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Sonnox VoxDoubler Toolbox Plug-ins

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Sonnox VoxDoubler Widen
  Sonnox VoxDoubler Widen 
Sonnox just released a pair of new plug-ins called VoxDoubler. They are the first processors in their Toolbox Series and designed specifically for vocals. Both the VoxD Thicken and VoxD Widen plug-ins offer realistic and humanlike vocal double tracking in two distinctly different ways.

VoxD Thicken will create one new stereo voice over the top of the original vocal track. VoxD Widen will create two new mono voices panned left and right.

Both these plug-ins work as an insert using the Wet/Dry control or as a send/return processor like a reverb plug-in by using the Aux mode. Both plug-ins have similar controls that includes a "Too Loud" alert if the original recording is to hot in level and may distort.

Compared to EQ or compressor plug-ins, both Thicken and Widen use quite a bit of CPU and time processing (latency) due to analyzing and creating real-time and realistic pitch and timing changes; it is just like a real double tracked performance. To avoid weird and phasey artifacts more resources are required to simulate the natural variance people have when singing and doubling themselves. In my testing in Pro Tools 2018.1 HDX, I had to increase my buffer size when I added two instances to an already running session. The plug-in was 1061 samples late at 44.1kHz and well within Pro Tools' delay compensation range.

VoxD Widen

VoxD Widen is only available as a stereo plug-in--it can't widen instantiated on a mono track so in Pro Tools, a mono track will change to a stereo output. I used Widen on a lead vocal as an insert mono-to-stereo. However there is nothing preventing you from decreasing the stereo width by cranking inward the mixer's L/R pan-pots. It still sounds good!

Natural sounding vocal doubling depends entirely on how you set the intuitively named controls. When you mouse over their names, they change to show their parameter values in percentages--this keeps the clutter down and the resizable GUI cleaner looking.

I was mixing a country song and was looking for minimal, natural processing for the singer. I ended up with about a 10% Timing setting--it determines how "locked" to the original vocal the double will be--10% is close to the sound of a perfect double.

Just like Timing, the Pitch control determines how close in pitch the double is to the original. I went with 14% as this vocal was already Auto-tuned and the producer wanted to keep the true pitch center intact and clean. The Width control sets how far apart (left and right) the two new voices are from the original but does not introduce any pitch change as you might get with other pitch/time effects.

For this singer, the Depth control was very friendly! Depth uses a filter and a static delay time that simulates a physical distance from the original vocal. This increases size as if the new voices were a little off-mic--awesome and I had it at about 70%.

The Tone control works along with Depth--it works something like a tilt equalizer with a center position at 0%. By rotating this control, you'll darken (-) or brighten (+) the double-track signal. Within the track, this helps to "submerge" or blend the double into the mix in a good way.

Sonnox VoxDoubler Thicken
  Sonnox VoxDoubler Thicken 
VoxD Thicken

I found VoxD Thicken great to "beef up" vocals and other mono sources. In mono instances of Thicken come up with the Stereo Spread greyed out. Stereo Spread takes on the same job as the Width control knob in VoxD Widen. I tried sending to Thicken as well as using it as an insert and liked that, assuming a 50/50 Wet/Dry value, all the parameters hold up if you decide to do this mid-way during a mix. I found VoxD Thicken to work better as an insert while I like using VoxD Widen as a send/return effect.

I liked using Thicken for changing the nature of each of a pair of double-track acoustic guitars so they were still tight sounding but didn't sound like the same guitar and player. The guitar part was doubled in the verses and I put a mono instance of Thicken on both tracks but set them a little differently. The Depth and Tone controls do the all work here with very little Pitch and Timing controls in the picture. This made them fatter and more distinctive even within a full track mix.

Definitely A Winner!

I'm glad to have VoxDoubler Thicken and Widen at the ready! A little of this effect goes a long way and they sound smooth and not boxy when set up correctly. The stereo effect collapses well down in mono and there is a wide range of colors possible using them in a chain with an EQ and/or compressor plugs.

The VoxDoubler plug-in suite is available Native in AAX, AU, VST formats and sells for $ 99 MSRP.

toolbox.sonnox.com/.



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