New Plugin Brings The Sound Of Abbey Road Studio 3 To Your DAW

Waves Audio and Abbey Road Studios have introduced the Abbey Road Studio 3 plugin, designed to bring a virtual version of the legendary Abbey Road Studio 3 Control Room to your DAW.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

The Waves Abbey Road Studio 3 plugin brings the perfect acoustics of the Studio 3 control room into your headphones – in glorious three-dimensional sound, powered by Waves’ pioneering Nx technology for immersive 3D audio.

This unique plugin, used with any set of headphones, gives you the same stellar audio qualities that make Studio 3 the world’s best studio control room. Now, you can produce and mix as if you were inside Abbey Road Studio 3 – and hear your music the way the world’s greatest musicians and producers heard theirs.

“The Waves Abbey Road Studio 3 marks a pivotal point in the prolific cooperation between Waves Audio and Abbey Road, which began in 2011,” says Mick Olesh, Waves EVP of Sales & Marketing. “With the Abbey Road Studio 3 plugin, we have managed to overcome a common yet critical missing factor for many engineers, producers and musicians: not only the ability to obtain a professional-sounding work environment, but easy and affordable access to one of the best-sounding rooms in the world.”


  • The acoustics of Abbey Road Studio 3 – in immersive 3D audio over any set of headphones
  • Precision modeling of Abbey Road Studio 3’s stereo and surround soundstage
  • Hear your music the way Pink Floyd, Amy Winehouse, Radiohead, Frank Ocean and Kanye West heard theirs
  • Choose from Studio 3’s three sets of stereo speaker setups: near-field, mid-field, far-field
  • Mix 5.1 and 7.1 surround reliably on your stereo headphones
  • High-precision head tracking for enhanced realism
  • Personalized head anatomy calibration
  • Headphone EQ calibration for popular headphone models
  • SoundGrid-compatible; for SoundGrid-powered performance, you can offload the plugin’s processing to a SoundGrid server.

Inside the Waves Abbey Road Studio 3 Plugin:

Producer Giles Martin (The Beatles, Rocketman) on the Waves Abbey Road Studio 3 Plugin:

Alan Parsons – First Reaction to the Waves Abbey Road Studio 3 Plugin:

Pricing and Availability

Abbey Road Studio 3 is available now with an intro price of US $99 (normally $199).

11 thoughts on “New Plugin Brings The Sound Of Abbey Road Studio 3 To Your DAW

  1. I hope it’s better than Studio One where they recorded the Garritan Yamaha CFX. I don’t care what anyone says – that environment smears itself all over and sounds like shit.

  2. What I don’t understand is, once you mix your song in the virtual Abbey Road Studio 3 environment and then play it back on your own speakers and/or headphones outside of that environment, won’t it inevitably sound different and likely require further mixing/adjustments?

    The article above says, “Hear your music the way Pink Floyd, Amy Winehouse, Radiohead, Frank Ocean, and Kanye West heard theirs.” I understand that you may hear your music the way they heard theirs when you’re in that virtual environment, but your music doesn’t stay in that virtual environment when you’re done mixing. It comes out of that environment and back on your own speakers and/or headphones. To use poor grammar, your finished product ain’t gonna sound like it was mixed at Abbey Roads Studio 3 unless you always listen to it through this plugin using headphones.

    If you’re using this tool to add the perception of crosstalk to headphone mixes, I could see that being helpful/useful. But if you mix with headphones and have to further mix your music after leaving the virtual environment, then why not mix non-virtual from the get go.

    This seems like a cool plugin, but how does it translate once you leave the virtual environment? Am I confused here? Am I missing something? Can someone please explain this to me.

    1. It seems to me that this is addressing the problem of small studios and home studios having terrible acoustics, by giving you a headphone mix that’s flat and has good acoustics.

      That has to involve modeling the headphones to compensate for their design limitations and then modeling the acoustics of the Abbey Road Studio. So some interesting technology there.

      Now, the point of mixing on accurate monitors and headphones is to have a balanced mix that should sound good on all sorts of systems. So it should sound good on anything, if done well.

      On the other hand, if you mix in a home studio with crappy acoustics, you could get you mix sounding good there, but the mix will be off because it’s trying to compensate for the crappy acoustics of your studio, and could sound terrible in other places.

    2. It’s meant to provide a different or better mixing environment when using headphones so you are making similar mix decisions as if you were working in that space. You still need to deactivate the plugin once the mixing is done and prior to exporting the audio.

      1. I totally understand how this works, and what they’re trying to sell. I just don’t understand why anyone would use it.

        You can’t recreate the acoustics of a real space in a pair of headphones. It’s simply not possible. So they’re using an impulse response, or phase trickery, to simulate that space. It’s a novelty, and a neat trick, but I don’t know that I’d trust it to make mix decisions.

        I’ve used NX (and now IRCam Hear, which is better) when I’m stuck working on headphones, but even then I would only rough stuff in. I’d insist upon hearing my work in my room, or another good room, before signing off on anything as complete. Why? Because these binaural processors aren’t trustworthy for making critical listening decisions.

        Headphone correction is a separate issue, and valuable. Again, I wouldn’t sign off on anything as done having only listened in headphones. But I’ve found that my work tends to translate better when I use Sonarworks in conjunction with headphones for frequency correction.

        Ultimately, these things are a band aid for being in a good room. This one seems like a more eccentric and less useful band aid to me.

  3. I expected that one of their videos would have demonstrated the effect of the plugin. If YouTube can host some good videos demonstrating binaural microphones, then I am sure that it shouldn’t be difficult for Wave Audio to demonstrate their product.

    1. Not sure if it makes any sense to think that you can ‘hear’ what this plugin sounds like, since it isn’t an effect.

      As I understand this, it corrects for the audio defects of a select range of high end headphones, and then simulates the acoustic space of the Abbey Road Studio.

      So your mix shouldn’t sound like it was recorded in Abbey Road Studios, but like you made your mix decisions in the Abbey Road Studios mix room, instead of in a budget home studio.

  4. This in and of itself won’t help if you don’t know how to extend your mix environment into other listening spaces in the first place. It doesn’t ‘automatically’ sound like it was mixed there – you still need mixing skills. As torgood mentions: it’s a better environment than most home studios have and that’s what it’s got going for it.

    What’s not explicit (unless I missed it) it whether this is intended for tracking, mix down or mastering. All have different primary requirements here.

  5. I agree with most of the comments above. This is a silly thing. Knowing your acoustics, having hours and hours of experience with it, having finetuned it over time etc… is what makes up for a good mixing environment. The moment you step into somewhere else, you will have to restart that process… – all in all this seems like a good way of putting more strain to your computer. It’s a fun tech-experiment tho’

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