Vocal processing for Vegas?

daniel-t wrote on 8/23/2022, 11:47 AM

What's a good vocal processor (compression, de-esser, re-eq, etc.) that works well with Vegas - specifically for narration?

For what seems like forever I've been using the version of Izotope Nectar Elements that shipped with Vegas 13, but I realized today it does NOT work right in v19 - it has the option to save a preset of customized settings based on one of the default profiles, but turns out every time you load the project file or even bring up the FX screen, all those customizations reset to the default base profile. It's definitely a bug as clicking on the preset doesn't restore them until you first switch to a different base profile, at which point clicking on the preset beings the correct settings back. It's the "latest" version, but for v1 that's 2015.

Anyhow, I'm not dealing with that kind of unreliable mess. But what's a good alternative? I have no experience in this area... seems like I could get Nectar 3, or perhaps UnitedPlugins Voxessor... I've just been spending way too much time trying to get things right with the default Vegas plugins.


misohoza wrote on 8/23/2022, 12:37 PM

My favourite workflow for audio editing in Vegas is open copy in audio editor and do everything there. Be it Soundforge or whatever editor you prefer. This creates new take and you don't need to worry about any plugins in Vegas.

daniel-t wrote on 8/23/2022, 12:56 PM

I realized when I was rebuilding my system last winter that I don't even HAVE a current audio editor. My copy of SoundForge is v10 from 2010, which I didn't even bother to install, so I've just been living with Vegas for everything audio-related.

Still would likely need a good plugin for an audio editor, though.

fr0sty wrote on 8/23/2022, 12:59 PM

Download the VEGAS 20 demo, does it still do it there? They greatly expanded VEGAS' VST compatibility and reliability in VEGAS 20, so it expands your options as to which VST plugins you can use with it.



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rraud wrote on 8/23/2022, 1:48 PM

Sound Forge Pro 10 is adequate in many cases, though it does not support 64 bit VST 2/3 plug-ins. I liked the (SF-10 included) iZotope's Mastering Suite II which had a multiband compressor, exciter, spacial enhancer (imager). The other (single-band) tools, limiter, reverb, ect., did not impress me. Unfortunately the (Direct X) Mastering Suite only runs in 32 bit SCS and Magix host apps.
Sound Forge Audio Studio 16 is included with most versions of VP, but I do not think it includes third-party plug-ins (Ozone Elements), SF AS 16 is very similar to the legacy versions of Sound Forge, aside from the record UI and the modal FX chainer.

daniel-t wrote on 8/23/2022, 2:07 PM

The last version of VP I have that came with Sound Forge is v10, which came with Studio 10 (not Pro). Didn’t seem to be included with my bundles of 11, 12, or 13, nor 19. Although I just got 19 Edit, assuming wrong at the time that I had an audio editor.

I also have Music Maker 2022 Premium, which keeps telling me I have as an included feature Sound Forge 12.6, but it only installed as a trial and there is NO indication anywhere of a code to register it with, so I think it’s just some confusing marketing.

EDIT: Okay, I found the code buried within Music Maker's store for Sound Forge Audio Studio 12.6. Which is like... still ancient (16 is current??) and probably not useful. What version does VP come with? It's not actually specified, though it's still just Studio and not Pro.

Last changed by daniel-t on 8/23/2022, 2:37 PM, changed a total of 1 times.

Intel i9-12900K, 32gb 5200mhz DDR5, Asus ROG Z690 Hero
2tb Samsung 980 Pro (m.2 gen 4), 2 x 4tb WD SN700 (m.2 gen 3, RAID 0)
AMD 6700 XT, 3 x NEC 24" LCD
Vegas 19 & Windows 11 Pro

Vegas user since v4.0b!

Gregory-Mead wrote on 8/23/2022, 4:47 PM

Since you're familiar with Nectar, I can confirm Nectar 3 Plus works well in VP20 (VST3 version). VP19 is a little finicky with iZotope plug-ins, but does work okay with the VST2 version, as long as you don't have a lot of stacked audio tracks going on in your project. It has everything you're looking for, and if you like the results from the basic version, you should be very pleased with the current full plug-in.

If you want to try something different, the Waves company has several channel strip options for you. Most are, of course, geared toward music production... but there are a couple that might work well for narration applications. If you want something that has compression, eq, de-esser, and a bit of additional "color" control, the Sheps Omni Channel is very good. The Renaissance Channel is also nice, but lacks a built-in de-esser. Waves does have a few very good dedicated de-essers, though, so you can mix and match (and they always have deals!). Waves plug-ins work well in VP19 and VP20, however, the VST3 versions only work in VP20.

