Waves Kramer HLS


Yes, the king of unusual controls! And it just makes the Waves Kramer HLS even more fun to use.

The hardware Helios 69 on which this is modeled was designed by Dick Swettenham. (If you don’t know who that is, look him up. It’s worth the read.) They were an evolution of the custom consoles built by him at Olympic Studio. (Again, worth a look up.) The preamp of the hardware is renown for “a sound of its own” (they all say that)—but it is a distinctive sound of many iconic, mainly British bands.

The unusual design of the bass eq takes a little getting used to, as does the broadly stepped eq bands. But they also force a level of simplicity, as in make a choice and stick with it. Waves has modeled a lot of noise into this, the low setting is preferable or just shut it off.

I use this as part of a channel strip / console set-up along with the other Kramer plugins. (You can read all about how I do that in the manual, and you can get the presets here.)

With everything at unity, the frequency response creates a slight high bump, that will add some brightness without touching the controls at all. The added harmonics are subtle and realistic. You can see how this compares to UADs version.

  • It’s noisy, like I said. But you can turn it off.
  • Keep your input level near, but not too much in the red. This is the way the original hardware was meant to work, and Waves has modeled the plugin that way. You will find more hints and settings for this in my Waves presets manual.


Waves Kramer HLS Linear Analysis
Waves Kramer HLS Linear Analysis
Waves Kramer HLS Harmonic Analysis
Waves Kramer HLS Harmonic Analysis


Leave a Reply