Exclusivemusicplus

Top 10 Best Vocal FX Plugins [2020]

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I recently wrote a guide on the best free vocal effects VST plugin, which is good if you are not planning to spend much on music production plugins, however, as soon as you want more customization or intuitive interface, you’ll find yourself contemplating on which good and affordable vocal effect plugin to buy, and that is why I created this guide.

In this guide, we would look at the best vocal FX (a.k.a vocal effects) plugins you can use to supercharge your vocals…

I have said this before on a couple of guides I have written and I’ll say this again, make sure whatever vocals you are using is of high quality before adding effects (FX), If it isn’t good going into the device, it isn’t going to be good coming out no matter what effects you add.

Having said, here are the best 10 Vocal Fx (effects) plugin to harness your music production projects:

1.) ERA 4 Voice Leveler by Accusonus

ERA 4 Voice Leveler by Accusonus (Review Guide)

ERA 4 Voice Leveler is a single knob plugin that use the accusonus patented algorithm to automatically detect audio gain inconsistencies, and correct them in real-time.

It is a simple and easy to use plugin and features few parameters, so, it’s fairly straight forward, nevertheless, let’s dive deep into the core features…

First, the processor is the main control of the noise leveler, it is the big round knob at the center of the plugin. You can dial in the amount of processing you want depending on how you want the reverb suppressed.

On the left side of the plugin is the processing mode, you can either go for the ‘Normal’ mode or the ‘Tight’ mode. If you just want a subtle voice leveling, you can go for the normal modem and if you want something more aggressive, you can go for the Tight mode.

One of the interesting features I love in this plugin is the emphasis toggle, this automatically detects problems in tonal balance of voice recordings.

Also, the killer feature of this plugin is the Breath control option, as the name suggests, it let you control the breath of a voice, this won’t actually remove the breath, it only controls the balance between the breath and the actual voice.

One last thing I would love to point is that if you are recording the sounds yourself, record the best sound possible. if you are recording too many inconsistent takes, please do not expect a miracle, I can’t stress this enough!

►Key Features:

  • Single knob operation
  • Simple and streamlined user interface
  • Automatic level normalization
  • Input/output waveform view
  • Precision-grade audio repair functionality
  • Uncompromised sound quality
  • Resizable UI

►System Requirements:

  • macOS 10.10 or higher // Windows 7 or higher
  • Hard Disk Space: 250MB (minimum) for Windows and 660MB for macOS
  • Screen Resolution: 800×600 (minimum)
  • Sample Rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96 kHz
  • RAM: 2GB (minimum)
  • VST, AU, AAX Native (64-bit)

Get ERA 4 Voice Leveler

2.) Auto-Tune EFX+ by Antares

Auto-Tune EFX+ by Antares (Plugin Review)

Antares Auto-Tune isn’t new to the game, in fact, it was introduced in 1997 by Antares Audio Technologies, which was developed for the correction of off-key inaccuracies, allowing vocal tracks to be perfectly tuned. It does more than that now, it can be used for instrumental music recording, performances, and more.

Autotune EFX+ is the combination of the core features of Auto-Tune Pro with the extensive Auto-EFX multi-effects rack, and Auto-Motion pitch-shifting melodic pattern generator.

One of the issues I have with the auto-tuning plugin is the latency, and the fix I use is by recording the vocalist with no auto-tuning plugin right off the bat, and well, that’s a little secret to record a perfect shot, I personally find it easy to start with no auto-tune on my fx channel, but what if you are recording a live band/performances?

This is where ultra-low-latency is of utmost importance, with the Auto-Tune EFX+, you can assure yourself of a professional solution with low latency for live performance or if you so wish! – tracking in the studio.

It also has a fully adjustable Retune Speed and Humanizes parameters that let you fine-tune the desired effect for your tracks, from transparent pitch correction to the full Auto-Tune Effect.

►System Requirements:

Mac

AAX Native (64-bit only):

  • Pro Tools 11.3.1 or later.
  • Mac OS 10.10.5 to 10.14 as required by your version of Pro Tools.

VST3 (64-bit only):

  • A compatible VST host program that supports VST3 format.
  • Mac OS 10.10.5 to 10.14 as required by your host.

VST2 (64-bit only):

  • A compatible VST host program that supports VST2 format.
  • Mac OS 10.10.5 to 10.14 as required by your host.

