Waves Element Virtual-Analog Synthesizer Plugin

Waves Element Virtual-Analog Synthesizer Plugin

Waves Element Virtual-Analog Synthesizer Plugin

Waves Element Virtual-Analog Synthesizer Plugin

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Product Highlights

  • Subtractive Polyphonic Synthesizer
  • Two Analog-Modeled Oscillators
  • "Virtual Voltage" Emulates Analog VCO
  • Integrated Effects
  • 16-Step Sequencer and Arpeggiator
  • Modulation Matrix
  • Switch Between VCO and DCO
  • MIDI Learn for All Controls
  • Runs as Plugin or Standalone
  • Mac and Windows Compatible
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  • 1Description

Element from Waves is a virtual-analog synthesizer that is designed to combine the sound of a classic subtractive analog synth with the control and convenience benefits of the digital world. It features two oscillators, four LFOs, integrated effects, MIDI learn, a modulation matrix and a 16-step sequencer and arpeggiator.

Element's two analog style oscillators allow you to switch between virtual Voltage-Controlled Oscillation (VCO) and Digitally-Controlled Oscillation (DCO) modes. Utilizing "Virtual Voltage" technology to emulate the more erratic VCO behavior of an analog synthesizer, the VCO mode starts the oscillation at a random phase and also randomizes the pitch slightly within a certain range. This is designed to lend a dirtier, less precise sound typically associated with vintage analog oscillators. The DCO mode, on the other hand, starts the oscillation when triggered by a MIDI note, giving it a tighter and more consistent sound each time it's played.

Continuing in the spirit of combining the strengths of the analog and digital worlds, Element also features two free and two synched low frequency oscillators (LFO). Modeled after a traditional analog LFO, Element's free type LFO modulators have a continuous cycle rate control with a frequency range of 0.1 to 100 Hz. The synched type LFOs, on the other hand, are tempo locked to the BPM of your host application. They also start their oscillation when the MIDI note is triggered, and their timing is set using musical note values. These factors lend to a tighter, more precise sound and feel.

Element's modulation matrix allows you to assign up to six different modulators to each affect different destination parameters. You can patch modulators such as LFOs, aftertouch or the mod wheel on your MIDI controller to a myriad of selectable parameters such as global pitch, delay time, or the pulse width of a particular oscillator just to name a few.

VCF, VCA and Envelope 3 Sections

Voltage Controlled Filter (VCF) section includes selectable filter slope, cutoff frequency and resonance parameters as well as an ADSR filter envelope control
Voltage Controlled Amplifier (VCA) section with ADSR for controlling each note's level envelope from attack to release. Also includes "Punch" button for a more pronounced transient attack
Envelope 3 Section provides an additional ADSR envelope control that can be assigned to selectable parameter destinations via the modulation matrix

Arpeggiator and Sequencer

16-step sequencer with in/out toggle and pitch control which can be set +/-24 semitones on each step
Tempo can be synched to the host BPM, or set to free time and controlled with a rate knob
Select Up, Down, Up/Down and Random arpeggio patterns with a range up to 4 octaves in arpeggiator mode

Integrated Effects and EQ Sections

On-board effects section includes chorus, delay, reverb, distortion and bit crusher
4-band fixed frequency graphic equalizer with high pass and low pass filters
Higher EQ boosts will saturate sound, emulating an analog EQ

Global and Out Section

Control master output gain, select the clock source and view the current tempo
Select the amount of simultaneous voices (1-16)
Select HD mode for higher sound quality; select normal mode to save processing power

MIDI Learn Function

Map knobs and faders on your MIDI controller to any Element parameter by a simple point and click followed by a knob turn or fader slide

Plugin or Standalone

Use element as a plugin for music production within your DAW software, or standalone for other applications such as playing live with your laptop

Controls by Section:


•OCT determines the pitch range

•TUNE determines the pitch

•FINE fine tunes the pitch

•TYPE determines the waveform type

•PW determines the pulse width (Pulse waves only)

•VCO selects between virtual Voltage Controlled Oscillation and Digitally Controlled Oscillation

•SINE MOD controls the modulation of OSC 1 using a sine oscillator (OSC 1 only)

•FM (Frequency Modulation) controls the amount by which the frequency of OSC 2 is modulated by OSC 1 (OSC 2 only)

