In this video, producer Tim Cant runs through 5 of the most popular Vocal processing Plugins money can buy.

Top Five Vocal Processing Plugins are….

5. SpeakUp by Audified
4. Auto-Tune Pro by Antares
3. XILS Vocoder 5000 by XILS Lab
2. Little AlterBoy by Soundtoys
1. Nectar 3 by iZotope

Vocals are the bedrock of many, many tunes! Getting perfect vocals can set your track apart from the rest. But, a catchy hook isn’t enough. You need that hook to sound larger than life and sit perfectly in the mix with all the other instruments adding support and while not taking over. There are more than a few vocal processing options out there in the market and that’s why we had Time Cant, or favorite Top 5 list guy, run-down his favorite processing units of 2018!

5. SpeakUp by Audified

This one might be a bit left-field, being created as a plugin for film and video post-production, but the musical applications available with a copy of SpeakUp are pretty interesting.

SpeakUp is actually two plugins – SpeakUp Sensor and SpeakUp Performer. With one sitting on a Vocal track and another placed on the rest of your music, you can use the vocal signal to duck or dip the rest of your material. Naturally, this makes it great for film voiceovers, but with creative routing, and some tweaking of the Fade-In and Fade-Out controls, you can use SpeakUp as a sidechain demon plugin.

Of course, you can do the same things using standard compression or automation, but SpeakUp makes it just that bit easier.

Check out SpeakUp by Audified on Plugin Boutique.

4. Auto-Tune Pro by Antares

The classic vocal tuning plugin, Auto-Tune might just be the most famous plugin in the world full stop, and with the recent release of Auto-Tune Pro, you get the full range of bombastic – some would say annoying – vocal tuning effects.

For the Pro version, Antares’ pitch-shifting talents have led to better pitch manipulation, but that doesn’t mean they’re ignoring the classics, with pitchshifting tech behind Auto-Tune 5 also onboard. You also get the Auto-Key plugin, which help to identify the scale your music’s currently in, and simplifies the process of then using Auto-Tune.

Elsewhere, other recent additions to Auto-Tune include flexible time, formant control, and tweaking of vibrato. Thanks to Antares’ “unique throat modelling technology”, you can get your musical world blown time and time again in the style of both Cher and T-Pain. Who could possibly say no?

Check out Auto-Tune Pro by Antares on Plugin Boutique.

3. XILS Vocoder 5000 by XILS Lab

With a vocoder awesomeness level of over 9000, XILS Vocoder 5000 is arguably the most luxurious vocoder on the market in terms of both sound and functionality. Based on the classic hardware vocoder the EMS 5000, this is a sound designer’s dream, with features including a powerful built-in carrier synth based on XILS lab’s EMS VCS3 emulation, a filter matrix, built-in polyphonics sequencer, a host of effects and anything else you could possibly need to make the raunchiest robotic vocals around.

Check out XILS Vocoder 500 by XILS Lab on Plugin Boutique.

2. Little AlterBoy by Soundtoys

Little AlterBoy might be small, but behind the surface, it gives you all you need to totally transform any track. The Pitch and Formant knobs make up the main part of the experience, providing excellent-sounding pitch or vocal-style shifting in three modes: Transpose, Quantize and Robot. Next, there’s a Drive control, pushing that lovely Soundtoys overdrive onto your signal.

And naturally, you can violate Little AlterBoy to your heart’s content, squeezing vocals, synths, melodics and even drums up its pipes. Trust us, this one’s been on more recent classics than Pharrel Williams.

Check out Little AlterBoy by Soundtoys on Plugin Boutique.

1. Nectar 3 by iZotope

Probably immediately familiar to anyone who’s used iZotope’s latest software, Nectar 3 takes on a similar concept: a comprehensive channel strip plugin, but this time with vocals firmly in mind. You get EQ, gating and compression, as you’d expect, and there’s also delay and reverb, but Nectar 3 leans more towards vocal tricks with harmonisation, pitchshifting, auto-leveling and Dimension processors on-board. You also get the Breath Control from iZotope’s RX package included here.

Nectar 3 gives you more than just a channel strip, with a Vocal Assistant tool to recommend how to handle your voice track, and an Unmasking processor that can help expose the most crucial parts of the vocal’s spectrum in response to the other elements of your mix.

Nectar 3 also ships with a copy of Melodyne Essential, and if the whole thing’s too dear for you, you could try out Nectar Elements, a chopped-down version of Nectar at a lower price point.

Check out Nectar 3 by iZotope on Plugin Boutique.