10 Best Vocoder VST Plugins: Unique Vocal Textures (2024)

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Explore the best Vocoder VST plugins of today’s digital era, a testament to the enduring appeal of one of electronic music’s most iconic effects. The vocoder, renowned for its unique ability to blend the human voice with the synthetic textures of synthesizers, has evolved from its telecommunications roots into a beloved tool across various music genres, including pop, hip-hop, techno, and more.

With the advancement of digital technology, VST plugins now offer capabilities that emulate, enhance, and even exceed the classic hardware vocoders, opening new frontiers of vocal synthesis.

Whether your creative vision aims for the robotic tones reminiscent of Daft Punk, the funky talk box vibes of Zapp & Roger, or something entirely new and avant-garde, there’s a vocoder VST plugin tailored to your needs. This guide presents a carefully selected list of the best vocoder plugins available, designed to transform your voice into the ultimate musical instrument.

As we delve into each plugin, we’ll explore its key features, benefits, and the distinct sonic qualities it contributes to your projects. Join us on a journey through vocal synthesis as we uncover the top vocoder VST plugins that promise to take your productions to new heights.

Our Top Picks
  • iZotope - VocalSynth 2
  • Sonivox - Vocalizer Pro
  • Meldaproduction - MVocoder
  • Zynaptiq - Orange Vocoder
  • Soundtoys - Little Alterboy
  • Xils Labs - Vocoder 5000
  • Xils Labs - Xils V+
  • Xils Labs - Xils 201 Vocoder
  • Softube - Vocoder
  • Arturia - Vocoder V

Vocoders VST Plugins:

Best Vocoder VST Plugins: iZotope - VocalSynth 2
(Image Credit: iZotope)

iZotope VocalSynth 2

Advanced Vocal Processing: From Iconic Talkbox Tones to Evocative Vocal Landscapes

Specifications:

  • Software Type: Multi-Effect Vocal Processor
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX

Benefits:

  • Offers five blendable eccentric modules: Biovox, Vocoder, Compuvox, Talkbox, and Polyvox.
  • Auto mode offers real-time processing for instant results.
  • MIDI mode allows users to control the plugin using a keyboard or other MIDI controller.
  • Built-in inter-plugin communication for seamless integration with other iZotope plugins.
  • Comprehensive set of presets catering to various styles and applications.

Overview:

iZotope’s VocalSynth 2 isn’t just a vocoder; it’s a comprehensive vocal suite designed for producers seeking the ultimate control over vocal processing. Packed with five distinct modules, VocalSynth 2 offers a range of effects from the traditional vocoding experience to the cutting-edge, bio-inspired processing of the Biovox module.

The Vocoder module provides that classic, robotic tonality that vocoders are known for, while the Compuvox gives a digitized, computerized texture to vocals. Talkbox offers the unmistakable sound akin to the legendary talk box effects heard in countless funk and pop tracks. Polyvox allows for harmonization, layering, and thickening of vocals. Lastly, the Biovox module, inspired by the human vocal tract, gives producers the tools to manipulate characteristics like nasality, vowel shapes, and formants.

One of VocalSynth 2’s standout features is its inter-plugin communication, allowing users to see VocalSynth within Neutron 3, Ozone 8, Tonal Balance Control, and Relay, ensuring a seamless workflow within the iZotope ecosystem. The plugin also comes equipped with a variety of effects including ring mod, distortion, and filter for further sculpting and enhancement.

Final Thoughts:

iZotope VocalSynth 2 stands as a testament to the innovation that modern digital processing can bring to the table. Whether you’re chasing the sounds of yesteryear or pioneering new vocal landscapes, VocalSynth 2 ensures your tracks possess a voice that cuts through the mix and captivates the listener.

