In the world of music production, the right tools can make all the difference. Today, I want to talk about one such tool, the Waves Space Rider. As someone who has spent a considerable amount of time in studios, tweaking knobs and sliders to get that perfect sound, I understand the importance of having reliable and versatile plugins. The Waves Space Rider, known for its integration of chorus, delay, and reverb effects, is a plugin that promises to add depth and character to your tracks. In this article, I’ll break down its features, usability, and practical applications, providing an honest and balanced review.

Whether you’re new to audio production or a seasoned professional, this guide aims to give you a clear understanding of what the Waves Space Rider can do and how it might fit into your creative process. So, let’s dive in and explore what this plugin has to offer.

Understanding Waves Space Rider

What is Waves Space Rider?

The Waves Space Rider is a plugin designed to enhance audio production, particularly in the realm of vocal effects. At its core, it combines three essential effects – chorus, delay, and reverb – into a single, streamlined interface. The plugin stands out for its ability to blend these effects seamlessly, offering a range of sonic possibilities, from subtle enhancements to transformative soundscapes.

Key Features of Waves Space Rider

The Space Rider’s standout feature is its division into three distinct sections: Chorus, Delay, and Reverb. Each section is equipped with a set of controls that allow for detailed manipulation of the respective effect.

  • Chorus Section: This part of the plugin adds richness and depth to the sound. Users can control the intensity, select between different chorus types, and adjust the stereo width of the effect.
  • Delay Section: Essential for creating echo and space, the delay section includes controls for time settings (synced to the project’s BPM or set in milliseconds), a ping-pong option for stereo effects, feedback control, and a filter section for tonal shaping.
  • Reverb Section: Reverb is crucial for adding spatial depth. Space Rider offers both space and plate reverb algorithms, providing versatility whether you’re looking for a natural room sound or a more stylized effect. Controls for pre-delay, damping, and width further shape the reverb’s character.

The innovative addition to Space Rider is the ‘Rider’ feature. This dynamic control responds to the input signal’s intensity, allowing for real-time modulation of the effects based on the vocal performance. This feature can add a level of expressiveness and responsiveness to the effects that static settings cannot achieve.

In-Depth Look at Space Rider’s Components

The Chorus Section

The chorus effect in music production is akin to seasoning in cooking – a little can enhance the flavor, while too much can overpower the dish. In Space Rider, the chorus section is designed to add thickness and shimmer to the sound. It achieves this by duplicating the track, introducing slight variations in pitch and timing, and then mixing these altered signals back with the original. This section offers:

  • Intensity Control: Adjusts the overall modulation impact, affecting the number of voices and the depth and speed of modulation.
  • Chorus Type Selection: Two types are available, offering different characteristics. Type 1 provides a tighter effect, suitable for subtle enhancements, while Type 2 offers a looser, more vintage sound.
  • Width Control: This adjusts the stereo spread of the chorus effect, allowing for a broader or more focused sound.

The Delay Section

Delay is a powerful tool for creating a sense of space and depth. In Space Rider, the delay section is versatile, offering a range of options to shape the echo effect. Key features include:

  • Time Settings: These can be synced to the project’s BPM or set manually in milliseconds, offering flexibility in timing the echoes.
  • Ping Pong Effect: This feature bounces the delay between the left and right channels, creating a dynamic stereo effect.
  • Feedback and Filters: These controls allow for shaping the decay of the echoes and their tonal quality, adding to the creative possibilities.

The Reverb Section

Reverb simulates the natural acoustic reflections of a space, and Space Rider’s reverb section provides two distinct algorithms:

  • Space Algorithm: Ideal for creating realistic room sounds, this setting is great for adding a sense of environment to the vocals.
  • Plate Algorithm: Known for its smooth decay and high density, the plate reverb is a classic choice for vocals, offering a more stylized effect.

Each algorithm is complemented by controls for pre-delay, damping (which affects the absorption of high frequencies), and width, allowing for detailed customization of the reverb character.

