Over the past year or so, Headliner has taken a close look at the entire Leapwing product range, of which we’re big lovers and users. So, when we heard of a new plugin from Leapwing aimed at simplifying the vocal processing chain, we were all ears.
UltraVox is another well thought out idea from Leapwing that brings together the key processing components of vocal recording and mixing in one plugin. There are four unique algorithms: Compression, Gate, Harmonics and Air, with each one represented by just a single control. The Compression and Gate for example are set by a threshold dB value and the algorithm does the rest, including auto gain levelling, so it’s really easy to hear in real-time the result of the amount of compression you apply. (Perfect for those who are learning how to compress vocals).
Gating a recording – especially something as dynamic and varied as a vocal – can be quite tricky, so some engineers leave this process for the mix stage. I was interested to find out how easy it was to use the Gate feature of this plugin in my DAW and record through it. With many interfaces you can set up different routing for the performer from within the interface, which includes reverb at near zero latency while the engineer can monitor the processed audio being recorded by the DAW. However, I used it in Logic in low latency mode and the plugin didn’t seem to introduce any noticeable latency at all. The obvious benefit here is a single plugin that’s not only a useful mix tool, but that can also provide a really quick, low latency, great sounding vocal processing chain for recording.
With UltraVox, spending a couple of minutes setting the Compression and Gate thresholds while you sing through it, then saving that using the save preset option in the preset menu, leaves you with a very simple low latency solution ready to go every time the inspiration takes you.