It’s surprising how much vocalists love the sound of their voice doubled, but manually matching a previous vocal can sometimes be a time consuming process. Through the years all sorts of gear has been created to attempt to automatically double a vocal (going all the way back to Abbey Road’s Automatic Double Tracker – ADT – back in the Beatle days), but the results still haven’t come close to the real thing. The new Sonnox VoxDoubler Toolbox plugins might make you change your mind about that though.
VoxDoubler Toolbox consists of two plugins: Thicken and Widen. Thicken generates a new stereo voice and overlaps it with the original vocal to create a thicker sounding performance. Widen generates two new mono voices and pans them to the left and right of the original vocal to add some spatial width.
Thicken has a number of controls that allow you to fine tune the doubling, starting with a Mix control to mix the dry with the doubled effect, and a Widen control to adjust the position of the left and right channels of the new voice. This control will be disabled on most DAWs when used on a mono track. Likewise, the Mix control can also be disabled by selecting Aux Mode if you’re using it on an aux channel instead of an insert. In this mode the mix is fixed to 100% with no dry signal.
The next controls are where the fun begins. Timing adjusts how true to the original the new voice will be. Smaller settings sound like a very tightly tracked double, while larger settings lead to a looser, natural variation in phrasing. Pitch (Humanise) adjusts the tuning of the new voice. Depth provides separation between the new voice and the original vocal by using a high-shelf filter and a static delay to simulate an increased physical distance. Tone changes the character of the new voice, from darkening more sibilant vocals or brightening muddy vocals or adding clarity.
The Widen plugin has all the same controls except the Stereo Spread control is replaced with Width. This adjusts how far apart the new voices are from the original vocal. At 0% both new voices are centrally panned, and at 100% they’re panned hard left and right.
Each plugin also features a Too Loud notification that will alert you if the original voice being processed is above the recommended level. That means you’re going to get some distortion or clipping from the plugin and you should probably trim the level down for better performance.
Sonnox VoxDoubler Toolbox is available for AAX, AU, VST formats and has an introductory price of $79 along with a free trial period. You can find out more about it here or watch the video below.