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iZotope VocalSynth (Download)

iZotope VocalSynth (Download)

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iZotope VocalSynth (Download) - Press Reviews

Reviewed by: Music Teacher Magazine
iZotope Vocal Synth - Music Teacher magazine - October 2016
Whether it is in the music of Daft Punk, Cher, many hip-hop recordings, or just in radio jingles and film sound effects, we are frequently hearing the sound of robotic, heavily synthesised vocals. Achieving these effects can be a complex and time- consuming process, which is why the iZotope team has produced a convenient multi-effects plugin called VocalSynth.

VocalSynth has four main processing modules – Vocoder, Talkbox, Polyvox and Compuvox – and there is a mixer to adjust the relative levels of each module as well as the unaffected dry signal. You can run any or all processors at once and adjust the mixer faders to suit.

The signal is first sent through a pitch correction tool where the user can decide the degree of correction from subtle to extreme pitch-shifting. You can also set the key centre and whether the voice is using a major, minor, chromatic or a custom scale as well as a high, mid or low setting to suit the vocal range for male or female.

VocalSynth is designed to be inserted on a vocal track and may be used in automatic mode, MIDI mode or side-chain mode. When set to automatic, the audio is analysed and tells the internal synthesisers what notes to play, whereas in MIDI mode youcan control the output through a keyboard to play the internal synthesisers. In side-chain mode the internal synths are bypassed and an external audio signal may be routed into VocalSynth, enabling instruments like guitars or saxophones to be ‘vocalised’.

The Vocoder creates those familiar pop-music robotic vocal sounds and there are excellent presets to inspire your creativity. The Polyvox can create harmonies that may range from natural sounding chords to a highly computerised noise, depending on your needs. You can also use it to pitch-shift to completely change the character of the voice.

With Compuvox you can create an instant robotic speaking voice, or even digitised speech similar to Stephen Hawking’s vocal module or Apple’s Siri. Finally, the Talkbox can recreate the classic Peter Frampton, Stevie Wonder or Daft Punk vocalised instrument output effects.

Overall, VocalSynth is a wonderful tool for all kinds of projects whether dance music, electronica or rock and pop. It is extremely simple and great fun to use and you can produce anything from subtle, ethereal sounds to extreme distortions.
Reviewed by: Future Music
iZotope VocalSynth - Future Music - July 2016
VocalSynth is a four-part vocal synthesizer and multi-effect processor which combines a range of corrective and creative tools within a single package.

It is built around a quartet of modules each offering a different flavour of vocal synthesis effect: Vocoder, Talkbox, Polyvox – a vocal harmoniser and formant shifter – and Compuvox, which creates digitised speech synthesis sounds.

These modules have been built with simplicity in mind. Each offers just three parameter rotaries plus a mode switch and preset drop-down in the case of everything except Polyvox.

These four re-synthesis devices are fed by a global pitch/scale section controlled via the top part of the UI. VocalSynth has three operating modes – Auto, MIDI and SideChain – selected and controlled in this section. In the default Auto mode, the synthesis engines will select what notes to play based on an analysis of the main audio input.

A Key selector allows users to define a specific set of notes, which comes stocked with a range of preset scale types, a custom mode for selecting user defined scales, and chromatic mode if you want to make all notes available.

MIDI mode, meanwhile, takes its note information from a user-defined MIDI input, which can be switched between mono and poly modes. Finally, SideChain mode mutes the built-in synthesis engines in favour of an external carrier signal routed into a sidechain input, which is then modulated by the main modulator input.

This global section also features built-in pitch correction, with range and speed controls for tailoring the effect to suit the incoming audio, along with a strength dial to adjust pitch correction. Generally, these pitch analysis and correction tools did a solid job in our tests – it's not going to replace something like Melodyne in your plug-in arsenal, but within the context of these kind of vocal effects it's reliable and flexible.

[...]

We're impressed with VocalSynth; it is simple, making classic sounds very easy to achieve, but there's a lot of depth once you start combining its elements, automating parameters and getting creative.

We also tried the various modules on drums, synths and other instruments and ended up with plenty of unique, inspiring results. In short, there's a lot of sonic power here for a reasonable price, all in a well designed package.

