Best Software Tools For Correcting Vocal Tracks


A quality vocal recording is one of the most important elements of almost any studio production. Without a great-sounding vocal, no one is going to give your song, podcast, or video the time of day. That’s why it’s so important to make sure there are no problems in your vocal tracks.

No matter how great a singer or speaker is, problematic sounds occur in the recording studio. Things like pops, clicks, buzzing, humming, and unwanted noise of any kind can ruin an otherwise perfect vocal performance. If this has happened to you, don’t panic! In this blog, we’re going to break down all of the tools you need to get your vocals in tip-top shape.

FabFilter Pro-DS

DE-ESSERS

De-essers are one of the most common tools for correcting problems in vocal recordings. De-essers are basically band-pass compressors used to reduce sibilance caused by cheap microphones or poor placement. Simply select the offending frequency, typically between 2 - 10 kHz, and increase the threshold to attenuate harsh S, F, X, SH, and C sounds.

FabFilter, Metric Halo, Waves Audio, and many more make popular de-esser plug-ins with versatile features like side-chain inputs, high-pass filtering and more. Some suggested de-esser software would be Fab Filter Pro-DS, Metric Halo Precision DeEsser, Sonnox Oxford SuprEsser, Waves Renaissance DeEsser, and Waves DeEsser.

Antares Auto Tune Pro

PITCH CORRECTION

Pitch correction software like Antares Auto-Tune, Celemony Melodyne 4, and Waves Tune are used to polish vocal performances to perfection. These plug-ins can be used to correct flat or sharp notes, adjust the timing of a performance, and produce futuristic effects.

Simply select a key, analyze the performance, and select “correct all notes” to automatically tighten up a performance. Just make sure to listen to the new melody and make sure the software didn’t guess the wrong note.

iZotope RX Bundles

NOISE REDUCTION

De-essers and pitch correction software are great for basic editing, but for surgical precision, you need specialized tools. Thankfully, iZotope offers a full arsenal of audio processors designed to correct common problems in vocal recordings. Here are a few of their most popular noise reduction plug-ins:

  • Voice De-Noise removes unwanted background noise
  • The Breath Control intelligently suppresses breaths
  • De-plosive removes plosive pops and mic bumps
  • Mouth De-click reduces mouth noises such as clicks and lip smacks
  • The De-rustle removes the noise or rustle generated by a lavalier microphone rubbing or brushing against something
  • Dialogue Contour features pitch correction processing designed to match the inflection of words within a phrase
  • Dialogue De-reverb reduces and removes unwanted reverb
  • Dialogue Isolate separates spoken dialogue from background noise such as crowds, traffic, weather and more
  • Leveler automatically levels the volume of dialogue tracks, while lowering breaths and sibilance

Each of these processors is available as part of iZotope's RX Bundles.

Waves Vocal Correction Bundle

VOCAL CORRECTION BUNDLES

With so many options, it can be tough to tell which vocal correction plug-ins you really need. Thankfully, many plug-in manufacturers have created bundles featuring their most popular vocal processors. Here are a few of the best selling bundles.

iZotope Vocal Chain Bundle
The iZotope Vocal Chain Bundle features six powerful plug-ins designed to address vocal production from tracking through the final mix. The Vocal Chain Bundle includes Nectar 3; a mixing suite that includes EQ, basic pitch correction, a dimension module with Chorus, Flanger, and Phaser effects, a harmonizer, two compressors, reverb, a de-esser and more.

For advanced editing, the Vocal Chain Bundle also includes RX 7 Breath Control for removing unwanted breath sounds, as well as Melodyne 4 Essential for surgical pitch correction.

Also included in the Vocal Chain Bundle is VocalSynth 2; a vocal synthesizer that features a Vocoder, Compuvox, Polyvox, Talkbox, and Biovox: a brand new effect based on the dynamic sonic qualities of the human vocal tract.

Last but not least, the Vocal Chain Bundle includes the RX Elements suite, which features iZotopes’ De-click, De-clip, De-hum, Voice De-noise and more.

Waves Vocal Bundle
The Waves Vocal Bundle includes six powerful vocal plugins for pitch correction, breath reduction, dynamics, de-essing, doubling and more.

DeBreath uses a unique algorithm that automatically detects and separates a vocal take into two distinct tracks: only voice and only breath. This allows you to dial in the perfect amount of breath for any vocal recording.

Waves Tune offers an extensive palette of pitch shaping and transformation tools. Surgically edit performances with precision right from within your DAW. Or use the included Waves Tune LT to quickly touch up out of tune performances using simplified controls.

Antares AVOX 4
Antares, creators of the legendary Auto-Tune plug-in, offer a vocal bundle with 11 state-of-the-art vocal processing plug-ins. The Antares AVOX 4 Bundle includes:

  • Harmony Engine EVO - Vocal Modeling Harmony Generator for creating harmonies
  • Mic Mod EFX - Classic Microphone Modeler
  • MUTATOR EVO - Extreme Voice Designer for unique vocal special effects
  • ARTICULATOR EVO - Digital Talk Box for a wide range of special effects
  • WARM EVO - Tube Saturation Generator
  • ASPIRE EVO - Aspiration Noise Processor is the world's first tool for modifying a voice's breathiness independently of its harmonic content
  • THROAT EVO - Physical Modeling Vocal Designer for re-sculpting vocal characteristics
  • DUO EVO - Vocal Modeling Auto-Doubler
  • CHOIR EVO - Vocal Multiplier
  • PUNCH EVO - Vocal Impact Enhancer for processing vocal dynamics
  • SYBIL EVO - Variable Frequency De-Esser
     
    With all of these vocal processing tools at your disposal, you’ll never have to settle for another pop, click or hum again! Polish your performance with these powerful plug-ins and you’ll be well on your way to producing radio-ready vocals.

    Jeff Leibovich
    If you’re interested in learning more about any of the vocal correction software mentioned in this blog, contact a Vintage King Audio Consultant via email or by phone at 866.644.0160.

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