•PhM (Phase Modulation) controls the amount by which the phase of OSC 2 is modulated by OSC 1 (OSC 2 only)

•SYNC synchronizes the triggering the OSC 2 waveform to the rate of OSC 1

Additional Oscillators & Mix Section

•SUB mixes in a triangle wave one octave below OSC 1

•NOISE mixes in white noise

•RING controls the ring modulation of OSC 1 and OSC 2

•OSC 1 / OSC 2 activate each oscillator

•MIX balances the mix between OSC 1 and OSC 2

•MONO toggles between monophonic and polyphonic modes

•RTRG controls envelope re-triggering

•UNISON activates a doubling effect

•PORT determines the glide time (portamento) between notes

•LEGATO determines whether glide will always occur, or only when the previous note is still held

Voltage Controlled Filter

•TYPE determines the filter type

•SLOPE toggles between two types of pole filters

•CUTOFF controls the VCF cutoff frequency

•RES controls the amount of filter resonance

•ENV determines the envelope's cutoff modulation depth

•KBD controls keyboard tracking using C3 as its reference point

•FM controls the amount of frequency modulation on filter cutoff by OSC 1

•ADSR determines the filter's envelope cutoff behavior after a note is triggered

•VEL sets the VCF cutoff in relation to the Note On velocity

•SHAPE determines the contour of the envelope time constants

Voltage Controlled Amplifier

•VCA envelope controls the note level from trigger to release

•VEL sets the envelope depth in relation to the Note On velocity

•SHAPE determines the contour of the envelope time constants

•PUNCH controls the dynamic transient enhancer

Low Frequency Oscillators

•TYPE controls the LFO waveform shape

•RATE controls the frequency of the free LFO

•TIME controls the rate of the synced LFO, locked to the project BPM

•LED displays pulsate at the same rate as the LFOs

Envelope 3

•VEL sets the envelope depth in relation to the Note On velocity

•SHAPE determines the contour of the envelope time constants

Modulation Matrix

•PHASE inverts the phase, per assignment

•SRC determines the modulation source

•DEST determines the destination of the modulation source

•MOD sets the amount by which the modulation source affects the destination


•MODE determines the operational mode

•OCT determines the range, in octaves, of the arpeggiator

•TIME (drop-down) activates the host BPM sync function, and sets the rate using note values

•RATE sets the arpeggiator rate when TIME is set to Free

•GATE determines the length of each sequencer step as a percentage of its note length

•STEPS determines the number of steps in the current sequence

•SWING pushes even-numbered notes/steps toward the next odd-numbered note/step, to create a shuffle/swing feel


•DIST controls the amount of distortion effect

•PRE/POST is a toggle control which determines the placement of the distortion effect in the signal path, either pre-VCF or post-VCF

•CRSHR is a distortion-like effect which simulates a reduction in the bit-depth and resolution of the sound

•DELAY is a stereo delay allows separate delay times for left and right channels, using note values

•LEFT sets the delay time for the left channel

•RIGHT sets the delay time for the right channel

•MIX determines the amount of delay effect in the mix

•FEEDBACK determines the amount of gain fed back to the delay input

•REVERB controls both the amount and size of the virtual plate reverb sound

•CHORUS determines the amount of chorus modulation


•HiPASS controls the high pass filter frequency

•LoPASS controls the low pass filter frequency

•100 controls equalization at 100 Hz

•600 controls equalization at 600 Hz

•1500 controls equalization at 1500 Hz

•9000 controls equalization at 9000 Hz

Global and Out

•TEMPO displays the current tempo

•SOURCE determines the clock source

•VOICES determines the number of voices which may be played simultaneously

•HD activates High Definition mode, which extends the digital resolution, resulting in enhanced depth and greater high-end definition

•GAIN sets Element's overall output volume, after all generators and processors

•METER displays Element's overall output energy

Table of Contents
  • 1Description
System Requirements Mac
Core Duo 2.3 GHz
OS X 10.6.8 to 10.8.2
1024 x 768 minimum display resolution
Host application that supports Audio Units, RTAS, AudioSuite, and VST plug-in formats

Intel Core 2 Duo GHz/AMD Athlon 64 or equivalent
Windows 7, Windows 8
1024 x 768 32-bit minimum display resolution
Host application that supports RTAS, AudioSuite, and VST plug-in formats

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