugin

Waves has released the Nx Ocean Way Nashville plugin, which is optimised to replicate the acoustics and monitoring system of the Ocean Way Nashville control rooms over any pair of studio headphones – allowing users to create better mixes, anywhere, anytime.

Ocean Way Nashville’s studio control rooms are regarded as the pinnacle of acoustic design and studio monitoring – an audiophile sound engineer’s dream, if you will. Designed from the ground up by Ocean Way founder Allen Sides, the studios were painstakingly planned and built to meet his vision of the ultimate recording, mixing and monitoring environment.

Supervised and fine-tuned by Sides himself, the Nx Ocean Way plugin recreates the studio’s acoustics and famed HR1/HR5 monitors, in immersive spatial audio, over any headphones.

With Nx Ocean Way Nashville, users can create better mixes, anywhere, anytime, using their favourite reference headphones. According to Waves, mixes monitored on headphones through the Nx Ocean Way Nashville plugin are more likely to translate accurately to multiple audio systems and platforms – without the issues that often plague mixes created on headphones.

The plugin is designed to deliver faithful representations of the control room’s finely tuned acoustics, as experienced through the Allen Sides-designed Ocean Way Audio HR1 and HR5 far-field and near-field monitors.

With Nx Ocean Way Nashville inserted on the master bus of a session, the user has the ultimate acoustic reference environment over any headphone model, allowing them to better judge mix depth, panning, reverb amount, low-end response and more – all the aspects of a mix that are normally so difficult to assess on headphones.

Nx Ocean Way Nashville is powered by Waves’ Nx technology for immersive spatial audio. Waves’ Nx uses channel crosstalk, inter-aural delays (ITD), filters (ILD), early reflections and head motion tracking to replicate the immersive experience of hearing audio in the real world.

All these are coupled with precision measurements of the acoustic response at the original Ocean Way control rooms to deliver a faithful three-dimensional ‘out-of-head’ representation of the original experience.

Developed by Waves Audio in collaboration with Ocean Way Nashville Studios at Belmont University and Ocean Way Audio, Nx Ocean Way Nashville represents a technological breakthrough in accurate 3D spatial audio modeling of a real acoustic environment.

Importantly, Nx Ocean Way Nashville supports head tracking – via a webcam or the dedicated Waves Nx Head Tracker Bluetooth device – for enhanced realism of the immersive 3D effect.

“With Ocean Way, it was always about the sound,” comments Sides. “In all the studios we built over the years, the single most important thing was the monitor systems. What this plugin gives you is the space to create a better mix. You can put on a set of headphones, and it sounds like you're sitting in this amazing control room, with an amazing set of speakers in front of you.

“This is a phenomenally accurate reproduction of what we created at Ocean Way Nashville – a remarkable replication of what it sounds like to sit in my studio control room. I think it’s a valuable asset to anyone trying to define what a truly great mix is. It simply makes the mixing job easier.”

This is a phenomenally accurate reproduction of what we created at Ocean Way Nashville. Allen Sides

What’s The Verdict?

Young Guru, mixing engineer and producer for Jay Z, Alicia Keys, Beyoncé and Meek Mill:

“The Ocean Way Nashville plugin sounds incredible. The necessity of checking a mix in headphones has become increasingly important – so the ability to have access to world-class rooms over headphones is groundbreaking.”

Jacquire King, producer and mixer for Kings of Leon, James Bay, Tom Waits and Niall Horan:

“The Waves Nx Ocean Way system is a real asset for getting the feel of a speaker environment while working in a headphone-only situation. I really find it helpful when working remotely outside my studio.”

Lu Diaz, mixing engineer and producer for DJ Khaled, Pitbull, Beyoncé and Jay Z:

“I always listen to my mixes on headphones before I finish a mix. Waves and Ocean Way just took that to another dimension. Nx Ocean Way Nashville gives me another perspective on my mixes and a super-solid reference on my headphones.”

Alan Meyerson, scoring and mixing engineer for Dunkirk, Wonder Woman, Jumanji and Thor: Ragnarok:

“I mix film scores that are rich with complex layers of instrumentation, so translation is everything: the details of the mix need to translate perfectly to other sound systems.

“I find the Nx Ocean Way plugin to be a wonderful addition to my arsenal of mixing reference tools, for exactly this purpose. The level of accurate three-dimensional detail and nuance I can hear with it, on my usual pair of mixing headphones, is astonishing.”

Richard Chycki, guitarist and engineer with credits including Dream Theater, Aerosmith and Rush:

“I’ve wanted a plugin that emulates my favorite mix environments via headphones for some time. Nx Ocean Way Nashville is a great recreation of the experience of sitting in the sweet spot at that venerable facility. And with the head tracking, head movements are translated into an even more realistic listening experience.”