INTRO AVOX-4 by Antares is an inspiring vocal pitch-processing effects plug-in bundle featuring 11 creative modules. The modules are eye-pleasing, well organized, easy to use, and perhaps more importantly — fun to use.
IMPRESSIONS (after a little experimentation, research, and tracking) This collection is capable of a wide variety of vocal effects, ranging from slight hair-splitting adjustments to full-blown otherworldly madness and everything in between. There's a great deal of musicality to AVOX-4, which is rare for audio effects software. Some of the modules work within the vocals, some wrap around, and some work along side as an instrument.
As with most AVOX-4 modules (Warm being a possible exception), users must use wisely and sparingly if they are after a realistic vocal expression for mainstream genres. However, alternative music maniacs will have plenty of freedom to twist, turn, and slide parameters into gut-wrenching vocal mayhem. In addition to cutting edge FX, this collection offers cool vintage options like Mic Mod EFX and Warm. Antares' analog tube modeling has been considered one of the best for years, and this module features that technology. I could see myself using a little of this on every track. It provides just enough rich saturation without the unwanted artifacts. Harmony Engine Evo is capable of realistic harmony generation and arrangement. This module is not surprisingly a bit more complex than the others. There are some useful presets to work from that feature basic chords and inversions. It's very possible to ascertain a convincing harmony that sits well in a mix; yet, I wouldn't recommend using it up front for most genres. Mutator Evo is capable of all kinds of special FX and creative sound designing. It's extreme! Articulator Evo cleverly imposes syllables on sound, yielding the robotic voices that have found a common place in many forms of EDM. Note: Talk Box is not a vocoder. Vocoders use a number of envelope-following bandpass filters in which the voice or other instrument acts as a modulator signal that is then filtered by a carrier like a synth — full of voice-like harmonics. Talk boxes, in general, are more basic, but nevertheless sound cool. Articulator Evo sounds very cool. I need to fight the urge to squeeze it into each track. Aspire Evo and Throat Evo modules are good for micro adjustments of breathiness and raspiness. The presets offer start-points for a variety of voices and vocal styles. Throat Evo is a bit more complex than most of the other modules, and I've had mixed results so far. Yet, I'm not discouraged as it shows promise. Duo Evo doubles vocal parts. I need to spend more time with this. It's my hope that this will serve as an ADT a la John Lennon/Abbey Road. In addition to doubling, Duo has other controls that adjust pitch, timing, vibrato, etc. It's an intriguing and potentially useful module. It may not replace a perfectly sung double track, but it can certainly replace a less-than-perfect one! So far, I've discovered a range from extends from a tight echo to a two singers and everything in between. I quickly realized that Choir Evo isn't a chorus effect. It's a choir generator. What was I thinking? Choir Evo turns a single voice into many. I need to experiment more with this module as it's capable of producing four-part harmonies. So far, it seems a bit tricky to get the combination of these voices to sound realistic, but it's certainly worth additional noodling. This particular module has received high praise from several online bloggers, reviewers, and friends. One buddy of mine swears by it and emphasizes the importance of placing it in the appropriate reverb space to maximize the effect and realism. Punch Evo is a simple, yet powerful compressor combined with an enhancer. It helps vocals to cut a bit more through the mix by increasing dynamics. Sybil Evo is a time-tested, straight-forward compression-side chain freq-based de-esser. Like most of the modules in this set, if used wisely produces great results.
BEWARNED! With great power and freedom comes great responsibility. It's very easy to become seduced by a cool effect (or suite of effects) and overdo it. I have countless yesteryear recordings of my original tracks that sound like the aural equivalent of Elvis sideburns, shag carpeting, and mullet hairdos — dated and embarrassing. I wish I could go back in time and minimize some of the little tricks that I thought were so clever at the time. Please forgive my preaching. In short, what I'm trying to say is this. .. with AVOX-4, less is more, and more could be annoying unless of course that's your goal.
FAVORITEFEATURES • Neat, clean interfaces. • User-friendly with shallow learning curves. • Versatile, inspiring, and sometimes even musical at times. • CPU friendly.
FAVORITEMODULES • Articulator Evo digital talk box • Warm tube saturation generator • Duo Evo vocal modeling auto-doubler • Punch Evo vocal impact enhancer.
OTHERTHOUGHTS • iLok is a security plus for some and an inconvenient minus others. • Not limited to vocals.
AVOX-4 is a fantastic suite of vocal manipulation tools that has three great uses:
1. Subtle adjustments to clean-up and sweeten vocal tracks. 2. Special vocal FX. 3. Sound Designing for vocals and anything and everything else.
They work smoothly on my system; They suit my workflow; They breathe life into my projects; Is this set of plugins right for you? I believe there are modules in the collection that would suit anyone working with vocals. The question is. .. would you love at least one or two enough to make it a worthwhile. In my case, the answer was yes! My overall production benefits from launching these babies. If you work with vocals of any genre, I highly suggest that you check out the online tutorials and download the demo. This just might be the secret weapon you've been looking for! I give AVOX-4 a big fat pair of thumbs up. Thank you, Antares, for creating such a creative vocal effects package.
What a great review (as all of yours are). I learn a lot by reading them. I never heard of the AVOX bundle but it seems a total quality plugin. Thanks so much for putting the time and care into writing these reviews.