Waves Maserati VX1 Vocal Enhancer by Jack Morgan
This is part of Waves’ bundle of “Maserati” plugins, which were developed in collaboration with the award winning mixer Tony Maserati (Sting, David Bowie, Beyonce, etc). They basically synthesise his favourite chains of audio processing for specific tasks. While I have no idea what hardware was used to arrive at the sound of these “Maserati” plugins, they certainly do sound very professional.
The Vocal Enhancer is an alluring plugin because vocal processing, being one of the most important parts of production, can be very time-consuming. Compression, reverb, EQ and other effects all need to compliment each other and to communicate the song in a way that sounds true. The VX1 provides just a few controls within one pleasing GUI. There are 3 “contour” controls to cater for different types of song: 1 feels contained and intimate, 2 is more expansive, and 3 is basically a small room with pre-delay. Compression is just controlled with one dial, and EQ with two, for better or worse. There are also the FX section (reverb) that is easy to use but not exactly inspiring IMO.
This plugin is very easy to use and gets you quick, slick sounding results. Overall I’m a fan, but worry that it means that you lose some credibility as a producer by using it!