Best Vocoder VST Plugins: Sonivox - Vocalizer Pro
(Image Credit: Sonivox)

Sonivox Vocalizer Pro

Unparalleled Vocal Transformation: From Harmonic Shifts to Complex Soundscapes

Specifications:

  • Software Type: Vocal Processing Synthesizer
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX

Benefits:

  • Advanced module-based vocal synthesis engine.
  • Four independent modules for intricate vocal sculpting.
  • 16 presets per module, offering a wide range of sonic possibilities.
  • Real-time MIDI control for dynamic performances.
  • Extensive routing capabilities for maximum flexibility.

Overview:

Stepping into the forefront of vocal processing evolution, Sonivox’s Vocalizer Pro is not your everyday vocoder. It’s a versatile instrument that transforms vocals into synthesizers, bass lines, lead melodies, and more, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with voice manipulation.

At the heart of Vocalizer Pro lies its module-based processing engine. Each of its four modules can be loaded with various presets and can be finely tuned to cater to specific sound design needs. From rich harmonies and lush textures to pulsating rhythmic structures, the sonic possibilities are vast.

What truly sets Vocalizer Pro apart is its real-time MIDI control functionality. This allows producers and performers alike to manipulate vocal characteristics on the fly, leading to dynamic and evolving soundscapes during live performances or studio sessions. Coupled with its robust routing capabilities, it offers a degree of flexibility seldom seen in vocal processors.

Final Thoughts:

Sonivox Vocalizer Pro goes beyond traditional vocoding, offering a world where vocals are no longer just a lyrical medium but an expansive sonic instrument in their own right. For producers seeking to redefine vocal processing in their tracks, the Vocalizer Pro stands as a beacon of innovation and versatility.

Best Vocoder VST Plugins: Meldaproduction - MVocoder
(Image Credit: Meldaproduction)

Meldaproduction MVocoder

Precision Vocoding Meets Creative Sound Design

Specifications:

  • Software Type: Advanced Vocoder and Sound Processing
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, VST3, AU, AAX

Benefits:

  • Highly versatile vocoder with more than 100 bands.
  • Modular spectral effects matrix for intricate sound shaping.
  • High-quality analog simulation with adjustable oscillator shapes.
  • Sonic clarity with minimal artifacts, even at extreme settings.
  • User-friendly GUI with multi-parameter editing capabilities.

Overview:

Dive deep into the world of vocoding with Meldaproduction’s MVocoder, a sophisticated vocoder plugin that combines precision and flexibility, allowing both traditional and experimental vocal treatments. Whether you’re aiming for classic robotic vocals or venturing into uncharted sonic territories, MVocoder has the tools to bring your vision to life.

Central to MVocoder’s prowess is its impressive band count. With more than 100 bands at your disposal, you can achieve unparalleled detail and nuance in your sound. The modular spectral effects matrix further expands the realm of possibilities, letting you interweave various effects for unique timbres and textures.

But MVocoder isn’t just about complexity; it also boasts an intuitive design. The plugin features a user-friendly graphical interface, enabling easy editing of multiple parameters simultaneously. Its high-quality analog simulation and adjustable oscillator shapes ensure your vocals retain clarity and warmth, even when you’re pushing boundaries.

Final Thoughts:

Meldaproduction’s MVocoder is a masterclass in vocoding technology. Its blend of technical depth and intuitive design makes it a valuable asset for producers, sound designers, and musicians eager to explore the vast potential of vocal synthesis. With MVocoder, your voice becomes the ultimate canvas for sonic innovation.

Best Vocoder VST Plugins: Zynaptiq - Orange Vocoder
(Image Credit: Zynaptiq)

Zynaptiq Orange Vocoder

The Evolution of Iconic Vocoding: Rich, Silky and Utterly Distinctive

Specifications:

  • Software Type: Advanced Vocoding and Voice Processing
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX, RTAS

Benefits:

  • Time-tested vocoding algorithm offering unparalleled clarity.
  • Wide array of unique voice processing modules.
  • Extensive modulation capabilities for dynamic and evolving textures.
  • Intuitive user interface with visually guided sound design tools.
  • Presets crafted by industry professionals for instant inspiration.