Audio Units (64-bit only):

  • A compatible host program that supports the AU format.
  • Mac OS 10.10.5 to 10.14 as required by your host.

Windows

AAX Native (64-bit only):

  • Pro Tools 11.3.1 or later.
  • Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 as required by your version of Pro Tools.

VST3 (64-bit only):

  • A compatible host program that supports the VST3 format.
  • Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 as required by your host.

VST2 (64-bit only):

  • A compatible host program that supports the VST3 format.
  • Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 as required by your host.

Get Auto-Tune EFX+ by Antares

3.) Vocal Compressor by W.A Production

Vocal Compressor by W.A Production (Plugin Review)

W.A Production Vocal Compressor is tailored, and specific to Vocal recordings, it features a compression chain that’s transparent, balanced, and adds a subtle flavor, color, and grit to make vocals sit perfectly & steadily in a mix.

The way it works is that it passes the audio signal through 3 distinct types of compressors to tame troublesome peaks, balance dynamics, and add saturation. The secret is, you can use it on any number of audio sources, be it a Lead, Bass, and even peaky percussions.

►Key Features

  • Easy to use compression designed especially for vocals
  • 3 compression stages
  • Peaks, Balance and Flavour
  • Noise Gate ratio
  • Frequency shaping via Colour slider
  • Pop & click free bypass
  • Responsive & CPU friendly
  • Factory presets
  • Full PDF Manual & Tutorial video

►System Requirements

  • Windows 7 or higher (32 / 64 bit)
  • Mac OSX 10.7 or higher (32 / 64 bit)

Get Vocal Compressor by W.A Production

4.) Little AlterBoy by Soundtoys

Little AlterBoy by Soundtoys (Plugin Review)

Next on our list is Little AlterBoy, which is a Voice manipulation tool by SoundToys, it comes bundled with several features to transform the pitch of a voice, or change the singer’s gender with formant shifting.

Also, you can lock onto a single pitch for robotic sounds. You can even control the vocal’s melody using MIDI for creative vocoder-like effects.

Note: Little AlterBoy is designed to process only clean monophonic vocal tracks (much like some other vocal tuning plug-ins). Please experiment away, no hard rules in music production

I’ll let you on a little secret — The Little Alterboy was the plugin I used to create Exclusivemusicplus signature tag, here is a before and after:

Before:

After (Added Little Alterboy plus tweaking the pitch knob):

►Key Features

  • Transform vocals with a set of easy-to-use tools in one simple plug-in
  • Shift the pitch and formant (gender) of vocals in real-time
  • Use the mix control to create instant vocal harmonies
  • Lock vocals to a pitch for robot effects
  • Create vocoder-like effects using MIDI control
  • Get that “hard tune” effect heard in countless hip-hop and pop hits

►System Requirements

  • AAX Native, AAX AudioSuite, VST, and Audio Units (AU)
  • Minimum: 44.1 kHz, Maximum: 192 kHz
  • Operating systems: Mac OS X 10.8 or later; Windows 7 or later
  • An internet connection is required at the time of activation
  •  A FREE account at ilok.com is required (a physical USB iLok is not required)
  • This software is 64-bit only and is not compatible with 32-bit systems.

Get Little AlterBoy by Soundtoys

5.) VoxDoubler by Sonnox

VoxDoubler by Sonnox (Review)

VoxDoubler comes bundled with two separate plug-ins that focus on the two most common vocal doubling workflows, one is the widen, and the other is thicken.

The widen generates two new mono voices and pans them to the left and right of the original vocal, these are some scenarios that the widen is best for:

  • Widening a mono performance, ranging from subtle enhancement to a stack of hard-panned voices
  • Manually processing the new doubled voices separately, then mixing them back in parallel with the original, this is the same technique I suggested in PitchProof.

The Thicken generates a new stereo doubled voice and overlaps it with the original vocal, these are some scenarios that the widen is best for:

  • Mono performance, emulating the effect of singing the same part twice
  • Stereo group of voices by doubling each voice

►Key Features

  • Generate believable double and triple vocal tracks to create width, depth or add thickness
  • Humanize section to adjust the Timing and Pitch of the doubles relative to the original vocal
  • Depth control to push the new doubled voices deeper into the mix
  • Tone control to prevent sibilant doubles from becoming distracting, or to brighten those that are too muddy
  • Track/Aux mode allows you to apply the effect in place or, for more advanced control, mix it in parallel on an aux return
  • A more cost-effective alternative, both in terms of initial outlay and speed of use, than more complex and manual processes
  • Engineered for vocals, but try it on instruments too!
  • Hallmark Sonnox audio precision, transparency, and reliability

►System Requirements

The new Toolbox range offers 2 activations for each product license you buy.

