VoX FX

what are you picks?

The recent thread on favorite VSTis produced such a nice list I thought I would pose another question. What are your favorite effects for using on vocal tracks? Other than the standard compressors, EQs, choruses, and reverbs, my search for vox fx has turned up a big null :cool: at least in the free/low-cost arena.

What other suggestions for interesting, perhaps esoteric effects? Maybe a vocoder or something to add some grit to a clean vocal or a pitch shift without chipmunking ? Or, well, anything?

To get the ball rolling, I grabbed Ruby Tube and started messing with it a bit. The effect is slight, but seems pretty cool for vox from my 5 minutes of playing with it.

Well, I’m pretty lean on my vox effects. Compression and occasionally some chorus, slight reberb or delay. I’ve narrowed it down to the Classic plugs mostly. I also use doubling of vocals a lot.

I tried Ruby Tube some time ago, but was unable to notice much effect.

One common effect people use today I’d like to emulate, but I don’t know what is called. Neil Youg in Greendale used it in one of his songs, using a separate mic. It makes the vocal somewhat distorted, like it’s coming out of a megaphone. Any plug ins do that?

Well, apart from a decent mic, a de-esser won’t hurt your vocal takes… - I use Spitfish VST, but I recently ordered a HW compressor with a sidechain and de-esser capability. Looking forward to see what this will do to my vocals. Compression on vocals is also a good thing when used sensibly.

Good reverb is a must on vocals. SIR with a good, natural-sounding room can make a decent vocal track really shine. Use the predelay feature - about 25-40 ms works fine for me.

I have yet to discover an effective way of double-tracking vocals (apart from the obvious choice of recording another vocal track). I have tried pitch-shifting a copy of a vocal track, using chorus, delay, flanger, phaser on it, without getting the sound I want. I am experimenting with Melodyne at the moment, but still no cigar… :(

I tried making a doubling vocal track by making it go a bit faster, then a bit slower, then a bit faster again (The original Ken Townshend technique he used with The Beatles), but I couldn’t get the changes small and smooth enough to be satisfying. I have read rumours of TC Electronic having a plugin for their FX unit doing it the ‘right’ way, but haven’t heard anything of it yet.

Distortion has no place on vocals IMHO.

I have tried using vocoder, but I still have to come up with a well-sounding carrier signal. The ones I have tried leaves a lot to be desired.

regards, Nils

heres one vox effect to try -

open a vocal track in N -
clone that track and then clone the cloned track -

you now have three tracks all the same -

double click on the second track to open propertys panel -

with track speed arrow make this track slightly longer than the top track - (runs slower)
do same for third track only this time make that track a bit shorter than the top track - (runs faster) -

set fader for track one at near max - set faders for tracks two and three to 50% to start with - raising faders on track two and three will give you a pre or post delay/echo effect around the main track, track 1 - you may have heard this on commercial records -

by experimenting with different playback speeds and then using fader automation you can really generate some good effects - you could also drop an effects plugin to one or both of tracks 2 and 3, using fader automation again to bring the effect in and out of prominence -

Dr J

Quote (Nils K @ Feb. 06 2007,03:24)
I have yet to discover an effective way of double-tracking vocals (apart from the obvious choice of recording another vocal track). I have tried pitch-shifting a copy of a vocal track, using chorus, delay, flanger, phaser on it, without getting the sound I want. I am experimenting with Melodyne at the moment, but still no cigar… :(

I tried making a doubling vocal track by making it go a bit faster, then a bit slower, then a bit faster again (The original Ken Townshend technique he used with The Beatles), but I couldn’t get the changes small and smooth enough to be satisfying. I have read rumours of TC Electronic having a plugin for their FX unit doing it the ‘right’ way, but haven’t heard anything of it yet.


Absolutely agree. I have cloned tracks to beef up vocals, but rarely does it help. The best way to double vocals is to SING IT TWICE.

Some cool ideas going here. Another thing I’ve read about (but have yet to try) is to record a second “whisper track” - which is just what it sounds like, whispering along with the singing. Then mix this in at a lower level to get a bit grittier sounding vox.

I was always under the impression that whisper tracks are for screaming tracks (in hardcore/metal recordings and the like). Correct me if I’ve wrong.

-Fish

Quote (Nils K @ Feb. 06 2007,03:24)
Distortion has no place on vocals IMHO.

S'funny, if I don't get a fair amount of distortion (tube kind) on my vocals, they are pathetic and thin. With the distortion they are merely miserable and whiney.

Quote (Nils K @ Feb. 06 2007,03:24)
Distortion has no place on vocals IMHO.

I disagree with this. It depends on then genre of course, but a slight dist can work very well on rock material without going into special effects territory.
Listen to Soundgarden’s Superunknown as an example of vocal dist you don’t really notice until you really listen for it.
I never noticed until I slapped on my cans :)

Having a voice & technique in Cornell’s league doesn’t hurt either.

And valrecorder - if you can’t hear any effect from RubyTube something is wrong with your setup, be it the plugin itself or your monitoring system.

Quote (teryeah @ Feb. 06 2007,16:58)
[quote=Nils K,Feb. 06 2007,03:24]

And valrecorder - if you can’t hear any effect from RubyTube something is wrong with your setup, be it the plugin itself or your monitoring system.


Hmm, I’ll have to give it another try then, maybe I was expecting too much.

I’ll ask my question again, is there a plugin for that megaphone effect?

I haven’t found one specifically for that, but I got something megaphone-like messing around with the multiband compressor built into N. Started with one of the small radio presets (can’t remember which) and tweaked from there.

Heck - buy a cheap megaphone! It’s A LOT more fun :D

There is an impulse somewhere on the soundvault webpage (if that thing is still there?) for use in SIR - the imuplse is called “radio blag” and it does a great megaphone sort of thing.

Nothing beats the real thing, however. EQ will get you close.

edit - sorry, noisevault.com.

To get somewhat of a doubled-vocals sound, I clone the original vocal track, apply the n-Track Pitch Shift plugin at 105% pitch to the clone, tweaking the accuracy to taste. Considering it takes me 100+ takes to get a decent lead vocal track, it’s a quick fix for me!

Quote (teryeah @ Feb. 06 2007,17:47)
Heck - buy a cheap megaphone! It’s A LOT more fun :D

####, what a great idea, I’m sure my wife will appreciate your suggestion. :D

Of course, I’m always looking for the “high tech” way to do it :p

Hahaha - don’t tell me she’s always home?

Give the (free) Voxengo Stero Touch plugin a try. It is not designed specifically for vocals, but it does some stereo delay effects that can sound pretty cool when applied to a vocal track. You wouldn’t want to use it all of the time, but for the right situation it can give some unique effects.

Nobody has mentioned the (free) Gsnap automatic pitch corrector. You will need to tweak settings a bit to get it correct pitch without introducing too many artifacts. Chances are though, when you need it you will really need it. By the way, a few days ago I used it rescue a bass track that was pretty well done except one string was out of tune. Fixed it right up.

T