Vocal Processing Combinators

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MusicBocs
Posts: 37
Joined: 20 Jan 2015
Location: uk

Post 04 Jun 2021

Hi,
I'm looking to improve my vocal chain.
At the moment I just use a Neptune, A Softube Saturation knob, an Mclass compressor and a rv7000 reverb.
I have Reason 11 so I'm thinking there's probably better (free) options for building a vocal rack that can I can use as a default starting point for my template.

If anyone would like to share their ideas I'd appreciate it.
Thanks

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MrFigg
Posts: 6993
Joined: 20 Apr 2018

Post 04 Jun 2021

MusicBocs wrote:
04 Jun 2021
Hi,
I'm looking to improve my vocal chain.
At the moment I just use a Neptune, A Softube Saturation knob, an Mclass compressor and a rv7000 reverb.
I have Reason 11 so I'm thinking there's probably better (free) options for building a vocal rack that can I can use as a default starting point for my template.

If anyone would like to share their ideas I'd appreciate it.
Thanks
There’s a whole load of vocal fx and processors in the FSB. Not at pc just now.
Oh yeah...check out Selig’s REs.
丰2ॐ

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Djstarski
Posts: 346
Joined: 20 Jan 2015

Post 04 Jun 2021

MusicBocs wrote:
04 Jun 2021
Hi,
I'm looking to improve my vocal chain.
At the moment I just use a Neptune, A Softube Saturation knob, an Mclass compressor and a rv7000 reverb.
I have Reason 11 so I'm thinking there's probably better (free) options for building a vocal rack that can I can use as a default starting point for my template.

If anyone would like to share their ideas I'd appreciate it.
Thanks
Adding an EQ or two maybe helpful . One clean EQ for removing unwanted frequencies and another for enhancing . It would be better to find one that can do both really well .

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challism
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Posts: 2909
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 04 Jun 2021

MusicBocs wrote:
04 Jun 2021
Hi,
I'm looking to improve my vocal chain.
At the moment I just use a Neptune, A Softube Saturation knob, an Mclass compressor and a rv7000 reverb.
I have Reason 11 so I'm thinking there's probably better (free) options for building a vocal rack that can I can use as a default starting point for my template.

If anyone would like to share their ideas I'd appreciate it.
Thanks
As MrFigg mentioned, the FSB has a bunch of Combi patches for vocals. Check there first.

I use Selig De-Esser, Leveler and Gain whenever I am doing vocals; this is a great trio for vocals. These three are essential for vocals, IMO.
https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... g-deesser/
https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... g-leveler/
https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... elig-gain/

I never use Neptune, it's terrible. I don't like the Autotune effect. I get that it's popular and "everyone" uses it, but it's helped to suck the humanity out of music. Vocals are much better, in my opinion, when imperfections are left in. If the singing is so terrible, maybe record some more takes, then pick and chose the best parts to merge together. Since you have R11, why don't use the manual pitch correction tool in the sequencer, instead of Neptune? The included tool in the sequencer is quite good, in fact, I would say it's great.

Isotope has a couple of great free VSTs that are good for vocals: Vocal Doubler and Ozone Imager (used to be called Widener).
https://www.izotope.com/en/products/vocal-doubler.html
https://www.izotope.com/en/products/ozone-imager.html
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MusicBocs
Posts: 37
Joined: 20 Jan 2015
Location: uk

Post 04 Jun 2021

challism wrote:
04 Jun 2021

...

I never use Neptune, it's terrible. I don't like the Autotune effect. I get that it's popular and "everyone" uses it, but it's helped to suck the humanity out of music. Vocals are much better, in my opinion, when imperfections are left in. If the singing is so terrible, maybe record some more takes, then pick and chose the best parts to merge together. Since you have R11, why don't use the manual pitch correction tool in the sequencer, instead of Neptune? The included tool in the sequencer is quite good, in fact, I would say it's great.
....
I work with people who have learning disabilities and churn out about one song per person per week. That's why I use neptune. If the pitch editor made it possible to drag a midi into it and brute force the tuning with a couple of clicks I'd be on it. I don't have time to be an artist.

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challism
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Posts: 2909
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 04 Jun 2021

MusicBocs wrote:
04 Jun 2021
challism wrote:
04 Jun 2021

...

I never use Neptune, it's terrible. I don't like the Autotune effect. I get that it's popular and "everyone" uses it, but it's helped to suck the humanity out of music. Vocals are much better, in my opinion, when imperfections are left in. If the singing is so terrible, maybe record some more takes, then pick and chose the best parts to merge together. Since you have R11, why don't use the manual pitch correction tool in the sequencer, instead of Neptune? The included tool in the sequencer is quite good, in fact, I would say it's great.
....
I work with people who have learning disabilities and churn out about one song per person per week. That's why I use neptune. If the pitch editor made it possible to drag a midi into it and brute force the tuning with a couple of clicks I'd be on it. I don't have time to be an artist.
ha ha, fair enough! I'm laughing at you, not the people with disabilities. And good for you for helping them. That's great!
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integerpoet
Posts: 266
Joined: 30 Dec 2020
Location: East Bay, California

Post 04 Jun 2021

MusicBocs wrote:
04 Jun 2021
…that's why I use neptune. If the pitch editor made it possible to drag a midi into it and brute force the tuning with a couple of clicks I'd be on it. I don't have time to be an artist.
The pitch editor does support Select All followed by easy moves both for correcting notes and minimizing drift within notes. You can then take a listen and manually nudge the (one might dare hope) few notes for which the software guessed wrong. I don't know how this workflow compares to Neptune, but it seems possible you might want to use the pitch editor and then also a different subset of Neptune's features like formant reinforcement without pitch correction. Worth an experiment in any case.

