Quick Highlight: We rated Waves Vocal Bender 9.5/10 overall — you can get it now for 40% off through this link.
Waves is never going to not be one of my favorite plugin companies. It’s just a fact. With the release of their new plugin, Vocal Bender, I got to see a bit more of the experimentation from Waves in general.
Recently they have started to be more adventurous in what their plugins do, from their classic effects and compressors, you can work with amazing sounds based on the hits we have grown up with. But if you mix in the new plugins like Ovox and Vocal Bender, you’ll get to see the new side of modern production.
How We Reviewed Vocal Bender
When we were looking into the plugin, we wanted to know what made this so special and set it apart from plugins of the same caliber. Upon some digging, I found some great features that made Vocal Bender stick out from any other plugins from Waves. Take a look through these features and see what makes it so special.
Best for: Creative Vocal Effects
The Vocal Bender is designed to add fluctuations to vocals in both pitch and formant shifts. This type of vocal effect can be heard with artists like Billie Eilish (this is a key part of her sound), a lot of rappers will also add this sort of fluctuation to their vocals to accentuate parts of a song or phrase within the song.
Vocal Bender Features
Pitch and Formant – You have the 2 basic controls visible right off the start that is easy to understand what it is they do. This makes it easy to initially shift the vocals before any additional effects.
Modulations – In the drop-down menu (which can be opened by clicking on one of the 4 options at the bottom or by clicking on the dropdown arrow in the bottom right) you can adjust and control 2 separate modulators that can be individually added to either the Pitch or Formant wheel.
Individual Additions – Along the bottom you have 4 options, Mod 1, Mod 2, Amplitude, and Pitch. Each of these can be added to a specific wheel (either Pitch or Formant). You simply drag the selector at the bottom onto the wheel or right-click on one of the empty spaces below the wheels themselves.
Flatten – It took me a minute to understand the function, but the Flatten control on the left side is a nice tool to use for your vocals (especially for a background vocal). When engaged, it will pitch all of the vocal lines to the selected note you have on it.
Waves is the best when it comes to compatibility with DAWs. Every DAW I have ever used has recognized any Waves plugins I have. I have even pulled Waves plugins up in Video Editing Workstations when I am in the audio window.
|8 GB RAM
8 GB free disk space
|8 GB RAM
8 GB free disk space
|10.13.6, 10.14.6, 10.15.7, 11.0.1
|Windows 10 (64 bit)
This plugin can be downloaded through the Waves Central app that you download from their website. This keeps your plugins up to date and allows for you to also manage your licenses.
For most plugins, Waves has a standard price that sits around $150. Granted with sales, you will almost never pay near that price. And for what this plugin can do, full price is still a reasonable amount
- Total Price: $149
Bonus & Extras
I know I include presets as an “extra” fairly often, but companies don’t have to provide presets. It’s nice when they do, especially when you are new to the style of the plugin you are working with. I was pleasantly surprised when I scrolled through the presets and heard a multitude of effects and was inspired to create my own sounds.
Vocals over Everything
You can have a well-balanced track with some of the best musicians in the world playing on it, but if the vocals don’t sound right, it’s just bad. So even before your try adding extra effects like the Vocal Bender, I would suggest cleaning up the audio and getting all of your EQ and compression work done first. Beyond that though, it is no holds bar with this plugin, it’s fun and easy to use and I can’t wait to see what people do with it.
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Jarrett is a hardcore Lover-Jazz Lover-Rock Lover-Blues Lover-just a music lover. He has the hair to match — Jarrett and provides in-depth insight into all things guitar and music engineering.