VST Vocal Effects: Enhancing Your Voice in Music Production

Top VST Vocal Plugins

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Having the right VST vocal effects when producing and mixing a song is critical. After all, the vocals are often the focal point of a track, and having great-sounding vocal effects can make the difference between a good mix and a great one. There are countless options available, from equalization and compression, modulation and doubling, to full channel strips- each serving a unique purpose in bringing out the best in a vocal performance.

One of my favorite ways to enhance the vocals in a mix is by using chorus, detuning, or doubling effects. These effects can make the vocals sound thicker and give them a wider presence in the stereo field. A great free option for achieving this sound is the Acon Digital Multiply plugin, which is perfect for adding swirling stereo modulation to a vocal track.

Another essential tool for shaping vocals is pitch correction. Autotune and pitch correction plugins can help to create a polished vocal sound, even if the original performance wasn’t perfect. A popular free autotune plugin is Graillon 2 from Auburn Sounds, which is definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for an affordable option.

Understanding VST Vocal Effects

VST (Virtual Studio Technology) vocal effects help artists and producers shape and enhance vocal performances in various genres. These powerful tools allow me to add character to my vocals, removing any imperfections and giving my tracks a polished, professional sound. In this section, we will dive into the essentials of vocal processing and explore some popular vocal effect types.

Vocal Processing Essentials with VST Vocal Effects

When mixing vocals, I typically begin with a series of essential effects, such as EQ, compression, and reverb. These help me balance the tonal quality, smooth out dynamic variances, and add depth to the vocal performance.

  • EQ: An equalizer plugin allows me to adjust the frequency range of my vocals, removing any undesirable frequencies and highlighting the qualities that help the voice stand out in the mix. EQ is crucial for making space for my vocals and ensuring they don’t clash with the rest of the instruments.
  • Compression: A vocal compressor plugin helps me manage the dynamic range of my vocals, ensuring that quiet parts are audible and loud parts don’t overpower the mix. This consistent control of volume levels can bring a professional quality to my vocal productions.
  • Reverb: Adding reverb to my vocals is a great way to give them depth and space, making them sound more natural and appealing. By experimenting with various reverb settings, I can create different atmospheres that match the specific mood of my music.

Popular VST Vocal Effect Types

In addition to the essentials, there are many creative vocal effect types that I can use to transform my vocals, giving them a distinctive sound and character. Some of my favorites include:

  • Saturation: Vocal saturation plugins add harmonic distortion to my vocals, giving them warmth and presence. This can complement the voice and help it shine in the mix.
  • Doubler: A vocal doubler plugin can create the illusion of multiple singers, adding depth and thickness to my vocal performance. This effect is particularly useful in genres like pop and hip hop, where a larger-than-life vocal sound can be desirable.
  • Vocoder: Vocoders combine the human voice with a synthesized sound, resulting in a unique, robotic effect. This is a popular choice for electronic or experimental music, adding a futuristic or technological edge to my vocals.
  • Harmonization: Harmonization plugins generate harmonies based on my original vocal, giving my tracks a fuller, more complex sound.
  • Modulation Effects: Adding chorus, flanger, or tremolo to my vocals can create a sense of movement and texture, making the performance more engaging and dynamic.

By exploring these vocal effects and understanding how they can enhance my vocal production, I can create a unique and captivating sound that sets my music apart. As I develop my skills and experiment with different plugin formats, free vocal VSTs, and various processing modes, I’m able to open up a world of creative possibilities and truly make my vocal productions shine.

Top VST Vocal Effects for Pitch Correction and Tuning

As a music producer, I am always on the lookout for the best VST vocal effects for pitch correction and tuning. In this section, I will discuss my personal favorites – Antares Auto-Tune Pro, Celemony Melodyne 5, MAutoPitch, and Graillon 2.

Antares Auto-Tune Pro

Antares AutoTune Pro
Antares AutoTune Pro

For me, Antares Auto-Tune Pro is a polished and reliable pitch correction plugin that has been widely used in the music industry. Auto-Tune Pro is compatible with both Windows and macOS systems and offers a pitch correction module that transforms vocal tracks into professional-sounding recordings.

Some standout features of Auto-Tune Pro include its real-time tuning capabilities and various vocal effects like pitch shifting and de-essing. Additionally, its user-friendly interface enhances my creativity by offering instant tuning on vocal recordings.

