In an era in which anyone with even a half decent computer or laptop can knock out electronic music and call themselves a producer a killer vocal is one guaranteed way to make your next track stand out from the crowd.
Whether you’re recording a Grammy award winning artiste in a world class studio or trying to tape your kid sister rapping in the garden you’ll want to make sure your vocals are up to scratch and sit where required in the mix and that you can give them all the polish and attention they require.
From Auto-tuning to De-essing, Bit Crushing, Vocoding and beyond, my round up of the best plugins for fine tuning, warping and manipulating your vocals has something to suit all budgets, needs and tastes.
Antares AutoTune Pro
No round up of the best vocal plugins would be complete without a mention of the famous AutoTune, as made famous by the Cher/T-Pain sound.
Developer Antares now sell different variations of the AutoTune technology but I’ll focus on Auto-Tune Pro here as it is the most advanced and complete edition of Auto-Tune your hard earned money can buy.
If you’ve not heard of AutoTune before then what you need to know is that it takes an incoming monophonic signal – such as a vocal – and automatically retunes any off key sounds. It’s been used on countless tracks both as a transparent fix for off key vocals and as an extreme effect.
AutoTune Pro features Auto Mode, for real-time correction and effects and a Graph Mode where you can carry out detailed pitch and time editing. You also get an Auto-Key plug-in thrown in for automatic key and scale detection and
The Auto Mode and Graph Mode interfaces are designed to offer an intuitive workflow for professional users and beginners alike. Auto Mode actually gives you two unique screen views: The Basic View gives you quick and easy access to the core features of Auto Mode while an Advanced View unlocks the software’s powerful MIDI, scale editing and Vibrato Control features.
Switch to Graph Mode and you get detailed control over every nuance of a vocal performance with extensive pitch editing tools and precise control of individual notes and pitch curve. AutoTune’s transparent time correction features allows you to quickly touch up any timing errors.
The included Auto-Key can automatically detect the key and scale of your music and sends it to all instances of Auto-Tune in your project.
At $399 there’s no doubt that AutoTune Pro is a pretty pricey piece of software and if is beyond your budget then take a look at Auto-Tune Access which delivers some of the core AutoTune technology in a more affordable and easy-to-use package. With Auto-Tune Access you get Retune Speed and Humanize controls to play with – tweak the Humanize dial for a more natural sound and reach for the Retune Speed dial for the full Auto-Tune Effect.
Retune Speed and Humanize controls allow you to choose the desired effect for your track. Turn up Humanize for a more natural sound, or crank the Retune Speed for the full Auto-Tune Effect.
AT Pro is Auto-Tune in its most powerful, usable incarnation yet, and it easily maintains its position as one of the two best retuning solutions availableComputer Music magazine review, July 2018.
See the Antares website for more details, specifications and latest prices: https://www.antarestech.com/compare/auto-tune-editions/
Celemony Melodyne 5 – The best alternative to AutoTune Pro
While AutoTune might be the most well known vocal correction plugin on the market it isn’t the only game in town when it comes to pitch and time manipulation and its arch rival Melodyne, from developer Celemony, has established itself as a world class and award winning vocal/audio manipulation tool that’s in use by thousands of studios, musicians and producers around the world.
Now on version 5, Melodyne lets you detect, access and manipulate all the musical details in your recordings and samples on a note by note basis. In the Melodyne GUI, notes are represented by blobs. By manipulating individual blobs with Melodyne’s powerful tools, you can edit the pitch, vibrato, volume, sibilants, length, timing and formants of each note.
Best of all, many of the more significant version 5 improvements apply to the cheaper Melodyne Editor and Melodyne Assistant versions as well as the flagship Melodyne 5 studio edition.
Coming it at just shy of $100 bucks/euros Melodyne 5 Essential represents fantastic value for money – edit your vocals using the basic functions for pitch and timing and if you need more features, you can always upgrade at anytime.
Melodyne 5’s sibilant detection, Leveling Macro and improved pitch centre calculation are simply massive … If you work with vocals, you’ll get more done with fewer mouse-clicks and to a higher standardsSound on Sound magazine review, July 2020
See the Celemony website for more details, specifications and latest prices: https://www.celemony.com/en/melodyne/what-is-melodyne
While not as well known as AutoTune, Waves Tune is a powerful Vocal tuning/ pitch correction tool which you can deploy to help you achieve subtly tuned natural-sounding vocals and also wild and creative vocal effects.
