Waves Audio is one of those companies whose name you might not know, yet whose products you likely have heard. Its software processing plug-ins and L1 Ultramaximizer mastering limiter have been used in hit songs, movie and TV soundtracks, commercials, etc.
In recognition of its cumulative work, Waves will receive a Technical Grammy Award at the upcoming Grammy Awards in February. Also being honored is Roger Linn, a musician, songwriter and instrument developer. Past recipients of the award include Shure, Yamaha, Sony/Philips and Apple.
CEO Gilad Keren co-founded Waves with Meir Shaashua in 1992. Waves has since expanded into building OEM processors and licensing processing algorithms for consumer AV equipment from companies such as JVC, Sanyo, Sony and Toshiba.
According to the Recording Academy, "Waves Audio has pioneered the use of software applications or 'plug-ins,' with the invention of the Q10 Paragraphic equalizer, the first-ever of its kind and still widely used today. Its interface made it user-friendly and offered much better sound quality then its hardware counterparts."
The company also developed the L1 Ultramaximizer "and set a new standard for dynamic controls. Its innovative creations and mission to provide top-of-the-line equipment with superior sound quality has led Waves to become one of the world's leading developers of both software-based audio signal processing tools and hardware-based products. Their equipment provides top-quality sound to production of records, motion pictures and video games."
The full announcement and other Special Merit recipients are listed here (PDF).