Celemony Melodyne 5

Celemony Melodyne 5

Melodyne 5 from Celemony is another extraordinary vocal plugin I use to edit pitch, timing, and even the note length of vocal tracks. What sets Melodyne apart is its powerful editing capabilities which enable me to fine-tune vocal samples for unique and high-quality results.

This versatile plugin supports Windows and macOS platforms and includes various effects like a flanger and comprehensive pitch correction tools. Melodyne 5’s system requirements are quite reasonable, making it an accessible choice for most users.


MAuto Pitch
MAuto Pitch

MAutoPitch from MeldaProduction is a free and user-friendly pitch correction plugin that I adore. It is available for both Windows and macOS systems and provides a simple yet effective feature set for working on vocal tracks. Its pitch correction module is ideal for achieving a refined and natural sound with minimal effort.

Graillon 2

Grallion 2

Last but not least, Graillon 2 by Auburn Sounds is a versatile vocal effect plugin that offers both pitch correction and pitch shifting capabilities. It’s perfectly suited for transforming vocal tracks and enhancing creativity.

The Graillon 2 plugin is compatible with Windows and macOS systems and provides a range of vocal effects to choose from. This includes the highly popular Soundtoys Little AlterBoy, which alters vocals by adjusting pitch and formant settings.

In conclusion, these four pitch correction and tuning plugins offer impressive features and capabilities, making them incredibly valuable tools in my music production arsenal.

Enhancing Vocals with EQ, Compression, and Saturation

iZotope Nectar 3 Plus

Izotope Nectar 3

iZotope Nectar 3 Plus is a versatile vocal effects plugin that I use for EQ, compression, and saturation. The built-in Vocal Assistant helps me quickly get started by analyzing my vocals and suggesting an initial processing chain, including EQ, compression, and reverb settings. The powerful fluid EQs in Nectar 3 Plus track the harmonics of my vocal signal, allowing me to make cuts or boosts that follow my pitch. I can also compress, de-ess, and mix harmonies efficiently within the plugin’s fluid, resizable user interface. The inter-plugin communication with iZotope’s other plugins is great for unmasking my vocals in the mix.

Vocal King

Vocal King is another favorite vocal processing plugin for EQ, compression, and saturation. With its simple and intuitive interface, I can easily control my vocal effects like EQ, compression, and reverb. The plugin also offers saturation and distortion effects, which add warmth and character to my vocals. Vocal King’s presets help me quickly find the right balance for my vocal tracks, and the great thing is that I can easily customize the settings to achieve the perfect sound.

FabFilter Pro-Q 3

FabFilter Pro Q 3

FabFilter Pro-Q 3 is an exceptional equalizer plugin that I use for sculpting my vocals to sound more pleasing in the mix. With its unique spectral display, I can see which frequencies need adjustments and make precise cuts or boosts. The FabFilter Pro-Q 3 offers dynamic EQ, which allows me to compress specific frequency ranges, adding more control to my vocal processing. Using this plugin, I can be confident that my vocals sit well in the mix while retaining their natural timbre and clarity.

In summary, iZotope Nectar 3 Plus, Vocal King, and FabFilter Pro-Q 3 are essential tools for enhancing vocals with EQ, compression, and saturation. Each plugin offers its unique approach to vocal processing, allowing me to achieve professional-sounding results. By incorporating these tools in my productions, my vocals are always 

polished, balanced, and expressive.

Renaissance Vox


Renaissance Vox is a powerful vocal processing plugin that excels in providing exceptional EQ, compression, and saturation capabilities. With its intuitive interface and straightforward controls, I can easily shape my vocal sound to perfection. The EQ section allows me to precisely sculpt the tonal balance of my vocals, ensuring clarity and presence. The compression module helps me achieve a controlled and consistent vocal performance, smoothing out any dynamic inconsistencies. Additionally, the saturation feature adds warmth and character, giving my vocals a rich and vibrant texture. With Renaissance Vox, I can effortlessly enhance my vocal recordings and bring them to life in the mix.

