Home Tech Best Vocal Plugins Every Musician Must Have in 2024
Best Vocal Plugins Every Musician Must Have in 2024
best vocal plugins for musicians
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Best Vocal Plugins Every Musician Must Have in 2024

Home Tech Best Vocal Plugins Every Musician Must Have in 2024

From Auto-Tune to vocoder plugins to radical manipulation, this guide walks through the best vocal plugins in 2024.

There’s no denying that vocals still stand as one of the most important parts of a song be it electronic music or any other genre. Not only it’s important to have a good set of vocals but also the processing part is important as well. A vocal processing chain can completely change how the vocals function in your track. Travis Scott is a good example of the same. Vocal Plugins nowadays are capable of transforming a vocal recording into something unique and interesting. Whether you want that Auto-Tune effect or vocoded vocals, this list of ten of the best vocal plugins in 2024 will help you achieve the desired results in no time. Let’s look into the options.

Best Vocal Plugins list:

  1. BABY Audio Humanoid
  2. Antares Auto-Tune Pro 11
  3. iZotope Vocal Synth 2
  4. Soundtoys Little AlterBoy
  5. Melodyne Essential 5
  6. Waves Vocal Rider
  7. Antares Harmony Engine
  8. FKFX Vocal Freeze
  9. FabFilter Pro-DS
  10. Oeksound Soothe 2

1. Baby Audio Humanoid [Best Creative Vocal Processing Tool]

Baby Audio’s latest plugin is an absolute gem. In the past few years, you might’ve noticed the rise in radical manipulation of vocals in various genres of music. Humanoid focuses entirely on that. In simple words, it feels like a more extreme version of the iZotope Vocal Synth2. You get different parameters to manipulate the sound in all sorts of ways. The best part about this plugin is the ease of use. You can expect something completely unique within a minute of playing around with the parameters. 

The plugin can instantly tune voices to any musical scale or specific pitch without sound quality issues. It also allows for manual control or with a MIDI keyboard, similar to a vocoder. Humanoid can generate multiple-voice robotic harmonies from a single vocal input. It includes a variety of creative effects and preset settings for quick results. The software can perform radical voice transformations beyond simple pitch correction. Unlike some modern plugins, Humanoid doesn’t rely on AI, instead using sophisticated digital signal processing techniques to achieve its effects.

Key Features: 

  1. Advanced pitch correction with Scale, Note, and MIDI modes
  2. Extreme hard tuning and radical voice transformation capabilities
  3. Combines pitch correction, vocoder technology, and wavetable synthesis
  4. Robotify function for creating unnatural, robotic vocal sounds
  5. Formant adjustment to simulate different vocal tract shapes
  6. Synthesize panel with waveform display and import options

Price: $129 (currently on sale for $79)

baby audio humanoid (1)
BABY Audio

2. Antares Auto-Tune Pro 11 [Best Auto-Tune Software]

Auto-Tune forms one of the most integral parts of vocal processing and Antares Auto-Tune has been one of the world’s leading vocal plugins in professional pitch correction for years. The latest release of the plug-in with a great interface is even more versatile and easy to use. Automatic scale and key detection, real-time MIDI Parameter Control, & Time Correction are only a part of many incredible features.

Antares recently launched the 11th edition of the Auto-Tune software. There are plenty of new features such as the inclusion of Harmony Engine, Auto mode, Graph mode & more. Another interesting addition is the Multi-vew window using which you can process multiple vocals in one single instance.

Key Features:

  • 1. Enhanced Graph Mode tools
  • 2. Integrated 4-part Harmony Player
  • 3. Refined Auto-Mode and Graph Mode GUI
  • 4. Smart MIDI Hardware Mapping
  • 5. Native support for Apple Silicon and 64-bit Windows 10/11

Price: $399


autotune pro 11

3. iZotope Vocal Synth 2

VocalSynth 2 is one of the most creative vocal plugins out there. The plugin comes in with 5 modules namely Biovox, Vocoder, Compuvox, Talkbox & Polyvox. Each mode has its own characteristic sound. For example, Biovox adjusts vocal characteristics like nasality, vowel shapes, and formants on any audio source, Compuvox creates Glitchy & computerized sounds, Talkbox imitates the working of a traditional talk box device, Polyvox creates rich and lush harmonies whereas Vocoder provides you with the traditional well-known vocoder effect. Not to mention the plugin is utilised by one of the renowned producers Sasha who quoted

VocalSynth 2 is great for taking a basic melody and turning it into something far more powerful and useful. It’s great for mangling pianos too!