Overview:

Step into a universe where the iconic sound of vocoding is not just preserved but evolved. The Zynaptiq Orange Vocoder stands as a testament to what’s possible when classic meets contemporary. For years, it has been the go-to tool for producers and sound designers who crave that signature vocoded tone, but it also offers modern twists to keep up with today’s demanding soundscapes.

At the heart of the Orange Vocoder lies its remarkable algorithm. This piece of sonic artistry is responsible for the plugin’s lush, thick, and unmistakably rich vocoding sound. But beyond this core feature, Zynaptiq has also packed in a suite of innovative voice processing modules. These tools, when combined with the vocoder’s extensive modulation capabilities, provide users with a broad canvas of expressive potential.

With its sleek design, the user interface of the Orange Vocoder isn’t just visually appealing – it’s also incredibly functional. Sound shaping is a breeze, with visually guided tools that make it easy to sculpt, mold, and refine your sound. And for those moments when inspiration feels out of reach, a collection of professionally designed presets stands ready to jump-start your creativity.

Final Thoughts:

Zynaptiq Orange Vocoder effortlessly bridges the gap between vintage charm and modern sophistication. With its rich features and impeccable sound quality, it solidifies its position as one of the most revered vocoders in the industry. For those seeking both the classic vocoded sound and the tools to push it into new territories, Orange Vocoder is a match made in sonic heaven.

Best Vocoder VST Plugins: Xils Labs - Vocoder 5000
(Image Credit: Xils Labs)

Xils Labs Vocoder 5000

A Nod to the Past: Vintage Analog Vocoder Reimagined for the Modern Era

Specifications:

  • Software Type: Analog Emulation Vocoder
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX, RTAS

Benefits:

  • Recreates the complex sonic texture of vintage analog vocoders.
  • Comprehensive modulation matrix opens doors to intricate sound design.
  • Offers both synthesis and vocoding capabilities in one unit.
  • Delivers up to 22 bands of classic vocoding.
  • Incorporates a dual-layered, polyphonic synthesizer engine.

Overview:

Channeling the spirit of classic vocoders from the late 70s and early 80s, Xils Vocoder 5000 offers a meticulous emulation of analog vocoding’s much-adored texture and nuance. For purists and modern explorers alike, this plugin delivers the depth and warmth of vintage hardware, infused with the flexibility of today’s software environment.

At its core, the Vocoder 5000 offers up to 22 bands of vocoding, enabling detailed and rich vocal transformations. But its prowess doesn’t stop at vocoding alone. The unit boasts a dual-layered polyphonic synthesizer, allowing for lush pads, sharp leads, and basses, making it a multi-functional tool in any producer’s arsenal.

One of the standout features of the Xils Vocoder 5000 is its extensive modulation matrix. This feature opens up vast avenues for sound design, enabling users to intricately weave together different aspects of the sound, leading to dynamic and evolving textures.

The interface, though intricate, offers visual feedback and a logical layout, ensuring that both beginners and seasoned professionals can get the most out of the tool.

Final Thoughts:

The Xils Vocoder 5000 is more than just an homage to the past; it’s a bridge between the rich history of vocoding and the expansive possibilities of the digital age. For those in search of that authentic analog vocoding warmth or eager to push boundaries and explore new sonic territories, the Vocoder 5000 stands as a versatile and powerful ally.

Best Vocoder VST Plugins: Xils Labs - Xils V+
(Image Credit: Xils Labs)

Xils Labs Xils V+

The Essence of Legendary String Machines and Vocoder Units Combined

Specifications:

  • Software Type: Vintage String Machine and Vocoder Emulation
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX, RTAS

Benefits:

  • Merges the characteristics of celebrated string machines with vocoders.
  • Features a 10-band vocoder, capturing the nuances of classic units.
  • Equipped with an advanced stereo space engine for expansive soundscapes.
  • Offers unique ensemble and chorus modules reminiscent of vintage hardware.
  • Detailed recreations of both the human voice and instrument sounds.

