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."