(Read full review here: http://bit.ly/2eKPgTo)
Reviewed by: MusicTech
iZotope VocalSynth - MusicTech - September 2016
Vocal effects are huge and don’t look like going anywhere soon. Alex Holmes reviews the iZotope VocalSynth with four for the price of one…
Synthetic vocal effects have been around in popular music for quite some time now, and there have been multiple software solutions and hardware units that make these sounds possible. However the iZotope VocalSynth plug-in represents the first time several of the most popular techniques have been combined in a single, easy-to-use product.

iZotope VocalSynth Overview

At its heart are four engines; the Polyvox can change the formant of the voice or create organic, layered harmonies a la Imogen Heap; the Vocoder creates classic talking-synth sounds like Daft Punk; the Compuvox is a Speak & Spell-style computer voice, and Talkbox creates melodies in the style of Chromeo or Tupac.

These four units sit in the middle of a clear GUI (with a resemblance to NI’s recent Reaktor plug-ins) with volume controls for each. This is one of the big draws of the software, as you can blend all four engines to create rich new textures, although some panning controls would have been nice to help with separation.

The Vocoder, Compuvox and Talkbox each have 10 different wavetables for the carrier, which track the pitch of the incoming signal meaning there’s no complicated setup needed to get instant results.

The input can also pass through a Pitch Correction module to tidy tuning or create hard-tuning effects, with the ability to constrain to a key. On top of the waveform selection, each engine gives you fairly limited control over three main parameters for things such as formant, drive and bit reduction, plus a type-selector switch with three settings.

Special mention should go to the specially-crafted dial called Bats, which makes any signal sound like a gravelly Christian Bale! At the top of the GUI you also have volume and dry/wet controls, plus a flexible X/Y pad that allows you assign parameters from a long list to each axis.

Alternatives to the iZotope VocalSynth

There’s not really anything out there that has all of these FX in one plug-in. However, for high-quality vocoding, you could check out MeldaProduction’s MVocoder (€49), or for Compuvox effects there’s Sonic Charge’s Bitspeek ($33). Alternatively, Madrona Labs’ Virta ($89) is a more complex and flexible synth that can be controlled by your voice, but it lacks the retro vocal FX sounds found in VocalSynth.

Perfect Harmony

To round things off, there are five effects at the bottom that run in series called Distort, Filter, Transform (with eight convolution speaker models), Shred (a stutter effect), and Delay. They lack deep controls but have been fine-tuned to get quick, good-sounding results. The final section allows you to add up to three additional voices and tune each one up or down in semitones or octaves for rich-sounding chords.

By default, the plug-in runs in Auto mode and tracks the input’s pitch, but the real fun comes when you put it into MIDI mode and start playing the keyboard. This turns VocalSynth into a much more expressive instrument allowing you to play polyphonic chords, or monophonic melodies.

You can also send it a sidechain signal and use that as the carrier, which opens up endless creative sound-design possibilities. We tried out a bunch of different vocals and sidechain signals and came up with a few great riffs, but also struggled a little to get intelligible results.

Maybe if there was more control over the sidechain and the actual oscillators then you might be able to fine-tune things to improve this. Also, it would be nice to have portamento and the ability to change the pitch-bend amount for the MIDI tracking for better expressiveness.

If you could use retro vocoder and talkbox sounds, or overly pitched R’n’B-style harmonies, this is perfect to get you started. Or, if you’re willing to get experimental and creative but aren’t worried about intelligibility, then it’s a great sound-design tool.
Reviewed by: Future Music
iZotope VocalSynth - Future Music - July 2016
A wealth of instant vocal processing power in an easy- to-use package – and all for a very reasonable price. A big thumbs up.

VocalSynth is a four-part vocal synthesizer and multi-effect processor which combines a range of corrective and creative tools within a single package.

It is built around a quartet of modules each offering a different flavour of vocal synthesis effect: Vocoder, Talkbox, Polyvox – a vocal harmoniser and formant shifter – and Compuvox, which creates digitised speech synthesis sounds.

These modules have been built with simplicity in mind. Each offers just three parameter rotaries plus a mode switch and preset drop-down in the case of everything except Polyvox.

These four re-synthesis devices are fed by a global pitch/scale section controlled via the top part of the UI. VocalSynth has three operating modes – Auto, MIDI and SideChain – selected and controlled in this section. In the default Auto mode, the synthesis engines will select what notes to play based on an analysis of the main audio input.

A Key selector allows users to define a specific set of notes, which comes stocked with a range of preset scale types, a custom mode for selecting user defined scales, and chromatic mode if you want to make all notes available.

MIDI mode, meanwhile, takes its note information from a user-defined MIDI input, which can be switched between mono and poly modes. Finally, SideChain mode mutes the built-in synthesis engines in favour of an external carrier signal routed into a sidechain input, which is then modulated by the main modulator input.

