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Top 9 Vocal Effects

1. Reverb - Valhalla Supermassive

2. Reverb - Seventh Heaven Professional

3. De-esser - Weiss DS1 MK3

4. De-esser - Oeksound Soothe 2

5. Delay - FabFilter Timeless 3

6. Delay - Arturia Delay Tape

7. Compression - Waves MV2

8. Compression - FabFilter Pro C 2

9. Saturation - FabFilter Saturn 2

1. Reverb - Valhalla Supermassive

Valhalla Supermassive is a free reverb plugin that offers an incredibly unique and professional sound - with functionality for both reverberation and vocal modulation. This reverb is great for both common reverberation and distinct outlandish reverb due to the warp and feedback functions, as well as the mode selector.

To get an understanding of how this plugin works, try a few of the presets.

Let’s take a listen

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2. Reverb - Seventh Heaven Professional

Seventh Heaven Professional is a faithful digital adaptation of the Bricasti M7, since it uses impulse responses of the original hardware to recreate the sound of the unit. This plugin is great for both large ethereal sounds or ambience, with an EQ section for fine-tuning.

Open up the Advanced controls and cycle through the presets to understand how these settings work.

Let’s take a listen

3. De-esser - Weiss DS1 MK3

The Weiss DS1 MK3 makes for a fantastic compressor in multiple situations, but it’s known as one of the best vocal de-essers available. Its transparent sound makes it seem as if the vocal was naturally balanced, and it’s controls make fine-tuning your de-essing possible.

Bob Katz created some of the presets for the Softube version, including de-esser settings, so give those a try.

Let’s take a listen

4. De-esser - Oeksound Soothe 2

Soothe 2 takes an incredibly unique approach to de-essing but utilizing dynamic equalization and a high amount of filters to create program-dependent and accurate de-essing. By moving Soothe 2’s filter, you determine where attenuation occurs, and to what extent with the depth section.

Start with a soft setting and low depth and slowly increase the values until you find the right amount of attenuation.

Let’s take a listen.

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5. Delay - FabFilter Timeless 3

Timeless 3 might be the best delay plugin currently available, making it one of the best options for adding creative and practical delay effects to your vocals. The interface allows for frequency-specific delay, as well as complex, program-dependent modulation of the delayed signal.

I like to vary the pitch of my delay slightly, as well as introduce some diffusion and lo-fi characteristics. Left/right and mid/side delays are available.

Let’s take a listen.

6. Delay - Arturia Delay Tape

Delay tape is a faithful adaptation of the Roland Space Echo RE-201, but with added internal side chain functionality, and the ability to easily control tape characteristics. Furthermore, the delay and reverb can be left/right, ping-pong, or mid/side, giving it some distinct advantages over the hardware.

A good starting point is to sync the Repeat Rate to your host BPM, and then cycle through the different modes to find one that works well for your mix.

Listen to an Example ➜ Youtube Link

7. Compression - Waves MV2

The Waves MV2 utilizes a unique compression algorithm designed to capture quieter parts of the signal and make them perceivable - making this great at adding details to your vocals. The controls are simple and include 2 sliders with the low-level slider to the left.

Simply raise the slider and observe the yellow bar - which shows the increase in the amplitude of the low-level signal.

8. Compression - FabFilter Pro C 2

The FabFilter Pro C 2 is an incredibly versatile compressor that offers both modern and vintage compression styles, as well as the functionality to greatly affect the timbre of any sound source. The vocal algorithm is an effective way to get your vocals to the front of a mix.

Furthermore, the vocal presets that come with it cover a wide range of useful compression types, so try those out to start.

Let’s take a listen.

9. Saturation - FabFilter Saturn 2

Although I talk about this plugin a lot, it really is one of the best saturators, and plugins for vocal saturation currently available. Start with a preset under the Color tab to get an understanding of the functionality, modulation capabilities, and stereo imaging applications of the plugin.

With it, you can make up to 6 bands, each with distinct distortion types, dynamics, modulation, pre-emphasis tone controls, feedback, and more.

Let’s listen to some of the best presets.

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The membership is the secret to your success — it’s the difference between the 1,929,999,999 of poor-sounding mixes and the .00000002% of mixes that make people say 'WOW!"

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Make Pro Songs
The #1 Audio Engineering Membership That Makes Your Mixes Sound Like
Professional Songs Even If You Have No Previous Experience