Topic: Waves Soundgrid with SQ5 (2024)

2021/09/15 at 9:40 pm#103468



Hi all,
Slightly off topic but I’m hoping someone with experience here can advise.
I have been experimenting with augmenting my SQ5 live mixing with plug ins (using some RME gear and direct analog patching) and really liked the results so when a cheap Soundgrid server came up s/h so I went and bought it. Also bought a Waves i/o card- which I am waiting on to arrive.

(Yeh- I know.. why not Dante? Or perhaps MADI to a bigger PC? But both looked considerably more expensive solutions all up. We will see. Anyway)

If you have the Waves card and Soundgrid server do you use it for live work and what software do you use if so?
Do you insert and bus through the Studio Rack eMotion Studio or do you use Multi-track or Super Rack (or something else?)
Certainly I can see that SuperRack would do the trick but it’s expensive.

Has anyone had any success with using Live Professor with an SQ5 and Soundgrid servers for live work?

Thank you

2021/09/16 at 11:33 am#103484



We use SoundGrid Server with Super Rack on both the SQ and dLive. It works well in a live environment. In both cases (SQ / dLive) we are using Dante cards in the consoles and then running through a Waves Bridge to the SG setup.

2021/09/16 at 9:05 pm#103499



Thanks Scott
You use a touch screen I assume?

2021/09/17 at 9:48 am#103505



That’s correct, we use an all-in-one PC with a touch screen.

2021/09/17 at 10:57 am#103507

Please be advised that all of the Waves servers are not 96K reliable: There is a big difference between possible VxS reliable. I began my Waves experience several years ago with a Digigrid IOS that featured 8 Digico “D” pres and an additional Digigrid IOX with 12 pres, and a Waves server. I added a 32 channel license for LV1 operating software, a custom built audio computer and two 24 inch touch screens. I was ready for what ever came into my project studio however what I was not made aware of is the fact that the basic server, in my IOS, was not capable of managing some of the power hungry plug ins at 96K that I had purchased subsequently from Waves. A more powerful “Server One” was required to manage 8 channels @ 96K with my desired plug ins. (The basic server in my IOS would function well at 48K but not 96K) The current IOS Waves is selling has a very powerful top of the line server but the price tag is also in the 4K neighborhood. Waves will up date my old IOS to the current standard for less than 2K however I now use the 12 pres in my IOX with my middle grade “server one”.
I have a SQ5 and DX168 expansion stage box for my live shows and several months ago bought a DX32 loaded with 8 “Prime I/Os”. The increase in detail and transparency of the “Primes” were a perfect match for the acoustic Americana I work with in my studio so I decided to buy a Waves card to deliver the Prime money pres to my waves system. I have a boat load of Waves plug ins and really enjoy mixing with two large touch screens so delivering the Prime pres thru the SQ’s tie lines was a no brainer. The primes are 32 bit rate at 96K and their out put is a very good match for my server one, however if I had only the original lower powered server I would be out of luck.

Before yo go too far down the SQ5/Waves road a phone call to Waves in Knoxville,TN to ascertain exactly what the capability of your server is may be a real good idea. (865) 909-9200

2021/09/17 at 11:32 pm#103523



Hi Hugh,
Um.. I have DX168 as well
I bought a s/h “Impact Server”.. that might be a bit disappointing 🙁
My card arrived yesterday– I will hook it up today and see what happens…
I hope that I will cope
I’m not looking to do massive amounts of processing in my live gig- sweeten vocals, tweak an acoustic guitar here and there– that sort of thing

2021/09/18 at 2:13 am#103524



@We use SoundGrid Server with Super Rack on both the SQ and dLive. It works well in a live environment. In both cases (SQ / dLive) we are using Dante cards in the consoles and then running through a Waves Bridge to the SG setup.

