Reviewed: iZotope VocalSynth 2 VST Plugin

Electric Factory | elfa.com.au | Expect To Pay: $249

For those of you who have used iZotope plugins before, you will no doubt be aware of the wide range of effects they offer to cater for all range of needs in audio production and repair work. There is essentially a tool for just about every audio task in the iZotope range, and those of you looking for vocal effects are certainly not left wanting. With VocalSynth, many loyal users were converted to iZotope’s products and now that the latest update has been officially released, I am sure there is about to be a much wider user group for VocalSynth 2 with the range of effects it has on offer.

Let’s get this clear to start with: VocalSynth is a vocal effects unit. Yes, it is a vocoder, but it is so much more than that. It’s a noise gate, an auto-tune, a distortion unit, a chorus and a whole host of bizarre synth-styled effects for your voice. What it isn’t though, is an EQ, compressor and preamp as many people may be looking for in vocal processing. These are obvious choices for the start of your vocal signal chain and iZotope has other tools to take care of these processes, but VocalSynth 2 pretty much does the rest for you. However, if you want to adjust, or totally obliterate, your voice, you can do it with VocalSynth 2.

 

It’s not dissimilar to the original with a few added features, so previous users will get around it pretty quickly and make the most of the new stuff. In fact, new users will also get around this plugin pretty quickly too, as it is well laid out and very easy to operate. It even walks you through setup options for integrating with your DAW and with other compatible iZotope plugins to run as a sidechain effect. It’s all pretty neat and easy to abuse, which tends to happen with synth-style effects.

 

 

You’ll find the five main effects sections across the top of the window – yes, there’s one more than in the last version, and each of these has basic setup controls on the main panel. You can expand these panels to get access to all the functions and controls within the effects. When they are reduced, you get to see the trendy new mixing section that uses a visual representation of the sound for you to work with. The added array of effects on the lower panel work just like effects pedals and can be easily dragged and dropped to change the order to suit your needs. There’s a ring modulator, chorus, distortion and even a new effect called Shred that chops up the sound and throws it all over the place. It’s like tremolo-meets-noise-gate-meets-random-number-generator, if that makes any sense at all. If not, you’ll just have to get this plugin for yourself and try it – it is really cool.

 

The chorus is nice and the delay is very usable too, but the real fun happens when you get into the five synth-derived effects in the top section. The range of presets in the vocoder will keep you entertained for hours before fully getting into the other effects. The talkbox is great for Bon Jovi fans that don’t want a tube in their mouth and a speaker rattling the fillings out of their teeth, providing a huge range of effects from chipmunks to robots to car engines all through your voice. This is a whole lot of fun. 

Hits and Misses

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Very well priced for the range of effects

Excellent audio quality

Huge range of effects

It has auto-tune, and that’s got to be a hit in some people’s books

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