Be aware that, as with any tools of this type, Waves Tune is absolutely not a miracle solution that can fix any old rubbish you chuck at it! What you do get, however is a useful Swiss army knife of pitch shaping, morphing, transformation and formant correction tools.
It’s worth noting that if you time your purchase right – such as the during Black Friday sales – you can pick up Waves Tune for significantly less than either AutoTune Pro or Melodyne 5.
Waves Tune is very useful for tuning vocals and monophonic instruments, while maintaining their natural grain and timbre. I love how the pitch graph makes it precise and easy to usePenelope Antena Singer, Producer and Sound Engineer.
See the Waves website for more details, specifications and latest prices: https://www.waves.com/plugins/waves-tune
Image Line’s Pitcher is a real-time pitch-correction, manipulation & harmonization plugin that can correct and harmonize under MIDI control from a keyboard or the FL Studio Piano roll.
Official FL Studio registration needed. Pitcher works inside FL Studio both under Windows and macOS. Does Pitcher require FL Studio? Note that FL Studio IS required to run Pitcher – no standalone or VST version at the time of writing.
Some of the plugins on my list are great fun to use and mess around with your vocals in creative and enjoyable ways. Izotope’s Nectar 3 plugin certainly isn’t one of those! It’s a much more “serious”, vocal-processing powerhouse of a plugin designed for sound engineers and audio professionals who need to ensure vocals are sounding good in a track that might be destined for cinema, television, radio or computer games.
Nectar gives you 14 different voice-focused modules that enable to tweak, fine tune, transpose and add effects to vocals so that they can sit just right in a mix. Vocal compression, EQ, harmony and pitch-correction can al be dealt with by the modules
Nectar 3 has a – somewhat divisive – “Vocal Assistant” which can automatically analyse dynamics to detect and correct level inconsistencies, fix harsh peaks to timbre variations, and intelligently set EQ, ensuring your vocals sit in the mix well. Opinions on this “assistant” do vary amongst the pros but if you’re a newbie overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options that Nectar 3 gives you then there’s no doubt that it’s a fantastic way of getting things in the right ball park quickly.
If you do any kind of regular, professional audio work involving lots of vocal stems then Nectar 3 could be something of a God send and huge time saver – check out the Nectar 3 product page on the Izotope website for more details.
Nectar 3 sounds incredible and flows beautifully, and we can’t recommend it highly enough to any vocal-wrangling producerMusic Radar Nectar 3 review, January 2019
See the Izotope website for more details, specifications and latest prices: https://www.izotope.com/en/products/nectar.html
Izotope’s VocalSynth 2
Combining 5 blendable, creative modules (Vocoder, Compuvox, Polyvox, Talkbox, and Biovox)with a 7-module multi-effects Stompbox style chain, Izotope’s VocalSynth 2 is a very powerful creative tool that can take your vocals to another level and to other worlds!
The creative possibilities VocalSynth2 offers are near limitless. You can get an idea of just some of what this powerful plugin is capable of by flicking through the preset library for some instant vocal manipulation, computerised voices, warping, ethereal textures, stereo widening effects and much more.
With VocalSynth2 you get an experimental effects playground with everything you need to craft your own signature vocal sound.
There are three distinct processing modes (Auto, MIDI, and Sidechain modes) for vocoder-inspired effects and unique signal modulations for added creativity.
VocalSynth 2 can communicate with other iZotope plugins such as Neutron, Ozone, and Tonal Balance Control.
This exceptional plugin really transformed our vocal arrangements. The addition of shred & delay add unique colour to the mix.Steve Levine, Producer (The Beach Boys, The Clash)
- Five blendable vocal effects.
- Seven stompbox-style effects.
- Advanced spectral display.
See the Izotope website for more details, specifications and latest prices: https://www.izotope.com/en/products/vocalsynth.html
It is not unusual for lead vocals to be supported by two or more vocal layers. This practice has existed for as long as pop music itself, and it’s an essential technique for any producer to have in their box of tricks. Vocal doubling is a standard method of adding some ear candy, extra emotion and increasing the intensity of choruses and hooks.
For some instant vocal doubling fun look no further than iZotope’s free Vocal Doubler plug-in designed to easily add richness and depth to any vocal. A simple, clean UI means there’s no learning curve – just fire it up and focus on getting a full, wide vocal mix.