This global section also features built-in pitch correction, with range and speed controls for tailoring the effect to suit the incoming audio, along with a strength dial to adjust pitch correction. Generally, these pitch analysis and correction tools did a solid job in our tests – it´s not going to replace something like Melodyne in your plug-in arsenal, but within the context of these kind of vocal effects it´s reliable and flexible.

Vox pop

Below the global controls sit the four main engines, laid out in that two-by-two grid around a central mixer. Positioned in the top left is Polyvox, the simplest of the four core modules with just three parameter controls – Formant, Character and Humanize.

Essentially, Polyvox takes the main incoming audio signal and duplicates it, creating harmonies based on the melodic information coming from the global pitch section. As such – for creating harmonies at least – it´s arguably best used in MIDI mode, allowing a simple monophonic vocal to be fleshed out into a full chord progression of voices.

The three controls then alter the quality of the created voices. Formant shifts the formant pitch, creating an effect ranging from chipmunk-like squeaks to the sort of pitched-down sounds that are currently ubiquitous in chart House tracks.

The Character control adjusts how much the new voices´ formants are altered by their new pitch, while Humanize adds subtle pitch and timing variations to give the effect a more natural quality.

Directly below Polyvox is the Vocoder. Here an Osc drop-down menu offers a choice of synth presets from the vocoder´s wavetable engine (assuming there´s no sidechain carrier signal overriding it).

There´s a nice range to the presets here, offering plenty of sounds well suited to classic vocoder effects, from the more subtle to the outright abrasive. The Vocoder also features a trio of parameter knobs: Shift, for altering the timbre of the resulting sound, Contour, which works like a simple EQ, and Scale, a control that alters how clearly vowel sounds are represented. There´s also a mode switch, offering Vintage, Hard and Smooth characteristics, which add a nice extra layer of sonic variation.

Compuvox is a vocal synthesis tool based around linear predictive coding. Again, an Osc menu offers a range of wavetable synthesis presets to act as the carrier signal. Here a trio of parameters labelled Bits, Bytes and Bats dial in digital aliasing artefacts, elongated vowels and a deep, gravelly quality respectively. Plus a mode selector offers Read, Spell and Math characteristics.

Finally, Talkbox offers a range of wavetable patches – here more geared towards ´classic´ instrument sounds. Of the three parameter rotaries, Drive and Speaker are fairly straightforward, offering classic overdrive and speaker emulation.

Formant, meanwhile, adds a formant shifter to the module, which takes VocalSynth beyond the realms of traditional Talkbox sounds. Finally, a three-way mode selector offers Dark, Classic and Bright tonal variations.

All four modules are impressive in isolation, but VocalSynth comes into its own with its ability to blend all the processors, along with the dry signal, via the central mixer. Fading modules in and out is a great tool for creating on-the-fly vocal interest. In this central section users can also control the polyphonic qualities of Auto mode.

We´re impressed with VocalSynth; it is simple, making classic sounds very easy to achieve, but there´s a lot of depth once you start combining its elements, automating parameters and getting creative.

We also tried the various modules on drums, synths and other instruments and ended up with plenty of unique, inspiring results. In short, there´s a lot of sonic power here for a reasonable price, all in a well designed package.
Reviewed by: Future Music Magazine
July 2016
VocalSynth is a four-part vocal synthesizer and multi-effect processor which combines a range of corrective and creative tools within a single package.


It is built around a quartet of modules each offering a different flavour of vocal synthesis effect: Vocoder, Talkbox, Polyvox - a vocal harmoniser and formant shifter - and Compuvox, which creates digitised speech synthesis sounds.


These modules have been built with simplicity in mind. Each offers just three parameter rotaries plus a mode switch and preset drop-down in the case of everything except Polyvox.


These four re-synthesis devices are fed by a global pitch/scale section controlled via the top part of the UI. VocalSynth has three operating modes - Auto, MIDI and SideChain - selected and controlled in this section. In the default Auto mode, the synthesis engines will select what notes to play based on an analysis of the main audio input.


A Key selector allows users to define a specific set of notes, which comes stocked with a range of preset scale types, a custom mode for selecting user defined scales, and chromatic mode if you want to make all notes available.


MIDI mode, meanwhile, takes its note information from a user-defined MIDI input, which can be switched between mono and poly modes. Finally, SideChain mode mutes the built-in synthesis engines in favour of an external carrier signal routed into a sidechain input, which is then modulated by the main modulator input.


This global section also features built-in pitch correction, with range and speed controls for tailoring the effect to suit the incoming audio, along with a strength dial to adjust pitch correction. Generally, these pitch analysis and correction tools did a solid job in our tests - it's not going to replace something like Melodyne in your plug-in arsenal, but within the context of these kind of vocal effects it's reliable and flexible.


