Waves made a big splash at NAMM with OVox, a powerful and deep vocal processor and synthesizer that runs as a plug-in or as a stand-alone application. It’s designed to create a wide range of vocal effects, and you can use it on instrument sources, too. OVox combines vocoding with harmonization, pitch correction, doubling and more.
OVox features two identical processing sections (OVox 1 and 2), which provide the vocoder and synth effects (an 8-voice synth is built-in). You control them from one of two views: Main or Expanded. In the Main view, which is the default, each processor gives you Tune, Formant and Gain controls. You can turn on one or both processors, depending on what you’re trying to achieve sonically.
You also get a number of global parameters available in both modes, including the Root Scale setting, which lets you apply a wide selection of Chords, Scales or Harmonies to the source. There’s even a custom Note Mapper that enables you to choose specific notes to be changed or harmonized. There are separate level controls for the original voice, the vocoded signal and the synth signal, as well as a Tone control that acts like a tilt-filter.
Waves includes a large number of presets in categories that include Vocoding, Vocal Comping, Doubler, Voice FX, Synth, Instruments and External Carrier. The presets are excellent as starting points, and even in Main mode you get quite a few options for adjusting them.
The Advanced mode features a more extensive selection of adjustable parameters. Some examples are a 4-band EQ, a Noise Generator and a Formant Filter. You also have access to a modulation section, which lets you apply LFOs, a step sequencer and what Waves refers to as the “Organic Modulators.” These include amplitude, pitch and formant data extracted from the source signal. You can assign modulators to parameters using an easy, drag-and-drop interface.
OVox also offers a multi-effects section featuring Auto Pan, Chorus, Compressor, Delay, Distortion, Limiter and Reverb. You can insert up to five of these effects into a patch, giving you the potential to alter the sound further.
You can set OVox to be controlled by the source audio, audio from another track, an external source through the sidechain, or by incoming MIDI from another track or a MIDI keyboard.
As with all its plug-ins, Waves offers a fully functional seven-day demo of OVox, allowing you to check it out before making a buying decision. The plug-in lists for $149 but is currently on sale for an introductory price of $69.99.