Providing you have an iLok account, each activation will allow you to authorize your Plug-In on one of these devices:

  • Machine
  • iLok device, iLok2 / iLok3 required with latest drivers
  • iLok Cloud. Active internet connection required

Pro Tools:

  • Pro Tools 10.3.8 and above – AAX Native
  • Approved Pro Tools CPU, OS, and hardware configuration

Audio Units:

  • Audio Units compatible application (Logic, Digital Performer, etc.)
  • Mac OS X 10.7 or later

VST2 / VST3:

  • VST2 or VST3 compatible application (Cubase, Fl Studio, Nuendo, Sequoia, etc.)
  • Mac OS X 10.7 or later
  • Windows 7 or later

Supported Hosts:

  • Compatible with any desktop application that supports Audio Unit (AU), VST2 or VST3 Plug-Ins.
  • Also supports Pro Tools AAX Native Plug-In format

Get VoxDoubler by Sonnox

6.) Vocal Splitter by W.A Production

Vocal Splitter by W.A Production (Plugin Review)

VocalSplitter is a clean and handy tool for turning mono signals, specifically ‘Vocal Samples’ into a pristine stereo sound. Seriously – You can use it on a number of audio materials. All that matters is creativity!

It also includes frequency and drives parameters to help your vocal performances stand out from the crowd.

Key Features

  • Create wide and modern vocals from a mono source
  • Presets for one-click transformations
  • Speed & Depth set the power of effect
  • Drive dial to add grit and increase definition
  • Mute Source button for using effect as a send
  • Click-free bypass
  • Minimal phasing
  • Full PDF Manual & Tutorial video

System Requirements

  • Windows 7 or higher (32 / 64 bit)
  • Mac OSX 10.7 or higher (32 / 64 bit)
  • AAX – ProTools 11 or higher
  • An internet connection is required to authorize and use this software.

Get Vocal Splitter by W.A Production

7.) VocalSynth 2 by iZotope

VocalSynth 2 by iZotope (Plugin Review)

Caution! VocalSynth doesn’t mean you are generating vocal instrument through a synthesizer, please don’t confuse it to an actual synthesizer, it is instead a tool for coloring, and shaping a vocal sample/any audio samples, be it an instrument or whatever audio samples you can lay your hands on.

Note: VocalSynth 2 can use the plug-in’s internal synthesizer to generate sound, although, you’ll still need to route an audio sample to the mixer channel slot you placed VocalSynth 2

You can achieve this vocal exploration customization with five blendable eccentric-must-haves and stompbox-style studio effects, which are Vocoder, Compuvox, Polyvox, Talkbox, and Biovox: a brand new effect based on the sonic qualities of the human vocal tract, Yh, You heard it, in short, ama play you some stuff I am working on, it’s so amazing.

Just to show you the possibilities of using this plugin, I would be doing a before and after on a piano:

Before:

After:

I added “Biological Math” preset Under the Deep Category.

There is lots of stuff you can play with, from converting a single lead vocal into multiple stacks vocals, creating textures, effects, blending, and morphing in an experimental vocal playground, and finally find that secret something that makes your vocals stand out.

You absolutely don’t have to create an effect from scratch, you can pick from hundreds of presets for quick impact.

►Key Features

  • Biovox: Using scientific modeling of a human vocal tract, adjust human vocal characteristics like nasality, vowel shapes, and formants for a smooth, textural vocal treatment to any audio signal.
  • Stompbox-style effects: VocalSynth 2’s effects include two brand new pedal-style effects: Chorus and Ring Mod with a unique tremolo effect. Now drag to re-order all seven effects including an improved Shred with sequencer as well as Distort, Filter, Transform, and Delay.
  • 3 ways to play: VocalSynth 2 is built to be flexible, giving you three ways to interact and create: Auto Mode, MIDI Mode, and Sidechain Mode.
  • Inter-plugin communication: Use VocalSynth 2 within Neutron 2’s Visual Mixer and Masking Meter, as well as Tonal Balance Control for a bird’s eye view of your music production at all times.
  • Extensive sonic enhancements to the Vocoder module as well as Talkbox, Polyvox, and Compuvox that improve usability, CPU utilization, and sound quality.
  • Reimagined interface with deep control: VocalSynth 2 includes a brand new, modern interface and the addition of advanced synthesizer controls for each individual module. Paired with a fluid, evolving visualization, VocalSynth 2 is primed for hours of creativity with you at the helm.