Also, if you're working in narration, consider upgrading your Sound Forge to the full current version. It has a lot of tools for ensuring your finished files are compliant with all of the audio book and streaming services... and it may save you a lot of time in the long run. The Sound Forge Audio Studio version has some, but the full version has a lot more. Both are fully VST compatible, so any plug-ins you want to use should work just fine.

Hope that helps... good luck!!

Gregory-Mead wrote on 8/23/2022, 4:57 PM

I forgot... one additional recommendation, if you need any kind of noise reduction in your narration processing chain on occasion. Waves Clarity Vx. Even the basic version is amazing!

vkmast wrote on 8/23/2022, 5:04 PM

@daniel-t according to the "7. Direct links" in the download thread, the VEGAS Pro (and Post) 20 download manager can download and install Sound Forge Audio Studio 16.

rraud wrote on 8/23/2022, 5:42 PM

Sound Forge Audio Studio 16 includes some basic noise reduction tools, Sound Forge Pro includes the Noise Reduction Pack (aka, NR-2.0) and IZotopes RX Elements. The Sound Forge Suite includes both plus Steinberg's SpectraLayers Pro. IMO the price of the SFP Suite upgrade alone is worth it to get SLP. There are other great tools in SFP Suite. Dynamic EQ and Variverb also rocked my boat.

btw, SFP-10 also included the legacy NR-2.0 noise reduction pack.

daniel-t wrote on 8/23/2022, 5:43 PM

Thanks for all the info! I’m just working on my own amateur animation projects where I’m doing literally everything including narration/voices, and feel like the one place I’m never quite happy with is the audio. I spend so much time constantly tweaking the mix, with something like a dozen tracks of voices, music and effects/ambience.

Anyhow, I don’t need noise reduction so much as compression that doesn’t make my voice sound nasally, some EQ to tame a few frequencies, and maybe add some presence or warmth.

I’m pretty careful about mic technique to avoid plosives and whatnot, but occasionally a harsh ess can show up in a take I otherwise like.

Last changed by daniel-t on 8/23/2022, 6:13 PM, changed a total of 2 times.

Intel i9-12900K, 32gb 5200mhz DDR5, Asus ROG Z690 Hero
2tb Samsung 980 Pro (m.2 gen 4), 2 x 4tb WD SN700 (m.2 gen 3, RAID 0)
AMD 6700 XT, 3 x NEC 24" LCD
Vegas 19 & Windows 11 Pro

Vegas user since v4.0b!

Musicvid wrote on 8/23/2022, 7:10 PM

I swear by these, not just for routine compression, but streaming / broadcast compliance. Barricade 4 is my "always on" vocal plugin.



RogerS wrote on 8/23/2022, 7:55 PM

I think 20 is quite broken for Nectar 3 Plus VST 2 where one channel becomes boosted more than another.
I bounce audio to Izotope Rx and then add it there if desired.

Ozone should work though, I didn't have an issue with at least the Ozone Elements VST 2 in 19 or 20.

There are other Fx that can do similar things. TDR Nova is one I like the interface of and is free.

daniel-t wrote on 8/23/2022, 11:29 PM

I’m a LITTLE bit concerned about the comment that Nectar Plus is a bit finicky with VP19, and not right in VP20. I don’t want something where, for example, settings randomly get lost or not applied - I’m already dealing with that.

I also don’t have much in the way of an audio plug-in collection. I seem to have EssentialFX and ExpressFX bundles that must have come with… something.

Any thoughts on the Waves Renaissance Max bundle? Seems to come with decent collection for $75.

Last changed by daniel-t on 8/23/2022, 11:29 PM, changed a total of 1 times.

Intel i9-12900K, 32gb 5200mhz DDR5, Asus ROG Z690 Hero
2tb Samsung 980 Pro (m.2 gen 4), 2 x 4tb WD SN700 (m.2 gen 3, RAID 0)
AMD 6700 XT, 3 x NEC 24" LCD
Vegas 19 & Windows 11 Pro

Vegas user since v4.0b!

RogerS wrote on 8/24/2022, 12:40 AM

Nectar 3 Plus VST 2 works fine in 19 as far as I can tell.

Vegas does have built in compressors and EQ though the interfaces are a bit dated.
Essential/Express come with Vegas and work.

Here's what Nova looks like: https://www.tokyodawn.net/tdr-nova/

daniel-t wrote on 8/24/2022, 1:47 PM

Okay, I just picked up Nectar 3 Plus for a cheap price and... I'm very happy. Getting the kind of results I was hoping for. The built-in compressor in Vegas was just too harsh on my voice.

RogerS wrote on 8/24/2022, 7:56 PM

Nice, glad you like it- I think it's an excellent tool!

daniel-t wrote on 8/24/2022, 8:08 PM

Having only used “basic” audio plugins before (other than VST instruments), I like the visualizations it has, like how each specific effect is being applied in real time. Very helpful for determining how something is affecting the signal.