Key Features:

  1. Five versatile vocal engines: Biovox, Vocoder, Compuvox, Talkbox, and Polyvox
  2. Biovox engine for scientifically-modeled vocal tract adjustments
  3. Seven customizable stompbox-style effects with reorderable chain
  4. Three operation modes: Auto, MIDI, and Sidechain for various processing needs
  5. Revamped interface with deep synthesizer controls and fluid visualization
  6. Enhanced Vocoder, Talkbox, Polyvox, and Compuvox modules with improved sound quality and performance

Price: $199


izotope vocal synth 2

4. Soundtoys Little AlterBoy [Best Vocal Formant Shifting Plugin]

Little AlterBoy is a plugin used by massive acts such as Martin Garrix, Chris Lake, or ILLENIUM for vocal format and pith shifting with Robot & Vocoder modes, and “hard tune” hip-hop-hit ready effect. Alterboy has enormous potential to turn even dull and less dynamic vocals into something interesting. The plugin has 2 main knobs and 3 modes making it super easy to use. The AlterBoy is not just limited to vocals, you can even apply it to other instruments to get pretty unique results out of it.

Though, if used on vocals, it’s advised to use it subtly to add some extra flavor to the dry signal. In extreme settings, the artifacts tend to increase slowly. Also, the quality of the input signal highly modifies the results you can achieve out of Little AlterBoy. If the input signal is somewhat distorted or not as clean, the results tend to have more artifacts. For clean audio inputs, AlterBoy can do wonders.

Key Features:

  1. Real-time pitch and formant shifting for vocal gender modification
  2. Pitch quantization for “hard tune” effect popular in pop and hip-hop
  3. Robot mode for single-pitch robotic vocal effects
  4. MIDI control for vocoder-like effects and on-the-fly harmonies
  5. Tube saturation model from Decapitator for warmth and edge
  6. Mix control for blending original and processed vocals, enabling instant harmonies

Price: $99


Soundtoys LittleAlterboy

5. Melodyne Essential 5 [Best Vocal Editing Software]

Grammy Award-winning technology for $99.00? Say no more! The most popular and widely used voice plugin, featuring incredible simplicity and ease of use. Melodyne 5 is a note editor designed for vocals. Its algorithm for vocals distinguishes between voiceless, humming note components, and breath sounds. Melodyne 5 gives you immense control over every word or sample allowing you to modify everything so it fits your track perfectly. Melodyne 5 Essential allows you to edit pitched and noise-like parts separately, an extremely useful feature while fixing recording. Features such as the chord track and chord grid are great for pitch editing and chord recognition.

Key Features:

  1. Precise pitch and timing correction for vocals and monophonic instruments
  2. Advanced algorithm separates pitched sounds from sibilants for targeted editing
  3. One-click macros for quick pitch, timing, and volume optimization
  4. Chord detection and grid for efficient pitch editing
  5. Broad compatibility with major DAWs and operating systems
  6. User-friendly interface with powerful audio analysis and customizable note detection

Price: $99


melodyne essential

6. Waves Vocal Rider

If you adhere to the principle “time is money” then this is the tool for you. This plug-in will automatically adjust the level of your vocal, compensate for any deviation that occurs, and intelligently adjust the vocal gain while not coloring the song. This is such an important plugin when you are processing recorded vocals. It normalizes volume peaks and valleys and allows you to gain control of your vocals. It also helps in avoiding mistakes such as over-compression. The plugin by itself doesn’t add any character to the input signal so you can be assured that the output is exactly of the same quality as the input. Definitely, a must-have vocal plugin if you work with vocal recordings.

Key Features:

  1. Automatic vocal level adjustment for consistent mix presence
  2. Real-time gain control based on music dynamics without audio coloration
  3. Customizable target range for vocal levels relative to the mix
  4. Side-chain functionality to respond to backing track changes
  5. Automation writing for manual fine-tuning of vocal riding
  6. High-quality audio processing with live performance capabilities

Price: $29.99


waves vocal rider

7. Antares Harmony Engine

Another one from Antares that makes it to our best vocal plugins list. This vocal plugin is all about the ability to create harmonic parts with unique effects – regardless of the genre of music, with 4 high-quality harmony voices, five channels of Antares’ Choir vocal multiplier, and Throat Modeling technology. There are plenty of ways to achieve vocal harmony then why Antares Harmony Engine? The standout quality resides in its ability to generate high quality realistic harmonies in real time without many artifacts. The plugin’s four independent harmony voices can be customized with unique vocal character, vibrato, and panning to create lush, multi-part vocal arrangements from a single source. Harmony Engine’s Throat Modeling further enhances realism by processing each harmony through a physical model of the human vocal tract.

