Another round up of some of our favourite VST plugins, this time we take a look at the best vocoder plugins around!
XILS Lab XILS V+. $150.
Modelled off the original Roland VP330 vocoder hardware, the XILS vocoder brings you not only the classic features but also some modern tweaks as well. Sometimes you simply need to talk in a robotic voice, right? A vocoder will give you at least partly a synthetic voice, and the original hardware was famous for its string sounds and its emulation of the human voice alike. It gave you epic choir-like and orchestral tones in an instant. In addition to the features found on the original Roland hardware, XILS V+ takes it further by offering Mixer, Vocoder, Effects and Mod panels to take a lot more control over the sound than those 1980s musicians could.
MeldaProduction MVocoder. $50.
Here’s an analogue-style vocoder plugin with up to 100 bands! MVocoder actually works a bit different to some other vocoder plugins. It doesn’t actually make its synth tones itself. MVocoder takes the channel’s input and a sidechain input and combines them, so it’s up to you to mix the two signals together through MVocoder. It offers comprehensive modulation, envelope following, smart randomisation, automatic gain compensation and loads more. MVocoder is a great low-latency, high-quality vocoder on a budget.
XILS LAB XILS 5000. $150.
Another XILS plugin? This one is inspired by a another real vocoder synth – this time the EMS 5000! XILS 5000 takes on the analogue filtering of the original and brings it into a single, simple-to-use plugin. The synth sound offers dual oscillators, LFOs and envelopes, vocal de-noising and more, but you can also pipe your own sidechain input in there to use the vocoder filters on any material you’d like. In the cool little pin matrix you can select which band of the carrier will be sent through to which band of the modulator. A lot of variety of tonal possibility in this virtual vocoder!
iZotope VocalSynth 2. $220.
The Vocoder is actually just one module in VocalSynth. This plugin serves as many possible vocal effects types as you can think of, with the others being Compuvox, Biovox, Polyvox, and the similar-ish Talkbox. VocalSynth’s Vocoder module itself contains Smooth, Shift, Scale and Level controls on the surface, but expand it and you get access to a whole basic two-oscillator synth with band level controls. Not only can you crank up the Vocoder module in VocalSynth alongside all its other modules, but you can avail yourself of seven effects, including Distort, Filter, Transform, Chorus, Delay and more, to get yourself the ultimate robotized vocal tone, or much more. As long time iZotope fans, this is definitely in our go-to plugins box.
Not just a great vocoder, but a free one too! Togu Audio Line are giving away the farm with TAL-Vocoder, which is an 80s-style vocoder with Pulse, Saw, Sub and Noise oscillators to get your teeth into – or any part of your mouth into, really. So how about the synth side? Aside from basics like oscillator tuning and fine-tuning, TAL-Vocoder offers polyphonic or monophonic synth modes, portamento and oscillator sync to craft tones that are worthy of even the finest human glottis. There’s also a sidechain input option if you prefer to use your own synths, of course. Elsewhere, TAL-Vocoder has an 11-band EQ, Ess reduction or boosting, a Release control, and an exciter onboard too.