I was recently hired to record, edit, and mix voiceover for a whopping 47 real estate advertisements as a new marketing campaign where the company plans to release one video a week for an entire year, minus holidays. Anyone who has been hired for this type of work before knows the struggle. If I had to sum it up in one word, it would be redundant. Granted, it was little funny that after spending two days recording the ads, the word brokerage started sounding like “bro courage”, followed by a slew of jokes about creatine and pre-workout to obtain some of that “bro-courage”.
Anyways, though there has been loads of dialogue de-noise plugins in recent history, there seems to be very little as far as the actual signal processing goes, and even less that is strictly for voiceover and dialogue work. Audified broke that dry spell by introducing the TNT Voice Executor, which is equally adept at advertising and voiceover work as it is for giving beginner engineers something to turn to in order to end up with solid vocals for their home recordings. Gone are the days of my clients asking to hire me to create them personalized vocal presets for their work-tapes.
The TNT Voice Executor can’t get much easier. You open it up, and choose from a variety of 35 predetermined presets under four categories: Rap, Vocals, Speech, and Special. All are self-explanatory, besides perhaps special, which includes presets that give you an underwater effect, radio effect (I can see myself using this in the future to save time), cavernous vocals, and other heavily processed results. This plugin is the deadlines best friend, since besides choosing a preset the only parameters you have to tweak are input gain, output gain, and drive, which is a wet/dry blend knob. It also gives you all the metering you need like input and output levels, as well as a gain reduction meter.
My current chain with the first 20 ads I had already completed when I first opened this plugin consisted of Izotope RX 5 Dialogue De-Noise (to completely deaden things), Eiosis E2Deesser, FabFilter Pro-Q2 (or Elysia xfilter), FabFilter Pro-MB, FabFilter Pro-C 2, and Izotope Ozone 7 Advanced for some final tweaks and to make sure that the RMS was where it needed to be without adding any distortion. For this type of work, transparency and clarity are absolutely vital, which is reflected with my list. But, if you were to tally everything together, the grand total for those plugins would equal a formidable $1,190 plus the $15/Month Slate Digital Everything Bundle not counting the Elysia X-filter.
Surprisingly, the TNT Vocal Executor covered damn near every base the rest of these plugins did, for about 1/17th the cost. Granted, you cannot tweak each parameter individually, but the presets really impressed me as far as how accurate they were versus what I was shooting for. The processors built into the TNT include, in order, a gate, high pass filter, compressor, EQ, distortion drive, stereo widening, delay, and limiter. The gate uses auto settings, which worked surprisingly well, though this is one processor that I wish more than the rest had tweakable parameters. For this particular project, I found it could get a little grabby at 100% wet on any given preset, though backed down to about 60-70% it is excellent, and certainly gets the job done.
Proof in the Pudding
I started by bypassing all of the plugins, and using only the TNT in my signal chain… and it got me very close to where I was! Granted, I would still want to tweak some EQ after the fact, but it got pretty darn close to where I was with the “Female Vocal Natural” preset. This is a godsend for people who are just getting started and still learning the ropes. After trying a few presets out you will almost definitely be able to get very useable results. Next, I tried putting the TNT after my above stated chain, and I loved it! So much so, I am going to be leaving the “Female Vocal Clear” preset at 40% drive on my chain for the rest of my project.
Wasn’t expecting that! The processors are very clean and natural sounding, which ensures it will not step on the toes of any other processing you may want to perform before or after, and keeps everything crisp and clear which 9/10 times is exactly what I want for any vocals regardless of the task at hand. Browsing through the vocal and rap settings, these certainly have the potential to help anyone get to a feasible work-tape quicker and easier than I have ever seen done before. It also saves you the trouble of bugging your engineer to create some custom presets for you. Technology is great, isn’t it? Though I’m normally not a fan of “auto-mix” plugins, they have been progressing and improving drastically, and in this case it is done extremely well, perfectly serving its purpose. The plugin industry is booming, and I bet it’s only a matter of time till we see similar plugins for other applications outside of vocal processing.
A fantastic way to get all of your basic vocal processing done in a convenient “one stop shop” format. Though the lack of parameters can make it feel somewhat limited at times, it does what it sets out to very, very well.
“Surprisingly, the TNT Vocal Executor covered damn near every base the rest of these plugins did, for about 1/17th the cost.”
Compatible on Mac:
OS X 10.9 – OS X 10.12, AAX, AU, VST2, VST3 32 & 64 bit
Compatible on Windows:
Windows 7- Windows 10, AAX, VST2, VST3 32 & 64 bit
iLok License Manager required
- A cinch to use
- Clean sounding signal processing
- Good, quick results
- Limited strictly to presets
- “One size fits all” gate
- No option to bypass unwanted processors