Considered one of the best drum compressors ever, the original dbx® 160 stands tall among its peers, boasting a very clean sound with minimum THD. The fast-acting dbx® 160 compressor was used in almost every major recording in the late ‘70s and th...
Considered one of the best drum compressors ever, the original dbx® 160 stands tall among its peers, boasting a very clean sound with minimum THD. The fast-acting dbx® 160 compressor was used in almost every major recording in the late ‘70s and throughout the ‘80s, and later models in the 160 series also became industry standards.
Created in collaboration with dbx®, the Waves dbx® 160 compressor / limiter plugin is an authentic-sounding software version of this storied piece of hardware. In addition to its meticulous modeling of the vintage compressor, the Waves dbx® 160 plugin incorporates unique and exclusive features not found in the original hardware, such as Waves’ MS Matrix, mix and noise controls, and a stereo component. The result is a must-have compressor / limiter for use in the studio, live, or both.
“To get closer to the realism of live performance” has been a goal of dbx® since the company’s inception in the 1970s. This goal has come full circle with the Waves dbx® 160 compressor / limiter plugin, which enables you to achieve stunning realism in the studio or to add nuance to an actual live performance.
I don't know if the Waves DBX 160 actually sound identical to a real DBX 160 but I don't really care as it's the result/sound that counts which is really good, flexible, fast to operate.
Compared to the Native Instruments VC 160, which is actually modeled by Softube, the Waves DBX sounds quite similar at softer settings but can sound more raw and aggressive if pushed harder. The VC 160 sounds a bit more warm, polished and tamed.
This makes the Waves DBX 160 a little bit more flexible than the VC 160, if you're into that sounds at least. But the VC 160 still sounds very good and you can buy the whole VC bundle (during a promotion) for the price of the Waves DBX 160.
Worth mentioning as well is the Waves update program which makes you pay again for plugins which you already purchased (without actually adding functionality to the plugin itself). I also prefer the looks of the VC series as they seem to hint to what they are inspired by rather than having a photo-realistic GUI which is quite easy to the eye. But the Waves DBX 160 does sound good...