Overview:

Drawing inspiration from the revered string machines and vocoders of the 80s, Xils Lab presents the Xils V+, an impeccable combination of these two iconic sound shaping tools. The V+ captures the heart and soul of vintage instruments while incorporating modern functionality, making it a choice pick for enthusiasts of both eras.

The 10-band vocoder integrated within stands as a testament to the meticulous attention to detail Xils Lab has paid to authenticity. This ensures users can achieve those distinctive, robotic vocal tones that became synonymous with various musical genres of the past.

But the Xils V+ isn’t confined to vocoding alone. The string machine aspect, complete with its ensemble and chorus modules, allows for the creation of lush, sweeping soundscapes reminiscent of the golden age of synthesizers. The advanced stereo space engine further accentuates this, providing the user with an expansive stereo field to craft their sonic masterpieces.

Ease of use is another hallmark of the Xils V+. Its user-friendly interface, paired with its in-depth features, guarantees that producers, whether novices or experts, can harness its full potential.

Final Thoughts:

Blending the illustrious past with cutting-edge present-day technology, the Xils V+ from Xils Lab stands out as a tribute to iconic sound machines. Its dual functionality of string synthesis and vocoding, combined with its in-depth modulation possibilities, makes it an invaluable addition to any audio professional’s plugin collection.

Best Vocoder VST Plugins: Xils Labs - Xils 201 Vocoder
(Image Credit: Xils Labs)

Xils Labs Xils 201 Vocoder

Dive into the World of Advanced Vocoder Technology with a Retro Touch

Specifications:

  • Software Type: Vocoder Synthesis with Retro Elements
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX, RTAS

Benefits:

  • Meticulous emulation of iconic vintage vocoders.
  • Advanced synthesis engine ensures a wide range of vocal transformation.
  • Perfectly captures the character of old-school vocoding techniques.
  • Enhanced with modern control, providing a broader sound design palette.
  • Detailed parameter options for professionals and hobbyists alike.

Overview:

Xils Lab, known for their dedication to authenticity and innovation, brings forth the Xils 201 Vocoder, a perfect blend of the past’s charm and the present’s technological prowess. This tool, designed to capture the essence of historical vocoders, also infuses a modern touch, making it a versatile asset in any music producer’s toolkit.

At its core, the Xils 201 Vocoder maintains the soul of vintage units, letting users craft those classic robotic, otherworldly vocal sounds that have been adored and used across various music genres. But it doesn’t just stop at recreating the past. With its modern synthesis engine, it provides a broader scope for vocal transformation, enabling users to dive deep into sound design.

Its intuitive interface ensures that even those new to the world of vocoding can achieve professional results. Yet, it doesn’t skimp on features for the seasoned pro. Detailed parameter controls allow for extensive tweaking and fine-tuning, ensuring that the Xils 201 Vocoder fits seamlessly into any project or workflow.

Final Thoughts:

The Xils 201 Vocoder by Xils Lab exemplifies what’s possible when the rich history of music technology meets the advancements of the modern age. Whether you’re chasing the nostalgic tones of yesteryears or pushing the boundaries with futuristic vocal effects, this plugin is a must-have. It’s more than just a vocoder; it’s a journey through time.

Best Vocoder VST Plugins: Softube - Vocoder
(Image Credit: Softube)

Softube Vocoder

Seamless Vocoder Effects with a Touch of Studio-Class Precision

Specifications:

  • Software Type: Premium Vocoder Processing
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX

Benefits:

  • Studio-grade vocoding effect for professional-quality results.
  • Impeccably modeled on classic analog hardware.
  • Intuitive interface ensures quick and easy adjustments.
  • Multiple modes and settings to adapt to different vocal sources.
  • Known for its crystal clear output and unparalleled warmth.