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integerpoet
Posts: 266
Joined: 30 Dec 2020
Location: East Bay, California

Post 04 Jun 2021

challism wrote:
04 Jun 2021
Isotope has a couple of great free VSTs that are good for vocals: Vocal Doubler and Ozone Imager (used to be called Widener).
https://www.izotope.com/en/products/vocal-doubler.html
https://www.izotope.com/en/products/ozone-imager.html
Imager is pretty much indispensable in some situations but I have had trouble getting results I like from Doubler. When it starts to sound good in some ways it also starts to sound bad in others. I feel like I'm missing something.

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challism
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Posts: 2909
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 04 Jun 2021

integerpoet wrote:
04 Jun 2021
challism wrote:
04 Jun 2021
Isotope has a couple of great free VSTs that are good for vocals: Vocal Doubler and Ozone Imager (used to be called Widener).
https://www.izotope.com/en/products/vocal-doubler.html
https://www.izotope.com/en/products/ozone-imager.html
Imager is pretty much indispensable in some situations but I have had trouble getting results I like from Doubler. When it starts to sound good in some ways it also starts to sound bad in others. I feel like I'm missing something.
I've got it installed, but I rarely use Vocal Doubler. I use Bcase Double Tracking Effect for all my doubling needs.
https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... ng-effect/

Since the OP was asking for some free options, I threw those two free Izotope VSTs at him.
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Players are to MIDI what synthesizers are to waveforms.

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MusicBocs
Posts: 37
Joined: 20 Jan 2015
Location: uk

Post 07 Jun 2021

integerpoet wrote:
04 Jun 2021
MusicBocs wrote:
04 Jun 2021
…that's why I use neptune. If the pitch editor made it possible to drag a midi into it and brute force the tuning with a couple of clicks I'd be on it. I don't have time to be an artist.
The pitch editor does support Select All followed by easy moves both for correcting notes and minimizing drift within notes. You can then take a listen and manually nudge the (one might dare hope) few notes for which the software guessed wrong. I don't know how this workflow compares to Neptune, but it seems possible you might want to use the pitch editor and then also a different subset of Neptune's features like formant reinforcement without pitch correction. Worth an experiment in any case.
Well thanks for your input I guess. Consider this though, I generally work with people who are wearing hearing aids, their perception of music isn't quite the same as yours. I tend to focus on clear pronunciation of the words and expressive performance is a secondary target. Way down the line in a few fringe cases I might ask them to consider trying to hit the right note. The chance that the pitch editor would improve things before Neptune is slim to none and the work involved in manually tuning every note after editing together the phrases and matching the timing would mean I could probably spend a week on one song and still not have it finished. I have maybe an hour in a day to do all the editing and get it shipped out.
Anyhow, now that I'm absolutely insisting that Neptune is the first device in the chain, how do I make the best of a weak vocal?

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teddymcw
Posts: 412
Joined: 13 May 2016

Post 07 Jun 2021

Wow, this sounds like very interesting and amazing work you are putting your mind to. I work with special needs in some capacity as well.

I am not the best to consult on the vocal stack but can say that in terms of pure plug-ins to help clarify in a song EQ and compression are going to be the most helpful, I think so many of us on here use Selig's devices for all that. Another simple suggestion for Neptune you've probably already played with is using it as a parallel track then adjusting the dry/wet settings to help tune but not lose pronunciation or other qualities from original vocal track. Another plug-on to take a whack at is Soundtoy's Alter Boy which can adjust formants and can add some nice effects akin to or better than Neptune. I believe their sale on it is ending quite soon though, so if you like in the demo I'd really look into getting it nearly immediately.

Hope that helps in a general sense. Cheers.

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integerpoet
Posts: 266
Joined: 30 Dec 2020
Location: East Bay, California

Post 07 Jun 2021

MusicBocs wrote:
07 Jun 2021
I generally work with people who are wearing hearing aids, their perception of music isn't quite the same as yours. I tend to focus on clear pronunciation of the words and expressive performance is a secondary target. Way down the line in a few fringe cases I might ask them to consider trying to hit the right note. The chance that the pitch editor would improve things before Neptune is slim to none and the work involved in manually tuning every note after editing together the phrases and matching the timing would mean I could probably spend a week on one song and still not have it finished.
Ah! That was the puzzle piece I lacked. On one end of the axis, Neptune does small corrective nudges, and at the other end of the axis it's a creative tool. It sounds as if you're at the latter end of the axis. I don't think I've ever pushed it that hard, so no ideas are occurring to me, but I bet someone here has.

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