United Plugins announces the availability of SounDevice Digital-developed Voxessor voiceover-perfecting plug-in par excellence. Voxessor is the latest plug-in from founding partner SounDevice Digital, dedicated to achieving a perfect voiceover in next to no time thanks to all voice treatment processes (such as compression, equalization, and saturation) being easily accessible alongside several shortcuts.
A voice that cuts through your videos and films like a hot knife through butter. A voice that is instantly recognized and always understood. Speech that is strong and well balanced. That is the kind of speech you need. That is the kind of voiceover Voxessor delivers.
As a piece of narration in a film or broadcast, not accompanied by an image of the person speaking, voiceover is a tried-and-tested production technique that has been used as a character device, creative device, education or descriptive device, and commercial device, as well as a translation tool, for many years. Yet it is not necessarily easy to create a great-sounding voiceover — arguably all the more so in an increasingly independent age of proliferating YouTube video and podcast presentation — with which to cast a message far and wide.
Which is exactly where SounDevice Digital’s dedicated Voxessor plug-in comes into play, perfectly positioned for anyone creating commercials, e-books, movies, podcasts, YouTube videos, and, indeed, any other need to cultivate recorded speech.
Setting the controls for the heart of the human voice — starting with the self-explanatory input (db) knob (to control the input signal level, ranging from -24 to +24) and output (db) knob (to control the volume output of the plug-in itself, ranging from -24 to +24), Voxessor effectively begins by allowing its users to speedily sweep for ideal equalization.
By bypassing the tedious process of manually applying EQ, so there is no need to tweak specific frequency and Q — ratio of centre frequency to bandwidth — settings according to the person speaking’s voice characteristics, Voxessor users can skip searching for those specific sweet spots by simply sweeping through man to guy to woman to girl EQ settings — suitable for working with the deepest and most manly voices to gentle female speech, in other words — using its photorealistic graphical user interface-dominating dedicated control. Couldn’t be simpler, surely — all the more so since an associated intensity (%) knob acts as a dry/wet control for the EQ applied.
And as if that finely-tuned EQ sweep control is not enough to be getting on with, Voxessor helpfully has another ace up its virtual sleeve since the already helpful feature in question can be combined with its inbuilt intelligent matching expertise. Engaging the analyze your voice (learn) button for five seconds is all it takes for Voxessor to detect the voice characteristics of the person speaking, then the match (%) control — adjustable between 0 and 100 — can be used to apply EQ accordingly so that the result sounds as close to ideal as possible.
Performance can sometimes prove problematic — human nature is what it is, after all, so engaging Voxessor’s autolevel automatically fixes any volume imperfections inherent in a speaking person’s performance to achieve a smooth and flawless flow for further perfecting voiceovers in next to no time. This can prove particularly useful during demanding performances involving longer-lasting stretches of sustained speech, such as documentary or e-book narration.
Needless to say, every voice is different and every speaker’s sibilants — speech sounded with a hissing effect — occur on slightly different frequencies. Fortunately, Voxessor’s (switchable) de-esser features tuning (kHz) and depth (%) controls to allow users to choose the right frequency band — between 3,2 and 7,4 — to work with maximum efficiency while minimizing adversely affecting the original material.
Moreover, Voxessor also features a smart dynamics section with one-knob compressor (%) and gate (%) controls. All are set internally, tuned to work with dialogue and voiceover applications, although they could conceivably be also applied to vocal tracks — albeit achieving occasional unexpected results!
Rounding out that photorealistic yet flexible GUI — giving users an impression of working with physical hardware while easily adapting to their needs (by instantly resizing to suit when dragging the arrow at the bottom right corner as appropriate) — are a series of onscreen meters: in (indicates the input signal volume); comp gr (indicates the compressor gain reduction); gate gr (indicates the gate gain reduction); and out (indicates the overall output level).
Last but by no means least, Voxessor’s automatic gain compensation constantly adapts to the current settings to ensure that the plug-in’s output always sounds as loud as the input — no more thinking something sounds better simply because it is louder!
It is clearly as sophisticated in action as it is simple in operation, yet Voxessor certainly succeeds in its aim of achieving a perfect voiceover in next to no time! Thankfully, it is also perfectly priced to suit, so anyone creating commercials, e-books, movies, podcasts, YouTube videos, and, indeed, any other need to cultivate recorded speech should seriously consider adding it to their DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) toolkit.
About United Plugins
As implied in the carefully chosen wording for an apt appellation that really represents how the Prague-registered Limited Company came about and what it collectively creates, United Plugins is a federation of small, independent development teams comprised of individuals involved in the music industry. Indeed, the founding triad of FireSonic, JMG Sound, and SounDevice Digital can count engineers, producers, and artists amongst their ‘united’ names.
Needless to say, all were seeking the freedom to create the tools that they would like to use in their studios and on their projects. And all agreed that this could be better achieved when working together. Though United Plugins’ proliferating product portfolio may not always be for the musical masses, surely someone, somewhere will always find those tools to be a perfect fit for their own music productions... just like those inventive individuals behind United Plugins’ partner brands, the ranks of which have since swelled to include Muramasa Audio and MeldaProduction. Thanks to the latter letting United Plugins utilize its super-easy licensing system, which is why selected MeldaProduction products are also available from the United Plugins website, a thriving future for the federation is assured.
Pricing and Availability
SounDevice Digital’s Voxessor is available to purchase for a time-limited introductory promo price of €29.00 EUR until January 31, 2021 — rising thereafter to its regular price of €129.00 EUR — as an AAX-, AU-, VST-, and VST3-compatible audio plug-in directly from United Plugins here
A 15-day, fully-functional trial version for macOS and Windows can be downloaded for free from here.
Note that all United Plugins partner plug-ins — SounDevice Digital’s Voxessor included — now feature a more CPU-friendly core with extra efficiency — for instance, intelligent sleep on silence certainly helps — and are also compatible with macOS 11 (Big Sur) and Apple’s new M1 processor-based computers.