Key Features:

  1. Real-time harmony generation with four high-quality voices
  2. Advanced pitch detection and smooth pitch-shifting technology
  3. Multiple harmony modes: Fixed Intervals, Scale Intervals, Chord Degrees, and MIDI-controlled
  4. Realistic vocal modeling with independent character and vibrato settings
  5. Humanize and Freeze functions for natural variation and unique effects
  6. Extensive preset system for harmony settings and vocal groups

Price: $289


Antares harmony engine

8. FKFX Vocal Freeze

Vocal Freeze is an exceptional effect plugin that provides a truly unique sound processing experience. Utilizing perpetually scanning high-rate FFT technology, it creates a time-lapse effect, allowing users to freeze and preserve the spectral brilliance of any sound, voice, or instrument. With a single master knob, activating freeze and effect functions is effortless, streamlining the creative process. The plugin also offers auto-record functionality, generating synchronized audio files for easy integration into digital audio workstations. With a range of powerful effects and the ability to experiment with sound rotation and LFO control, Vocal Freeze unlocks endless creative possibilities. Priced at $79 with a free trial option, this plugin delivers exceptional results with ease.

Key Features:

  1. Quad-buffer freeze capture with automatic rotation
  2. Crystalize effect for synthetic sound transformation
  3. Morphing LFO for automated freeze performances
  4. Smart Dry/Wet control and RMS auto-leveling
  5. Diverse effects suite including FFT Comb, Frequency Shifter, and more
  6. Extensive preset library with auto-record and interactive help features

Price: $79


vocal freeze

9. FabFilter Pro-DS [Best Vocal De-esser tool]

De-esser is a crucial part of any vocal processing chain. FabFilter Pro-DS is used to prevent problems such as hiss sounds and those related to sibilance in vocal recordings and concerning compression and saturation. It is worth mentioning here that the product suppresses sibilance transparently, on with the “Allround” mode it reduces high frequencies. Perfect plugin for cleaning up vocal recordings.

Key Features:

  1. Intelligent ‘Single Vocal’ detection for precise sibilance reduction
  2. Versatile processing modes, including Allround for non-vocal applications
  3. Real-time visual feedback with spectrum analysis for easy adjustment
  4. Customizable frequency range and stereo processing options
  5. High-quality audio processing with oversampling and look-ahead functionality
  6. User-friendly interface with GPU acceleration and adjustable stereo linking

Price: $169


Fabfilter Pro DS

10. Oeksound Soothe 2

Soothe 2 builds upon the reputation built by the first version. It’s a dynamic resonance suppressor that identifies problematic resonances on the fly and automatically adjusts the appropriate reduction. Its ability to process resonating frequencies across the complete spectrum is quite remarkable. Producers also use it as a means to sidechain elements as well. There are both Soft & Hard processing modes allowing users to choose a more transparent approach or a more aggressive one. Soothe 2 has become such a popular plugin thanks to it’s of use and the problem it solves. A very useful mixing tools for cleaning recordings.

Key Features:

  1. Full-spectrum resonance reduction with Soft and Hard processing modes
  2. Adjustable dynamics control with Attack and Release parameters
  3. Mid/Side processing capabilities for precise stereo manipulation
  4. Sidechain input for external triggering of resonance reduction
  5. Comprehensive EQ section with various filter types and band modes
  6. Improved performance with lower CPU usage, faster GUI, and reduced latency

Price: $209


Soothe2 (1)

FAQ: Vocal Plugins

Q: What are vocal plugins?

A: Vocal plugins are software tools that enhance, modify, or correct vocal recordings in digital audio workstations (DAWs). They can perform tasks like pitch correction, harmonization, de-essing, and various effects.

Q2: Do I need vocal plugins if I’m a good singer?

A: Even skilled singers can benefit from vocal plugins. They can add polish to performances, create unique effects, or help vocals sit better in a mix.

Q3: What’s the difference between Auto-Tune and Melodyne?

A: While both offer pitch correction, Auto-Tune is known for its real-time processing and iconic “robot voice” effect. Melodyne offers more detailed, note-by-note editing but typically isn’t used in real-time.

Q4: Are there any free vocal plugins worth using?

A: Yes, there are several quality free vocal plugins available, such as MAutoPitch by MeldaProduction for basic pitch correction or Spitfish for de-essing.

Q5: What plugin should I use for creating vocal harmonies?

A: Plugins like Antares Harmony Engine, iZotope VocalSynth, or Waves Vocal Bender are popular choices for creating vocal harmonies.

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