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Turn on, Tune in

Antelope engineers have had a brainstorm! The vintage audio hardware have been taken off their desks, and some blue-sky thinking applied to completely new digital plugins. They’ve designed three new vocal effects plugins – Performer, Harmony and Chorus – which come with built-in pitch correction. No post-production editing required: these are real-time plug(in) and play effects. The InTune realistic pitch processing engine powering the three new vocal plugins gently moves pitch in the right direction, while preserving the original voice character.

InTune: easy pitch correction and voice effects

InTune Performer is an quick-to-setup processor for a single voice, with chromatic, major and minor scale options. The time interval between the start and the completion of pitch correction has a Delay control to minimize jumps (the so called T-Pain or Cher effect) with its fully clockwise setting being the most subtle. The Strength rotary knob increases the amount of pitch correction applied to the controlled voice, from zero to 100% corrected. No more messing around with piano-roll editing in your DAW, just insert this plugin on the vocal track and make your singer as tuneful as they think they are!

Harmony is an instant accompanying vocal generator plugin, with the option of adding 2, 3, and 4 voice harmony to an original voice. Adjust key and scale and add pitch correction with the InTune button, which utilizes the same correction algorithm as the Performer plugin. An intuitive user interface enables generated voices to be arranged across the stereo panorama with the Space control, and the timbre of harmonies may be adjusted from Neutral through Vivid and Deep with the Color control. The timbral difference of the lowest to highest voice will increase as the Color control is adjusted from ‘Neutral’ to ‘Deep’. Harmony can serve as the ideal automatic double tracking plugin to beef-up lead vocals for an epic chorus.

Add a complete backing group to your singer with the new Chorus plugin. A choir of five voices may be generated with variable detune and delay, with additional control options for bass, fifth and soprano voices. The Color adjustment for each generated voice enables creation of unique backing vocal performances, with the option to arrange voices across the stereo field using the Space control. A Space setting of zero generates a mono track, whilst 180 will spread voices across the full panorama from Left to Right. The InTune button enables pitch correction on the input vocal, while the Detune control setting slight differences in pitch between generated voices, to simulate natural tonal differences between singers. One semitone equals 100 cents. So if the Detune control is set to the maximum of 100, it means Chorus voices will be spread randomly between -50 to +50 cents around the lead (input) voice.

Gyratec – modern analog artistry modeled

Maverick designer Jakob Erland’s unique creations are now part of the Synergy Core Native. Erland’s outside-the-box thinking has supercharged his hardware concepts, with features and sonic results previously unheard. His designs have given recording engineers plenty of extra colors on their palette over the last 20 years, re-wiring the traditional tubes, transformers and classic circuitry of the past for a new generation of funky gear.

The Gyratec XIV models Erland’s passive stereo equalizer, equipped with an impressive 55 individual frequency choices to boost or cut. The filter has five bands – each with 11 switchable frequencies, continuous variable Q, and individual boost/bypass/cut selection.
The Gyratec XIV is a true passive EQ with a unique parallel filter design. This allows for a set of inductors and capacitors to switch in or out of the circuit, with the result summed together rather than circuit flow being in series (as is normal for equalizers) with a tube-based makeup gain/output stage to compensate for signal loss. The parallel passive Gyratec XIV hardware was described as: “Arguably the finest sounding EQ – ever,” by producer and musician George Shilling, who maintained it possessed a “Wonderfully silky and open sound, without any overblown distortion or coloration”.

The Gyratec X plugin models a classic variable-mu compressor. The Vari-Mu – controlling the gain by altering quiescent current in differential tube pairs – is much faster than optical compression. The speed is why it was widely used in early limiters such as the Fairchild 670 or the Universal Audio 176. Thanks to its smooth high-pass filtering it allows hard compression without pumping, and a wide range of operation levels enables both very-clean and very-colored treatment.

The trio of Gyraf effects is rounded out by the Gyratec IX, which models a classic tube microphone pre-amplifier, ready to give your recordings some analog flavor and saturation. The Gyratec IX proves especially effective warming up keyboards or DI instruments.

SMT-100: modeling a 1980's classic compressor

The SMT-100 re-creates a 1980’s classic compressor known for fast attack times and gentle and natural sounding gain reduction. It effortlessly keeps audio dynamics controlled without throttling the sound. A multitrack-era imagining of tube compressors of an earlier time, the 100A maintained simple controls – just a Fast/Slow switch for both Attack and Release – with a fidelity more suited to modern recording. Its transparency and strong but gentle grip on the audio makes it a popular choice for placing vocals and bass just where they need to be in a song, without too much fader-riding during the mix. The 100A is also well suited to softening an overly-jangly acoustic guitar that continually draws unwanted attention. Not intended for radical dynamic re-shaping, everything you put into the SMT-100 comes out the other end bigger and yet compact sounding – ‘like a record’!

The complete Synergy Core Native library is provided in AAX, VST3, and AU formats and is available now via a €14.95 monthly membership plan, or as an annual €149 plan with two months free. Antelope Audio currently offers an introductory offer of €1 per month for 3 months.

Owners of Antelope interfaces and Synergy Core hardware effects will benefit from tailor-made, substantially discounted Native plugin library offers, available via their user accounts. Licensing is by iLok Cloud or iLok USB (2nd gen or higher), and a 14-day free trial is available.

– Nigel Jopson

Explore the Synergy Core Native collection HERE

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