NX Ocean Way will put you in a virtual studio environment using any pair of headphones. But does it even work?
Upfront Waves promises that you will get better mixes on any pair of headphones. In order to emulate a speaker experience, this plugin uses head tracking as well as 3D room emulation to fool your brain into thinking that you are listening on a pair of studio monitors instead of your headphones
Pros & Cons
- Excellent 3D audio emulation
- Great for mixing on the road
- Great for getting a fresh perspective on your mix
- Head tracking with webcam does not always work
Mixing with NX Ocean Way
When you put NX on your master bus, you will immediately hear your mix in a new way. Simply put you go from stereo to 3D. This can be useful for a number of reasons. But mainly, it’s good for getting a new perspective on your mix. Imagine sitting mixing the same song for hours and when you get kind of bored. You put NX on and hear it for the first time again. That’s how it feels.
The mix I used to test the plugin, did get better when using the plugin. With the effect on, you almost don’t wanna turn it off, because it sounds pretty wonderful. However. After making a lot of mixing decisions I turned NX off to evaluate the result. I found that I had gotten more clarity in the mix as well as an increased appreciation for the work done.
When you turn the virtual studio around, you hear the sound changing direction. It’s very very fun to use effect and it definitely adds a new dimension to the mixing process.
The Head Tracking
Head tracking is one of Ocean Ways NX’s biggest selling points. You either use a webcam or the Bluetooth head tracker that you can purchase from Waves. The way you use it, is you measure your heads
circumference, input the values, and then turn on the tracking.
As you move your head, the sound will change direction. So if you tilt one ear towards your screen, it will get louder on that ear and vice versa. As I was doing my work with this effect, the head tracking feature froze, and the audio stayed in the same direction which was really annoying. It sure made it harder to concentrate.
However, when it did work. It felt really good and very natural. Though I suggest that if you want to immerse yourself in a virtual studio environment, the Bluetooth tracker is a good idea.
Nx Ocean way Nashville is a mixed bag. But it’s a very unique approach to solve a problem that affects many mix engineers and producers. The software is pretty well created, with a convincing 3D effect that reduces fatigue while breathing new life into your mix. However, the 199$ price tag is too pricey for what your getting, and if you would buy the head tracker that is 300$.
It did help me mix better, but I’m not sure if it’s something I would want to have on my headphones at all times. It’s one of those tools you can have in your toolbox for mixes that take too much time and you just need a new perspective. I really recommend that you give the demo a try.
|Windows 10||Mac Version|
|8 GB RAM||8 GB RAM|
|Intel Core i5 / i7 / i9 / Xeon / AMD Quad-Core||Intel Core i5 / i7 / i9 / Xeon|
|Compatible with most DAWS||Compatible with most DAWs (Surround sound lacking in some cases)|