Vocal Doubler Pros:
- It’s 100% free!
- Easy to use.
- Professional sounding results without the expense or hassle of more feature rich plugins.
- Light on CPU.
See the Izotope website for more details and specifications: https://www.izotope.com/en/products/vocal-doubler.html
Antares Choir plugin is a vocal processor that can turn a single monophonic voice into a lush choir of 4, 8, 16, or 32 individual unison voices, each of which can have its own pitch, timing and vibrato variations.
Choir is incredibly easy to use – just select the number of individual voices that will be generated from the original voice and adjust Vibrato, Pitch, Variation, Timing and Variation controls to control the amount of subtle variation applied to each of the generated voices. Finally, a Stereo Spread control lets you spread the voices across the stereo field.
Antares Choir pros:
- Really easy to use.
- Create impressive, large vocal ensembles with just a few clicks.
See the Antares website for more details, specifications and latest prices: https://www.antarestech.com/product/choir/
Excessive vocal sibilance is a problem for amateur and pro producers alike. It’s a problem best tackled at the recording stage where possible but more often than not producers are tasked with tweaking vocal stems and samples “in the box” with no control over how the original vocal was recorded at which point it’s time to reach for a de-esser gin.
While there’s no denying that FabFilter Pro-DS comes with a premium price tag, if you’ve used some of FabFilter’s other plugins you’ll know it’s likely to prove to be money well spent and that you get what you pay for which in this case is a super smart de-esser that’s second to none.
Fire up FabFilter Pro-DS and un your vocal through it and you’ll see a waveform display of your audio with detected sibilance issues highlighted in green. You can quickly dial in the amount of de-essing you require using the Range knob.
FabFilter Pro-DS offers everything you need to quickly tackle sibilance issues in your vocal recordings.
FabFilter Pro-DS boats an ‘intelligent Single Vocal detection algorithm’ which can accurately identify sibilance in vocal recordings and attenuate it transparently.
Also worth noting, switch to the ‘Allround’ mode and FabFilter Pro-DS becomes a useful tool for high-frequency limiting of any material, like drums, synths and even full mixes.
When I tried it on a female vocal that needed just a little taming, it gave the most natural results of any plug-in I had available … When you need to hand the reins over to a plug-in, Pro DS is up there with the best, and has by far the best user interface of any I’ve tried.Sound on Sound magazine, January 2013
FabFiter Pro DS Pros:
- Intelligent detection algorithm.
- Transparent compression/limiting.
- Optional mid-only or side-only processing.
If the FabFilter Pro-DS plugin is out of your budget then check out Sybil from AutoTune developer Antares. Sybil can tame excessive vocal sibilance thanks to a highly flexible compressor combined with a variable-frequency high pass filter.
The compressor section includes the standard threshold, ratio, attack and release controls while the high-pass frequency control lets you adjust which high frequency content gets compressed – it’s a balance between reducing the sibilance while keeping the rest of the vocal pristine.
With Sybil, everything you need to get control of vocal sibilance is right at your fingertips.
- Really easy to understand and use.
- Professional results.
See the Antares website for more details, specifications and latest prices: https://www.antarestech.com/product/sybil
Designed to remove those harsh vocal ‘s’ sounds fast, Waves’ Sibilance is powered by the Waves’ ‘Organic ReSynthesis technology’ which can pinpoint any undesirable bursts of sibilant energy and then completely separates the nuances of sibilance from the vocal signal
Sibilance allows for precise identification of unwanted sibilant sounds (such as ‘s’ and ‘sh’) and helps you apply smooth, glitch-free de-essing while maintaining the timbre, duration, and natural resonance of the original vocal sound.
You can use the Sibilance plugin to pick out minute areas of your vocal for extreme processing (such as aggressive EQing to drastically brighten a vocal) in a way that is perhaps impossible with traditional de-esser plugins
Waves Sibilance is next-generation smart technology in a de-esser. Its intuitive interface lets me dial in just the right amount of sibilance control instantly, and the waveform display shows me exactly what’s happening in real time. I also love the look-ahead detection algorithm. It’s my new go-to de-esserDave Darlington Composer, Recording, Mixing & Mastering Engineer
See the Waves website for more details, specifications and latest prices: https://www.waves.com/plugins/sibilance
Waves Renaissance Vox (R-Vox)
Hailed by Drake’s producer Noah “40” Shebib as “one of the most important vocal plugins ever made,” the Waves plugin R-Vox combines gating, compression and limiting in a plugin designed to make vocals “just sound good” with the minimum of effort.