Vox pop


Below the global controls sit the four main engines, laid out in that two-by-two grid around a central mixer. Positioned in the top left is Polyvox, the simplest of the four core modules with just three parameter controls - Formant, Character and Humanize.


Essentially, Polyvox takes the main incoming audio signal and duplicates it, creating harmonies based on the melodic information coming from the global pitch section. As such - for creating harmonies at least - it's arguably best used in MIDI mode, allowing a simple monophonic vocal to be fleshed out into a full chord progression of voices.


The three controls then alter the quality of the created voices. Formant shifts the formant pitch, creating an effect ranging from chipmunk-like squeaks to the sort of pitched-down sounds that are currently ubiquitous in chart House tracks.


The Character control adjusts how much the new voices' formants are altered by their new pitch, while Humanize adds subtle pitch and timing variations to give the effect a more natural quality.


Directly below Polyvox is the Vocoder. Here an Osc drop-down menu offers a choice of synth presets from the vocoder's wavetable engine (assuming there's no sidechain carrier signal overriding it).


There's a nice range to the presets here, offering plenty of sounds well suited to classic vocoder effects, from the more subtle to the outright abrasive. The Vocoder also features a trio of parameter knobs: Shift, for altering the timbre of the resulting sound, Contour, which works like a simple EQ, and Scale, a control that alters how clearly vowel sounds are represented. There's also a mode switch, offering Vintage, Hard and Smooth characteristics, which add a nice extra layer of sonic variation.


Compuvox is a vocal synthesis tool based around linear predictive coding. Again, an Osc menu offers a range of wavetable synthesis presets to act as the carrier signal. Here a trio of parameters labelled Bits, Bytes and Bats dial in digital aliasing artefacts, elongated vowels and a deep, gravelly quality respectively. Plus a mode selector offers Read, Spell and Math characteristics.


Finally, Talkbox offers a range of wavetable patches - here more geared towards 'classic' instrument sounds. Of the three parameter rotaries, Drive and Speaker are fairly straightforward, offering classic overdrive and speaker emulation.


Formant, meanwhile, adds a formant shifter to the module, which takes VocalSynth beyond the realms of traditional Talkbox sounds. Finally, a three-way mode selector offers Dark, Classic and Bright tonal variations.


All four modules are impressive in isolation, but VocalSynth comes into its own with its ability to blend all the processors, along with the dry signal, via the central mixer. Fading modules in and out is a great tool for creating on-the-fly vocal interest. In this central section users can also control the polyphonic qualities of Auto mode.


We're impressed with VocalSynth; it is simple, making classic sounds very easy to achieve, but there's a lot of depth once you start combining its elements, automating parameters and getting creative.


We also tried the various modules on drums, synths and other instruments and ended up with plenty of unique, inspiring results. In short, there's a lot of sonic power here for a reasonable price, all in a well designed package.
Reviewed by: Sound On Sound Magazine
October 2016
REVIEW EXTRACTS...


The Vocoder engine does what it says on the tin and a little more besides, offering a variety of vocoder types and synth patches with control of additional variables, and is the place to start for those seeking to emulate the robotic vocal sound heard on Daft Punk’s ‘Around The World’. Those seeking the kind of retro-futuristic vocal sound typified by Kavinsky’s ‘Nightcall’ should head to the Compuvox engine, which synthesizes digital speech via a choice of more synth patches, with intelligibility-enabling control over variables including vowel length. The Talkbox engine offers a choice of talkbox emulators and control of harmonic distortion, compression and vocal formant.


Beyond its four engines, VocalSynth offers a variety of options to filter, distort and delay the vocal signal, and — again, characteristic of the comprehensiveness of iZotope’s plug-ins — further extras such as pitch correction. I found the Transform processor’s variety of impulse-response options especially useful in finessing a given vocal engine effect, while engaging the plug-in’s pitch-correction option and playing with a subtle degree of distortion and filtering tended to be rewarded with an attractive result.


Of course, VocalSynth needn’t only be used to transform your lead vocalist into a French-House-chart-bothering robot. Applied more subtly, some of the array of effects within the vocal engines can add an interesting sonic shade to an otherwise ‘natural’ vocal. As a starting point for this subtler use, I particularly liked the ‘Silky Smooth’ preset, which, when backed off a little, can add a glossy quality to a backing vocal or lead-vocal double.


If all this weren’t enough, some praise is also due for the unfussy simplicity of VocalSynth’s interface, which could hardly be any more intuitive and straightforward, inviting a ‘dive straight in’ approach abetted by some great presets."


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