Overview:

Softube, a name synonymous with studio-quality effects, brings to the table its rendition of a vocoder with unparalleled precision and clarity. The Softube Vocoder not only emulates the classic vocoding effects but does so with a level of clarity and precision that’s rare to find in the digital realm.

Engineered with an impeccable modeling of classic analog hardware, this plugin ensures that the tonal essence and warmth of vintage vocoders are retained while offering the benefits of modern software flexibility. Whether it’s the iconic robotic voices, ethereal ambient vocals, or any effect in between, the Softube Vocoder handles them with an elegance that’s hard to match.

One of the highlights of this plugin is its user-friendly interface. Even though it’s packed with features, users won’t find themselves lost in a sea of knobs and sliders. Each control is thoughtfully placed and labeled, ensuring that both novices and pros can get the desired sound without a steep learning curve.

Final Thoughts:

When it comes to achieving that perfect vocoded effect with a mix of vintage warmth and modern precision, the Softube Vocoder stands tall among its peers. It’s an investment in quality, versatility, and authenticity. For those in search of the pristine vocoding effect that sits perfectly in a mix, the journey might very well end with Softube’s offering.

Best Vocoder VST Plugins: Arturia - Vocoder V
(Image Credit: Arturia)

Arturia Vocoder V

Classic Vocoder Sounds Melded with Modern-day Design and Flexibility

Specifications:

  • Software Type: Analog-modeled Vocoder Synthesis
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX

Benefits:

  • Emulates the charm of classic vintage vocoders.
  • Comprehensive set of tools for extensive sound design.
  • Offers both traditional and innovative vocoding techniques.
  • High-quality presets to jump-start your vocoding journey.
  • Features an intuitive, visually appealing user interface.

Overview:

Arturia, a giant in the domain of software synthesis and vintage hardware emulation, brings forth the Vocoder V, a magnificent fusion of the old and the new. Drawing inspiration from some of the most iconic vocoders of yesteryears, Arturia manages to infuse the charm of vintage vocoding with the flexibility and power of modern-day software.

The Vocoder V isn’t just a simple tool for robot voices. It’s a comprehensive sound design platform that lets users sculpt and craft a wide variety of tones and textures. Whether you’re looking to create those classic talkbox-style vocals or venturing into more experimental sonic terrains, this vocoder has got you covered.

The interface, staying true to Arturia’s design ethos, is not just functional but also a visual treat. It’s laid out in a manner that’s intuitive, ensuring even those new to the world of vocoding can dive in without feeling overwhelmed. And for those who might be short on inspiration, the plugin comes packed with a plethora of high-quality presets that span a wide range of genres and styles.

Final Thoughts:

The Arturia Vocoder V stands as a testament to the brand’s commitment to quality, authenticity, and innovation. It’s more than just a vocoding tool; it’s a comprehensive sound shaping module that will appeal to both purists and those keen on pushing the boundaries. With its vast feature set, user-friendly design, and impeccable sound quality, the Vocoder V is undoubtedly a top contender in the vocoding realm.

Voice Manipulation & Formant Shifting VST Plugins:

Best Vocoder VST Plugins: Soundtoys - Little Alterboy
(Image Credit: Soundtoys)

Soundtoys Little Alterboy

Voice Tweaking Magic: Dramatic Transformations to Delicate Tunings

Specifications:

  • Software Type: Monophonic Voice Manipulator
  • Platform - Supported formats: PC/MAC - VST, AU, AAX

Benefits:

  • Precise pitch and formant shifting capabilities.
  • Robotize feature for hard tune vocal effects.
  • Drive control introduces warm tube-style saturation.
  • Simple, user-friendly interface for quick sound shaping.
  • Integration of iconic pitch-change effects from classic hardware units.