►System Requirements

Operating Systems:

  • Mac — OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion – macOS 10.15
  • PC — Win XP (32-bit Service Pack 3) – Win 10

Plug-in Formats:

  • AAX (64-bit), AU, RTAS (32-bit), VST, VST3

Supported Hosts:

  • Ableton Live 9 – 10, Cubase 9.5, Digital Performer 9, FL Studio 12, Logic Pro X, Nuendo 8, Pro Tools 10 – 12, Reaper 5, Reason 10, Studio One 3 – 4

Note: A graphics card with Open GL 2.0 support is required to display the visualizations in VocalSynth 2.

Get VocalSynth 2 by iZotope

8.) FabFilter Pro-DS

FabFilter Pro-DS

The first good impression about the FabFilter Pro-DS plugin is the highly intelligent ‘Single Vocal’ detection algorithm, which accurately identifies sibilance in vocal recordings and attenuated it transparently, awesome!

Another is the way you can navigate the interface easily, although, it is less intuitive than something like ERA 4 De-Esser plugin, so, if you want something really simple, I’ll recommend ERA 4 De-Esser, if you want more options and better control, go with this FabFilter Pro-DS.

It has loads awesome features such as Wideband or linear-phase split band processing, adjustable stereo linking with optional mid-only or side only processing, and lots more under your belt.

This plugin is not only easy to use but also consists of super cool features such as the real-time level display which shows you at a glance view of what is happening to your audio. You would also find a level metering at the right of the interface, this of course provides an immediate overview od the current output and gain reduction levels.

►Key Features:

  • Highly intelligent ‘Single Vocal’ detection, and classic ‘Allround’ detection
  • Transparent program-dependent compression/limiting
  • Adjustable Threshold, Range and detection HP and LP filtering settings
  • Wide Band or linear-phase Split Band processing
  • Optional look-ahead time up to 15 ms
  • Freely adjustable stereo linking
  • Optional mid-only or side-only processing
  • Up to four times linear-phase oversampling
  • Real-time de-essing display, clearly showing the affected parts of processed audio
  • Side-chain input meter, making it easy to choose a good Threshold value
  • Real-time spectrum analyzer built into the HP/LP filter controller
  • GPU-powered graphics acceleration
  • High-quality 64-bit internal processing
  • Double-click text entry of parameter values
  • Large and compact interface sizes
  • Stereo and mono plug-ins available
  • Supports common Pro Tools hardware control surfaces
  • MIDI Learn
  • Undo/redo and A/B comparison
  • Smart Parameter Interpolation
  • Sample-accurate automation of all parameters
  • Extensive help file with interactive help hints

►System Requirements:

Windows:

  • 32-bit: Windows 8, 7, Vista or XP
  • 64-bit: Windows 8, 7 or Vista (x64)
  • VST 2/3 host or Pro Tools

Mac OS X:

  • 32-bit: OS X 10.5 or higher
  • 64-bit: OS X 10.6 or higher
  • AU or VST 2/3 host or Pro Tools
  • Intel processor

Plug-In Formats:

  • All FabFilter plug-ins are available in VST, VST3, Audio Units, AAX Native, and AudioSuite formats (all both 64-bit and 32-bit), as well as RTAS (32-bit only)

Get FabFilter Pro-DS

9.) Dehumaniser Simple Monsters by Krotos

Dehumaniser Simple Monsters by Krotos (Review)

Dehumaniser’ is an astonishing and a powerful vocal processing tool for your vocal needs, whether you are into creating a robotic sound, a zombie, and a range of vocal effects, you would absolutely love this plug-in.

The good thing about this plugin is that it only features a few parameters, making you focus on what you are trying to achieve. This is absolutely great for sound design, post-production projects, and anything you are thinking of creating.

