Anyone who knows the Boston company iZotope knows about the high-quality audio plugins and music software that they usually make. With iZotope Nectar, they have now released a new plugin that takes care of editing vocals in the recording studio. It is an “all-in-one” plugin that is offered in several formats for various sequencers.
After the start, the main window of iZotope Nectar opens and you are introduced to the functions of the plugin with the help of a tutorial. The main window is well thought out and tidy. It gives instant access to the most important vocal editing tools. On the upper side, there is a button that takes you to the Genre & Styles (presets).
Directly below are the seven modules De-Esser, Breath, Gate, Pitch Correction, Levels, and Space. The modules De-Esser, Breath, and Gate are edited via the so-called Advanced View. The modules Levels, Space as well as the seventh module, which you can name individually, are adjusted via the Genre & Style Edit button. An exception here is the pitch correction module, which can be opened via the “Manual Editor” button.
In iZotope Nectar, modules can be switched on or off individually and are easy to use. It would be even nicer if they could be edited from the main window (like the Pitch Correction module). Below the module windows are a fully parametric 5-band equalizer and five buttons. These can be used to perform a reset, go back step by step (history), call up the settings, or help.
Finally, on the right side, you will find the switch for mixing and tracking, the button for the advanced view, the in and output faders as well as the presets and bypass buttons for the respective style. Genre & Styles in the iZotope Nectar test report If you click on the button for the presets, a menu with a two-line list opens. On the left are the folders for the different genres and on the right are the styles in the active folder.
iZotope Nectar offers twelve different genres (e.g. Rock, HipHop, Soul & R’n’B, Dance, or Special FX), in which there are a number of suitable styles. You will find a total of 110 styles here, with which you can achieve good results very quickly. If you would like to adapt a certain style to your needs, there is an edit button at the bottom left. Own styles can be saved with their own name in a folder list.
If you slide this switch to track, the plugin uses less computationally intensive algorithms for doubler, limiter, and pitch correction, which noticeably reduces the CPU load. In tracking mode, the Breath module is completely switched off. I really liked the warning with a small red triangle with an exclamation mark during tracking mode. This prevents the simpler algorithms from being used during the mixdown.
The Breath Control is perfect to reduce or remove air inhalations and the Pitch Editor will help you for a better correction of vocals.
EQ and Saturation Modules are very easy to use. The Saturation Module has five different emulations: Analog, Retro, Tape, Tube, and Warm, and in the EQ Modules you can use up to eight fully parametric bands.
Dynamic Modules include the De-Esser, Compressors, Gate, and Limiter. All these do a great job and are very useful. There are not just one Compressor but two Compressor modules and each has four different characteristics: Digital, Vintage, Optical, and Solid-State.
Presets are the gold mine of any iZotope plugin. A real value that offers you a large number of presets that can be the perfect starting point for your work. With some modification, you will get the exact sound you want to hear. You can access these presets from the Presets Manager at the bottom of the interface.
iZotope Nectar is a good and almost complete all-around solution that convinced me. For editing vocals, this plugin doesn’t have to hide from other competitors. The fast workflow is perhaps its best strength. The operation is pleasant and iZotope Nectar is ideal for anyone who has not yet installed the appropriate plugins for effective vocal editing.
In order to make the plugin completely round, I personally still need the modules chorus and a vocoder. The missing stereo delay is also painful, especially with vocals.
Nectar 2 Production Suite is compatible with all major DAW programs these days. Nectar 2 comes in VST, VST3, AU, RTAS/AudioSuite, and AAX formats.
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Using or have used Nectar 2? What do you think about this product?
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