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Review: ReVoice Pro 3

Review: ReVoice Pro 3
Alan Branch

Recording

27 April 2015: By Alan Branch

Alan Branch sees what the latest version of this intuitive vocal processing tool from Synchro Arts has to offer.

Alan Branch sees what the latest version of this intuitive vocal processing tool has to offer.

Synchro Arts has released ReVoice Pro 3 (RVP 3), a major update to its much-revered vocal processing software.

RVP 3 is the development of the technology into a comprehensive package of vocal manipulation tools. If you’ve ever spent hours aligning, tuning, editing or timing a vocal this magical software could be the nirvana moment you’ve dreamt of.

I reviewed RVP 2 in the April 2012 issue of Audio Media and was blown away by the power and vocal tools that it brought to a traditional DAW – the ability to quickly adjust vocal pitch and timing between tracks, transforming a loose vocal take into a tight professional performance, or generate natural sounding double tracks. Now with a facelift, hundreds of performance tweaks and an incredible new Warp feature, RVP 3 is here to take vocal editing to the next level.

RVP 3 supports both Mac and PC 32/64-bit, AU, AAX and VST3. Installation and authorisation via iLok was straightforward. RVP 3 runs as a stand-alone software application, audio is transferred by ‘Link’ plug-ins that connect to your DAW, enabling audio to be sent back and forth. However there are various methods of getting your audio in and out of Revoice Pro from specific DAWs either by plug-in, drag-and-drop or via the OS copy and paste. AudioSuite and AAX is by far the simplest transfer method, enabling instant capture of regions to RVP 3 and a Spot function to paste it back into Pro Tools.

In Use

Version 3 of RVP is a marvellous upgrade; alongside a huge list of improvements, it has new process functions, extended parameters, automation lanes and better performance. But one of the main new features is pitch and time Warp processing.

RVP 3 can be a little daunting at first glance, but I found it simple enough to operate once you’re up to speed. Good tutorials and tips support the quick start process. RVP 3 is like a multi-track editor, with unlimited tracks, but unlike a normal editor is based around using ‘Guide’ and ‘Dub’ (target) tracks, like a main vocal and its associated harmony.

Using a process called APT (Audio Performance Transfer) to analyse timing and pitch differences between tracks, this process can create a new piece of mono/stereo audio via a selection of parameters and presets, that can be sent to a new output track or replace the original. The APT has Process Control lanes that run underneath the audio tracks. You could think of these like a channel insert plug-in in your DAW, but as the process is time-based they are shown underneath the affected audio region in selected playback sections. RVP 3 has four types of process, (two more than RVP2): APT – for control over pitch and time differences; Doubler – creation of a double track from a single guide; Volume – match a track’s volume and Warp Process – create a track of pitch corrected audio. Using any or all of these process features, it’s easy to create new tracks of audio with all the pitch and timing changes you need ready to spot back into your DAW session.

The new Warp process gives RVP 3 almost everything you need to manipulate vocals in time and pitch. It’s similar in operation to Logic’s Flex Pitch or Melodyne, by displaying blocks of detected pitch as Warp regions that you can adjust manually or automatically to fix tuning issues. As well as being able to move the blocks of pitch detection up and down in scale, these blocks have a position dependant adjustment tool – the left and right edges being time compression and expansion, while the top and bottom edges control the pitch width for altering vibrato range.

There are a few extras to this pitch and time control; a ‘Tilt’ feature enables a block to be tilted in pitch using a locked anchor at either end – perfect for singers that tend to drop a little flat or enter a line a little sharp; a ‘Smoothing’ function helps blend fast pitch changes or groups of pitch blocks. Other features include Warp points, much like Flex (Logic Pro) or Elastic Audio (Pro Tools). These are audio position anchors to control movement options – blocks of pitch can even be copied and pasted to other blocks.

Processing any vocal, it’s vital it retains all of its quality and harmonic content, and RVP 3’s Warp Process not only excels at intelligent workflow with great pitch and time features; it must be one of the clearest pitch algorithms I’ve ever heard.

Conclusion

As an admirer of Synchro Arts vocal manipulation software since Vocalign, I was eager to see how they could improve RVP 2. Adding the Pitch and Time Warp function I think was needed now so many DAWs have flexible audio built in, but RVP 3 isn’t just a copy of others, rather a development of it’s own unique features, and it’s a pleasure to use. Apart from the myriad of enhancements, the AU plug-in is a big improvement on the previous Rewire method of transferring audio from Logic Pro, and the extra performance meant the whole application felt fast and  snappy. For me, as a music engineer, it’s an incredible set of audio tools that will save me hours of painstaking editing when sorting out vocal sections that I want to tighten, thicken or accurately pitch across several tracks of harmonies and double tracks.

Alan Branch is a freelance engineer/producer. His list of credits include Jamiroquai, Beverley Knight, M People, Simply Red, Depeche Mode, Shed 7, Sinead O’ Connor and Bjork.