While R-Vox works brilliantly on vocals it can add instant shine, warmth and a thickness to whatever audio you choose to run through it be it drums, guitars or synths.
R-Vox boats a ‘legendary’ dynamic curve that can help your vocal tracks cut through a mix. R-Vox is suitable for use on any kind of vocal material, from podcasts through dialog to music of any genre including pop, hip hop and any kind of electronic music.
R-Vox has been an indispensable part of my vocal chain for years. Transparent and fast, I use a small amount to tighten things up before applying any other coloration or EQ. Incredible time saverEthan Mates Recording & Mixing Engineer
- Compression, gating, limiting and level maximization multi-tool.
- As used by Grammy-winning engineers.
- Efficient and intuitive – get great results fast!
- Can act as a Soft-knee compressor with auto make-up gain.
- Gentle downward expander for noise-gating.
- Ready to use presets by leading producers & engineers including Michael Brauer, more
- New improved interface with choice of skins.
See the Waves website for more details, specifications and latest prices: https://www.waves.com/plugins/renaissance-vox
If you’re only ever going to shell out for one distortion plugin then Izotope’s Trash 2 plugin should absolutely be high on your list of possible contenders. This powerful multi-effects plugin has built up a loyal following over the many years since it first burst onto the scene and it can still give some of the new kids on the block a run for their money.
Trash 2 delivers 60 different distortion algorithms combined with advanced post-filtering for a near infinite amount of wild sonic transformation. Trash and grunge up any track
With Trash 2 you can chain two distortion algorithms in each frequency band giving up to 8 different flavors of destruction. You can split your vocal – or any other audio – into multiple bands and apply distortion independently to individual frequencies.
There’s a choice of over 100 impulse responses with the Convolve module plus Delay and Dynamics modules and 2 superb sounding Filters, each of which boasts 20+ filter types to shape your tone.
The included library of tweakable presets should keep you entertained for years to come but if you have the time you can design and edit your own distortions using the graphic-based Waveshaper.
There’s way too much good stuff in Trash 2 for me to properly do it justice here so do check out the detailed description on the Izotope website.
See the Izotope website for more details, specifications and latest prices: https://www.izotope.com/en/products/trash.html
As heard on countless chart topping tracks and underground hits, Soundtoys’ range of powerful plugins are highly regarded by producers around the globe and given these guys had a hand in creating the Eventide H3000, one of the most iconic pitch-shifters of all time, it’s no surprise that several of their plugins feature in my list of best vocal plugins.
I kick of my Soundtoys selection with Little AlterBoy plugin – one of the best vocal processing plugins on the market.
With the Little Alterboy plugin you have a powerful yet easy to use tool which offers a huge range of fantastic sounding vocal transformations.
Little Alterboy lets you quickly change the pitch of a voice, or change the singer’s gender with formant shifting. When you want to get more creative you can dial in the classic “hard-tune” effect, lock onto a single pitch for robotic sounds and control a vocal’s melody via MIDI for vocoder-like effects.
Little AlterBoy also features a classic tube saturation model taken from the Soundtoys famous Decapitator plugin to add optional warmth and bite to your vocals.
Little AlterBoy Pros:
- Transform any vocal with a set of easy-to-use tools
- Shift the pitch and formant (gender) of vocals in real-time
- Easily create instant vocal harmonies
- Lock vocals to a pitch for crazy robot effects
- Use MIDI in your DAW to create vocoder-like effects
- “Hard-Tune” effect as heard on countless tracks
See the Soundtoys website for more details, specifications and latest prices: https://www.soundtoys.com/product/little-alterboy/
The Soundtoys MicroShift plugin gives you three different flavors of a classic stereo widening trick at the push of a button. Microshift uses a special mix of pitch shifting combined with a delay that varies over time, to create an expanded stereo width.
Microshift is incredibly easy to use and is especially good for blending any background vocals subtly into a mix.
You can change the amount of time-varying delay with the Delay control and adjust the amount of micro pitch shifting with the Detune control. There is also a Focus control that lets you sculpt both the low and mid frequencies to clear up any mud.
