Waves Playlist Rider VS MaxxVolume VS Vocal Rider

Hi, I need some suggestions. I’ve been developing an internet station that plays sixties music. Just like a typical radio station there’s music, commercials, promos and jingles and DJs. Because of all the different sources maintaining a consistent volume level is challenging, even with normalizing.

We have been using Waves Vocal Rider in tests and it’s okay but it doesn’t seem to be the best for music. And, regardless of the settings you can hear it working. The levels change during a song. We are currently testing Waves Playlist Rider and Waves MaxxVolume. Playlist Rider is an improvement but we can still hear it responding. Even on the Fast setting it adjusts the volume during songs and you can hear it. MaxxVolume isn’t as noticeable, but the compression changes the sound. That’s not necessarily bad, just different.

In this situation, what do you suggest? Our top priority is the audience and the listening experience. Which plug-in do you suggest or what settings are the best?


I can totally understand how difficult it can be to maintain consistent volume levels while playing sixties music on your internet station. Here are a few ideas that might help:

  1. You could try using the iZotope Ozone plugin, which is known for its mastering tools and can help you balance the levels of different sources.
  2. Another option is the Auphonic Leveler plugin, which is an automatic leveler that can adjust the loudness of your audio files to ensure they meet broadcast standards.
  3. You could also consider using an external hardware processor like the dbx 166xs, which is a compressor/limiter that can help you control the dynamic range of your audio and maintain consistent volume levels.

Hi Mike,
Thanks for getting back. What we are hoping for is something that would work dynamically that we could put at the end of the processing chain. We tried Ozone and it’s powerful but creates a pretty large CPU load. If the three Waves plug-ins won’t work are there any other alternatives other than the ones you mentioned? Vocal Rider and Playlist Rider seem to do many of the same things. The documentation isn’t much help. I’ll check out Auphonic Leveler. Our music library is at 2300 songs and growing. Thanks again.

Hello Andy, do a search on Google for Sound Solutions 1.31 DSP plugin. I also think you can find it in the WINAMP application. Once you get the DSP file (IE:) dsp_SS1.dll and/or dsp_ss131b.dll file… put it in your plugin file in your automation system. I have used this in my setup for many years and it works great. Remember, once you find the plugin that works for your situation… always remember to back it up and save it somewhere in case your system ever crashes. Good Luck. Rick - Cruisin’ FM.com

I use Stereo Tool on my PC to process the output of all the sources on my station. It is very easy to use. You don’t need any knowledge of how to set processing because you can download many different presets which are created by the Stereo Tool community. You can download a few of them until you find the one that you like best. You can use this for free in a limited capacity, or you can purchase various upgrades to get more features.
Hope that helps.

Thanks to everyone. You have no idea how helpful this is. We are using Macintosh that complicates thing some. The Sound Solutions plugin looks great but the last Mac version was 2014 and doesn’t work with the latest OS. I’ve downloaded Stereo Tool and we will test it over the weekend. I really appreciate the help.

Wow … Stereo Tool is revolutionary. Just using the default setting made an instant difference. I will say that if you are the kind of person who likes to fiddle and tweak settings this thing will keep you busy. All our music is from the 1960s and much of it is transferred from the original 45 rpm records. Other music is from commercial CDs. That means the compression levels are all over the place. We are going to be working on settings to keep the sound energetic and exciting but not over-processed and in your face. Thank you for the suggestion.