We live in an audio world of almost too many choices. The fact that there are so many versions of the same type of compressor, EQ or effect makes many of us long for just one go-to plugin that we’ll use all the time without ever needing to experiment again. There are companies that are beginning to think outside the box in this regard though, and one of the features that puts many over the top is the AI-assist that a new generation of plugins is offering. The new Antares Auto-Tune Vocal Compressor plugin is a great example.
We always associate Antares with Auto-Tune, having been the first to create an auto-pitch plugin that producers waited decades for, but now the company is using some of that smart technology into other more traditional products as well.
It’s Two Stages
Auto-Tune Vocal Compressor is set up just like most mixers choose to work, with a two-stage compressor. The first compressor (Comp 1) is set up as a compressor and the second (Comp 2) more like a limiter. Both stages give you the choice between 4 different compressor types: FET (like an 1176), Opto A (like an LA-2A), Opto B (like a CL1-B), and Modern. The Modern selection is more transparent and has a sidechain feature.
Comp 1 has the usual parameter controls – Input, Output, Attack, Release, and Ratio (4, 8, 12 and 20:1). Comp 2 has a large Peak Reduction control, a Warm control and a large Gain control. Warm introduces tube-style harmonics and saturation.
Each Comp has Input, Output and Gain Reduction meters, and there are master Input and Output meters as well. There’s also a Mix control to adjust the blend between compressed and uncompressed signals.
The Robot Will Help You Now
That’s a pretty nice feature set already that would be worth considering, but what really makes this plugin unique is the AI-driven Assist function. This will analyze the track and recommend the optimum starting point and compression levels to quickly get the sound you want. Just set the type of vocal and press the Learn button, and Vocal Compressor gets you going in the right direction.
There are also plenty of presets to use that will get you going as well, but the Assist feature is something that we’ll be seeing on plugins a lot more from now own.
Antares Auto-Tune Vocal Compressor is available for $179. It’s also included in the Auto-Tune Unlimited package if you happen to subscribe. Yes, it works on Macs and PCs and just about all plugin platforms.
You can find out more here, or watch the video below.