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The Best Vocal Plugins To Add To Your DAW

Wanna jump straight to the answer? Our choice for the best Vocal Plugin is Nectar 3 Plus from iZotope!

Vocals are what everyone is looking for in a strong mix. The entire band can be flowing together perfectly but if those vocals are not sitting in there correctly, it’s back to the drawing board. Sometimes you have to re-record vocal passes and try different techniques, and other times it is as simple as finding some new vocal plugins to try. Here we are going to look at some of the best plugins for vocals that are used and designed by some of your favorite producers and engineers. 

These Vocal Plugins that we have compiled here were all chosen because of their multi-factor capabilities. Each one has more than one facet of the audio it affects whether that be eq, compression, reverb, pitch correction, or anything else. With these capabilities, a few of these plugins are classified as vocal suites, meaning they have basically every piece necessary to get a great sounding vocal track. 

Quicklook at the Best Vocal Plugins

What To Look For When Choosing a Vocal Plugin

When I was going through and creating this list I made sure to only list anything that I would use on my own mixes. These are all plugins that can take a good recording and make it even better. Beyond the sound though it is important to keep some other factors in mind. Read through these points to incorporate them into your selection process. 

Pricing

Many plugins are going to cost a decent chunk of change (depending on the company). I don’t believe any plugins in this list are less than $99 (excluding any sales). You need to evaluate what your budget is and then see what options you have available. With Waves plugins, you always have a great chance of finding what you want on sale for an extremely discounted price (which is one of the greatest things about waves). 

Compatibility – System Requirements

Getting a plugin that works with both Mac and Windows is extremely easy. The only times you will see a plugin that only works on one or the other will be in a DAW that is only compatible with one OS. 

DAW Compatibility

Finding a plugin that is completely compatible with your DAW is not hard but can be difficult depending on what DAW you use. Luckily, every plugin listed here is compatible with every major DAW on the market as well as many that are slightly less popular. 

Frequency of Use

The great thing about many of these plugins is that they work with more tracks than just vocals. A lot of these plugins are like a channel strip, making it super diverse in all of its uses. And once you find a vocal plugin you fall in love with, you’ll use it over and over again. 

Skill Level

I love plugins that have a lot of features in them because they are a great way to learn how to use new features. You see how they essentially work in a simplified way. So you don’t have to be an expert engineer or even an experienced one to appreciate these plugins. The first choice on our list is a great example. 

6 Best Vocal Plugins

Here are our choices for the best vocal plugins that you can use to perfect your vocal chain. 

1. Nectar 3 Plus – iZotope

iZotope Nectar 3 Plus
iZotope Nectar 3 Plus

Nectar 3 is my first choice right out of the gate for my vocals. It has almost every piece I need within it to mix my vocal passes, whether I want to add some correction to the vocals, saturation, compression, or even harmonies. The harmonies are a great addition to add some depth and creativity to your vocals without needing to add any additional plugins. 

Best for: A Broad, Do Everything Tool

Price:

DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, works well with Reaper

System Requirements: macOS and Windows

MacWindows
Memory4 GB RAM
8 GB recommended 
4 GB RAM
8 GB recommended 
Operating System10.9.5 – 10.15.6Windows 7 – 10

2. Scheps Omni Channel – Waves

Waves Scheps Omni Channel
Waves Scheps Omni Channel

Andrew Scheps is one of my favorite engineers to learn from when it comes to new techniques and methods. Working with waves, he was able to push out this fantastic plugin that has so many effects that can be arranged in whatever order you would prefer. You even have the option to insert any additional Waves plugin of your choice into the chain. 

Best for: Waves Users

Price: $149

DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, works well with Pro Tools

System Requirements: macOS and Windows

MacWindows
Memory8 GB RAM8 GB RAM
Operating System10.13.6, 10.14.6, 10.15.7, 11.0.1Windows 10 64 bit

3. TridA-Pre – Arturia

This is one of the most basic plugins on this list but the TridA-Pre from Arturia is perfect for adding a little edge to your vocals. Based on the Trident Studios board, you can emulate the iconic sounds used by Queen, Rolling Stones, Kiss, and so many more. 

You can find the TridA-Pre alone on plugin Boutique but it is also available in the FX Collection on both Plugin Boutique and Splice!

Best for: Simplicity

Price: $99

DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, works well with Ableton

System Requirements: macOS and Windows

MacWindows
Memory4 GB RAM
8 GB Recommended
4 GB RAM
8 GB Recommended
Operating System10.10+Windows 7+

4. Butch Vig Vocals – Waves

Butch Vig is an icon in the world of rock and grunge working with bands like Smashing Pumpkins and, Foo Fighters, and Green Day. Use his techniques and styles of vocal edits with his signature vocal plugin from Waves. Every piece adds a great sound to the final product from the built-in de-esser, to the unique mid dip control. 

Best for: Subtle Clarity

Price: $149

DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, works well with Cakewalk

System Requirements: macOS and Windows

MacWindows
Memory8 GB RAM8 GB RAM
Operating System10.13.6, 10.14.6, 10.15.7, 11.0.1Windows 10 64 bit

5. CLA Vocals – Waves

Chris Lord-Alge is known for having some spanking hard-hitting mixes. They’re full of energy and liveliness that you can hear on the mix of Billie Joe Armstrong in CLA’s live event here. You can spread the panning of the vocal, add reverb, delay, everything you could need on a basic vocal. 

Best for: Exciting Vocals

Price: $149

DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, works well with FL Studio

System Requirements: macOS and Windows

MacWindows
Memory8 GB RAM8 GB RAM
Operating System10.13.6, 10.14.6, 10.15.7, 11.0.1Windows 10 64 bit

6. CLA MixHub – Waves

Waves CLA MixHub
Waves CLA MixHub

This is yet another fantastic plugin Chris Lord-Alge designed with Waves. The CLA MixHub is more diverse than the CLA Vocals, making it easier to use on more tracks. It has fantastic controls for both EQ and dynamics, and a spot to insert any other Waves plugin you would like to. It is very similar to the Scheps Omni channel but with a slightly different approach. What really sets MixHub apart is the Bucket View where you can work on up to 8 channels at a time without changing plugins. This is great when working on multiple vocals and harmonies at once. 

Best for: Multi-Tasking a Mix

Price: $199

DAW Support: All popular DAWs supported, works well with Cubase

System Requirements: 

MacWindows
Memory8 GB RAM8 GB RAM
Operating System10.13.6, 10.14.6, 10.15.7, 11.0.1Windows 10 64 bit

Find Your Flow

All of these plugins can be inserted into pretty much any workflow easily. They all provide a great sound while helping you to achieve the best possible mix overall. Sometimes it is best to apply effects to a bus of gang vocals rather than to each individual vocal take. Experiment and find which works better for the song you’re in. Sometimes they sound better one way over the other, it most likely will change depending on the style of music as well as the energy of the song.

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