CLA Vocals


One of the most comprehensive vst vocal effects is CLA Vocals. It was designed in collaboration with renowned mixing engineer Chris Lord-Alge, is a go-to vocal plugin for achieving professional-quality results. This versatile tool offers a range of processing options, including EQ, compression, and reverb, specifically tailored for vocals. The EQ section allows me to shape the vocal frequency response to perfection, while the compression module provides precise control over the dynamics, resulting in a polished and balanced vocal performance. The built-in reverb adds a beautiful sense of space, creating depth and dimension. CLA Vocals simplifies the vocal processing workflow and delivers outstanding results with its signature sound.

OEKsound Soothe

OEK Soothe

OEKsound Soothe is an innovative vocal plugin that tackles problematic resonances and harsh frequencies with incredible precision. Its intelligent processing identifies and reduces unwanted frequencies, resulting in a smoother and more refined vocal sound. Soothe’s dynamic equalization helps me tame sibilance and harshness, ensuring a more natural and pleasant vocal tone. The plugin’s adaptive algorithm reacts in real-time to vocal dynamics, providing a transparent and artifact-free reduction of problematic frequencies. With OEKsound Soothe, I can easily eliminate resonances and achieve a pristine vocal sound that sits perfectly in the mix.

TDR Nova


TDR Nova is a versatile dynamic equalizer plugin that I rely on for vocal processing. With its powerful features and precise control, TDR Nova allows me to shape and sculpt the tonal balance of my vocals with ease. The dynamic equalization capabilities enable me to compress specific frequency ranges, ensuring that my vocals stand out in the mix without any harshness or muddiness. TDR Nova’s intuitive interface and visual feedback make it a joy to work with, as I can easily identify and address any problematic frequencies. Whether I need subtle tonal adjustments or surgical precision, TDR Nova delivers exceptional results and enhances the clarity and presence of my vocals.

Acon Digital Multiply Chorus

Acon Digital Multiply Chorus

Acon Digital Multiply Chorus is a versatile and free vocal plugin that adds depth and richness to vocal tracks. With its swirling stereo modulation, Multiply Chorus enhances vocals by creating a wider stereo image and a sense of spaciousness. The plugin’s simple interface allows me to adjust the chorus parameters to achieve the desired effect, whether it’s a subtle thickening or a more pronounced modulation. Acon Digital Multiply Chorus is an excellent addition to any vocal processing chain, providing a free and effective solution for enhancing vocal performances and adding an extra touch of dimension to my mixes.

JST Howard Benson Vocals

Another noteworthy plugin in the realm of vocal processing is JST Howard Benson Vocals. Created in collaboration with renowned producer Howard Benson, this plugin offers a comprehensive suite of vocal effects tailored specifically for modern rock and pop genres. With its intuitive interface and powerful processing capabilities, JST Howard Benson Vocals allows you to shape your vocals with precision and creativity. From EQ and compression to harmonies and special effects, this plugin covers all aspects of vocal production. Whether you’re working on a lead vocal or layered harmonies, JST Howard Benson Vocals provides the tools you need to achieve a polished and radio-ready sound. With its focus on capturing the signature sound of Howard Benson’s productions, this plugin is a valuable addition to any music producer’s arsenal, delivering professional-grade vocal processing in a convenient package.

Creative VST Vocal Effects and Sound Design

As a sound designer and music producer, I find that working with vocal effects can create some truly unique sonic landscapes. In this section, I’m going to cover three powerful tools for creative vocal effects and sound design: Vocalsynth 2, Soundtoys Little AlterBoy, and Manipulator. These plugins can process and shape vocals in exciting and innovative ways, helping you craft the ideal sound for your tracks.

Vocalsynth 2

VocalSynth 2

Vocalsynth 2 is a versatile vocal synthesizer plugin by iZotope that I’ve found to be incredibly useful for shaping and experimenting with vocal recordings. Its five blendable modules allow me to create unique vocal timbres and effects that other plugins can’t offer. In addition to the standard chorus, reverb, and saturation effects, Vocalsynth 2 offers formant shifting and MIDI control, allowing me to manipulate the pitch and harmonies in my vocal samples.

One of my favorite features of Vocalsynth 2 is its vocal separation, allowing for isolated processing of different elements within a vocal recording. This is particularly useful for genres that require de-essing, tuning, or processing of specific harmonies. Overall, Vocalsynth 2 offers unparalleled flexibility and control when working with vocal recordings.

