If you want a quick round-up of some of the hottest new software releases for use in music and post-production then at Production Expert we've created this summary. We tell you what the brand says and what we think, we also include links to help you find out more.
This week we take a look at:
iZotope Nectar 3
What iZotope Say About Nectar 3
iZotope, the developers of the industry standard audio restoration suite RX & hugely popular mastering platform ozone, recently released a newly redeveloped version of their vocal mixing system Nectar. Nectar 3 represents a huge leap forward in features and performance compared to previous versions of Nectar with version 3 including a cool… if not slightly expected mode called the Vocal Assistant. We’ve seen “The Assistant” introduced in other iZotope products over the 18 months including Nectar and ozone, but is it any good in Nectar…
Gerry Caron, iZotope’s Chief Product Officer told us…
“Vocals are the definitive focal point of music. We've added new, powerful assistive audio technology to help to create the ideal starting point for a vocal, place it in the mix, and communicate with other iZotope plug-ins.”
What We Think About iZotope Nectar 3
I’ve been using Nectar 3 over the past week, I’ve really tried to find fault with it but there’s nothing I don’t like. It won’t be replacing what I consider to be my go to vocal mixing chain but it is certainly a mixing suite I can recommend to anyone who’s serious about vocal production, especially if those types of producers who struggle from time to time to get the best vocal sound in their mixes. Nectar 3 can be as simple or complex as you need it to be. The Assistant can either be relied on heavily or used like a set of mixing training wheels that can be discarded when your vocal mixing abilities have improved over time. The Assistant can also be used instead of the preset manager, which I think is a better application for it as, like in other iZotope products that have some kind of assistant, this smart machine learning AI can be used as a mixing starting point - Dan Cooper
Read our full review of Nectar 3.
Includes a copy of Melodyne Essential
The Assistant is very intuitive
Unmask is a great feature which sits vocal tracks on top of other musical components without the need to get into deep mixing tricks
After hours of testing across multiple styles of content I can report that there are no downsides to this product whatsoever
Availability & Pricing
Customers who purchase Nectar 2, Production Suite or Music Production Suite during the introductory period will receive a free upgrade to Nectar 3 or Music Production Suite 2 when they’re released in November.
Nectar 3, Vocal Chain Bundle, Music Production Suite 2 will be available in November.
Nectar 3 - $249 MSRP ($199 introductory-pricing)
Vocal Chain Bundle - $499 MSRP ($399 introductory-pricing)
Music Production Suite 2 - $999 MSRP ($599 introductory-pricing)
Visit iZotope for more information about Nectar 3.
Plugin Alliance Schoeps Mono Upmix Plug-in
What Plugin Alliance Say About Schoeps Mono Upmix Plug-inWhat Does Mono Upmix Do?
Stereo Upmix generates stereo and even LCR channels from any mono signal by adaptively extracting the diffuse sound in the mono input signal to create an upmix signal. As the diffuse sound should always be reproduced decorrelated on different stereo channels, the up-mixed signal sounds more natural than the original mono track. Furthermore, it’s possible to control the perceived source distance and panning position by generating early reflections.
Another plug-in which achieves similar similar application as the Brainworx bx_stereomaker, but a very different approach with a totally different sound.
What We Think About Scheops Mono Upmix Plug-in
There has been many a time when I’ve received a mixing project only to find a handful of tracks that I believe would had sounded better in the mix if tracked in stereo. In moments like these I reach for stereoizer styles plug-ins, of which there are plenty of on the market that produce stereo like sound from mono source material but many, not all, produce a phasey unnatural effect which isn’t always usable, especially when subtly is concerned. Scheops mono upmix plug-in produces a very clean sounding stereo-ness from mono tracks but it goes a few steps further by providing us with controls for width and “distance” which together are very pleasing to use.
Great value for money
Not just a straight mono to stereo plug-in
Slick pan control
The GUI design looks like an afterthought and let’s the product down, but look past that, this is a very clean sounding stereomaker
Visit Plugin Alliance for more information.
Session Keys Electric W From e-Instruments
What e-Instruments Say About Session Keys Electric W
Session Keys Electric W is the sound of some of the most iconic hits over the last few decades. With attention to every detail, the recreation of this classic electric piano offers you all the warmth and dynamic range of the original. The Wurli helped to define the sound characteristics of Fusion, Disco, Funk, and Pop. We searched obsessively for a perfectly suited original to replicate this hit-making electric piano, followed by weeks of further specialist restoration. You'll get tons of inspiration from the various sounds the electric piano produces at different velocity layers – from Vibraphone-like smoothness to ultra-aggressive, distorted sounds.
What We Think About Session Keys Electric by e-Instruments
I’ve always loved the feel of playing the Session Keys instruments from eInstruments. Their acoustic pianos and Rhodes instruments always seem to keep me sitting in front of the keyboard longer. And I always seem to come up with interesting nuggets of ideas that I might not have otherwise thought of. Why? Because they just feel good to play; so I end up playing more. And playing more leads me to come up with ideas outside my stock cliche well-worn things I play when I first sit down in front of the keyboard.
And now e-Instruments has come up with a sample set for the classic 1974 Wurlitzer electric pianos. And in case you are wondering, yes; it feels great to play! Weighing in at a solid 4.5GB, Session Keys Electric W is more than just a stunning sample set. Like their other keyboards, there are two sample sets to choose from. In this case, one is sampled from the instrument’s direct output. The other is captured from the instruments built-in speakers and recorded with various microphones.
Read our full review of Session Keys Electric W.
Learn more about Session Keys Electric W from e-Instruments