If you’re new to music production and mixing then chances are you’re not using enough saturation on your tracks so let me introduce you to Soundtoys Decapitator – one of the best saturation tools money can buy and a fantastic plugin for spicing up vocals.
When it comes to saturation plugins, plenty of well known producers claim that Soundtoys Decapitator is their weapon of choice and it’s easy to hear why. Decapitator delivers no less than five different analog saturation models to choose from – perfect for adding some warmth and character to your vocals.
Decapitator is capable of subtle sounds, sure, but you can’t fail to spot that there’s a ‘Punish’ button on this plugin’s GUI and it’s there for a reason! Give it a tap and rejoice as Decapitator shows off its analog emulation magic!
EchoBoy – vintage analog echo box tones
Sooner or later you’re going to want to treat your vocals with some delay and while your DAW probably ships with at least one decent delay plugin, Soundtoys EchoBoy is ready and waiting to take your vocal tracks to a whole new level!
EchoBoy comes with 30 built-in styles all of which are carefully modeled on much sought after and rare vintage gear. With the EchoBoy plugin you can warm up your vocals with a high-end tape sound modelled on the Ampex ATR-102 or try running your vocals through an emulated EchoPlex, Space Echo, Memory Man and many more vintage units.
Calling EchoBoy a delay plug-in is doing it a disservice. It has become the first thing I turn to for treating a wide variety of sources. An EXCELLENT sound / space shaping tool and the most flexible and musical delay out there.Trent Reznor – Nine Inch Nails
WA Production’s Vocal Splitter
W.A Production’s Vocal Splitter is a cheap and cheerful plugin for turning any mono vocals into thick, lush stereo. At it’s core, under the hood, Vocal Splitter uses a combination of a phase-offset vibrato effect (splitting the left and right channel by asymmetrically detuning the channels) and an asymmetrical rectification of the left and right signal (creating a better defined stereo image). A central ‘Mix’ dial lets you adjust the dry / wet ratio of the original source signal and added stereo signal.
Vocal Splitter also has frequency and drive parameters to help your vocal tracks pop.
Pushing the drive parameter to the max adds a saturation-like effect while also bringing the stereo image back in towards the centre.
High pass and low pass filters allow you to filter the added stereo signal – handy when you want the effect to only apply to a specific frequency range and avoid any unwanted phasing in the low end.
See the WA Productions website for more details, specifications and latest prices:
Anybody who has tried to record a singer knows the problems that a singer’s breathing can cause.
The Waves DeBreath plugin is a specialist tool for automatically detecting any breath in vocals and splitting it from the rest of the vocal sample leaving you free to dial in exactly how much breath you want on your vocal track, and how you want it processed.
DeBreath lets you dial in ‘room tone’ where the breath audio have been removed or reduced.
Not only for singers and songs, DeBreath is also great for voice overs, podcasts and social media recordings.
See the Waves website for more details, specifications and latest prices: https://www.waves.com/plugins/debreath
What is a vocoder?
At the most basic level, Vocoders are used to modulate one sound with another. Vocoding is the process of using the real-time frequency spectrum of one sound (known as the Modulator) to modulate the frequency spectrum of another (known as the Carrier).
Your typical software vocoder has a series of bandpass filters that allow through only those frequencies detected in the Modulator source.
Vocoded sounds tend to go in and out of fashion but remain incredibly popular in certain music genres such as Synthwave and Electro where futuristic (but also warmly nostalgic) and robotic sounding vocals might be deployed, often to disguise the fact that the track’s producer can’t sing to save his/her life!
Vocodex for FL Studio
If you’re an FL Studio user then consider Vocodex, Image Line’s premium vocoder. Vocodex features advanced articulation envelopes, integrated Carrier synthesizer and also a built-in Soundgoodizer maximizer for limiting and warmth. Vocodex boasts its own inbuilt carrier synthesizer and up to 100 variable-width multi-parameter vocoder bands.
Vocodex is included with FL Studio Producer Edition & Signature bundles.
See the Image Line website for more details, specifications and latest prices: https://www.image-line.com/fl-studio-learning/fl-studio-online-manual/html/plugins/Vocodex.htm
As close to instant Daft Punk in a plugin as you could possibly hope for, MVocoder plugin lets you quickly create lush sounding robotic voice effects and singing synthesizers. MVocoder uses an external side-chain, so you can feed in any audio and let the plugin work its magic with support for up to 100 bands, filters, a carrier / modulator band matrix, resonance graphs and much more.