Soundtoys Little AlterBoy

Soundtoys Little Alterboy

The Soundtoys Little AlterBoy plugin is another essential tool in my vocal effects toolbox. Designed to manipulate vocals in a variety of creative ways, Little AlterBoy offers pitch shifting, formant shifting, and a range of other processing options. The built-in doubler lets me thicken up my vocal recordings, while the bitcrusher effect adds some gritty, lo-fi textures to my projects.

Little AlterBoy truly excels in creating harmonies from a single vocal sample, thanks to its ability to transpose and retune voices. The plugin also includes a MIDI control feature, allowing me to control pitch and harmonies in real-time. With its intuitive interface and versatile processing abilities, Soundtoys Little AlterBoy is a worthwhile investment for any sound designer or music producer.


PolyVerse Manipulator

Manipulator by Polyverse is a powerful tool for transforming and manipulating vocals. This vocal effect plugin features advanced algorithms that provide real-time modulation and DSP processing. It offers a selection of creative processing options, including formant shifting, bitcrusher, chorus, phaser, and more.

What sets Manipulator apart from other vocal VST plugins is its unique ability to remix and blend multiple samples, resulting in entirely new sounds and textures. This innovative feature makes Manipulator perfect for sound design, as it allows me to craft original effects that I couldn’t achieve with other plugins. Its seamless integration with my DAW makes it a valuable addition to my audio production arsenal.

In conclusion, these three plugins – Vocalsynth 2, Soundtoys Little AlterBoy, and Manipulator – have significantly enhanced my creative vocal effects and sound design process. With their wide range of features and processing capabilities, I’m able to create unique and captivating audio landscapes that really make my projects stand out. Whether it’s for music production, sound design, or experimentation, incorporating these plugins in your workflow will definitely take your vocal processing to new heights.


Selecting the right VST vocal effects is crucial for music producers aiming to create exceptional vocal productions. The market offers a wide array of options, including both free plugins and the best vocal plugins, ensuring that there is something for every budget and need.

Tonal Balance

When it comes to enhancing vocals, it’s essential to consider elements like high frequencies and tonal balance. Utilizing free plugins such as Acon Digital Multiply and Graillon 2 from Auburn Sounds can add depth and dimension to vocal tracks, creating a wider stereo presence and addressing pitch correction requirements.

Industry Standard

For music producers seeking the best vocal plugins, industry-standard choices like Antares Auto-Tune Pro and Celemony Melodyne 5 provide unparalleled pitch correction capabilities and precise timing editing. These plugins guarantee polished and professional-sounding vocals, regardless of the original performance quality.

Crafting your chain

Crafting an effective vocal chain involves incorporating key elements like a vocal rider and high-pass filter. The vocal rider plugin helps maintain consistent vocal levels, ensuring that the lead vocal remains prominent throughout the mix. Meanwhile, a high-pass filter allows for the removal of unwanted low-frequency content, resulting in cleaner and more intelligible vocals.

When assembling the ideal vocal chain, it is crucial to select the best plugins for each stage of the process. Plugins like iZotope Nectar 3 Plus, Vocal King, and FabFilter Pro-Q 3 excel in equalization, compression, and saturation, respectively. These high-quality plugins empower music producers to shape and refine vocal performances, delivering professional-grade results.

Manipulate Your Sound

In the realm of creative vst vocal effects, plugins such as Vocalsynth 2, Soundtoys Little AlterBoy, and Manipulator offer exciting possibilities for sound manipulation. These plugins enable music producers to experiment with unique vocal timbres, pitch shifting, and dynamic modulation, facilitating the creation of distinctive vocal textures and adding a creative edge to their productions.

To wrap it up, music producers seeking the best vocal plugins and an effective vocal chain should explore a combination of free and premium options. By harnessing the power of free plugins like Acon Digital Multiply and Graillon 2, as well as incorporating industry-standard plugins like Antares Auto-Tune Pro and Celemony Melodyne 5, producers can achieve exceptional vocal results. Additionally, integrating vocal riders, high-pass filters, and plugins like iZotope Nectar 3 Plus, Vocal King, and FabFilter Pro-Q 3 into their workflow ensures optimal control and sonic refinement. Embrace these tools, experiment, and elevate your vocal productions to new heights of creativity and excellence.

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