I’m just wondering why you are using Dante cards for this. The real benefit to using Waves Soundgrid servers is the ultra low-latency that is possible. However by using Dante, you are not getting ultra-low latency. I think with a Waves card and Soundgid server, the roundtrip latency is something like 0.83ms. (Of course that doesn’t include any plugin latency, but it allows you to compare apples to apples). We generally see something like 5+ms latency when using Dante connections in our Avantis, so probably 6 times the latency of a Waves card. I only imagine that the Waves bridge adds even more latency.

2021/09/19 at 5:31 am#103536



More naive questions from me

When using SuperRack to host plugin on a insert for an SQ channel- its pretty obvious that way to go is to patch the IO for the insert sends 1-1 with the soundgrid channel in SuperRack. That works really well.
I guess would do the same with a Group- I can see how I would patch from a Group’s insert to a Rack if I wanted to put plugins across the group.

What about bussed effects such as Reverb? The SQ FXs sends and returns are all internal and while the FXReturns can be patched as outputs there is no obvious way to return them unless I take a spare channel up as the return. Could do that? But it is will be going through the internal FX engine which is confusing. Seems better to leave the internal FX engine alone AS IS? Or do people use it?

If not the internal FX then either an group or an AUX.. I know if I was patching to hardware I would use an AUX but I’m not patching an analog i/o.


2021/09/19 at 11:09 am#103539



For side-chained FX like reverbs, or delays, you would send an AUX to SG, and then bring the return signal into a channel or pair of channels. Very similar to how you setup outboard gear on analog consoles. Make sure that the Aux bus is setup as POST fader, or it will behave badly.

Remember, that you are adding latency and losing the phase coherency that SQ gives you when you’re not using outboard processing. Drew Thornton did a good video about this. He did it using a dLive, but this would apply to SQ as well. I think this is the video, but check his channel on YouTube.

2021/09/21 at 4:06 am#103562



Thanks Scott,
Lots of interesting info in that channel.
Am still a bit unclear about when and how to apply latency compensation.

Scenario 1:
Band = 1 singer on stage
Stage Monitor.
Singer is in wedge and in FOH.

– Singer 1 Vocal channel has some SQ eq and compression but no inserted waves sends;
– An Aux channel sends the vocal to a waves reverb (lets say 2ms latency) that is returned on a spare channel that is assigned to LR FOH (mostly) and to monitor send (a bit);

Assuming that this is all there is here..
Do I need to latency compensate here?
I assume if I were to latency compensate it would be delay on the Singer 1 channel to align it with the returned Reverb?

Scenario 2:
Band = 2 singers on stage
Stage Monitors each.
Both singers and the guitar are in each other’s wedges and in FOH.

– Singer 1 Vocal channel has waves inserted rack that adds say 1.2ms;
– Singer 2 Vocal channel has waves inserted rack that adds say 0.8ms;
– Both vocals are in Aux send to waves reverb say 2.0ms
– Singer 2 Acc guitar has some SQ eq and compression but no waves sends.

Assuming that this is all there is here..
What would I compensate and where?
Would I use a Waves latency group across singer 1, 2 and the reverb racks to delay everything (back to the reverb in this eg)
And delay the guitar in SQ to that group (so that spill is aligned?) ?

I *might* have time in my set ups to do something like this in some cases

Appreciate any advice anyone can offer on this to a newbie


2021/09/21 at 9:53 am#103569



Scenario 1:
For side chained effects using auxes like reverbs and delays don’t worry about latency.

With inserted effects is where you want to start paying attention to it. If you are inserting on main outputs like wedge or FOH feeds, then generally you don’t have to worry about it, with the exception being at FOH if you are running multiple outputs like aux-fed or separate subs, or fills. In that case you would want to have those outputs time aligned as closely as possible. Don’t insert Waves into one of them, without compensating on the others.

Scenario 2:
Again, don’t worry about the side chained effects (reverb) being run from the Aux.

Taking that into account, 1.2ms is your longest time, so you want to match everything else to that. Add 0.4ms delay to singer 2, and 1.2ms to anything else not going to Waves.