With MVocoder it’s super easy to morph between multiple audio materials and there are extensive modulation options too.
See the Melda Production website for more details, specifications and latest prices: https://www.meldaproduction.com/MVocoder
Dehumaniser Simple Monsters
It’s probably unlikely to feature on your next pop or soul track but Dehumaniser Simple Monsters is a fun and powerful vocal processing tool that’s perfect for creating a range of (very) extreme vocal effects – think monsters, robots, demons, roars and more besides – which can find a place in movie soundtracks, games, podcasts, television, theater and darker electronic music.
Based on the Dehumaniser 2 engine, developer Krotos have distilled its many parameters down to five core ‘monster voice’ elements. These five elements, controlled via sliders, interact and influence each other dynamically. Fire up the plugin and you can set the overall feel with the size, age and character parameters and use the wildness and fury elements to shape your monster’s personality.
Note that a free iLok account is required in order to activate Dehumaniser Simple Monster (an iLok USB dongle is NOT required).
Looking for even more controls? Dehumaniser 2 is Dehumaniser Simple Monsters bigger, badder – and more complex brother with more modules (10 in total) and a powerful node-based system.
- Presets organised into ‘Dialogue’, ‘Sci-fi’ and ‘Growls and Roars’ to get you started quickly
- Easy and fun to use
- Playing around leads to unpredictable results which can mean happy accidents
- TouchOSC integration for iOS
- An essential and unique tool for certain type of projects
On a similar mission to Dehumaniser Simple Monsters, Antares Mutator delivers multiple sound design tools for creating unusual and otherworldly voices. Mutator can do high quality pitch shifting, throat modeling, ring modulator-based mutation, and a tempo-synced ‘alienize’ function.
Mutators’s voice processing tools are divided into three sections. A voice design section lets you use unique throat modeling and pitch shifting technologies to craft the basic characteristics of your voice.
The mutate section lets you transform and mangle the voice into a variety of strange creatures. There are 24 different varieties of “mutation” created with pitch-tracking ring modulation.
The ‘alienize’ section of Mutator is great fun and gives your vocal the quality of an alien language by chopping it up into small segments and then playing each segment in reverse. You can vary the length of the speech segments and try syncing them to the tempo of your track.
See the Antares website for more details, specifications and latest prices: https://www.antarestech.com/product/mutator
Sonic Charge Permut8
The first of two plugins from Sonic Charge in my list, Permut8 is a unique and creative tool which lets you modulate, manipulate and mangle your audio in countless inspiring ways. It’s inspired by primitive digital hardware and simulates a 12-bit digital delay with variable sample rate from 0 to 352 kHz. Permut8 takes your audio and runs it through virtual analog components for adding saturation, limiting and filtering and it’s capable of creating a wide range of interesting effects.
Most fun of all, Permut8 can be expanded with new functionality through “alternative firmwares”. These firmwares simply load into Permut8 with a click of the mouse to extend or replace the original signal processing algorithms. The ‘firmware’ expansions include Beatrick, for creative beat mangling, Bender, for wave-shaper, distortion and bit-crushing, Mozaik for glitchy buffer freezing and pitch shifting effects and Reciter which simulates a classic vintage speech synthesizer.
See the Sonic Charge website for more details, specifications and latest prices: www.soniccharge.com/permut8
Sonic Charge Bitspeek
Perfect for electronic music producers wanting to mess up their vocals with some retro effects, Bitspeek is a ‘real-time pitch-excited linear prediction codec effect’. Basically, Bitspeek simulates the kind of voice compression technology that was used in commercial products in the seventies well-known speaking toys of the early eighties.
Bitspeek analyzes your audio and extracts a number of parameters (including pitch, volume and formant data) and then resynthesises the audio using a oscillator, noise and filter architecture.
While Bitspeek only has a few simple controls it’s capable of producing a broad range of sounds.
With Bitspeek you can take your vocal and make it sound like it’s coming from out of a cheap speaking toy or make it sound like it’s been run through a high-end vocoder or vintage talkbox.
There are also number of playback parameters for adjusting the pitch and tonal quality of your audio as well as support for MIDI and a beat-synchronized “formant freezing effect”.
