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REVIEW: iZotope Nectar 2

REVIEW: iZotope Nectar 2

If you’re a top-flight producer, budding home studio owner or just starting out your recording career with early demos, one thing that can make or break the process is capturing the vocals correctly.

What should fundamentally be the most important part of the song, the vocals are often recorded late (or last) and can often be lost in the mix, especially if you’re experimenting with a palette of different sounds and tones.

Fortunately, there are a myriad of vocal plugins available that are aimed at helping you get the most from your vocal tracks and help you consistently hit the right notes. iZotope Nectar 2 is one such vocal suite, offering everything that you could possibly need to process your vocal tracks to a professional manner.

Nectar 2 offers 11 modules, including dynamics, harmonies, intonation, delay, reverb and modulation effects in a user-friendly interface that’s both simple to use and easy to understand. Categorised presets such as Alternative, Classical, Folk, Pop are available and give a good starting point for the finished sound that you’re looking for. There’s also a selection of presets for voice-over artists, which is useful for dialogue and podcasts. If the need arises for something a little more different and you’re looking to experiment, there’s a selection of special FX presets, such as Darth’s Daughter, Drunk Night Out and Voice of God that will keep you amused for hours.
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Once you’ve chosen a preset, there are a number of ways that you can edit the sound to fit, either with the Overview page for a quick fix, or by going into more depth with the Advanced mode. Whichever route you take, the beauty of Nectar 2 is the simplicity of the controls; the layout makes it really easy to understand and you can edit knowing that you can easily amend any serious manipulation in just a couple of quick resets.

The first module is Pitch, including control of range and scale, with an automatic pitch correction processor included that detects the key of the vocal track and suggests the key of the input audio signal. The Pitch module is a fantastic feature in Nectar 2 and really does tighten any wayward vocal deliveries into a smooth performance, retaining a naturalness to the processed vocal track.

The Gate module includes a Floor level control, which is really useful, and a waveform display, which is also included in the De-Esser, Compressor and Limiter modules.

Specifying a key in the Harmony module, or playing the vocal track and engaging the key detection function allows the user the availability of up to four harmony parts, each with their own pan, pitch, delay and volume settings. There’s also a MIDI chords control setting to generate up to twelve vocals in real time, impressive stuff.

Saturation includes five different algorithms, Analogue, Retro, Tape, Tube and Warm settings and can make a real difference to the vocal track, from adding thickness to an intense gritty-sounding tone when pushed hard.

The EQ module offers eight multimode bands, including Bell, Vintage Bell, Treble and Vintage High and Low Shelves which are great for adding clarity and depth to the vocal, while the De-Esser includes a handy ‘Ess Only’ button to pinpoint annoying sibilance, which again is another useful addition.

Reverb includes a frequency analyser, which is a useful addition, as does the Delay, Limiter, De-Esser, Compressor and Saturation modules. It’s a great reverb with simple controls to change the depth and space of the sound. The Delay module includes Digital, Tape and Analog settings along with a Host Tempo sync and Trash, Width, Wet and Dry faders to help shape the level of delay.

FX Module includes Distort (with decimate section) Modulate (including Phase, Flanger and Chorus) and Repeat (including Echo and Shred sections) and Global section, with series and parallel sections and Host Sync setting. The Distort and Decimate setting are fantastic additions and sound tremendous, allowing the user to create unique vocal sounds, perfect for hard rock and electro.

If you’re looking for a cost-effective, all in one vocal plugin that delivers professional results, Nectar 2 should be high on your list. From subtle to heavy processing and much more, Nectar 2 will add that extra bit of sparkle needed to make your vocal tracks stand out in the mix.

Distributed by Time & Space

Tags: izotope , Review , Reviews , izotope nectar 2

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