You always want to find your longest time, then match everything else to that time, by adding some delay to the other sources. Again don’t worry about side chained effects. Especially reverbs since they naturally have a delay before they begin (pre-delay) anyway.

2021/09/21 at 11:52 am#103574



Thank you Scott.. that’s awesome advice. Thank you very much

2021/10/03 at 8:54 am#103784



I’m still not sure I quite have this clear and just want to check my understanding of layered sends using groups.
I’m using an SQ5 with an AH Waves i/o card into a Waves Soundgrid Server running at 96kHz and Superrack.
Server network buffer is 80 samples = 0.8ms.. which is believe is the roundtrip latency.

In my test scenario I have 3 channels and a Vocal Group
– Vox Group 1 –> Sends to Waves on insert
– Vox 1 (in Vox group 1) also sends to Waves on insert
– Acc Gat sends to Waves on insert
– Cajon not sent to waves

I’m playing a recording on the 3 input channels in on the SQ USB B (From Reaper- also at 96kHz. Reaper is in the same computer as Superrack).

Let say I have no plugins in my waves for the test (or that they are all 0ms latency)
I think to align everything in this I need to align to the Vocals in the Vocal group whose signals have gone to the server twice so
So Cajon has to be delayed 1.6ms as it has not been to the server at all
Acc Gat has to be delayed 0.8m as it has been to the only server once.

Would this be right?
It sounds a little bit phasey even when just dry round tripping through Superrack compared with all the inserts off and not sending to waves.
I think. Might be my my ears or it might be something I’m missing?

Thank you – really appreciated.

2021/10/03 at 12:02 pm#103787



I’m just wondering why you are using Dante cards for this. The real benefit to using Waves Soundgrid servers is the ultra low-latency that is possible. However by using Dante, you are not getting ultra-low latency. I think with a Waves card and Soundgid server, the roundtrip latency is something like 0.83ms

My apologies, I missed your post. We have 4 consoles with Dante cards already installed, so we opted for the bridge to make the SG rig more compatible with whatever may be going out on a particular job. Some of those (like SQ and GLD) only offer a single card slot too, so swapping cards would be required. We also use other Dante enabled devices on stage, so using the bridge was the most cost-effective solution overall.


The overall goal is to have every single signal path perfectly aligned. Sending signals out of the console externally for whatever (SG, analog inserts, etc) adds latency (delay) to the returning signal. Even sending out of the console directly back into itself adds some latency. Latency is a delay caused by the processing of these signals. You want to calculate the longest delay introduced, and then delay all other sources to match that value. So for example if you have source A’s path introducing 3.45ms, source B’s introducing 2.05ms and the rest of the sources are not being routed outside of the console, your longest time is 3.45ms on source A. You need to match sources B, C, D, E, and so on to be aligned with A, by adding whatever amount of delay is needed to make them 3.45ms like source A. For source B, you would add 1.4ms of delay (2.05 + 1.4 = 3.45), for sources C, D, etc you would need to delay them by the full 3.45ms, so that they match sources A and B.

Again this is for inserted effects like compressor, eq, channel strips, auto-tuners, etc. With side-chained paths for reverb, delay, chorus, and other time-based effects it is not going to be noticeable, so you don’t need to worry about it.

2021/10/04 at 9:25 pm#103810



Many thanks Scott
And each time I send a signal out again I add to its path – so if I insert out to Waves on an input channel If I then include that input channel in a Group that also has an inserted Waves plugin (such as a compressor) Then my total latency for that signal is the sum of both trips to Waves.

And to the point made in the video you attached above– it can make a big difference: things can get pretty phasey sounding and thin (due to comb filtering I believe) if you don’t compensate even for these small time values – it’s especially noticeable in sparse mixes.

These docs were also helpful / interesting
Though I wasn’t quite sure how to interpret the time based view in above.. is it drawn to scale? Does it imply that Tie-lines incur 0.7ms latency or 0?

Thank you

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