While making a mix a musician should try and get everything right. Nevertheless, it is not always possible to nail every aspect, every time. Thus, one might want to focus more on getting the vocals right. In case when the vocal turns out to be just fine, but one minor aspect does not the producer should be more or less fine with it. However, if things go the other way round, the mix starts sounding odd and unpleasant.
GarageBand is a widely used DAW that is developed by Apple Inc. It is available on all iOS and Mac devices. For those who do not possess such devices can download it from: https://garagebandonpc.com/
In this article we shall talk about some of the best vocal plugins for GarageBand as getting the vocals right is quintessential.
- FabFilter Pro-DS: For many people, this plugin is their go-to de-esser. There are many musicians who automate the sibilance manually due to the graininess that they get from using the other de-essers. However, using FabFilter Pro-DS in its wideband mode can give results, as good as manual automation. Split band mode is better suited for taming harsher tones (around 3kHz).
- Melodyne 5: It is a plugin that is packed with features. This is not a free plugin but it comes with a 30 day trial period. This plugin allows the user spot-correction of vocal errors. One can easily and conveniently adjust the vibration degrees and pitch drift, so that while singing if the singer goes off the pitch for a few seconds that can be well adjusted. Not just the pitch drift that can be adjusted, Melodyne 5 can change the pitch of the vocals altogether. However, in doing so the natural texture and quality of the voice is not messed up or altered; the naturalness is intact. Using Melodyne 5 negates the use of any other plugin as it is a complete package with a plethora of uses and features.
- Bob Perry Noise Gate: GarageBand, though a great tool, has a few shortcomings in terms of holding, releasing and threshold parameters. This where the Bob Perry Noise Gate comes into play. While it is somewhat similar to its contemporary Melodyne 5, this plugin is available for free of cost. Noise Gates basically eliminate or mute any sound below the threshold that is set by the user.This way no surrounding noise distorts the actual sound and a noise gate does so automatically. Noise gates are quintessential to make vocal recordings sound good and that as we discussed earlier is the backbone of recording a good mix.
- MFree FX Bundle: It is a package of total 37 plugins. Although some of these plugins are more suited for vocal recording than any other type. For example, MAutopan is an auto-panning tool that one can use to pan a track from left to right automatically. Another example is the MAutoPitch that is essentially a pitch correcting and auto tuning plugin, which becomes indispensable when recording vocals. For those users who look for more customizations and effects one can use MComb. Overall, it is a great plugin option.
- Acon Digital Multiply Chorus: Available for free of cost, this plugin basically thickens up the sound and makes it sound more lively. While on its own it does not really sound great, when the chorus is added to the mix it definitely enhances the overall feel of the track.
- Klanghelm DC1A Compressor: This is a free compressor that can be used very easily. It is highly simplified with only two parameters: input and output. If one wants to add compression without investing much time, this is a great tool for doing so. This plugin is automatic and famous for adding smooth leveling to the tracks without making it sound artificial. This tool can be used to add negative compression, parallel compression along with a dual mono-switch which can compress right and left channels automatically. It also offers a high pass filter whose function is to reduce any pumping sound that might accompany a heavy bass track.
- Voxengo Oldskoolverb: This plugin too is available for free. Reverb is one of the most important effects that is applied to vocal recordings in order to make them sound great. GarageBand itself offers a good standard of reverb featuring a number of presets . However, in case the user is not satisfied with the effects available on GarageBand they can simply go to this Voxengo Oldskoolverb for more effects. The quality of reverb added by this plugin is much higher and better than its contemporaries. Thus, one can easily rely on it for producing good quality mixes.
These were some of the best vocal plugins available for GarageBand that will most certainly help the user enhance their tracks and mixes. Depending on their needs and aspirations users may choose from the options above, and can use them singularly or in combination for better results.