The Innovative Rider Feature

How the Rider Feature Enhances Vocal Effects

The Rider feature in Waves Space Rider is what sets this plugin apart from many others in its category. It’s a dynamic control tool that responds to the input signal’s intensity, particularly useful for vocals. Here’s how it enhances vocal effects:

  • Dynamic Interaction: Unlike static effects, the Rider adjusts the intensity of the effects in real-time based on the dynamics of the vocal performance. This means that louder or more expressive parts of a vocal can trigger more pronounced effects, adding a layer of expressiveness and connection between the vocal and the effects.
  • Sensitivity Control: This parameter determines how responsive the Rider is to the vocal dynamics. A higher sensitivity means even subtle changes in the vocal performance can significantly alter the effects, allowing for fine-tuning based on the desired outcome.

Creative Possibilities with Alpha and Beta Settings

The Alpha (α) and Beta (β) settings within the Rider feature open up a realm of creative possibilities:

  • Setting Different States: You can set different effect parameters for the α and β states. For instance, you might have a longer reverb decay time in the α state and a shorter one in the β state.
  • Transitioning Between States: As the vocal performance varies in dynamics, the Rider can seamlessly transition between these two states. This creates a dynamic effect where the vocal can shift the sound’s character within a performance, adding depth and movement to the track.

The Rider feature, especially with its α and β settings, allows for a level of automation and interaction that can bring a vocal track to life, making it respond organically to the performance.

Practical Applications of Waves Space Rider

Using Space Rider for Vocals

Vocals are often the centerpiece of a track, and Space Rider can significantly enhance their impact. Here are some tips and tricks for using Space Rider on vocal tracks:

  1. Subtle Enhancements: For a natural sound, use the chorus and reverb sections sparingly. A slight chorus effect can add richness to the vocals, while a touch of reverb can create a sense of space without overwhelming the clarity of the voice.
  2. Creative Effects: For more stylized vocals, experiment with the delay and reverb sections. Longer delay times and higher feedback settings can create interesting echoes and atmospheric effects.
  3. Dynamic Control with Rider: Use the Rider feature to make the effects respond to the vocal performance. This can add an expressive quality to the track, with effects that intensify or soften in sync with the vocal dynamics.

Beyond Vocals: Space Rider on Other Instruments

While primarily designed for vocals, Space Rider is versatile enough to be used on various instruments:

  • Guitars: Apply the chorus effect for a lush, wide sound, or use the delay for rhythmic echoes that add depth to your guitar tracks.
  • Synths: Space Rider can add texture and movement to synth sounds, especially with creative use of the delay and reverb sections.
  • Drums: Subtle use of reverb can give drums a sense of space and depth, making them sit better in the mix.

Experimenting with different settings can yield unique results, making Space Rider a valuable tool for various applications in music production.


As we wrap up our deep dive into the Waves Space Rider, it’s clear that this plugin is more than just a tool for adding effects to your tracks. It’s a creative companion that can breathe life into your music, whether you’re working on vocals, instruments, or experimenting with new soundscapes.

The combination of chorus, delay, and reverb, along with the innovative Rider feature, provides a level of control and expression that can elevate your productions. From subtle enhancements to bold, creative effects, Space Rider offers a versatility that can cater to a wide range of musical styles and production needs.

While it may take some time to fully explore and master all its features, the intuitive design and the quality of the effects make it a worthwhile investment for any serious producer or audio engineer. Whether you’re just starting out or have years of experience, the Waves Space Rider is a plugin that can inspire and enhance your creative process.

Remember, the key to making the most of any tool is experimentation and practice. So, dive in, twist those knobs, and let your creativity flow with the Waves Space Rider.

If you have any further questions about the Waves Space Rider or want to share your experiences and tips, feel free to leave a comment. If you need your songs mixed and or mastered feel free to reach out!