Overview:

For artists and producers in search of a tool that offers voice transformation capabilities with both subtlety and dramatic flair, Soundtoys’ Little AlterBoy stands out in the crowd. While it may be termed “little”, the power and versatility it brings to vocal processing are anything but minimal.

The heart of Little AlterBoy lies in its pitch and formant shifting abilities. These allow users to dramatically change the character of a voice, from gender transformations to cartoonish exaggerations. The Robotize feature, on the other hand, offers that quintessential hard-tuned effect synonymous with modern pop, hip-hop, and electronic music.

Yet, Little AlterBoy doesn’t stop with mere pitch processing. The added Drive control can infuse vocals with a warm, analog-style saturation, reminiscent of pushing vintage hardware to its limits. This feature, in combination with pitch effects, can lead to some truly unique vocal tones.

The interface, streamlined and intuitive, ensures that artists can bring their vocal vision to life without getting bogged down in complexity. For those moments when instant inspiration is the order of the day, a range of presets comes included, showcasing the plugin’s vast potential.

Final Thoughts:

Soundtoys’ Little AlterBoy is an essential tool in the modern producer’s arsenal. Whether you’re looking to craft a unique vocal effect for a single track or aim to redefine the sonic texture of an entire project, Little AlterBoy stands ready to deliver. Its combination of ease-of-use and powerful processing cements its place among the top vocoders and voice manipulation tools available.

FAQ Buying Guide: Best Vocoder VST Plugins

Vocoders have paved the way for countless iconic tracks in music history. Whether aiming for that classic robotic voice or exploring uncharted sonic territories, having the right vocoder VST can make a significant difference. Familiarizing oneself with the features and specifications ensures that you’ll pick the best tool for your creative journey.


  • What is a vocoder VST plugin?

    A vocoder VST plugin is a digital tool that combines a carrier signal (usually a synthesizer) with a modulator signal (typically a human voice) to produce a robotic, synthesized vocal effect popular in various music genres.

  • Why are vocoders popular in music production?

    Vocoders have been iconic in transforming vocals, offering a distinctive robotic sound heard in electronic, pop, hip-hop, and dance music. Artists like Daft Punk and Kraftwerk have popularized the vocoder effect.

  • How does the number of bands affect a vocoder's sound?

    The number of bands in a vocoder divides the frequency spectrum into sections. More bands generally provide a clearer, more detailed sound, while fewer bands offer a more vintage, lo-fi effect.

  • What's the difference between a vocoder and a pitch correction (AutoTune) plugin?

    While both can modify vocals, a vocoder merges vocals with synthesized sounds for a robotic effect. In contrast, an AutoTune plugin corrects pitch discrepancies to ensure vocals align with a specific musical key.

  • Why do some vocoders have built-in synthesizers?

    Having a built-in synthesizer means the vocoder can provide its own carrier signal. This integrated approach offers convenience and ensures compatibility between the carrier and the modulator signals.

  • What is the "formant" feature found in some vocoder plugins?

    Formant control allows producers to modify the tonal character or “shape” of the modulated sound. By tweaking formants, users can adjust the resulting sound to be deeper, brighter, or even more alien-sounding.

  • How does "External Carrier Input" benefit a vocoder VST?

    External Carrier Input lets users apply an external sound source (like a guitar or drum) as the carrier signal instead of the traditional synthesizer, enabling a wider range of creative effects.

  • What does "Mono" and "Poly" mode mean in a vocoder context?

    Mono: Produces a single synthesized voice, often more robotic.

    Poly: Allows for chordal vocoding, enabling harmonies and richer textures.

  • Why do some vocoders offer a "freeze" function?

    The “freeze” function captures and holds a particular sound or formant structure, allowing continuous playback of a specific moment or texture, leading to evolving, ambient effects.

  • Are there any genre-specific vocoder VSTs I should consider?

    While vocoders can be used across genres, some are tailored to specific styles, with presets optimized for electronic music, hip-hop, or pop. Always preview and choose one that aligns with your desired sound.

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