The latest addition to Sonnox’s acclaimed Toolbox range, Voca, offers an all-in-one vocal processing solution that combines compression and saturation, and provides a simple set of controls intended to help users quickly achieve their desired sound.
The centre of the GUI features two main controls: Compression and Saturation, both of which combine a pair of parameters on an XY pad, with a dot determining their values. In the Compression section, dragging the dot up and down controls the amount of compression applied, whilst left and right movements vary the character of the compression, with movement to the right resulting in faster and more agressive settings.
Vertical movements in the Saturation section also control the overall level of processing applied, whilst moving to the left will add ‘warmth’ and reduce definition, and moving to the right introduces ‘air’, helping to bring sounds forward in the mix. A Soften control follows, which can be used to tackle any harshness or sibiliance that occurs as a result of the settings applied using the two main sections.
The left of the GUI is dedicated to controlling levels throughout the plug-in. An Input dial offers control over the level of the signal entering Voca, and can be switched into Auto mode, which will continually adjust the input gain to ensure that the compression character is not significantly altered by level changes in the source material. The amount of adjustment being applied is displayed by a purple ring surrounding the control, and the feature can be fine-tuned to the incoming signal level using an Optimise button.
An Output control provides a final gain adjustment after the processing, but as Voca’s processors are all designed to automatically maintain a consitent loudness, Sonnox say the control can largely be used in place of the DAW’s channel fader to control the overall vocal level. There is also a Recording Mode, which reduces the plug-in’s latency to avoid distracting delays when monitoring the plug-in during tracking. The mode is said to result in the processing sounding a little less smooth, but the difference is subtle enough to not intefere with recording.
Voca is supported on PCs running Windows 10 or 11, and Macs running macOS 10.12 and above. VST3, AU and AAX versions are available. The plug-in is authorised via PACE's iLok system, which can be either machine-, cloud- or dongle-based.
Pricing & Availability
Voca is available now, and is being offered for an introductory price of $102.53£71.20 until 11 October 2023, after which it will cost $128.16£89. Prices include VAT.