Only good singing is not enough to record great vocal performances. Vocals need to be recorded and mixed perfectly. And for that, you need to have the best vocal plugins.
There are thousands of various vocal VST plugins you can find in different categories. But if you are interested in the best VST plugins for vocals, you came to the right place.
What’s The Best Vocal Plugin?
For this post, I have tested and collected great ten VST vocal plugins. I also added some of my favorite ones. This list contains different types of vocal plugins such as EQ, compressor, delays, and more.
1. Soothe 2
Soothe 2 is a very interesting and unique plugin for vocals. With it, you can clean any vocal performance and make them better. Soothe 2 is a dynamic resonance suppressor with awesome features and a beautiful interface. However, you can use it with other instruments too such as guitars, violins, bass, drums, etc.
You can remove harshness, treat tonal balance that’s uneven, and clean up vocal performances from muddiness and boominess. You can use the soft or hard settings of the plugin. It offers features such as depth, attack/release, sharpness, sensitivity, and much more. Also, you can create EQ bands and manage almost anything you want.
2. Waves API 560
API 560 is one of my favorite Waves vocal plugins. It’s very simple, emulates analog sound, and has a great impact on any vocal performance. I have mixed pop vocals, rock singing, and even metal vocals with this plugin. It’s very easy to use and also has a very affordable price tag.
Waves API 560 emulates the vintage analog EQ, each band can boost or cut 12dB of volume, has a clip level, and VU meters. It’s a graphic EQ and the frequency range spans from 31Hz to 16kHz. In total, offers 10 bands and you can control the output. Also, has the option to turn on/off the analog circuit. API 560 EQ plugin works with Windows and Mac but requires at least 8GB of RAM. So, you need a powerful computer to use its full power.
Wider by Polyverse is one of the best plugins to add stereo width to your vocal tracks. The plugin is free to use and has a very simple interface but does amazing things. One of my favorite things about this plugin is that it has no issue with phasing. I love when I find a free plugin and when a free plugin is awesome, I love it more.
This plugin offers only one control and that is a widener control that can transfer a completely mono signal into a stereo sound in seconds. It goes from 0 to 200% which is mind-blowing. You can use it on any track you like whether it’s a vocal, guitar, drum, or any other track and it immediately makes sound wider and gives it air and depth.
4. Arturia Rev Plate 140
Rev Plate 140 from Arturia is an amazing plate reverb plugin for vocals and other instruments. But mainly I use it for mixing vocals. It’s very simple to use with a very analog-like interface. Features only a couple of knobs but that’s enough to achieve the goal. With this plugin, every vocal performance will sound huge and very natural.
Arturia Rev Plate 140 includes features such as tube preamp with gain compensation, pre-delay, parametric EQ, highpass, etc. This plugin emulates three famous plate reverb models which sound amazing. You can create huge, lavish vocal performances. You can control decay, reverb width, and drive, and also has a wet/dry mix option. I have used this plugin in many vocal recording sessions and it helps me a lot.
5. Waves H Delay
If you are looking for vocal delay plugins don’t look further. Waves H Delay is the right plugin for vocals. This VST plugin looks cool, sounds cool, and has some amazing features. Although it is great for vocals, you can use it for guitars too. Especially, I like it with acoustic guitars.
H Delay has the analog flavor and can go up to 3500ms delay time. Includes features like phasing, filters, flagging, ping-pong style delay, and more. The interface is very intuitive and it’s very easy to use. It has controls for delay, feedback, modulation effects, and other cool and useful options.
6. Antares Autotune
Antares Autotune is a pitch correction VST plugin. Yeah, I know that many people, including me, don’t like autotune but you need to have it in your plugin arsenal. You don’t have to use it too much but a little to correct very bad vocal parts. Also, some people use autotune only for effect.
Antares has different versions of pitch correction but my favorite is the Antares Autotune Artist. It’s simple and very easy to use. It allows you to choose the pitch, scale, and input type which makes pitch correction much easier. Also, you can control natural vocal vibrato, and speed, and additionally has the Humanize option. I think every mixing engineer should have at least one pitch correction plugin and Antares Autotune Artist is the right plugin.
7. Waves De Esser
Waves De Esser is the must-have plugin for vocals. It’s a great way to reduce the excess sibilance that vocals naturally have. It’s a very easy-to-use plugin with an intuitive interface and some critical features. This is a part of the Waves Renaissance plugin series. The thing I like the most is that it has visuals and it makes it much easier to control the sound.
First of all, you can choose any frequency you want, choose the band type, and also choose a mode like split or other. Also, you can set threshold and range. And finally, set the output level. You can go in-depth and remove all unwanted sounds from vocals and make them cleaner. Renaissance De Esser by Waves is a must-have plugin for any home recording studio.
Vocalign makes mixing vocals much easier. It’s a timing and pitch alignment plugin with awesome features and a beautiful interface. It’s very important to capture the best from vocal performance and transfer it to the mixes. And this plugin is what you need. The best use of this plugin is with vocal harmonies.
Vocalign Ultra offers cool features like timing and pitch matching for two or more signals, tightness control, 50+ presets, and more. Has a great algorithm that helps to align multiple sounds perfectly. It’s a great plugin for vocals but also can be used with guitars, sound effects, or other musical instruments.
9. Universal Audio 1176
Universal Audio 1176 is a collection of world-famous limiters and plugins. This can be used as a compressor during mixing or as a limiter during mastering. The collection includes three plugins that share the same design and features. It’s very easy to use but very powerful and adds analog flavor to vocal tracks.
Each UAD 1176 plugin has input and output volume controls, attack, release, ratio, meter, and VU screens. If you want to use it as a compressor, you can use the 4:1 or 8:1 ratio and 12:1 or 20:1 for the limiter. But sometimes I use it as a compressor and limiter together. You are free to use UAD 1176 as you wish. But I can say that this is a great compressor plugin for vocals.
10. iZotope Vocal Doubler
iZotope Vocal Doubler is one of the best free vocal plugins you can find. Yeah, one reason is that it’s free but that’s not the main reason. It’s great because it does magical things to any vocal track whether it’s pop, rock, or metal. It works with all major digital audio workstations and needs very low CPU resources.
This is a perfect vocal doubler if you want to create organic vocal harmonies. It has rich and deep sound and doesn’t sound artificial. You can control the amount of effect, separate double vocals to your liking, and also you can change the variations. It’s a very simple but powerful plugin for vocals.
Vocals are one of the most important in any song. You need a good singer to achieve great vocal performances but that’s not enough. To have songs with awesome vocals then you need to mix them correctly. And vocal plugins are the best too for that. I am sure you will find at least one plugin helpful and make more awesome songs.