Software supremos Antares, of Auto-Tune fame, have announced an update to their vocal toolkit, Avox (which was reviewed in SOS
January 2006, and on-line here
Included in the Avox 2 bundle are the same five plug-ins found in the original toolkit: Throat, Sybil, Punch, Duo and Choir, which together can change the character of the voice, remove sibilance, and layer multiple voices on top of the source vocal. But the five new additions will give users even more flexibility in the studio.
Harmony Engine (right) is a four-part vocal-modelling harmony generator capable of generating a virtual ensemble of backing vocalists or simply thickening a vocal line. Each harmony line can have a different tonal character (thus avoiding the ‘robot’ effect), and can have different amounts of vibrato.
Presets enable the user to easily create harmonies according to the root key of the incoming vocal line (and any chord they wish to ‘play’), and Humanise controls allow for variations in pitch and timing — again, helping to make the output sound as realistic as possible.
Aspire is a noise processor, which can add qualities such as ‘air’, ‘rasp’ and ‘smokiness’ to a vocal, while the Warm plug-in adds tube tones to a vocal, creating that pleasing-to-the-ear ‘warmth’. Used in partnership with Articulator, which is, according to Antares, “a modern-day version of the venerable talk box”, these can all help to add sparkle to your vocals.
But if sweet-sounding vocals are what you’re trying to avoid, the final new addition to the Avox 2 bundle will prove useful. It’s Mutator, Antares’ Extreme Voice Designer (left), which is capable of creating weird and wonderful alien-like voices from source vocals. Just select the vocal range of the incoming audio, choose how much mutation and alienisation you wish to add, and stick it in your signal path.
Antares’ Avox 2 is available now, costing £349 (which is £50 cheaper that the original bundle, despite the added content). The included plug-ins are compatible with Macs and PCs, and work inside RTAS, VST and Audio Units hosts. There’s also a version of the package that includes Auto-Tune, called Avox 2 AT. This is available in two versions, Native and TDM which cost £479 and £599 respectively.
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