While the sounds of pop music have changed radically over the past four decades, one thing remains a constant. For most commercial music, everything on a recorded track is there to support the lead vocal, whether the song is rock, pop--or heck, even postmodern crunk. Getting the best sounding vocals remains paramount when recording, whether it's in a zillion dollar L.A. studio, or your basement.
Antares Audio Technologies burst onto the scene back in the mid-1990s with their Auto-Tune program, which has been a tremendous boost to singers, both professional and amateur, and their producers. An otherwise perfect take with one or two out of tune notes could be salvaged through careful application, and the average vocalist could now concentrate his her energies on performance, knowing that minor pitch errors could be cleaned up later. (And cranked up to ten, the Auto-Tune can deliver the infamous "Cher" effect, which, like its namesake, is best heard sparingly.)
In early September of this year, Antares released several additional voice processing plug-ins, as part of their AVOX line. Available both separately and as part of a bundled package (or "vocal toolkit"), retailing for about $500, these plug-ins are capable of a wide range of vocal processing. Combined as a suite, it's possible to do a surprisingly complete range of vocal processing with the software:
THROAT Physical Modeling Vocal Designer - a radical new vocal tool that, for the first time, lets you process a vocal through a meticulously crafted physical model of the human vocal tract.
DUO Vocal Modeling Auto-Doubler: using a simplified version of THROAT's vocal modeling, along with variations in pitch, timing and vibrato depth, DUO automatically generates a doubled vocal part from an existing vocal with unmatched ease and realism.
CHOIR Vocal Multiplier: actually turns a single voice into up to 32 distinct individual unison voices, each with its own pitch, timing and vibrato variations.
PUNCH Vocal Impact Enhancer: as its name so ably implies, PUNCH gives your vocal more dynamic impact, allowing it to cut through a dense mix with clarity and power.