Let’s have a look at something special today. Something that can show how creativity has a lot more faces than we often think. Voxpat by Digital Brain Instruments isn’t really making sounds. But it manipulates them so well that one you tried it, it just doesn’t feel right to call an “effect” because it feels like so much more. And recently the developers came out with a big update. I just got my copy of the new version, so let’s dive in.
What is Voxpat?
Digital Brain Instruments say: “Voxpat is a standalone software developed to create a high-quality monster, other world creatures, and robotic voices for games, films, music, multimedia projects or for creating sound libraries in just a few minutes. But also for processing any kind of samples or instruments in many different ways.”
To also give you a summed up version, of how you do what the developers describe so well above. The work-flow basically goes like this:
- You drop in a prerecorded sound or record one.
- You’re just faders and effects to your liking or choose a preset.
- And bada bing bada boom, if you got yourself an animal, monster, growl sound.
Of course, “Voxpat” allows you to go as deep into the design of the sound as you wish, or stay on the surface and use the very well-designed presets, to give a sound just the right touch for whatever your purpose is. Don’t be deceived, though. The depth of control you can gain over the manipulated sound within Voxpat only reveals itself after using it for a while. It is amazing how detailed one can get with the composition of the effect layers.
How it works
Here is what I can guess about how it actually works. It seems mostly based on Max MSP and reminds me of “Dehumaniser”. It basically turns your voice, or any recording, into a creature, monster, or a robotic voice. Voxpat comes with a few pre-designed patches as well as a few samples to work with. These patches are a nice start before you go and turn knobs yourself. Making your own is the real “fun” though.
Once you run Voxpat all it’s features are at your fingertips and visible right away. Voxpat uses 2 microphone inputs and various sample players, depending on the effect you might want to use. It also includes pre-designed effects modules that instantly turn your voice into a creature. These effects don’t have any knobs to tweak just a fader to mix the amount you want in.
The rest of the effects enable you to tweak the sound even more to your liking. All effects also have panning, solo, and mute buttons. Lastly, you have the dry slider to mix with the effected sound. It sounds a bit confusing if you don’t have the interface in front of you, but it is actually very intuitive and fun to create roars and growls this way.
How does it look?
Something I noticed about Voxpat, is how used I am to the sleek interface design of most libraries. In comparison, Voxpat software looks rather bare-bones, and I’m not sure if that is intentional or if I like it at all. Nice, fancy, colorful interfaces, might or might not be distracting, but they are also fun and engaging. I wish they had done a little more in this department.
That being said. Work-flow is the key and Voxpat certainly makes your life a lot easier with its straightforward approach. One thing I really like is the numbers above each effect which open up additional settings for the desired effect. You can access them by clicking on them or by tapping one of the numbers on your keyboard (1 – 0).
The Main Features
- 2 Microphones with HPF are available.
- Multi-Player. Play up to 4 audio files simultaneously. Playback speed. Pitch. Loop mode.
- Virtual Instrument Player. Play any VST/AU instrument.
- Mix – This section allows mixing the spectral content from 2 inputs into 1 before being processed through Voxpat.
- Voice effects – Process input signal through up to 14 simultaneous effects. Each effect includes 3-Band Parametric EQ, HPH, and LPF. sends, mute, solo, and panorama controls.
- Input depending mode – Activate or deactivate any voice effect depending on the input level. It allows creating more dynamic sounds by activating outputs only when the input level is above the selected threshold for each voice effect.
- Delays matrix – Add a delay to any voice effect to create interesting and unique decays to your voice.
- Voice morphing – Cross-morphing between S1/S2 mixer sends. It allows creating awesome voice transformations.
- Output morphing – Cross-morphing between dry & wet signals.
- Master FX Rack – Includes 2 VST/AU plugin sections (serial & parallel modes available), 5-Band Parametric EQ, Pitch Shifter, and a Cutoff Filter (HPF/LPF).
- Output Clone mode allows generating a delayed copy of the output signal and to apply a slightly different pitch shifting in comparison with the original output, creating interesting decay effects.
- Recording – Export Stereo/Mono WAV or AIFF files. Up to 192kHz / 32 Bits (depending on your soundcard). Simultaneously dry/wet output signal recording mode is available.
- Batch processing – Allows processing and recording a batch of files within a selected folder in just one click. Stereo & Mono.
- Rec me – A quick way to record your voice to be processed through “Voxpat” in a few seconds.
- Presets manager – Create your own presets. Includes 37 presets from respected sound designers.
- MIDI Matrix – Control “Voxpat” via your midi device, tablet or smartphone. Lemur & Touch OSC templates included.
- Input & output routing – Play and record audio from any DAW/Audio Editor using Soundflower, JackAudio, and JK Pipe.
- Keyboard shortcuts – For better and faster user experience.
VOXPAT is incredibly powerful, and fun to use, especially in conjunction with a microphone, but also in all its other functionalities. I can see it saving a lot of time for sound designers, spark new ideas, and nurture a more creative flow of creativity when working on sound effects.
It could be a lot prettier, but apart from that it works great, is very well crafted, and the workflow is superb. It includes great documentation, and enables all users to go as deep into it as they wish, but doesn’t punish anyone who wants to stay on the surface. For its price, it’s absolutely worth it, and given that there are almost no similar products on the market, that offer the same quality, I would recommend this to anybody who works with sound design or wants to.
More Details/Buy Link: VOXPAT