To top all that, it integrated with TouchOSC making it quickly adaptable to live environments as well, such as voiceover sessions, theatre performances, or Halloween attractions.

►Key Features:

  • 5 dynamic parameters and a sample scrubbing function allow you to quickly and easily design sounds for any sort of monster
  • Pick between a slider layout or X/Y Pads interface
  • Assign elements to each axis to explore the processing differently, coaxing unpredictable results from the plugin, or maximize responsiveness during a performance
  • Processing up to 192kHz/24 bit
  • Solo scrubbing playback
  • Save and recall Presets

►System Requirements:

  • Windows 7 or above
  • Mac Intel computer with a minimum of 2.4 GHz Intel Dual Core Processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • OS X 10.8 or later
  • Formats (32-bit and 64-bit): AAX Native/AudioSuite, VST, AU
  • Minimum sample rate: 44.1 kHz
  • Maximum sample rate: 192 kHz
  • Dehumaniser Simple Monsters can only be activated on one computer at a time
  • TouchOSC License is not included

Note: A free iLok account is required in order to activate this product. An iLok USB dongle is NOT required.

Get Dehumaniser by Krotos

10.) Oxford SuprEsser by Sonnox

Oxford SuprEsser by Sonnox

The Oxford SuprEsser does what it says, it suppresses harsh sibilance in vocal recording.

It has the combination of an intuitive FFT display and three listen to modes that enable you to easily see and hear exactly where the disturbing frequencies are located in the frequency spectrum, which in turn allows rapid reduction or removal of the offending frequency.

Since the SuprEsser can operate at all frequencies, ‘plosives’ and other annoyances can also be removed effortlessly, making it more than a simple De-Esser.

An issue with doing a static de-essing is that you are applying it to the whole audio, although, this can be mitigated by automation, but again, it is time-consuming and since you would be working on lots of vocal mixed, you are better off with a plugin that does the heavy lifting for you.

For example, the Oxford SuprEsser includes Automatic Level Tracking, Linear Phase Filtering, and a Wet/Dry blend control for final balancing. Also, you can take out unwanted frequency peaks as and when they occur – unlike applying a fixed EQ to the whole channel.

►Key Features

  • 64-bit compliant (AAX / AU / VST)
  • Highly featured professional De-Esser
  • Linear Phase Dynamic EQ
  • Transparently controls aggressive frequencies
  • Automatic Level Tracking follows energy levels (no need to automate threshold)
  • Large intuitive graphic display makes finding frequencies very easy
  • Full Spectrum Operation (20Hz -20KHz)
  • Three different ‘Listen’ modes
  • Very easy to use
  • Advanced Mode for ultimate control of the Dynamic EQ
  • Many creative as well as corrective uses
  • Presets giving good starting points

Plug-in Formats

  • Native: AAX, RTAS, Audio Units, and VST

►System Requirements

Pro Tools

  • Pro Tools 7, 8, 9 & 10, 11
  • Approved Pro Tools CPU, OS, and hardware configuration
  • Mac OSX 10.4 or later 1
  • – Pro-Codec and Codec Toolbox compatible with Intel Mac only
  • Windows XP / Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 8
  • RAM 1GB minimum
  • iLok USB device with latest drivers OR active internet connection required
  • iLok2 / iLok3 OR active internet connection required for AAX plug-ins

Audio Units

  • Audio Units compatible application (Logic, Digital Performer, etc)
  • Mac OSX 10.4 or later 1
  • – Pro-Codec and Codec Toolbox compatible with Intel Mac only
  • RAM 1GB minimum
  • iLok USB device with latest drivers OR active internet connection required
  • iLok2 / iLok3 OR active internet connection required for 64-bit plug-ins

VST

  • VST compatible application (Cubase, Nuendo, Wavelab, Sequoia, etc)
  • Mac OSX 10.4 or later 1
  • Pro-Codec and Codec Toolbox compatible with Intel Mac only
  • Windows XP / Vista / Windows 7 / Windows 8
  • RAM 1GB minimum
  • iLok USB device with latest drivers OR active internet connection required
  • iLok2 / iLok3 OR active internet connection required for 64-bit plug-ins

Please Note: This product now supports iLok Cloud Authorisation. Either an iLok USB Dongle OR an active internet connection is required in order to activate and use this product.

Get Oxford SuprEsser

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