See the Sonic Charge website for more details, specifications and latest prices: www.soniccharge.com/bitspeek
Want to make your vocal sound like it’s coming from a broken speaker or old telephone? AudioThing’s Speakers plugin can do that and much more besides. Speakers is designed to emulate a wide range of loudspeakers and microphones using a state-of-the-art convolution engine Speaker let’s you shape any audio to make it sound like it’s coming from an old telephone or like it’s being recorded by a vintage ribbon microphone or even a toy recorder.
Speakers boasts a highly configurable effects chain (compression, distortion, filtering) as well as more than 40 different looping background noises for placing your audio in a variety of environments.
Forget trying to bag vintage gear on Ebay, and then trying to find space for it, with Speaker you get no less than 50 different virtual speaker types to play your audio through covering Cabinets, devices, phones, radios, speakers, toys. In addition there are 32 Microphone emulations including condensers, dynamics and ribbon microphones.
Electronic music producers in articular will find Speaker is an endlessly creative tool to spice up spoken vocals but I can also hear it has potential for hip hop and pop music too.
See the AudioThing website for more details, specifications and latest prices: www.audiothing.net/effects/speakers/
Ujam Finisher RETRO
While not aimed at vocals specifically, Ujam’s Finisher RETRO plugin is an endless source of fun and inspiration whatever audio you opt to run through it. Marketed by Ujam as “Instagram filters for your audio.”, Finisher Retro certainly isn’t the tool to reach for when you need to look serious and subtly fix issues in your vocals but it is a tool you can deploy when you want to put on a baseball cap backwards and soak your vocals in some vibe and Mojo!
Finisher RETRO gives you a variety of vintage studio gear – classic reverbs, delays, flangers, tubes – to play with in the form of interconnected sound modules. Designed to be as easy to use as possible, Finisher RETRO enables you to almost instantly make your vocal sound like it was recorded in previous decades through some pretty interesting analog gear.
With Finisher RETRO you can quickly add some shine, warmth, hiss or dirt to your vocals and then use the ‘FINISHER’ and ‘VARI’ knobs to adjust to taste.
See the Ujam website for more details, specifications and latest prices: www.ujam.com/finisher/retro/
MTransformer is a spectral processor that lets you transform any frequency to any other and also transform the levels (loudness) of any part of the audio. Change the frequencies of your audio in any way that you want for pitch shifting and frequency shifting and create robotic and other worldly voices
MTransformer lets you modulate any parameter from sources such as an LFO, audio level follower, envelope generator, randomizer, or pitch detector. Your sound will never be static again.
See the Melda Production website for more details, specifications and latest prices: https://www.meldaproduction.com/MTransformer
MCharacter is a powerful, creative EQ tool that lets you directly control the harmonics of any audio material. Unlike traditional EQs which let you manipulate a sounds formants, MCharacter works on a sounds harmonics.
By working directly in the spectral domain the plugin’s ability to detect pitch is outstanding. It works great on vocals but can also be used on drum loops, pads or any other audio you care to chuck at it.
With MCharacter you can easily modulate any parameter from sources such as an LFO, audio level follower, envelope generator, randomizer, or pitch detector.
For you lazy producers – or anyone seeking instant inspiration – MCharacter’s smart randomisation button means you try out any one of billions of possible settings instantly.
See the Melda Production website for more details, specifications and latest prices: https://www.meldaproduction.com/MCharacter
D16 Decimort 2
While certain genres of music favour pristine vocals, electronic music producers often pine for vocals that have been heavily distorted, mangled and crushed in some way which is when tools like D16’s Decimator can come out to play.
Decimator is a high quality bit crusher effect which adds coloration and warmth inspired by the circuits from classic 1980s and 90s samplers as used on countless hip hop tracks back in the day. Use Decimator subtly to nicely heat up a vocal for a summertime in 1980s LA vibe or push it to its limits for full on techno menace and mayhem!
Decimort 2 is a brilliant update to arguably the definitive vintage sampler emulation. It can be used subtly or obviously as a creative effect or mixdown tool; and while it’s certainly not essential, it is an eminently justifiable accessory that comes highly recommendedComputer Music magazine Decimort 2 review, June 2016.
See the D16 website for more details, specifications and latest prices: www.d16.pl/decimort2