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Product of the Week: Audified ToneSpot Voice Pro

Audified’s ToneSpot Pro line of plug-ins includes ToneSpot Bass Pro (which we covered in February of this year), ToneSpot Electric Pro, ToneSpot Acoustic Pro and ToneSpot Drum Pro. The developer intended each of these products to be a comprehensive mixing toolkit for the particular instrument it’s designed for. The latest entry is ToneSpot Voice Pro ($99), which Audified developed to use with both sung and spoken-word voice recordings

Like the others in the series, ToneSpot Voice Pro has a modular architecture, with processors that you can turn on and off that are in a set order in the signal chain. The first one is called Character, and lets you choose an EQ curve from three choices: Natural (flat), Vintage and Modern.

The module also includes another set of three EQ choices: Bright, Scoop and Lo-Fi, allowing you to tailor your overall vocal sound further.

The next two modules are for Distortion and Saturation. Each provides several controls for altering the amount and character of the effect.

To the right of Saturation is a module called DeEssAir, which features a De-Esser with a choice of a low or high ratio, but no frequency adjustment. Also in this module is a knob called Air, which is a high-shelving filter with a center frequency of 8 kHz, allowing you boost up to 6 dB to provide airiness.

Next is the Shaping module, which is a “musically labeled” EQ section that includes controls for bands entitled Weight, Body, Paper, Nose, Presence and Sparkle, each with a choice of two different center frequencies. Audified designed the bands to cover critical frequencies for equalizing vocals. The developer also included High- and Low-Pass filters in this section.

After that is the first of the two compression modules, this one called Punch. It gives you Compression (amount), Makeup Gain and Mix knobs, plus Fast and Slow attack options. It’s intended for situations where you want transparent dynamic control.

Following that is yet another EQ section, this one called Surgery. It features two frequency bands with high Q factors for adjusting very narrow frequency ranges. Unlike the other EQs, it does have adjustable frequencies, covering 20 Hz to 20 kHz for both. You can also click the Hi Q button on each band for an even narrower Q, and each band also sports a Gain control.

Next in the signal chain is the second compression section, called Smash, which Audified describes as a “peak eating leveling compressor.” As its name hints, it offers LA-2A-style compression. Although it has an identical control set to the Punch module, it’s much more of a “character” compressor.

The second-to-last section is Effects, which includes individually switchable Delay and Reverb effects. The Delay has three different flavors (Analog, Digital and “Brown”), all of which you can set for conventional or Ping-Pong style delay. You can also sync it to the host tempo. The Reverb offers Plate, Room and Hall choices, as well as controls for Decay, Mix and Color.

The last module is called Finalizer, which gives you an Enhancer and three more filters, entitled Fat, Tight and Smooth, for additional character settings.

You also get Input and Output knobs at the beginning and end of the signal chain, respectively, and each also has an Automatic Gain Control feature you can switch on. The plug-in comes with a decent amount of presets, split into categories that cover sung vocals, spoken word, Rap and special effects.

Overall, ToneSpot Voice Pro is a convenient plug-in that provides a suite of handy tools for dialing in vocal sounds. People without a lot of mixing experience will find it quite useful for getting quick, good-sounding vocal settings. Those with more know-how may find its relative lack of adjustable parameters to be too limiting, however.