New Toys: United/Soundevice Plug-ins VoxDucker

VoxDucker is a very useful plug-in when there isn't time to do a studied, automated vocal ride over a raucous and rowdy track—maybe a quick an dirty demo mix to just hear the song. VoxDucker uses its sidechain input to turn down a music bed track in and exact way and at the exact right time and pre-programmed amount. This is a great tool for a voice-over and reducing a track whenever a seldom used and/or random audio source such as a PA announcement message has to mix with background music.

I would set up a track stem—a mix of the entire music bed and then a separate stereo vocal stem track just for the lead vocal production with effects, compression, EQ included. The music stem and lead vocal stem would be in my Pro Tools template and a stereo instance of VoxDucker would go on the music stem. So the track would lower in volume whenever my singer would sing OR when there was a PA announcement in the restaurant/bar where their band was playing.

There are so many adjustable parameters on VoxDucker that I'm starting to use it more and more on all my mixes. Besides a large Depth control, there is a Threshold control that helps for wide vocal dynamics, and the plug-in will run in either Broadband or all frequencies are ducked, Multiband where only certain selected frequencies duck, or Spectral mode analyzes the vocal spectrum and ducks only where needed.

A definite return to using VoxDucker is warranted as I am already getting ideas for my next mix—such as triggering and ducking other tracks based on kick and snare drum hits. VoxDucker sells for $59 and is available in AAX, AU, VST and VST 3 for Macs and PCs. It's a good one!