Best Vocal VST Plugins for Ableton

In this article, I shall provide a list of Ableton’s best Vocal VST plug-ins. Vocal plug-ins for Ableton come as both VSTi (VST instruments) and VST effects. I shall cover both types of plug-ins in this tutorial. If you are interested in other plugins, you can check out my selection of the best guitar, drum, and synth plug-ins, as well as a tutorial on using the chord plug-in for Ableton.

If you look at this tutorial on the differences between VST 2.0 and VST 3.0, you will see that plug-ins in Ableton will come only in the VST format in all operating systems and also in Audio Units (AU) for Mac. You can also check out the the plug-in installation guide if you need help with getting the plugins set up on your machine.

Mic Room by IK Multimedia

Mic Room by IK Multimedia

This is the best microphone emulation effect tool in music production. In this plug-ng, IK Multimedia has brought the best and most unique sounding microphones into your studio, recreating them digitally with an exceptional level of detail and accuracy to the microphones, staying true to their physical models, faithful to their true frequency response, nuanced character and specific sound of its physical counterpart. This means you the true harmonic complexity of tube condenser microphones, the punchy and transparent tone of dynamic mics and the buttery smoothness of ribbon mics.

This plug-in will help you shape the tone of your vocals, and the other mic’d instruments. This is especially useful when recording with a low-budget mic, or you would want the tone of a different mic. For only €49.99, you can get this plug-in here.

Exhale by Output

Exhale by Output

This is the first vocal-centred VST instrument on this list. It is a very powerful plug-in and can be CPU intensive in some cases, but once you start to use this instrument, you will notice why. You will get up to 500 unique presets and 3 different performance modes (notes, loops and slices) for a modern feel to your productions. Each preset is grouped according to the vibe they have, for example, Airy and Pad for your ethereal sounds, electro for a more digital and electronic feel and more. Each preset has its macro editing and universal macros to edit your sounds, and even layer or outright change how the vocal samples sound and behave. For a reasonable €199, you can get this plug-in here. You can also get expansion packs for Exhale for €35.

Nectar 3 Plus by iZotope

Nectar 3 Plus by iZotope

This is a mixing tool but is particularly best for vocal mixing and you will quickly see why. Nectar 3 behaves as a self-contained effects rack, firstly with its pitch correction tool that acts as an autotune plug-in, a compressor, EQ, saturator, reverb, delay, gate etc. I especially like this tool because of the harmony creation tool. You can create digital, artificial harmonies for your vocals, and tune them into the key of the song by semitones, as well as mix their levels and spatial placement in the Harmony module.

One of the best features of this plug-in is the Assist and Unmask features. Just like most iZotope plug-ins. Nectar uses AI learning to analyze your vocals to provide you with a mix suggestion or auto-vocal cleanup depending on your needs. For $249, you can get this plug-in here.

VocalSynth 2 iZotope

VocalSynth 2 iZotope

This is the second entry by iZotope in this list. This plug-in will elevate your vocal effects and production game. Due to the different effects modules, this plug-in will allow you to morph your vocals in a tame and reserved way by simply adding a bit of distortion, or you can go the full length and use these modules to create eccentric samples to build off. layer, texturing, effect, blend, and morph your sound, VocalSynth is your playground.

VocalSynth 2 comes with a Vocoder, Compuvox, Polyvox, Talkbox, and Biovox, presets to get you started, and effects rack containing delay, distortion, chorus etc. The plug-in comes with an interactive visualizer to give you an idea of how your effects are interacting with each other. You can get this plug-in here for $199.

Melodyne by Celemony

Melodyne by Celemony

This Grammy-award-winning plug-in is the most transparent audio editing tool. You can pitch correct and correct pitch drift, sample duration, control vocal skews, as well as control the amplitude of your sample, bringing the louder parts down, and the quitter parts up and also control the length and duration of a specific note or passage using the note separation tool (time tool). Furthermore, Melodyne will allow you to edit more than just vocals. You can change the interpretive algorithm of the plug-in to edit percussions and melodic and harmonic samples of all types.

Melodyne will grant you professional flexibility, accuracy and transparency. For this exceptional tool, you can buy it here for €699

Final Thoughts

The human voice is the most versatile instrument in the world, and with VST instruments and effects, you can push this instrument beyond any probable limit. You can create your custom sounds and samples using the tools I have listed in this tutorial. Feel free to use them beyond their intended purpose and parameters. Be creative, and have fun!